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English as an Additional Language

English as an Additional Language Policy (EAL)



This policy has been written in line with our School Mission Statement.



At Holy Family School we celebrate children’s cultures, backgrounds and languages.

We aim to offer an inclusive education in which the child’s first language is acknowledged.  We encourage all pupils to have a positive attitude towards language and cultural diversity.



We are committed to making appropriate provision of teaching and resources for pupils for whom English is an additional language and to raise the achievement of ethnic minority pupils.  Our school will identify the needs of individual pupils, recognise the skills they bring to the school and ensure equality of access to the curriculum.


We aim to ensure that all EAL pupils are able to:-

  • Use English confidently and competently
  • Use English as a means of learning across the curriculum
  • Where appropriate make use of their knowledge of other languages.


The context of the school

There are currently 26 pupils in the school who have a home language in addition to English.  Pupils at the early stages of acquiring English language skills receive additional support


Key Principles for Additional Language Acquisition

  • Language develops best when used in purposeful contexts across the curriculum
  • Effective use of language is crucial to the teaching and learning of every subject.
  • The language demands of learning tasks need to be identified and planned for, with attention both to initial access and to extension.
  • Teachers have a crucial role in modelling uses of language.
  • The focus and use of additional support time are best seen as an integral part of curriculum and lesson planning.
  • All pupils have entitlement to the National Curriculum
  • A distinction is made between EAL and Special Educational Needs.
  • Language is central to our identity.  Therefore, teachers need to be aware of the importance of pupils’ home languages and to build on their existing knowledge and skills.
  • Many concepts and skills depend on and benefit from well-developed home language and literacy in home language enhances subsequent acquisition of EAL.
  • All languages, dialects, accents and cultures are equally valued.


Teaching and Learning

Planning and Differentiation:

The school will provide a system for staff to share planning with support staff.  Plans will identify the demands of the National Curriculum and provide differentiated opportunities matched to individual EAL pupils’ needs.


Key language features of language, which are necessary for effective participation, are identified.  These might be key words, certain patterns of grammar, use of language or forms of text.


Literacy and Numeracy:

Classroom activities have clear learning objectives and appropriate support and resources are deployed to ensure that pupils are able to participate in lessons.  Staff review groupings and settings arrangements to ensure that EAL learners have access to strong English language peer models.




Staff use support strategies to ensure curriculum access:

  • Collaborative group work
  • Enhanced opportunities for speaking and listening
  • Effective role models of speaking, reading and writing.
  • Additional verbal support-repetition, alternative phrasing. Peer support.
  • Additional visual support, e.g. posters, objects, non-verbal clues, pictures, demonstration, use of gesture, etc.
  • Bilingual resources, e.g. dictionaries, on-line support, bilingual staff/pupils, texts, key word lists.
  • Writing frames.
  • Opportunities for role play.
  • Pupils receive regular feedback from staff.
  • Opportunities are taken to focus on the cultural knowledge explicit or implicit in texts.
  • Discussion is provided before and during reading and writing activities, using preferred language where appropriate.



Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation

Information is gathered about;

  • The pupils’ linguistic background and competence in other languages.
  • The pupils’ previous educational and schooling experience.
  • The pupils’ family and biographical background.


The pupils’ level of English is identified with reference to Stages of English as an Additional Language, (See Appendix 1) and with reference to the National Curriculum. 


Staff, using Appendix 1, regularly observe, assess and record information about pupils developing use of language.


Whilst account is taken of EAL development, the school aims to set appropriate and challenging targets for individual pupils.  These targets are reviewed termly.


Special Educational Needs and Gifted and Talented Pupils

The school recognises that most EAL pupils needing additional support do not have SEN needs.  However, should SEN needs be identified during assessment, EAL pupils will have equal access to school SEN provision.


Similarly, the school recognises that there may be EAL pupils who are gifted or talented even though they may not be fully fluent in English.



A LSA leads on EAL provision, overseen and coordinated by the Inclusion Manager.  Each classroom teacher remains, however, responsible for the development and progression of EAL pupils in their care.  Children will receive additional LSA support in the following ways:-


  • One to one
  • Small groups (either within the classroom or in withdrawal groups)


Support will be appropriate to the needs of the pupils.


Each class has an EAL file which includes pupil progress and record keeping as well as advice and strategies to support EAL pupils.


Assessment and Record Keeping

Staff liaise to discuss pupil progress, needs and targets.


The school will ensure that all EAL pupils have access to statutory assessments, making full use of special arrangements including first language assessment/support where appropriate.


The school analyses EAL/Minority Ethnic pupil achievement and regularly evaluates the effectiveness of additional support provided in terms of pupil progress.


Resources and Funding

A range of resources are used to support pupils’ linguistic development, e.g. games, visual materials, differentiated worksheets, key word lists, bilingual dictionaries, taped materials, computer software, etc.  In addition to the school’s own resources, we are able to borrow resources from EMTAS. (Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service)


Assessment materials use images and texts which are appropriate for all pupils.


From April 2013 funding for EAL pupils is from the school’s delegated budget on the annual pupils census.  EMTAS provides advisory support and can provide schools with resources.  EMTAS will provide training and guidance as well as supporting schools in facilitating home-school communication.  EMTAS update meetings are held throughout the year.


Parents/Carers and the Wider Community

We provide a welcoming admission process for the induction, assessment and support of new arrival pupils and their families/carers.  A proforma for new arrivals provided by EMTAS is used. (See Appendix 2)


We take account of parents/carers linguistic, cultural and religious backgrounds when planning the curriculum and developing home-school links.


We aim to work closely with members of the wider community to support our EAL pupils.


Staff Development

The school will enable all staff to undertake professional development to ensure that provision for EAL pupils is appropriately delivered and co-ordinated.


The School Development Plan will incorporate action plans and reviews relating to raising the achievement of minority ethnic/EAL pupils.


Review and Evaluation of Policy

School data will include relevant information on minority ethnic/EAL pupils.  This will include needs, level of English, support, achievement and progress.  This will enable the school to monitor targets.


The evaluation process will serve the basis for planning programmes of action and targeting time, support and resources.