The term EAL (English as an Additional Language) is the term used to describe students in UK schools who speak a language other than English as their home language. They are usually immersed in the English-speaking environment and have to learn English at the same time as learning curriculum content, which can be extremely challenging.

EAL Context

In recent years our school has benefited from becoming more ethnically diverse and we make it a priority to support our EAL students so that their full potential is realised. We work with a growing number of students who speak a wide range of alternative languages (non-English) at home including:

Arabic Armenian Bengali Cantonese
Czech French Gujarati Hungarian
Italian Japanese Latvian Panjabi
Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian
Shona Slovak Spanish Swahili
Tamil Ukrainian    

EAL Support

The ability to speak multiple languages is a hugely valuable skill and intrinsically illustrates great ability so these students require high challenge in their studies. A barrier of a language is no indication of ability or intelligence.

Nonetheless, evidence is conclusive that developing a good grasp of verbal and written English is critical to securing academic achievement in UK schools. Consequently, we have specially trained staff to deliver our provision, and whilst our central approach is about inclusion and quality first teaching, we are well-equipped to provide targeted interventions where required.

More widely, we forge close relationships with parents, stage community meetings, and respond to the requests of families in terms of different progression routes and experiences. This support goes beyond the academic and can range from culture to finance, or integration to trauma support.

EAL Outcomes

Our EAL students perform superbly well academically and this correlates with their wider involvement in our school curriculum. The environment we provide is supportive and nurturing, but also challenging and rigorous, and these high expectations help reap the rewards.

Our Summer 2023 exam results reflect this climate and ethos with our EAL cohort gaining positive progress scores in all key DfE indicators:

  • All = +0.87
  • English = +0.45
  • Maths = +0.70
  • E-Bacc = +0.50
  • Open = +1.63
  • Science = +0.532
  • MFL – French = +1.177
  • Humanities = +0.703

Indeed, we had several further EAL students who did not fall into these DfE measurements because they held no Key Stage 2 data, but they also performed superbly despite joining the English school system later.

Nationally, schools with high EAL proportions tend to do well in government performance measures, and in turn this can skew the DfE Performance Tables in favour of multi-cultural city schools. However, these school results are superb and are an immense credit to the students and their families. Nonetheless we are equally thrilled to see our EAL students succeeding in employability workshops or athletics meets, or in debating competitions or school magazine contributions, and we enjoy watching them flourish with their friends in our school community.

Further Information

If you would like to find out more about our EAL provision, please contact Lucy Eagland (SENCO), via office@friaryschool.co.uk.