The fundamental aim of EAL is cohesion and integration, helping pupils for whom English is an Additional Language to become aware of their academic and personal strengths, becoming fully integrated members of the school community, who are proud of their identities. We support the development of well-rounded individuals, nurturing a sense of belonging and safety. We support a wide range of needs: different home languages, different cultures or religions, different experiences of education, and different grounds of entering the UK.
For students who arrive at our school from abroad, we offer an intensive support programme to help them to rapidly acquire English language speaking skills. Once they are confident in their verbal communication, they are fully integrated into the mainstream provision, with support in class.
The Ascension School is a specialist EAL provision for students whose Proficiency in English is
A – New to English upon arrival (in simple terms it means that they are unable to hold a basic conversation about their immediate interest like family, friends, or country of origin).
B – Early Acquisition, which allows them to participate in mainstream lessons with support.
Students are immersed in curricular comprising English, Maths, Science and Humanities, delivered by specialist EAL teachers. The aim of the Ascension School is to teach students literacy, numeracy, key words and key concepts from other subjects with the view of fully integrating them with the mainstream school as soon as possible.
Students also gain social and cultural confidence which will show in their ability to move around the school independently and create social relationships with their peers speaking in English. Upon graduation, students reach at least Proficiency in English,
Transition to Mainstream School
Moving from the Ascension School to mainstream provision is often a huge leap for many of our students. They move from a small size class of students with similar levels of English to an average class of students with varying levels. Additionally, these students are transferring from being taught by a small group of teachers specifically trained in meeting their needs, to having a different teacher in every lesson. Therefore, full support is given to aid this transition.
- They are moved into classes where there is already support or students with a similar profile.
- Teachers whose classes these students will attend are always provided with strategies, and a brief description of each student.
- After a period of approximately 4 weeks a review is conducted to help monitor how the students have settled and progress made.
Key Stage 3 EAL English
EAL students are taught alongside each year group’s main English lessons and follow the same Learning Journey, however, lessons are designed in a way that is scaffolded to meet their particular needs, with supplementary focus on developing vocabulary, grammar and fluency. Students learn a variety of English literature with text as diverse as Binti by Nnedi Okorafor in Year 7, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck in Year 8, or Othello by William Shakespeare in Year 9. Students are provided with opportunities to learn how to produce a variety of non-fiction writing such as newspaper articles, blogs, formal and informal letters, book and film reviews and opinion-essays. This provision is a natural progressive strategy for Ascension School students.
Key Stage 4 EAL English
Students in Years 10 and Year 11 are offered small group English Language and Literature GCSE lessons which, just like its equivalent at KS3, mirrors the mainstream English Learning Journey. Students begin studying the texts for GCSE English Literature including: An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley, Macbeth by William Shakespeare and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Students are provided with opportunities to respond to extracts and write about how characters and themes develop. Students are also encouraged to prepare for their GCSE English Language exam, practising the individual skills that underpin the qualification through the study of short stories thereby becoming confident in recognising and appreciating narrative structures. Students at risk of not completing the course are also offered a chance to be entered for Functional Skills, an entry level qualification. This is carefully monitored and takes into consideration their individual progress and needs assessment.
Students in Key Stage 4 who would benefit from having additional English lessons, are offered the opportunity to gain accreditation in ESL IGCSE. Students taking this programme receive three extra English lessons a week in Years 10 and Year 11. The programme covers the development of technical aspects of language: spelling, punctuation, grammar and sentence structure through a variety of diverse topics like Space, The World of Work, Leisure and Free Time, Travel, Transport, Emotions and Entertainment.
Community Languages: GCSE and A-levels
In the spirit of supporting our students’ cultural capital we offer an opportunity to achieve a GCSE and A level in Community Languages by supporting independent study and detailed preparation for the final exams for students at Key Stage Four and Key Stage Five. The curriculum available includes: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Greek, Gujarati, Italian, Punjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Persian, Russian, Turkish and Urdu. Students may also be considered to take GCSE Community Languages at the end of Year 10, in certain circumstances, but usually this occurs in Year 11.
Please email our EAL Coordinator for more details: email@example.com