EAL

At Great Barr Academy we want your child to achieve their full potential and be the best that they can be.

We strive to ensure that all students achieve their potential personally, socially emotionally and academically in all areas of the curriculum (regardless of their gender, ethnicity, social background, religion, sexual identity, physical ability, educational need, or first language).  This page is intended to inform you of the ways in which we support all our pupils, specifically those who are EAL (English as an Additional Language) so that they can achieve their full potential.  It may not list every skill, resource and technique that we employ in order to achieve this as these are continuously developed and used to modify our provision to meet the changing requirements for individual pupils.

Click the headings below to learn more about what you can expect from Great Barr Academy if your child has a language barrier.  Also check out “Great Barr Case Study – FlashAcademy EAL” from Learning Labs Ltd on Vimeo.

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According to the UK Government an EAL pupil is defined as “all pupils who use or have access to more than one language at home or at school – this does not necessarily imply fluency in either language.” This is clearly a very wide definition and as such our school has now adopted the Bell Foundations assessment criteria for further categorizing EAL pupils’ proficiencies:

A – New to English – These pupils will have little to no familiarisation with the English Language. They will be unable to communicate, read or write in English and rely mainly on their first language in order to communicate.

B – Early Acquisition – These pupils will have a small and limited understanding of the English Language, they may be able to use a restricted amount of words to communicate but will be unable to read and write in English sufficiently for academic purposes.

C – Developing Competence – These pupils will be developing their confidence with English, they will be able to hold a reasonable conversation in English, comprehend and follow most instructions and their reading and writing skills in English will be beginning to emerge.

D – Competent – These pupils will be mostly competent in using the English Language for speaking, listening, reading and writing. They will rarely need help and support due to their language barriers.

E – Fluent – These pupils are completely fluent in the English Language and there will be little to no difference in their communication, reading and writing skills to that of a pupil who has English as their first language.

At Great Barr Academy we believe that all pupils are entitled to the best opportunities to succeed and we deliver this by offering a rich and diverse curriculum across all Key Stages, we are therefore committed to insure that all EAL pupils receive the very best education possible.  Through a dynamic team of high quality teachers, an experienced pastoral team, a dedicated support team and an effective leadership team; we at Great Barr Academy will endeavour to deliver a fully inclusive education to all EAL pupils within our care.
Our EAL team at Great Barr Academy are committed to the care and education of all of our EAL pupils, regardless of their proficiency we try to ensure the very best overall care, academic access and opportunities to succeed:

• Mr C Randle – Line Manager (Leadership Team)

• Mrs J Finlay – Head of Admissions (Assistant Head teacher – Leadership Team)

• Mrs H O’Sullivan – Head of Department

• Mrs H Legood – Induction Coordinator

• Miss N. Ali – Assessments Coordinator

• Miss N Begum – Coordinator for KS4 Provision

Our Induction Scheme at Great Barr Academy is currently separated into three tiers, this to allow EAL pupils with low proficiency, who need longer in Induction before transitioning into Mainstream the opportunity to gain as much foundation language skills as possible.

*The first tier of our Induction Scheme is the Pre Induction Class – this class mainly focuses on the teaching of phonics and is most appropriate for proficiency (A) pupils who have no or limited ability to read and write in their home language.

*The Second tier of our Induction Scheme is the Main Induction Class – this class is a “crash course” in subject specific vocabulary and aims to give its pupils a foundational understanding of the language used by all of our school’s curriculum subjects.  This class is most appropriate for proficiency (A) pupils who are completely fluent at reading and writing in their Home Language and proficiency (B) pupils.

*The third Tier of our Induction Scheme is an “extension” of Main Induction and is available for all pupils who we feel will benefit from the extra time with the EAL Department.  We believe that this extended structure allows our EAL pupils the best opportunity to gain foundational language skills, offering them the best chance to succeed in mainstream education.

At Great Barr Academy we recognise that all staff have a responsibility to ensure the learning and progress of our EAL pupils and we also recognise that the best way of supporting any pupil with a language barrier is with high quality teaching which is why we endeavour to provide the following:

*A range of teaching strategies, resources and techniques will be used to aid all EAL pupils in their academic progress.

*EAL pupils will be identified at the earliest opportunity to allow for effective planning and teaching.

*EAL pupils will be assessed regularly (in line with school policy) to show the progress of these pupils – when progress is deemed to be “expected” or above pupils will be rewarded for their efforts.  Where progress is deemed to be “less than expected” you as a parent will be notified and a meeting may be arranged to discuss your child’s progress and how all parties can best work together to support and improve the academic progress being made.

*All subject areas are fully committed in identifying age and ability appropriate learning material and resources that will assist students who have language barriers, using approaches and levels to access the curriculum in a meaningful and engaging way.

The school regularly audits and reviews its resources to ensure students’ needs are being met using the most efficient and effective methods.  The Head of EAL liaises closely with support services to ensure students with specific learning barriers, are benefiting from equipment available.  Staff training and guidance is given around specific aids individuals may require.  We have a core team of EAL staff who are passionate and trained in the supporting of pupils with language barriers.  As a team we are dedicated to the academic progress and overall well-being of EAL pupils at Great Barr Academy.