The EAL Academy


It’s a Gold EAL QM award for Elmwood Infant School in Croydon!

  • A four-form entry infant school for pupils aged 3-7
  • Over 50 languages spoken in the community
  • EAL in Croydon
EAL Croydon

Leadership and Management
This four form entry infant school prides itself on the way it caters for the pupils who are learning English as an additional language. As you enter the Main Reception and walk through the school, the lively 3-D displays loudly proclaim the multilingual backgrounds of the pupils, parents and staff.

The lead teacher for EAL is modest about her extensive experience in the field. Along with the SENDCO (who is also an EAL-trained teacher) she was able to talk me through the profile of languages spoken in the school. Their joint, detailed knowledge about the communities that have been at the heart of their school for many years as well as the more recent arrivals is reflected in curriculum planning and delivery, staffing, extra-curricular activities, and partnerships with parents.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment
Class-based teaching assistants and class teachers are very aware of their pupils’ developmental needs and their regular reporting contributes to the SENDCO’s overview of progression data.

The staff’s ability to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for learners of EAL is supported through staff CPD. One element of this is the whole-school learning walk to evaluate different forms of EAL provision. There are also training sessions where classroom strategies to enhance language development are modelled.

Pupils from all language backgrounds are developing their language skills and early literacy, so principles and practice that support English language acquisition add to the wealth of opportunities for all pupils to explore and rehearse as they grow. All languages in the school are seen as tools for learning. There are dual language reading books for pupils to choose and class stories are sometimes shared through the channels of English with another community language. Pupils’ development of curriculum learning is evidenced through jointly produced floor books as well as through individual forms of expression.

Working with parents and the community
Parents are encouraged to contribute actively to the curriculum offer. As well as making their written languages visible and contributing to cultural celebrations, they have worked to sew and embroider a wide range of story sacks to directly support the development of literacy in the school. The school also facilitates the work of Croydon Adult Learning and Training who run courses on various topics, including, Ascentis accredited ESOL classes.

The morning I spent at Elmwood was extremely enjoyable. The new Headteacher values the work that is being done and as the school forges new links with the adjacent junior school, there is the potential for EAL to be extended on that site also.

EAL in Croydon

Welcome to Elmwood Infant School – Elmwood Infant School (

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.

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.