- 55% of the 1000 pupils have EAL
- Large intake of international new arrivals
- Commitment to celebrating multilingualism
- Translanguaging encouraged
- Well-run progamme balancing integration and intervention
- EAL in secondary schools
Being a new EAL co-ordinator and making a difference quickly – Leander Moore & Sal Riley
At its last Ofsted inspection in 2018 (before Ofsted removed all mention of English as an additional language from the inspection framework) Smithills School was rated good, but the Ofsted team picked up an issue about international new arrivals, saying that “in classroom situations, the language barrier is preventing many of these pupils from making progress.” The school has grappled with the issue ever since.
However, after appointing Leander Moore and Sal Riley as new joint leaders from September 2022 (with just six periods a fortnight between them to co-ordinate EAL provision in a school where 55% of the 1000 pupils have EAL), the school has recently made rapid progress. The leaders are both UK born English speakers and fluent in another language. Their commitment to celebrating multilingualism is evident all across the school, as is their success in supporting colleagues to see the benefits of translanguaging in their lessons.
Around the school images have replaced or augmented text to communicate key concepts. Students have noticed and comment very favourably on these changes, especially being able to do their homework sometimes in in their first language. Entering students for community language GCSEs is now the norm, as is putting new arrivals in top sets.
Over the last two years the school has taken in 125 international new arrivals and has learnt that what works best for them is maximum integration into mainstream lessons with a short, well run intervention programme (a maximum of two hours a week for twelve weeks) for those who will benefit from it.
The school has earned a Silver EAL Quality Mark Award. It knows it still has some way to go, but everything is now in place for more improvement to happen very quickly. While Ofsted may no longer be interested in EAL, for Smithills getting EAL right is a point of principle and a badge of pride.
EAL in Greater Manchester 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.
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.