From August 2015, students aged 5 to 11 who need EAL teaching in order to access the school’s curriculum will be allocated to one of three levels of support depending upon their age and current standard of English. Two levels will involve ‘immersion’, in which students learn alongside their English-speaking peers with specialist EAL teacher support. The third level is aimed at children who have little or no English: they will receive small group lessons, with the overall objective being to integrate them into the mainstream lessons as soon as possible after they arrive.
“Our aim is to help each student to access the mainstream English National Curriculum lessons as quickly as possible – and with confidence,” noted Head of Primary EAL, Sara Berenguer. “We will do this through a combination of specialist teaching, personalised learning, motivational strategies and the use of appropriate technology.”
The school is able to identify precisely what type of EAL support will be most beneficial to a student because every Primary-aged applicant whose mother tongue is not English receives a one hour face-to-face assessment with 'Miss Sara' to ensure that they receive exactly the right support for them from day one.
“My intention is to appraise a child’s current understanding and use of English, but also to explore their overall strengths and weakness in other areas as well – even down to how they hold a pen or pencil. I really want to build up a picture of each student before they start here, so that both we and the family are confident that we are approaching their child’s education in the right way.” The school even provides support and advice on how parents can advance their child's English skills in the weeks and months between the initial assessment and entry into school.
Head of Admissions at Regents, Dr Tim Eaton commented: “Parents’ reactions to these more rigorous appraisals have been overwhelmingly positive. They are reassured to know that we are getting to know their children before they have even started here, and that we are taking English language tuition as seriously as we are every other subject on the curriculum.”