The term EAL is used when referring to pupils where the mother language at home is not English. This policy sets out the School’s aims, objectives and strategies with regard to meeting the needs and celebrating the skills of EAL pupils and helping them to achieve the highest possible standards. Oxford is a 3-19 all through school where a large number of pupils whose first language is not English and who arrive in the UK with very little if any previous experience of education . Our aim is that all pupils will become increasingly independent as they progress through Loxford each year and are able to fulfil their academic potential both here and beyond, in whatever culture they choose to study and work. The vast majority of pupils will progress to either a British college or university, and it is with this in mind that we wish to make their time at Loxford as productive and inclusive as possible.
This year the department has started an initiative for year 12 students to become ‘Language Ambassadors’. A group of students who speak more than one language and who are highly proficient in English have volunteered to assist other students, who are at an earlier stage in learning English, in their lessons. Not only does this represent a fantastic addition to learning at Loxford but it also benefits the sixth formers by enhancing their university application.
The EAL department does not just confine its activities to the school itself. It takes pride in involving its students in activities outside of school which it believes will help broaden their horizons.
As part of this involvement a number of our students have been involved in the HEART (Help Educate All Roma people Together) initiative which saw them meeting with teachers and inspectors from Romania, talking about their experiences and taking them on a tour of the school.
Outside the Classroom
EAL students are involved in a number of extra-curricular activities and events.
Every year the Modern Foreign Languages department celebrates the European Day of Languages. This is championed throughout the school with class activities which serve to highlight the cultural and linguistic diversity of Loxford. The key focus of these activities is to celebrate this diversity and recognise how multiculturalism enhances the school and wider community.
One of the advantages of Loxford being a 3 to 18 school is the opportunity this presents for EAL students of all ages to get together and speak in their home language. Secondary students welcome the chance to engage with their younger counterparts in the primary and help them become part of the Loxford community.
The department works with the Loxford Wider Schools Manager and the Redbridge EMA team to create and develop links with parents, the community and international partners.
Support for your Learning
We support students using a range of effective strategies. Our role is to help make the curriculum accessible and to support the English language and literacy development of multilingual learners in different subjects and across all year groups.
All EAL teachers teach in partnership with mainstream teachers across the curriculum and age range. In–class support is provided by both EAL teachers and Bilingual Assistants to further raise attainment.
Exemplar resources to support the learning of EAL students are developed by the team and shared both, within and outside the school.
All students are assessed on entry to determine appropriate intervention and support strategies required for those with English language needs. Subsequently EAL students’ progress is assessed at the start of every term to monitor the effectiveness of these strategies.
Beginners in English attend a short Induction programme for a term to provide them with a foundation for learning the language and to familiarise them with the unfamiliar culture and education system.
Additional support is provided at lunchtimes and after-school to help EAL students with their homework. The EAL teaching room is well-resourced with a wide range of bilingual dictionaries, encyclopaedias and other reference books as well as computers; students also have the opportunity to borrow books for reading for pleasure.
Support for your Teaching
Regular INSET programmes for all staff are delivered to enable mainstream teachers to understand EAL issues and ensure that they are best equipped to support students across the curriculum.
All Teach First, NQTs, GTPs and BTs are inducted into EAL through CPD programmes throughout the year. These are delivered to small groups as well as individuals.
With the help and guidance of the Redbridge EMA team and the Loxford Wider Schools Manager the department is able to involve subject teachers in initiatives outside of the school environment. Later this year, for example, a number of teachers are visiting Romania for the purpose of professional and cultural exchange.
EAL in Redbridge
The Loxford EAL department networks with the EAL departments in other schools (both primary and secondary) across the borough to encourage and facilitate the sharing of best practice. Regular meetings are convened by the advisory team and outside speakers are often brought in to discuss topical issues.
EAL outside Redbridge
With the help and support of the Loxford Wider Schools Manager and the International Schools initiative the department has been able to build and develop links that go beyond not only Redbridge but also the UK.
These international links serve to underpin and emphasise the multicultural nature of the Loxford School community and help us all to celebrate its positive benefits.