English as an Additional Language (EAL) & New Arrivals
At St Michael's we welcome children from a large number of countries, and are proud of the linguistic, religious and cultural backgrounds of all our children. We aim to be an inclusive school that supports and develops our learners to the best of our ability.
New Arrivals (Not including Reception starters)
When children arrive at St Michael's school, whether at the start of the year or at some point during the year, they are assessed in a number of ways during the first few weeks. These assessments are shared with parents, and allow us to ensure the child is well supported. These assessments will be in reading, writing, spoken language and maths, and may consist either of formal tests, or informal observation, or a mixture of both.
Some children arrive at St Michael's speaking very little English. Where this happens, we aim to support their development of English through the provision of a language-rich environment, with lots of emphasis on speaking and listening. Gradually, as the child develops confidence in English, they will learn to read and write in English. We provide a mixture of in-class and small group support for such pupils, and our experience shows us that most children make rapid progress in English. Our EAL children as a group make very good progress overall during their time at St Michael's.
Support for home language
There is strong evidence to show that children who are supported in their home language make better and faster progress in English. Where possible we aim to help children develop these skills, working with parents who are usually best placed themselves to provide or arrange support. We are currently able to provide some support for Polish children (Polish is the largest single language after English in the school), where a Polish teacher works with a group of children on a weekly basis.
For further information on support for home language learning, please see the following publications:
Support for parents
If parents are finding it difficult to communicate with the school due to their own language needs, please get in touch as we have access to translation services. Mrs Stewart, our family support worker, will be happy to hear from you.
Please see below for various policies relating to EAL and New Arrivals