- More than 84% of the nearly 1800 pupils have English as an additional language
- Significant number of refugees
- Impressive progress 8 score
- Consistent and well managed admission and induction programme
- ‘All teachers are EAL teachers’ ethos
- EAL in Ealing
Pastoral support of EAL pupils
Alka Patel, Assistant Head Teacher
Featherstone High School is a values driven school with a relentless focus on teaching and learning, a school that never rests on its laurels and is always seeking to be even better. It is also a school in which more than 84% of the nearly 1800 pupils have English as an additional language. Its intake is a mix of long-established families in multilingual Southall and recent new arrivals, including a significant number of refugees.
The headline data is very impressive. Its 2022 Progress 8 score is 1.16. Most of the schools who do better than that are different to Featherstone High because they do not have any boys in them.
The key to this remarkable success can be found in the school’s EAL policy. It is unequivocal in stating that all teachers “are EAL teachers.” All the teachers I spoke to understood that very clearly. The EAL policy also requires all teachers “to support English language development through effective in-class scaffolding” and the school provides the training and support to ensure they can. It also enables the gradual removal of scaffolds through strategies such as structure strips.
Where support is provided outside the mainstream classroom in years 7 through to Year 10, it is curriculum focussed and based around talk. I saw a small group of eight students working in pairs matching and sequencing text and pictures about key participants in World War 1, acquiring control of History vocabulary and connectives as they worked. Additionally, the EAL Co-ordinator’s time is also spent in the mainstream classrooms advising teachers.
A consistent and well managed admission and induction programme is managed by pastoral leads utilising well trained buddies to build new arrivals’ resilience. As part of this admissions procedure the EAL Coordinator also carries out detailed assessments for in year EAL students which include collating background information, which informs the student profiles that are disseminated to the teachers and support staff. There are also trained Year 12 reading buddies working with year 7 new arrivals and EAL band B students in the library at the start of some school days.
Featherstone is proud of its student and staff diversity. As a group of EAL students told me, staff regularly use languages other than English to help them. Even in an MFL lesson you can hear translanguaging: “Vous avez trois minutes on your own to complete the task.”
Featherstone High School is a very well-deserved winner of the Gold EAL Quality Mark. You can hear directly from the school about what they do in one of our recent EAL Quality Mark webinars.
EAL in Ealing
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.
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.
Leading EAL in secondary schools
This course aims to develop the leadership of EAL in secondary schools where there are increasing numbers of English as an additional language students. Focusing on a whole school and subject-based approach, the course provides guidance on how to plan and prioritise provision for a range of EAL learners.