EAL STUDENT SUPPORT
EAL Coordinator - Mrs R Cayless
Fernhill welcomes students of all nationalities and we are very proud of our school community.
Around 17% of our students speak English in addition to at least one other language, resulting in an impressive array of languages spoken in total: currently 28 including Nepali, Bengali, Portuguese, Romanian, Polish, Slovak and Urdu.
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, so that additional support can be organised if necessary. Students joining at other times will also have an initial assessment so that specific support can be tailored to their current level of English. EAL students participate fully in mainstream lessons, but may also receive some individual or small group academic support sessions. Where needed, students are provided with extra resources to work on at home to help develop their English language skills and acquire new subject vocabulary.
Support from the Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service
We work closely with the Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service (EMTAS) when personalising provision. Wherever possible students are visited by a bilingual assistant who speaks their home language, to advise on strategies for making good progress in school. We also arrange meetings with students and their families to ensure that the student has settled in well and is happy at school.
For helpful advice about bringing up your child in a bilingual family, here is the link to the EMTAS website page for parents and carers:
If you would like to speak to a member of staff from EMTAS in your home language, here is the link to information on the EMTAS phone lines:
We have an enthusiastic group of 20 students trained as ‘Young Interpreters’ who ensure that new EAL students are well supported in school. The Young Interpreter Scheme won the Guardian Public Services Award in 2013 and is a highly regarded in the UK and abroad.
This group meets regularly to produce multi-lingual signage so that all of our students can see their home language represented in their learning environment. They also support EAL students with learning in lessons through discussing topics and translating vocabulary. We are very proud of their work and all that they do to promote inclusion through leading by example.
The Unity Room
We have a dedicated EAL classroom named The Unity Room by our Young Interpreters, where EAL students can access the support and resources they need to progress and fulfill their potential.
Heritage Language GCSEs
We place a high value on each student's home language (heritage language), providing guidance and assistance to students who wish to take heritage language GCSEs where this is appropriate. Our EAL students have recently achieved excellent grades in the following language GCSEs:
Turkish, Polish, Spanish, German, Dutch, and also in the Cambridge O’level Nepali
Equality and Rights Advocates (EARA)
We have a dedicated group of students who are passionate about promoting equality and human rights in school. We meet weekly to discuss pressing issues in society such as homelessness, refugees and all forms of discrimination whether based on race, disability or sexual orientation. Three times a year we go to Winchester to meet students from other schools in in Hampshire who are also Equality and Rights Advocates, for excellent discussions on how we can make a difference to our community.
Global Learning Programme
We are delighted that Fernhill has been awarded the status as a Global Learning Programme Expert Centre. Mrs Cayless is our Co-ordinator and will now lead a local hub of schools to help develop students' knowledge, skills and values of the wider world in which we live.
The programme aims to help schools prepare young people for the changing world by supporting teachers in understanding development education and feeling more confident in delivering global learning to students. The programme shares good practice across schools and provides training and workshops for both staff and students.
We are delighted to have this aspect of our work recognised as a strength and look forward to helping that to grow further.