English as an Additional Language at St. George’s Catholic School
St George’s Catholic School warmly welcomes children who speak English as an Additional Language (EAL)*. We have over 25 languages and 20 countries represented amongst the children.
At St. George’s we recognise that being a speaker of more than one language has many benefits and we celebrate the wide array of skills and cultures that EAL pupils bring to the classroom. We also recognise that the needs and language abilities of EAL learners will vary, from those who speak little English to those who are fluent.
Our aim is to provide quality first classroom-based teaching, along with some targeted small group input and, where necessary, individual support based on children’s needs. We have an EAL Co-ordinator (Mrs McNamara) and an EAL Lead (Mrs Roberts) who monitor the development of the language skills of EAL pupils, work with EAL pupils across the school, and support other staff in meeting the needs of EAL children within the classroom.
We encourage parents to continue speaking their first language to children at home, as a strong foundation in a first language helps children to learn other languages (including English) more easily. Another way that parents can support EAL learners is by discussing topics and new concepts in their home language.
* In England, such learners are defined as those who have been ‘exposed to a language at home that is known or believed to be other than English’ (Department for Education, 2019).