E.A.L stands for English as an additional language. In our school many children do not have English as their first language. Therefore, it is very important that the children are given opportunities to listen and learn, to English being spoken, as well as being given opportunities to use their home language. In the Nursery, the emphasis is put on Speaking and Listening.
The school has many bi-lingual members of staff who help both children and parents with induction and transition within the school. When new arrivals to this country come to the Rosary, the school will, where possible, provide an interpreter for a few weeks to help the child settle and inform the teacher of academic ability in home language.
The children participate in activities, which give them a chance to talk and to listen. It might be something as simple as describing their favourite toy, to using the language for setting up a table for breakfast. It is very important in the ‘Early Years’ to give the children the chance to experience ‘real life’ situations. If a child is going to do work about trees, they will need to see, feel and experience what trees are like. It is very important that parents use every opportunity in these early years to talk to their children. It does not always have to be a formal setting such as reading a book. A parent could be listening to a child describing something such as their day at school.
Further up the school, all the teachers take the responsibility for guiding children who are E.A.L. This is reflected in their planning which may be delivered by the class teacher or other members of staff. Teachers are asked to make as many Speaking and Listening opportunities in the curriculum as is possible. They are also asked to explain key vocabulary wherever possible at the beginning of topics.
The EAL children continue to receive support in small groups based on their individual needs. Sometimes this is delivered by the teacher, the teaching assistant or 'floating' staff in the school.
Through assessment from the previous year, the school is able to look at the specific needs of EAL children through tracking and plan accordingly for their needs. There are a variety of Intervention Groups completed by Ms Colder based on the tracking.
The internet can be very useful for children. Watching videos and playing games on the internet can help to improve English skills and it makes it more fun. Below are a list of web-sites with games and other helpful topics that could help your child in school. There is also a link to newspapers from around the world that could keep your child up-to-date with information from their home country.
EAL children, like all other children in the school, benefit from web-sites such as Mathletics and Literacy Planet. All children have logins for these web-sites.
A group of children went to Think Tank with Mrs. Murphy and Mr. Perkins.
We started our visit with an Electricity Workshop. The children had the opportunity to look at Electricity in a very practical way. Activities included making a human circuit to illustrate the flow of electricity. The children also had the opportunity to use their Speaking Skills to answer questions.
There were many other highlights. In their questionnaires, the children talked about the Robot that they could program, the different vehicles such as the train and the 'stuffed' animals.
Also, in their questionnaires, the children said that the Workshop would help them to understand The Topic of Electricity in their classroom.
Last year, Y4 children became Buddies with some Y1 children. They completed lots of work together based on stories and SPAG work. The children were able to assess their reading by looking at the reading objectives for their Year Group. We are hoping to continue the 'Buddie' idea later this year.