EAL Policy

Tower Hill Primary School

EAL Policy 2015 - 2018

Date        : Autumn 2015         Author: Christine Cartlidge

                                                SENDCo/Pastoral Care Manager

Review Date: Autumn 2018                


At Tower Hill  we believe that children learning English as an additional language are entitled to the full National Curriculum programmes of study and that all teachers have responsibility for teaching English as well as subject content. The term EAL means ‘English as an additional language’ and includes those children for whom English is not the first language spoken at home and children who are bilingual.

Our Main Aims:

  • To value and respect the cultural and linguistic identities of pupils with EAL and use these to enrich the learning of all pupils.
  • To develop the oral and literacy skills of pupils with EAL so they can understand and use English confidently and competently across the curriculum and maximise their potential in all areas of school life.
  • To welcome and integrate children new to our school with EAL in order to ensure that they gain access to the curriculum.
  • To encourage and enable parental support in improving children’s attainment.

The Context of the School

9 languages are spoken at this school.

Approximately 10% of pupils have a home language in addition to English.

Key Principles for Additional Language Acquisition

  • Language develops best when used in purposeful contexts across the curriculum.
  • Effective use of language is crucial to the teaching and learning of every subject.
  • The language demands of learning tasks need to be identified and planned for, with attention both to initial access and to extension.
  • Access to learning requires attention to words and meanings embodied in each curriculum area. Meanings and understandings cannot always be assumed but need to be explored.
  • Teachers have a crucial role in modelling uses of language.
  • The focus and use of additional support time are best seen as an integral part of curriculum and lesson planning.
  • All pupils have entitlement to the National Curriculum.
  • A distinction is made between EAL and Special Educational Needs.
  • Language is central to our identity. Therefore, teachers need to be aware of the importance of pupils’ home languages and to build on their existing knowledge and skills.
  • Many concepts and skills depend on and benefit from well-developed home language and literacy in home language enhances subsequent acquisition of EAL.
  • All languages, dialects, accents and cultures are equally valued.

Teaching and Learning

Planning and Differentiation:

The school will provide a system for staff to share planning with support staff. Plans will identify the demands of the National Curriculum and provide differentiated opportunities to match the needs of individual pupils with EAL.

Key language features of language, which are necessary for effective participation, are identified. These might be key words, certain patterns of grammar, uses of language or forms of text.

Literacy and Numeracy:

Classroom activities are carefully structured and focused to take account of the range of purposes and audiences.

Classroom activities have clear learning objectives and appropriate support and resources are deployed to ensure that pupils are able to participate in lessons. Staff review groupings and classroom arrangements to ensure that learners with EAL have access to strong English language peer models.


Staff use support strategies to ensure curriculum access:

  • Collaborative group work
  • Enhanced opportunities for speaking and listening
  • Effective role models of speaking, reading and writing
  • Additional verbal support-repetition, alternative phrasing, peer support
  • Additional visual support, e.g. posters (bi or multi-lingual), objects, non-verbal clues, pictures, demonstration, use of gesture, etc.
  • Bilingual resources, e.g. dictionaries, on-line support, bilingual staff/pupils, texts, key word lists.
  • Writing frames; opportunities for role play
  • Pupils receive regular feedback from staff
  • Opportunities are taken to focus on the cultural knowledge explicit or implicit in texts
  • Where possible, learning progression moves from concrete to abstract
  • Further support for pupils’ language development is provided outside the formal curriculum, e.g. in assemblies, school clubs etc.
  • Where possible, opportunities to use first language
Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation

Information is gathered about:

  •          the pupils’ linguistic background and competence in other languages
  •          the pupils’ previous educational and schooling experience
  •          the pupils’ family and biographical background

The pupils’ level of English is identified with reference to ‘A Language in Common’ EAL step descriptors http://www3.hants.gov.uk/education/emtas/goodpractice/assessmenttool.htm

This information is forwarded to the Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service where appropriate.

Staff regularly observe, assess and record information about pupils’ developing use of language.

Whilst account is taken of EAL development, the school aims to set appropriate and challenging targets for individual pupils. These targets are reviewed on a regular basis.

Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities and Gifted and Talented Pupils

The school recognises that most pupils with EAL needing additional support do not have SEND needs. However, should SEND needs be identified during assessment; pupils with EAL will have equal access to school SEND provision.

Similarly, the school recognises that there may be pupils with EAL who are gifted or talented even though they may not be fully fluent in English.

Assessment and Record Keeping

Staff have regular liaison to discuss pupil progress, needs and targets.

The school will ensure that all pupils with EAL have access to statutory assessments, making full use of special arrangements including first language assessment/support where appropriate.

Assessment methods are checked for cultural bias and action is taken to remove any bias that is identified.

The school analyses the achievement of pupils with EAL and regularly evaluates the effectiveness of additional support provided in terms of pupil progress.


Resources on which reading and writing activities may be based are monitored for grammatical, lexical and cultural accessibility.

A range of resources are used to support pupils’ linguistic development, e.g. games, visual materials, differentiated worksheets, key word lists, bilingual dictionaries, dual language books, computer software, etc.

Assessment materials use images and texts which are appropriate for all pupils.

Parents/Carers and the Wider Community

We provide a welcoming admission process for the induction, assessment and support of new arrival pupils and their families/carers.

We take account of parents/carers linguistic, cultural and religious backgrounds when planning the curriculum and developing home-school links.

We aim to ensure that our written and spoken communication with families and with the community is effective through the use of plain English, translators and interpreters. The school website has a language drop down menu, enabling visitors to access information in a variety of languages.  

We aim to work closely with members of the wider community to support our pupils with EAL.

Staff Development

The school will enable all staff to undertake professional development to ensure that provision for pupils with EAL is appropriately delivered and co-ordinated.

The School Development Plan will incorporate action plans and reviews relating to raising the achievement of all pupils, including those with EAL.

Review and Evaluation of Policy

School data will include relevant information on pupils with EAL. This will include needs, level of English, support, achievement and progress. This will enable the school to monitor targets.

The evaluation process will serve the basis for planning programmes of action and targeting time, support and resources.  Progress of EAL pupils will be reported to the Governing Body annually, and published in line with the school’s Equality Policy by the end of the Spring Term.

This policy will be reviewed on a three year basis by the Pastoral Care Manager and Headteacher; provision and impact is monitored by the Governing Body in line with the school’s Equalities Policy and pupil outcomes reported to parents.