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Steephill Independent School and Pre-School

‘Pupils are at the heart of everything we do’

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Steephill Independent School and Pre-School

‘Pupils are at the heart of everything we do’

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English as an Additional Language


Education Sub-committee


Governor Implementation Check. Date:  November 2016

Governor Implementation Check EYFS Date: November 2016


Policy Review by Governors Date:  November 2016


Date of next Implementation review: November 2017






English as an Additional Language (EAL) Policy

Including EYFS, Main School and before and after school care



This policy is written with regard to the booklet entitled: Aiming High: Understanding the educational needs of minority ethnic pupils in mainly white schools (DfES0416/2004).

Steephill School has approximately 40% non-white British families with 2 who speak English as a second language at home. 



• The school recognises that a child’s ability to access the curriculum may be ahead of their English language skills.

• The school recognises that language development is the responsibility of all teachers

• Teachers will take specific action to support all children for whom English is an additional language, to develop their spoken and written English.

• We are a mixed ability school and we welcome all children who can make the most of the opportunities that we offer and can flourish in the caring environment of Steephill School. Treating every child as an individual is important to us, and we welcome all pupils who speak a language other than English, or speak English which is not age appropriate as English is a second language or not spoken at home.

Information on the provision of EAL support is available to parents on request.


Cultural and Linguistic Diversity

The school views multilingualism as educationally enriching and believes it should be valued as a special achievement. It views linguistic and cultural diversity as being an enriching experience for all members of the school and recognises the diverse needs of the children for whom English is an additional language. The School encourages children to share their language and culture with other pupils in assemblies, on special language/Culture days and in the classroom.


Admissions and EAL Pupils

On admission to School, including EYFS, parents are asked to state in writing the language spoken at home as a first language and proficiency in English. This is then given to the class teacher and also to the SENCo. 

Where a pupil with limited or no English enters the School their support will depend on age. Newly arrived pupils will of course differ in terms of their previous educational experience and their previous experience of learning English as an additional language. By no means will all be beginners in terms of English language development.


Children with EAL entering the School with no English


Their needs will be entered on a class provision map and support allocated from the SENCo and Class teacher. Generally, guidelines for non-English speakers are:


  • Make sure the pupil knows your name.  Introduce yourself and write it down for him/her.

  • Demonstrate the meaning of instructions such as sit down, stand up and come here.

  • Do not worry if the beginner says very little at first.  Plenty of listening time is important when starting to learn a new language.  There should be emphasis on communication rather than correction until the pupil is more confident in English.

  • Involve the pupil in routine tasks such as giving out books and equipment.

  • Wherever possible, include links within the curriculum to the culture and language of newly arrived pupils.

  • Give the pupil opportunities to listen to the sounds and patterns of English, for example through audio tapes.

  • Identify the key vocabulary and language structures of the text/activity.

  • Although the pupil cannot be expected to understand the content of all the lessons, do try to give him/her a meaningful task that is related to the lesson.

  • Integrate the pupil into the class activity as far as possible, while differentiating at his/her level.  If they are to maintain confidence, pupils need to feel they can complete a task, such as copying words or sentences under pictures; matching pictures to names, words or sentences; filling in missing words; sequencing; text marking; labelling; matching sentence halves; filling in tables and grids; giving yes/no, true/false responses.

  • Many of the above tasks could be used to develop listening skills and to focus the pupil's attention on key information during the teacher led parts of the lesson.

  • Pupils not familiar with the alphabet will need help with handwriting and correct use of capital and lower case letters.

  • Model or demonstrate the use of key vocabulary and language structures.

  • Involve the pupil in using language from an early point of the lesson onwards.

  • Provide opportunities for the pupil to repeat and produce the language in context, for example through well-planned pair or group work.

  • The pupil will need as much of your time as possible to explain the tasks.  If you are not available, encourage peers to assist.

  • Encourage the use of bilingual and/or picture dictionaries.

  • Encourage the use of home language for content learning, discussion and the development of new concepts.  Support for the first language will enhance, not hinder, the acquisition of English.  Whenever possible, pair the child with a proficient speaker of their home language.

  • Exploit previously used language and link to pupils' experience.

  • Pupils who are literate in their first language tend to make faster progress than pupils who are not.  They should be encouraged to use these literacy skills to support their learning.

  • The pupil could develop his/her own personal word lists.

  • Provide visual support such as artefacts, pictures, videos, computer programmes and so on, to help comprehension.

  • Using writing frames, word banks and sentence banks provides scaffolding to support learner independence and to model the language to be learned and practised (see samples for ideas).

  • Use graphic organisers such as pie charts, graphs, pictograms, tables and grids to present curriculum content with reduced language input.

  • Give feedback in a constructive way so that the pupil can use his/her errors as a learning tool.

  • Allow the pupil time to summarise and reflect on what he/she has learned.

  • Wherever possible, encourage parents/carers to support homework tasks.


    Children with EAL who speak English

    Children may speak some English, or even speak English well, but find it difficult to learn idiomatic English, to infer from written or spoken English or be entirely fluent as English is spoken only partly or not at all at home.

    Use of some of the above strategies in the classroom may be appropriate and support directed at fluent English will be accessed through one to one sessions and/or group support in the classroom. Talkabout Club is also run by the SEN&D department to support children with linguistic and/or communication difficulties.


    Education Sub-committee November 2016