English as an Additional Language (E.A.L.)
The English as an Additional Language Department (EAL) offers provision for students whose first language is one other than English.
Students’ levels range from New to English (A) to Fluent (E), necessitating preparation of individual programmes. On arrival, EAL students are assessed using EAL Assessment package (speaking and listening assessment, reading and writing tests) and the Bell Foundation EAL Assessment Framework. Each student is considered individually, and once assessed, they join an appropriate EAL pathway. All students attending EAL intervention programmes are assessed each half term during Assessment Week, when they complete a summative assessment of reading and/or writing as well as speaking and/or listening assessment. All the assessments are designed by the EAL team and based on the topics covered during the intervention sessions. Additionally, the formative assessment of each student takes place daily in their withdrawal EAL session or during in class support to provide ongoing feedback that is then used by subject and EAL teachers to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. This formative assessment feedback enables students to identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need to be improved. It also helps the EAL Department to recognise where students are struggling and address any issues immediately. All the EAL support programmes’ goal is to facilitate smooth integration into mainstream subjects, once students become more confident and proficient in English.
With greater proficiency, students’ EAL programmes become more specialised, often focusing more on subject-specific language. Lessons are then tailored to support comprehension and expression in the content areas, frequently in subjects in which students will sit external exams.
KS3 EAL Withdrawal
KS3 students assessed to be at New to English (A) level (DfE levels) and at Early Acquisition (B) level receive weekly EAL withdrawal sessions (across the subjects) and intense in class support in the humanities subjects, as well as in science. In their EAL withdrawal sessions they follow an inspiring and up to date English language course aimed at developing their proficiency in English across all 4 language skills. The curriculum for the withdrawal sessions is based on Oxford University Press English Plus language learning materials, supplemented by a plethora of targeted language learning resources, which help the learners develop their language competence through effective modelling, emphasis on communication, a focus on critical thinking and authentic language. The targeted students also engage in the independent learning at home through Flash Academy language learning software.
KS4 EAL Option
KS4 Students assessed to be at New to English (A) Level (DfE levels) or Early Acquisition (B) level are offered the EAL Option. They attend all core subjects and 2 option subjects and receive EAL intervention in place of the third option subject. This gives them a chance to develop their English language proficiency to be able to access and successfully pass their chosen GCSE subjects. To achieve this, the students follow a bespoke support programme which leads to a qualification in English Functional Skills (Edexcel). As part of this pathway, the students receive in-class support from the EAL Department in all GCSE subjects.
KS4 EAL English Functional Skills
The Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills Qualifications in English at Entry Levels 1, 2 and 3 as well as at level 1 are for learners to develop understanding and valuable skills in English.
The qualifications give learners the opportunity to:
Listen, understand and make relevant contributions to discussions with others in a range of contexts
Apply their understanding of language to adapt delivery and content to suit audience and purpose
Read a range of different text types confidently and fluently, applying their knowledge and understanding of texts to their own writing
Write texts of varying complexity, with accuracy, effectiveness, and correct spelling, punctuation and grammar
Understand the situations when, and audiences for which, planning, drafting and using formal language are important, and when they are less important.
The students who follow an EAL option at KS4 complete their Functional Skills examination in the Summer term of year 11.
In addition to teaching English language in withdrawal sessions, a significant component of EAL provision involves in-class support, with EAL specialist staff assigned to attend subject lessons to support students in the language of the content area.
EAL Extra-Curricular Opportunities
The EAL Department provides a range of extra- curricular opportunities for EAL students to benefit from. KS3 students are encouraged to attend an EAL homework club. Additionally, the EAL department runs a hugely popular Korean club and Chinese Mandarin Club. There are also tutoring sessions for students wanting to take the Community Language GCSE exam in the summer term. These are led by the bilingual HAMD teachers or by the external tutors who are language specialists and who are familiar with the requirements of the GCSE curriculum for a given community language. The EAL Department organises cultural visits and trips (e.g., to London or Brighton) to enrich students’ experience and further develop their overall language proficiency.
Facilities include two teaching rooms, one of them equipped in computers available to students during breaks, lunches and before or after school for self-study (TLC – The Language Centre). All EAL students can use the TLC as a base, which offers them a sense of continuity and identity and thus security. The EAL Department is also running an EAL Social Club on Wednesday and Friday mornings. All EAL students are welcome to attend these sessions, when they can play games, socialise and make friends in a supportive and friendly environment.
Community Languages GCSE Tutoring
All bilingual students who can speak, read and write in a community language supported by the exam board at the GCSE level are encouraged to take the GCSE in their community language. The EAL Departments provides students with guidance on the specification of their exam and supports them with their preparation and revision for those exams throughout the year. There are also free tutoring sessions available to boost students’ confidence in speaking or/and writing before their GCSE exam. All the students at HAMD, who had taken their community language GCSE in the past, have been very successful and most of them received top grades.