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Blenhein Primary School

ENGLISH as an additional language

What is EAL?


At Sheringham, we welcome and value the cultural, linguistic and educational experiences that pupils with English as an additional language (EAL) bring to our school. We recognise and give status to children’s skills in their own language(s) and acknowledge the time it takes to become fluent in an additional language. EAL is a term used when referring to pupils whose main language at home is a language other than English. At Sheringham, our aim is to work together to meet the full range of needs of the children.  

How do we support?

To enable us to direct the correct support for individual children we assess the skills and needs of pupils with EAL on admission and provide appropriate provision according to their needs.  How can you support this learning at home?

  • Talk to your child in English as much as possible
  • Go to the library and borrow dual language texts that you can read together
  • Watch English television programmes
  • Use Google translate or other translating websites to read in home language and English
  • Encourage your child to have friends in and out of school
  • Ask for help from one of our team:


    Graph to show languages spoken in our school (April 2018).

    When children join our school they are initially assessed to see if they have EAL needs and their levels of need and proficiency are recorded.  At Sheringham, we know that the best way for a child to learn English is to support their learning in a structured way. We have two EAL trained members of staff giving language support each day to small groups of targeted children.  Each child has an action plan for targeted outcomes and they are assessed at the end of each term when the input comes to a close. The interventions are improving children's knowledge and understanding of the English language and this also aims to give the children a word bank of common English words and language structure.

    Children who, on entry, are assessed at Level C (Step 6 and above) are given immediate access to the Rosetta Stone Language programme and the children then have dedicated in class time to continue their English language acquisition.

    Interventions for EAL



    Specialist teaching support is available from our EAL team.  They lead small groups with a tailor made and structured approach to learning the English language.  Each of the skills learned build on wider knowledge about the English language and enable the children to learn what they need to know to speak and understand the English language in many scenarios.


    Individual children are also taught Phonic sounds which are used to decode English text, in short sessions each week.  We discovered that children who come to Sheringham after year 3 found English language acquisition difficult because they had not been taught phonics like their peers who had been in school since the Reception year.  To rectify this we now teach groups of children the sounds that they need to be able to read and decode English words.

If you want to learn the sounds each letter makes in English please use this link to access the phonics programme we use: Ruth Miskin Training, which has many useful links for parents: http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/resources/

Widening the support for individual children

The school has recently invested heavily in EAL resources: talking books from Mantra Lingua. http://uk.mantralingua.com/home to support children's knowledge and understanding of texts in home and English language.  Please look at the website for more information.


How it works:

Pupil Champions and EAL trained staff at the school have a ‘pen’ and a selection of books.  The pen can ‘read’ the book to individual children in their home language. This helps children who are new to English as they can listen to a range of texts (including a word dictionary) in their home language.