EAL (English as an Additional Language)
The GFM welcomes students of all nationalities and we are very proud of our school community.
In December 2022, The GFM was awarded the EAL Excellence Bronze Award from the Ethnic Minority Traveller Achievement Service (EMTAS); we are thrilled to have achieved this. The award recognises our ongoing work with students who speak English as an Additional Language (EAL) and their families.
Around 15% of our students speak English in addition to at least one other language, resulting in an impressive array of languages spoken in total: currently 25 including Cantonese, Turkish, Portuguese, Romanian, Polish, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Shona and Arabic.
All pupils need to feel safe, accepted and valued in order to learn. For students who are learning English as an additional language, this includes recognising and valuing their home language and background. These opportunities are available at the GFM both inside and outside of the classroom.
EAL (English as an Additional Language) students joining us in Year 7 from Primary school will be assessed along with their cohort during their induction, but will also have an informal interview and EAL specific assessment, so that additional support can be organised if necessary. Students joining at other times will also have an initial EAL assessment so that specific support can be tailored to their current level of English.
Our EAL learners are assessed on entry to the school, using the Bell Foundation EAL assessment framework which adopts the DFE five A-E band . This helps us to establish an initial progress level and to set targets, along with the teacher’s input.
Following initial assessments, if required, a plan will be created with strategies included to help EAL learners reach the next stage of their language proficiency. This is shared with teachers, so they are aware how to support EAL learners to access their learning. This will be monitored by the EAL Lead and reassessed on a termly basis.
We strongly believe that learning English takes place in the classroom. However, we do lead bespoke programmes to aid access to curriculum which are led by members of our support staff. These sessions provide and build on the English skills needed to thrive in the classroom, and are directly linked to the subject areas that they are studying.