English as an Additional Language (EAL)
There is an EAL Teacher employed in the school who works in and out of the classroom with different groups of children. The EAL Teacher also works with the admissions department to establish students’ language levels on entry to the school.
Students with weaker English are identified on admission and a teaching program put in place – agreed with parents – with the target of bringing them to proficiency for their age group within the first term. This is achieved through support in the classroom, the deployment of additional learning assistants (including from volunteer parents), extra English classes and home extension activities. Each program is individually designed and, as far as possible, in-class and curriculum modifications are made to ensure students with weak English skills are fully included in learning activities.
There is no extra cost for children who need to attend additional support classes throughout the day. Extra costs are only invoked where there are specific additions that – in our experience – a few parents may wish us to pursue, for example in strengthening an accent for conversational English.
There are a range of assessments that reveal language competencies at numerous points in the students’ progress through the school, including the admissions test, the MAP assessments and teacher assessments. Language support comes from lesson differentiation and peer help, direct teacher assistance, learning assistant help and extra-curricular programs. The professional development program includes input to all teachers on techniques for teaching EAL Older students have an option to enter for IELTS or similar assessments.
For students having to learn both English and Arabic as new languages, it is likely that a fuller range of support interventions will be required and customized programs are discussed and agreed with parents at admission. The full range could include: added language lessons in school time, breaks and after-school, at-home support including through supported online resources; classroom adaptations including the use of peers and teaching assistants to support work in-class; and guidance to parents. The school is very happy to work with families to accelerate children’s progress and integrate them fully in school life.