Congratulations to Wellington School on its Gold EAL Quality Mark
Wellington is a secondary school in Trafford
with a very new and growing EAL population, including many students from Hong
Kong and Ukraine. It has had to develop its high quality EAL provision very
rapidly in recent years.
Responsibility for EAL lies with an Assistant
Head who leads on teaching and learning and staff development. A key
consequence of that arrangement is the consistency of high quality, EAL friendly pedagogy
across classrooms and the very strong sense of ownership of that pedagogy by
the middle leaders to whom I spoke. The purpose and importance of flexible
seating plans and well organised oral activities were a feature of the classrooms
I visited. The curriculum is flexible where necessary. The use of first language
in learning is visible and well promoted. Indeed, Year 7 and 8 students teach
their own languages as part of MFL’s language carousel.
addition to the effective mainstream provision, the school makes good use
of Learning Village’s curriculum focussed EAL software. It has100
trained young interpreters and 138 trained buddies.
Year 12 students run buddy clubs while other school clubs are perceived as
opportunities for making friends and learning English.
The relatively recent arrivals to whom I spoke to
were clearly very proud of their multilingual skills and deeply appreciative of
the provision made for them. They highlighted the importance of:
working in groups
the way that pair/share builds their confidence
being challenged to do new things
the very supportive approach to diversity
the abundance of books
the highly effective buddy system.
The pupils also talked to me
about their languages. For most of them the list was Cantonese, Mandarin and
English (with literacy in all three). They also mentioned the French and
Spanish that they are learning at school. So that is five languages and five
literacies each. One pupil already had five languages prior to learning English,
French and Spanish. He was from India and spoke and was literate in Hindi and
Telugu. Added to that was his ability to speak and understand Urdu, Gujarati
and Bengali. I was delighted to meet
these very talented young people who are being so well nurtured by their