English as an Additional Language (EAL)
The school is committed to making appropriate provision of teaching and resources for pupils for whom English is an additional language.
At Freemen’s we recognise that language acquisition for pupils who have English as an additional language is a process of gradual development over a number of years. We aim to support pupils to develop their written and spoken English to the highest possible standard as they progress from GCSE and A level to university.
On entry to the school a pupils written and spoken English will be assessed by the teacher for English as an Additional Language. Based on the assessment and/or performance at the start of the academic year the school may require a pupil to undertake additional English lessons, for which there will be a supplementary charge. A high grade in an IGCSE/GCSE English Language examination is not necessarily an indicator of competence at A Level or the language requirements needed for A Level study and beyond. A pupil with a high IGCSE/GCSE grade in English Language may be required to undertake additional English lessons.
If the school recommends a pupil should attend English as an Additional Language lessons parents will be informed of the areas of concern, these will then become the focus for the lessons. Parents will also receive a progress report as part of the school’s reporting cycle.
We aim to ensure that all EAL pupils are able to:
- Use English competently and confidently
- Use English as a means of learning across the curriculum
- Build on knowledge that they already have of other languages and cultures
- Be able to access external assessments (i.e. GCSEs / AS / A2)
Assessment of individual needs
Upon arrival at Freemen's new students are tested to assess their English language level and language needs. Students are then grouped according to ability. Once grouped, the students are assessed more informally in class and any amendments to setting can be made.
For students whose first language is not English, the school provides courses to develop English language skills and communicative ability delivered by a specialist EAL teacher. Through structured course content the school aims to enhance the students’ language proficiency to achieve both academic and social success in an English speaking environment. Lessons develop conversation skills, grammar, reading and pronunciation practice and writing skills. Pupils also learn about British culture and humour and how to use appropriate non-verbal skills in different social circumstances.
EAL in the Senior School
In Upper 4 – Upper 5 students receive a minimum of 2 lessons a week of EAL tuition, in addition to their mainstream English classes. Lower Sixth Form students attend two lessons of IELTS classes per week. The cost of these lessons, presently £165.00 per term, is added to the end of term school fees. Lessons continue until the school decides that the pupil is proficient and no longer requires additional lessons. Additional lessons can be arranged for those who require further input. In addition support is offered to assist pupils with specific needs through offering support classes, subject specific support and preparation for university interviews.
With a combination of everyday exposure to language inside the School, as well as constant reinforcement from within the main curriculum, pupils are on a learning programme which allows them to progress quickly and confidently.