EAL (English as an Additional Language)
Enriching our school community
At Wilbraham Primary School, almost 70% of the pupils have English as an additional language. There are more than a million EAL learners in English schools and like many Manchester schools, our EAL pupils are in the majority.
Our aim at Wilbraham Primary is to welcome, value and support our EAL children and their families. We have both an EAL team and a teaching staff for whom EAL teaching is high on the agenda. All teaching staff are aware of the need to provide an education for all of the pupils in their classrooms and have an inclusive curriculum.
We have created a welcoming environment and ethos that includes establishing strong links with parents/carers and their communities. The home languages of our EAL pupils are valued. We feel that having children who speak many different languages enriches our school community. We currently have 36 different languages that are spoken at Wilbraham Primary School. The main languages spoken are Urdu, Panjabi, Arabic and Somali.
Our EAL Team
Our EAL Team is currently made up of 6 experiences members of staff:
- A part time teacher.
- An Arabic speaking bilingual instructor.
- An Arabic speaking teaching assistant.
- A part time Somali and Swahili speaking teaching assistant.
- Two Urdu speaking teaching assistants (one full time and one part time).
- A part time teaching assistant who speaks Dari, Farsi, Kurdish and German.
We are also lucky enough to have other staff in school who are not part of the team, but who are happy to assist us in our work. They speak Polish, French and Dutch.
The Support That We Provide
Support is offered at a range of levels and individual needs are taken into account. It is important to us that we support both children who are new to English and those who are more advanced EAL learners, but may need extra support to fully access the curriculum.
Depending on the level of need, pupils are offered weekly individual or small group lessons in speaking, listening, reading and writing and more advanced EAL learners are offered curriculum support both in class and in withdrawal groups.
For pupils who are new to the UK, the team also carries out initial assessments to decide how best to support the children. Children and their families are introduced to the members of the team who will be supporting them. The staff are both concerned about developing a child's sense of well-being and developing the child's acquisition of English. The EAL team are also able to support parents/carers by interpreting for them during school meetings. We have a weekly morning drop in session for parents/carers to access advice and support from EAL team members.
There is a small EAL room where children can come to work and find staff if they need their support. The team work hard to ensure that children feel well supported, enjoy learning English and feel increasingly more confident in their use of English and ability to access the curriculum.
To find out more about what the children have been doing in school in regards to EAL, please visit our EAL blog.