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A learner of English as an Additional Language (EAL) is a pupil whose first language is other than English.

'First language is the language to which the child was initially exposed during early development and continues to use this language in the home and community. If a child acquires English subsequent to early development then English is not their first language no matter how proficient in it they become.'

 School census preparation and guidance for 2007 (DfES 2007)

At Caterham High School we recognise that learners will be at different stages of English language acquisition (from complete beginner to advanced bilingual), but even those at the same stage of English language acquisition will have different backgrounds and needs. For example, they will have had different experiences of schooling overseas. Some will be literate in other languages and might already have developed concepts in other subjects, such as science and mathematics, through another language. Others will have had little or no formal education and might not be literate in any language.

EAL support at Caterham

Currently, there are 72% of pupils on roll who have English as an additional language. The school have a robust system to support these learners. The Lead Teacher is bilingual in seven different languages and has an in-depth understanding of how pupils develop an additional language.

EAL learning will receive the following support:

  • Assessed using the Bell’s Foundation EAL Assessment Framework.
  • They follow a 4-week programme called the “EAL Academy programme”. This programme focuses on Three key texts.
  • EAL academy working on the pre-skills that subject teachers say are needed before the pupils start on the National Curriculum Programmes of Study in individual subjects.
  • Their induction programmes include a tour of the school as well as on-going advice and support.
  • Afterschool and lunchtime homework clubs
  • In class support
  • Support studies option at GCSE