At Fir Tree School we are very pleased to welcome families from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds and whose first or home language is other than English. Over 20 languages are spoken by our school community and so support for EAL is an important part of our school.

New pupils to Fir Tree School with EAL are buddied up with another child from their class to help them settle in to school life. New arrivals are assessed for their English Language skills (modelled on the Department of Education English Proficiency Scale). The assessment outcome is used to inform teaching strategies within the classroom and develop bespoke support intervention. Each pupil’s progress in the curriculum and acquisition of English are closely monitored throughout their time with us at Fir Tree School.

We aim to provide the majority of support in the classroom so that the children feel engaged as a member of the class and receive teacher-modelled language. In class we use visual aids, bi-lingual dictionaries and translation devices, at a level they can access, to support the children’s learning. Additional intervention support is designed to facilitate pre-teaching, closing of gaps and confidence building for our EAL pupils. We use a variety of resources to support our pupils, including home language and bilingual books, an online EAL programme and a read aloud pen reading and comprehension scheme.

The EAL Co-ordinator at Fir Tree School is Mrs M Pearse. Please email her if you would like any more information on EAL provision at Fir Tree School: mpearse@firtree.newburyacademytrust.org

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