The EAL Academy


Gold EAL Quality Mark for Birmingham primary school!

Adderley Primary School

98% of the pupils have English as an additional language. Around half come from Pakistani backgrounds. A diverse African group, including many French speakers, accounts for a fifth of pupils. There also many pupils from the Middle East and Eastern Europe. With a little less than 500 pupils, the school is home to 32 different languages and ethnicities.

What does the school do well? Initial interviews for new arrivals and their parents are always conducted by the same multilingual member of staff. Pupils and parents feel welcomed. They have arrived in a safe haven, as the governor who leads on EAL told me: “There is a strong sense of belonging at Adderley.” I met confident pupils with very good English who had been in the school for little than eighteen months and were now acting as Language Ambassadors supporting the newly arrived pupils, that they were themselves so recently.

The school’s website has an EAL page and supportive strategies across the curriculum.

The website gives clear guidance for the structure of EAL as it lists the effective strategies that are in place in every classroom. It informs us that “The EAL pedagogy is about using strategies to meet both the language and the learning needs of EAL pupils in a wide range of teaching contexts.” There are many helpful links for the parents on supporting their children at home such as: Top tips to help support your child with their reading at home; Parent curriculum information and many links to the phonics scheme.

At the top of a long list of “strategies to ensure curriculum access” is “collaborative group work.” I saw a lot if it done very well in classrooms!

Often Gold Quality Mark schools have a particular feature that makes you think: why doesn’t every school do that? All schools that are very good at developing EAL are strong on visual support for learning. At Adderley they take it a bit further, being very common to find effective visual instructions used consistently across the school. It is a bit rarer to paint the walls with the flavours of the children’s homes and maybe rarer still to treat pupils in the early stages of acquiring English to Art lessons explicitly designed to develop their English. They take the importance of speaking and listening a bit further at Adderley too…with their own multilingual Radio Station!

The EAL Quality Mark is based on a school’s self-evaluation of its EAL provision. It is an award made to schools on their achievements in meeting the needs of pupils learning English as an additional language. 

It is available as a bronze, silver or gold award, allowing schools the opportunity to re-visit the award and build on their practice over time. Any school with pupils on roll who are learning English as an additional language is eligible to apply.

EAL online course

Extended online EAL course

New cohorts launched every term

Requiring approximately 90 hours to complete over a six month period, our extended EAL online course provides the opportunity to examine a range of EAL issues in detail, studying at times that suit your schedule. With 4 core units and 2 electives, you can tailor the cross-phase course to suit your interests and the needs of your school.

EAL in primary

Leading EAL in primary schools

Online course

This 12-hour course aims to develop the leadership of EAL in primary schools where there are increasing numbers of pupils learning English as an additional language. Focusing on a whole school approach, the course provides guidance on how to plan and prioritise provision for a range of EAL learners.