As an inclusive school we welcome children from all different backgrounds and cultures. We value the different languages and are keen for children to share their knowledge and experience of their own culture and languages. A child who has EAL is not automatically labelled as having ‘Special Educational Needs’, as this is a separate issue.
A welcoming environment is very important to any new child starting school, but we are aware that a child, whose first language is not English, may have higher anxieties due to the barriers in communication. An initial meeting with parents will be set up to gather information on the child’s background, the different languages they have been exposed to, including their ability to use and understand the English language. Also it is important for us to know about the child’s previous educational experience, as different counties have different systems.
Staff are aware of various strategies to support a child who has English as an additional language or bilingual children. Different forms of communication can be used with lots of visual pictures/symbols, including a key word card fan. A special nominated buddy can be set up to help the child engage and interact with their peers. There are additional resources that can be borrowed from our local Resource Centre, such as multi-lingual books, key words and a speech/language programme such as ‘Chatterbox’. We also have links with outside support agencies who specialise with working with children who speak different languages. They are able to provide a translator and provide school with advice on how to best support.
Please see our provision map by clicking on the link below for different strategies that may be used in school: