At Fishponds Academy, we are lucky to have a diverse community of children who come from a range of countries, backgrounds and faiths. The Department for Education defines a English as an Additional language children as: "A pupil is recorded as having English as an additional language if she/he is exposed to a language at home that is known or believed to be other than English” (English proficiency of pupils with English as an Additional Language, Feb 2020).
As of January 2021, the number of children at Fishponds Academy who have English as an additional language sits at 36.7%, which is higher than the national average of 21.3% (DfE, Schools, Pupils and their Characteristics, June 2020).
At Fishponds Academy, a large portion of our children have English as an Additional Language (36.7%) or in some cases, do not yet speak English. Our intention is to settle children into school life as quickly and as comfortably as we can. We intend to provide them with the support that they need to get the best out of their school experience and make quick progress. We strive to celebrate all languages and cultures.
At Fishponds Academy, either on arrival to the school or throughout children’s time at Fishponds Academy, we…
- Identify children’s level of language acquisition.
- Identify and unlock any barriers to language learning.
- Set targets and put interventions in place to ensure progress, supported and sometimes delivered by our EAL teaching assistants.
- Develop children’s vocabulary across the curriculum.
- Put strategies in place in the classroom to ensure all children are included and can access learning across the curriculum.
- We monitor these children’s targets and progress throughout their time at Fishponds to ensure that they are making progress and adapt provision for these children to best suit their needs.
- We monitor data and assessments to inform planning and practice within the classroom.
Due to the work we do around EAL, increasing numbers of children make progress and are able to access learning within the classroom. Children enter our Nursery and Reception with very low attainment at baseline, but by the time they reach the end of Key Stage Two they have made good progress due to a legacy of strong teaching and a focus on language development. The extra support EAL children receive allows them to target their areas of learning most in need, often language and English skills in reading and writing. Beyond the classroom, children with English as an Additional Language and their families become valued members of our school community.