Westward School

EAL (English Additional Language)

This policy applies to the Main School, EYFS and Westward Out of School Care facilities.


This policy details our arrangements to recognise and meet the needs of pupils who are learning English as an additional language. That is, pupils who have a home language other than English and who are in the process of learning to use English as an additional language through immersion in the curriculum and the broader life of the School.

Throughout this policy, and in other related policies and documents, these pupils are referred to as “E A L pupils.”


  • To create an environment that promotes talk.
  • To be proactive in removing barriers that stand in the way of our EAL pupils learning and success.
  • To meet our responsibilities to our EAL pupils by ensuring their equal access to the curriculum (and other educational opportunities) and the achievement of their educational potential.
  • To provide our EAL pupils with a safe, welcoming, nurturing environment where they are accepted, valued and encouraged to participate.
  • To share in the cultural experiences of bilingual families and help them to feel proud and comfortable with their ethnicity and language.

Objectives – School

  • To ensure that all our EAL pupils participate in the life of the school and gain access to appropriately planned and prepared curricular provision.
  • To ensure that our EAL pupils attain curriculum levels and public examination grades appropriate to their abilities.
  • To seek and make use of appropriate advice, guidance, support and training i.e. Surrey's REMA Service.
  • To monitor the progress of our EAL pupils’ acquisition of English, of their general achievement and of their attainment in public examinations/end of year assessments.

ObJectives – Pupils

  • To give EAL pupils the knowledge and skills to use spoken English to communicate with others in a variety of curriculum and social contexts.
  • To give EAL pupils the knowledge and skills to use English to understand and produce written texts.
  • To give EAL pupils the skills and confidence to use a variety of strategies to enhance understanding and to express meaning clearly.

Underlying Principles

  • Our EAL pupils are entitled to opportunities for educational success that are equal to those of our English speaking pupils.
  • EAL pupils are not a homogenous group; their needs vary according to a range of factors. We provide a range of teaching and learning activities to meet curriculum demands and different learning needs/styles.
  • Well planned, mainstream lessons in appropriately organised mainstream classroom provide the best environment for acquisition of English by EAL pupils.
  • The multilingualism of our EAL pupils enriches our School and our community.
  • To become fully competent in the use of English is a long process; pupils require long-term support.
  • Having a home language other than English is not a ”learning difficulty”. EAL pupils are not placed on Learning Support registers or taught in Learning Support groups unless they have Special Educational Needs.

Roles and Responsibilities

There is a collective responsibility, held by all staff, to identify and remove barriers that stand in the way of our EAL pupils’ learning and success.

The EAL co-ordinator (Mrs Lawrence) is the member of staff responsible for co-ordinating, monitoring and maintaining an overview of this aspect of our School’s work. Responsibilities include:

  • Being informed by staff of the identification of any EAL pupils.
  • Bringing the presence and needs of current EAL pupils to the attention of colleagues.
  • Responding to requests for information about EAL pupils.
  • Ensuring that EAL pupil are integrated into mainstream classes and have full access to the curriculum.
  • Maintaining an EAL and bilingual register.
  • Ensuring bilingual children and parents are fully supported, liaising with support services such as REMA (Race Equality and Minority Achievement).

Admitting New Pupils

We follow the School’s normal admission procedures and also try to collect and record the following additional information:

  • Country of origin
  • Date of arrival in UK
  • Pupil’s first language
  • Other languages spoken at home/by pupil
  • Pupil’s level of literacy in these languages
  • Links with pupils already in School
  • Pupil’s educational background

We normally attempt to contact previous schools. Parents/carers and pupils are taken on a tour of the School and introduced to key personnel. They are provided with appropriate information about the School. Care is taken to ensure we know how to say names and how to address parents and pupils appropriately.

Bilingual support workers from the REMA service may be contacted for advice and support.

Teaching and Learning

We will:

  • Plan for and provide appropriate stimuli for language development.
  • Encourage EAL pupils to use English by generating opportunities for active participation in lessons.
  • Consider our own language use and provide suitable contextual clues for EAL pupils.
  • Be aware that our School culture and environment (e.g., teaching; learning; procedures; routines and practices) may differ from the school culture that our EAL pupils are familiar with.
  • Plan for and provide specific time for pupils with EAL needs.
  • Be aware that an EAL pupil’s social language (normally acquired in around 2 years) may be much more advanced than their academic language (which can take 7-10 years to reach native-speaker levels).
  • Teach topic/subject relevant vocabulary where appropriate and provide curriculum-related opportunities to develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.
  • Provide good language role models for social interaction in learning activities.
  • When necessary, provide spoken and written, curriculum-specific, language models for EAL pupils, e.g., writing frames.
  • Provide a secure, but intellectually challenging learning environment.
  • Support language development through sensitive and informative feedback on grammatical accuracy, social rules of use (formality, politeness, etc), genre features and characteristics (narrative reports etc).
  • Promote language and study skills and attitudes that enable EAL pupils to become independent learners.
  • Encourage parents/carers participation in EAL pupils’ learning.

EAL Assessment. Record Keeping and Information Transfer
The School maintains an EAL and bilingual pupil register.
All relevant information is disseminated to teaching staff or to other schools.

Last Reviewed: February 2017