The EAL Academy


GOLD EAL Quality Mark for Wapping High School, Tower Hamlets

  • Small secondary school teaching 11-16 year olds
  • 370 pupils on roll
  • Officially 61% EAL but school is aware true figure is higher
  • Profound commitment to collaborative working and learning
  • Multilingual staff provide role models and practical support
  • Emphasis on migration as a long standing element of life in England
  • EAL in London – Tower Hamlets

Congratulations to Wapping School on a well deserved  Gold EAL Quality Mark!

Wapping High is a small (370 pupils on roll) free school in a building with very few doors on rooms, no school uniform and often beyond Ofsted’s understanding (though the last inspection deemed it good). It is a school with a profound commitment to collaborative working and learning, which is an excellent start when you are thinking about the needs of students with English as an additional language.

It is a school with a predominantly EAL intake and a steady stream of mid phase admissions, including Bengali speakers whose prior education in is in Italy or Spain. I spoke to some of those new arrivals and students from Ukraine. What they told me was that they value the amount of individual attention they get, love their chromebooks with translation facilities. They also speak very highly of their EAL teacher. These students had all been in the school for twelve months or less. Their ability to speak so articulately about what works for them speaks volumes. They also mentioned the help they get in maths and science. In addition, the students are very fond of PE, Art and DT lessons, where they find huge opportunities for language learning.

More than half of staff at Wapping High speak languages other English. That makes them role models as well as sources of practical help.

Staff at the school are acutely aware that good provision for new arrivals is a small part of being good at EAL. Officially 61% of students have EAL, but the schools knows the true figure is much higher and is working on collecting the data better.

Finally, there are two key elements of the school’s cyclical curriculum that are designed for the students it has. There is an emphasis on migration as a long standing element of life in England. In addition, the school’s capacity to raise funds means that the international dimension of its curriculum has allowed students from low income families to visit India, France, the US, Spain and Costa Rica.

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 secondary

Leading EAL in secondary schools

Online course

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.