Our school was delighted and proud to be awarded the EMTAS Bronze and Silver Award in 2020. These awards were developed by the EMTAS Specialist Teacher Advisory team and are an online school self-evaluation framework to help monitor the impact of provision to all children with English as an Additional Language (EAL).
Our PDL Leader, Mrs Stephenson was first introduced to the awards at an EMTAS Network meeting run by Claire Barker. These awards reflect our school vision and ethos to ‘be the best we can be’ and link perfectly with the work already being undertaken at our school. As a school, we are now excited to be on a journey towards achieving the Gold Award and if we are successful, we would be the first Infant school in Hampshire to do this!
The Excellence Award covers 5 broad areas:
- Leadership and Management
- Pedagogy and Practice
- Data, Assessment and Progress
- Teaching and learning
- Parental Engagement
The framework has proved to be an invaluable tool which has enabled the school to ensure the provision we are offering is making the very best impact on our EAL children and their families.
Mrs Stephenson is busy compiling a new ‘Gold Award’ file, comprising of the 5 areas. She is adding photographs, pieces of children’s work, assessments etc to use as evidence. EMTAS have offered the school invaluable support throughout the whole process, via e-mail or visits to the school. These have helped inform the school of its next steps to further improve our practice and go on to reach our goal. We are going for Gold!
Supporting our families
We value the opinions of every family in the school, including our families who speak English as an additional language. We have sent letters home, which have all been translated into each different language spoken in our school. These letters contain helpful information about how to support their children in school and a chance to ask questions. We have covered a range of topics such as supporting learning at home, using the school website, communication and attendance. The school is now planning to lead online Teams meetings where our EAL parents will be offered the opportunity to can meet each other, gain helpful information and a chance to ask questions.
Celebrating every language and culture in our school.
During the school year we have whole school assemblies celebrating multi-cultural festivals such as Chinese New Year, Diwali and Eid. Each week the children say ‘Good morning’ and ‘Good afternoon’ in one of the languages spoken in our school.
There is a ‘Where in the World?’ display in the school hall. This has a world map with a photo of every EAL child in the school showing which country their families originate from. This is celebrated in a weekly assembly led by the Headteacher.
At our school we also have an EAL display board celebrating all the children saying ‘Hello’ in their home language.
We have created an EAL Policy at our school. This has been shared with all our staff, governors and EAL parents:
Support from EMTAS for EAL families
EMTAS stands for the Ethnic Minority Traveller Achievement Service.
Their aim is to remove barriers and inequalities in attainment and achievement for children in schools.
They offer bilingual support for children and parents, advice and training for staff, phone lines in different languages and loan out resources such as books, dictionaries, and artefacts.