Due to the proximity to the Defence Academy, Watchfield is a very diverse school. Many of our international pupils arrive in September speaking little or no English.
When a pupils arrives, we assess their English proficiency using an online platform that aligns with the DfE proficiency scale. If the assessment show that a child meets criteria, we are able to offer bespoke English Lessons for 1 hour a day using 'Racing to English' as a starting point for our curriculum.
A: New to English: May use first language for learning and other purposes. May remain completely silent in the classroom. May be copying/repeating some words or phrases. May understand some everyday expressions in English but may have minimal or no literacy in English. Needs a considerable amount of EAL support.
B: Early acquisition: May follow day-to-day social communication in English and participate in learning activities with support. Beginning to use spoken English for social purposes. May understand simple instructions and can follow narrative/accounts with visual support. May have developed some skills in reading and writing. May have become familiar with some subject specific vocabulary. Still needs a significant amount of EAL support to access the curriculum.
C: Developing competence: May participate in learning activities with increasing independence. Able to express self orally in English, but structural inaccuracies are still apparent. Literacy will require ongoing support, particularly for understanding text and writing. May be able to follow abstract concepts and more complex written English. Requires ongoing EAL support to access the curriculum fully.
D: Competent: Oral English will be developing well, enabling successful engagement in activities across the curriculum. Can read and understand a wide variety of texts. Written English may lack complexity and contain occasional evidence of errors in structure. Needs some support to access subtle nuances of meaning, to refine English usage, and to develop abstract vocabulary. Needs some/occasional EAL support to access complex curriculum material and tasks.
E: Fluent: Can operate across the curriculum to a level of competence equivalent to that of a pupil who uses English as his/her first language. Operates without EAL support across the curriculum.
N: Not Yet Assessed is also available for use where the school has not yet had time to assess proficiency.
We continue to offer bespoke English language lessons to pupils with EAL who need it throughout the year: they do not return to main class English lessons until they are ready.
Our EAL learners make enormous progress at our school: frequently they begin the year not speaking any English beyond ‘hello’ and they leave us speaking and listening fluently.