Some schools have a large turnover of pupils. Christ Church C E Primary School in Newcastle, the latest winner of the EAL Gold Quality Mark, has a really large turnover. A third of its 150 pupils have joined since the school year started in September and a fifth since January.
My visit started with a pupil led assembly celebrating diversity in the school’s curriculum; Walter Tull, Harriet Tubman and Mary Seacole all featured. The assembly also demonstrated the school’s inclusivity. Over 30 pupils made an individual contribution, including the six who spoke who spoke in languages other than English. Towards the end of the assembly a small group of pupils made the gifts below for me, their visitor, whilst also managing to sing.
It may sound corny to say that a church school practises what it preaches, but that is exactly what Christ Church does.
Christ Church’s intake is very mixed. International students studying for higher degrees at Newcastle’s universities sometimes request a place for their children before they even arrive in the UK. The school is also an oasis for children at a nearby hotel for refugee families. These pupils are welcomed whether they are coming for three days or three six years.
What about the teaching? It focuses on carefully analysed individual need while integrating new pupils into classrooms where small group talk is the basis of developing understanding. It is also highly visual.
When I spoke to a small group of EAL learners in at the end of visit, they were very clear about their sense of belonging. They are very happy to be included but also to be challenged and supported to reach high standards.
EAL in Tyneside schools
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.
Leading EAL in primary schools
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.
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.