EAL and EHC Policy

English as an Additional Language Policy

Mission Statement


Avecinna academy believes that all pupils should have the opportunity to acquire a fluent and flexible use of the English language. Pupils who are learning to use English as an additional language will be provided with the appropriate teaching and learning materials to aid and support learning outcomes. This will enable them to achieve while at Avecinna Academy and during subsequent studies. We are aware that pupils need to be able to use the English language for academic studies as well as everyday social purposes.



This policy sets out the aims and practices for the support of new arrivals/EAL pupils at Avecinna academy. The term ‘new arrivals’ refers to pupils who have arrived in this country from aboard, sometimes as refugees or asylum seekers, and have very little English. The term ‘EAL’ stands for

English as an Additional Language



  • To help integrate new arrivals/EAL pupils from overseas into school both socially and academically
  • To support the pupils’ acquisition of English
  • To support new arrivals/EAL pupils to establish positive relationships with both peers and adults
  • To enable the pupil to cope with
  • A new culture and environment
  • Their class work
  • Curriculum
  • Literacy and numeracy
  • Survival linguistic structure
  • Social integration
  • To involve and enlist the support of the parents of new arrivals/EAL pupils in order to
  • Develop English skills at home
  • Be given support with homework activities


Inclusion strategies

Step 1: Admissions

The school admission for the newly arrived pupil should include:

  • Assistance with the admissions procedure
  • A welcome pack, preferably in the pupil/parents’ first language
  • If possible access to an interpreter during admissions/open day/parents evenings procedure etc
  • Assistance with other admissions procedure, for example filling in application forms etc


Step 2: Pairing with a peer buddy

  • Allocate one or two pupils to act as peer buddies to look after the new arrivals/EAL pupils, preferably someone who speaks the pupils’ first language, to familiarise them with the school layout, timetable, routine and activities
  • Arrange a friendship group to support the pupil in class activities, ensuring that the child is in a mixed or high-ability group so that they have access to good models of both spoken and written English and good behaviour


Step 3: Parental involvement

Parents are invited into the school in order to:

  • Help with admission forms
  • Discuss previous education
  • Highlight any health or social problems
  • Establish positive relationships
  • Survey languages spoken at home between Parents/Guardian, pupil and siblings
  • Review meetings

Have in mind that families may have anxieties about giving the school information which they consider may affect their asylum application. They may appear suspicious at first of authority. Also some children may be cared for by an older sibling or a relative who may be unfamiliar with the education system or language of school.


Step 4: Silent period

  • Allow time for the new arrival/EAL pupil to settle in and adjust to their new environment.
  • This should be as free from pressure as possible
  • New arrival/EAL pupils often go through a silent period in which they are adjusting to their new language and culture
  • Try not to feel worried or guilty if you can’t include them all the time, they are still listening to you and their peers and learning basic skills


Step 5: Observation

Observation by EAL Coordinator/class teacher to determine:

  • Levels of pupil involvement in activities
  • Who the pupil communicates with best
  • What activities the pupil is familiar with
  • Social interaction during lunch time/break/in class
  • Achievement/progress/future assessment
  • Future partnership teaching and training opportunities


Step 6: Assessment

An initial assessment should be carried out, preferably in English.

  • To establish oral and literacy levels in both their first language and English.
  • To assess how much vocabulary the pupil has in English and what knowledge of English structures they have.
  • To highlight any obvious immediate need for them to be prioritised in a language teaching programme.

Learning Development Assistant or parent could be enlisted to support the assessment of pupil who speaks other languages. Copies of the assessment should go to all appropriate staff.




Step 7: Monitoring and evaluation

The pupils’ progress in acquiring English and their social and academic progress should be monitored and records kept. This is of particular importance to ensure that correct support can be put in place and if at a later date external agencies need to be brought in for extra support, for example, the Refugee Advisory Team, Connexions or other parties who can give the school guidance.


The role of EAL staff

The EAL Co-ordinator

  • Should establish a Buddy System (it is preferable to have a buddy who speaks the same first language).
  • Should, if required, arrange translators and interpreters for meetings.
  • Acts as a liaison officer with parents and families, sharing good or bad news, pupil progress, offering home–school liaison if needed and attending parents’ evenings, coffee mornings.
  • Is always directly involved in supporting new arrivals/EAL pupils whether on an individual or small group basis
  • Is able to consult with staff and provide further resources for classroom teachers and pupils, for example, dual language signs and notices, labels in classrooms and around the school, bilingual picture dictionaries and arrange assessments of targeted pupils in partnership with subject teachers.
  • Will provide a language programme working in small groups/1–1 for pupils with very little English language. This will have its main emphasis on oral communication and provide pupils with survival language skills in addition to pre-teaching and/or consolidation of mainstream classroom work.
  • Will keep records and to be available to listen and act as an advocate for bilingual pupils in different situations.
  • In partnership with local authority advisory staff, can provide mainstream staff with support and relevant guidance, in order to provide strategies, materials, differentiation and opportunities for pupils in the early stages of acquiring English. As a result their needs can be met within the mainstream classroom.



Strategies for supporting pupils new to English


Having a new arrival/EAL pupil at any time during the year, especially one with very little English can be very difficult for the pupil. Being in a new situation and culture is daunting for anyone. The added difficulty of being taught a new language with different attitudes compounds the problem.


Things to find out

  • Pupil’s first and second language
  • Pupils’ ethnicity
  • Previous schooling
  • Whether the pupil is a refugee or asylum seeker
  • What country the pupil is from
  • Living arrangements
  • Family background/history
  • Culture


Things to do


  • Assessment should be undertaken by EAL staff or other appointed staff, of the pupil’s knowledge of the English language; preferably during the first week.
  • Recognise that new arrivals/EAL pupils may go through a ‘silent’ period which can last for some time. During this period, they are watching and acclimatising to their new situation.
  • Encourage and praise them a lot, even if they make mistakes. It will take courage to raise their hand and make a contribution when they are new to English.
  • Be patient. Inclusion and integration can take some time. Try not to feel concerned if you are unable to include them all the time, they are still listening to you and their peers and learning basic skills. Try if possible, to pair up the new arrival/EAL pupil with another pupil who speaks their first language.
  • Alternatively choose a pupil who will be sympathetic to the situation and able to show them the daily routine.
  • Invite the pupil’s parents/carers in to school to find out more about their background and schooling. It may be necessary to enlist the support of a translator.
  • Encourage a positive language and cultural classroom in which other languages are encouraged and displayed. Bullying and anti-racism must be dealt with straight away.
  • Use key visuals and refer to key vocabulary. A new arrival/EAL pupil at Key
  • Stage 3/4 may have some reading and writing skills in English and be able match words to pictures, answer yes/no or true/false questions or label a simple diagram with words provided.
  • Encourage collaborative group work in which new arrivals/EAL pupils can be supported through speech (bilingual if possible) and activities which are good practice for all pupil’s learning.
  • Make use of a bilingual dictionary, especially those which make good use of visuals.
  • Use clear models of spoken and written English in which the new arrival can hear and learn grammatical structures and vocabulary.
  • Give pupils opportunities to practise the language they have learnt.
  • Language games are ideal.
  • Enlist as much help as you can from the EAL Co-ordinator, parents/carers and peers


Things NOT to do

  • Don’t ask a new arrival to work in silence. They need to hear the model language and practice it with their peers
  • Don’t initially ask them to copy off the board; refocusing can be difficult
  • Don’t stop other pupils from helping. When a pupil has to explain content it reinforces their own learning and understanding
  • Teachers and other staff can help new arrivals/EAL pupils especially by
  • Knowing their name and ensuring it is pronounced correctly
  • Making sure they feel secure and a valued pupil of the class and school


Children with an EHC Plan

The EHC policy is prepared using the DFE publication “Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years” The SEND Code of Practice, Part 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA, as amended by the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001).

Ethos and policy aims

As a school, we take a holistic approach, and aim to support children in a variety of ways, to respond to their social, emotional, behavioural, and physical as well as educational needs.

We believe that all pupils should be valued and respected, irrespective of academic ability, of any particular physical or emotional attributes, of gender or of cultural, religious, ethnic or socio-economic background.

We believe we have a shared responsibility to ensure that all children are appreciated, nurtured and able to realise their full potential

A child has a special educational need if he/she has a greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age, or has a disability which prevents or hinders him/her making use of the educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age.

All children have individual needs, which may be ongoing or arise at particular times, and the school tries to meet these in a way appropriate to the child’s age, stage of development and personal circumstances. We recognise that some pupils will have particular needs, whether because they are exceptionally gifted or able, or because they may have difficulties that make learning more challenging.

We also recognise there are limitations to our provision, and that there may be circumstances where unfortunately we have to take the difficult decision that we are not able to meet a child’s particular needs within our school.

In implementing this policy, the school will comply with its obligations under applicable equality legislation, including the duty to make reasonable adjustments for children who have a disability.


Children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan)

A child with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) may be admitted to the school if:

  1. The LEA continues to support the placement;
  2. The school and the Parent Council formally agree that the requirements of the SSEN or EHC Plan and related needs of the child can be properly and effectively met by the school;


If we feel that the school is unable to meet the needs of a child, we may have to refer onto other bodies. Our end goal is always that the needs of the child are met and the child feels safe, secure and included as part of the


Admissions will be carried out in accordance with the school’s Admissions Policy and Procedures.

Children with identified SEND will be admitted wherever the school believes they are reasonably able to meet that child’s particular needs.

Where needs cannot be properly met at the school

If the above procedure has been followed and the child is unable to make appropriate progress and/or is preventing others from accessing the curriculum, the Parent council will assess whether it is possible for the child’s needs to be met at the school.

A review may also be necessary where a child’s needs change, such that they require additional support (or funding where external support has been withdrawn) to that previously identified.

Parents will be kept informed throughout this process.

If the school is unable to meet the needs of any child then one term’s notice may be given to the parents so that a more suitable setting can be found. The school will discuss with parents their options regarding identifying a setting better suited to the child’s needs.


Reviewed: September 2017

Date of next review: September 2018







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