EAL Policy

Date CreatedDate 1st Review DueDate ReviewedVersionNext Review Due
September 2022September 2023   
September 20232September 2024

Purpose The purpose of this policy is to outline the school’s approach to identification and meeting the needs of pupils who are classified as having English as an additional language (EAL).

Definition In defining EAL we have adopted the following definition: ‘An EAL pupil is a pupil whose first language is not English. This encompasses pupils who are fully bilingual and all those at different stages of learning English.’

EAL pupils may be:

  • Newly arrived from a foreign country and school;
  • Newly arrived from a foreign country, but an English-speaking school;
  • Born abroad, but moved to the UK at some point before starting school;
  • Born in the UK, but in a family where the main language is not English.

EAL pupils will need varying levels of provision.


This policy sets out the school’s aims, objectives and strategies with regard to meeting the needs and celebrating the skills of EAL pupils, and helping them to achieve the highest possible standards.


  • To give all pupils the opportunity to overcome any barrier to learning.
  • To welcome and value the cultural, linguistic and educational experiences that pupils with EAL bring to the School whenever possible.
  • To implement appropriate strategies to ensure that EAL pupils are supported in accessing the full curriculum.
  • To help EAL pupils to become confident and fluent in speaking and listening, reading and writing in English in order to be able to fulfil their potential.
  • To encourage children to practise and extend their use of English.
  • To encourage and enable parental support in improving children’s language skills.


  • To maintain pupils’ self-esteem and confidence by acknowledging and giving status to their skills in their own languages.
  • To be able to assess the skills and needs of pupils with EAL and to give appropriate provision throughout the School.
  • To equip teachers with the knowledge, skills and resources to be able to support and monitor pupils with EAL.
  • To monitor pupils’ progress each term in class conferences and curriculum meetings in order to make decisions about classroom management and curriculum planning.

School / Class Ethos

Our school seeks to ensure that all pupils are enabled to have access to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum. English is best learnt through the curriculum and EAL pupils should be encouraged to play a full part in all learning opportunities.

EAL learners make the best progress within a whole school context, where pupils are educated with their peers. The school structure, pastoral care and overall ethos aim to help EAL pupils integrate into the school whilst valuing diversity. Children that enter the school with little or no English will be given the opportunity to complete assessments and school work in their home language, and a program of support for a transition of languages will be implemented when children are secure in their new setting.

  • Classrooms are to be arranged to be socially and culturally inclusive;
  • Teachers recognise the pupil’s mother tongue, identifying their strengths and boosting the individual’s self-esteem, and enabling the pupil to become a bi-lingual;
  • Staff acknowledges the time it takes to become fluent in an additional language, with a good command of the range of language needed for successful learning and participation in the class;
  • We also recognise that support may be necessary beyond the time a pupil appears orally fluent.


The pupil’s needs should be identified during the admissions process:

  • A meeting with the pupil’s teachers and the parent/carer begins the process of ongoing evaluation to meet the individual needs.
  • Following the above, lessons will be planned appropriately.
  • The teacher will keep a record of the pupil’s progress and communicate this (together with reviews and new actions) to the SENCo at the end of each term.

Teaching and Learning

Staff can help pupils learning English as an additional language in a variety of ways:

  • By planning differentiated work for EAL pupils if necessary.
  • By setting appropriate expectations; encouraging pupils to contribute and give more than one-word answers.
  • By monitoring progress carefully and ensuring that EAL pupils are set appropriate and challenging learning objectives.
  • Recognising that EAL pupils may need more time to process answers.
  • Ensuring that there are effective opportunities for talking and that talking is used to support writing.
  • Encouraging pupils to transfer their knowledge, skills and understanding of one language to another.
  • Access and Support.
  • All pupils will follow the full school curriculum.
  • EAL pupils may be supported through a Learning Support Assistant in the classroom.


Head of Centre:

  • Evaluate the policy in the first half of the Summer Term each year and recommendations discussed by the Senior Leadership Team by the end of the term.
  • Monitor the progress of EAL learners through existing Literacy/subject monitoring
  • Provide support and advice to class teachers

Teachers – All involved in teaching EAL learners liaise regularly:

  • Teachers communicate all EAL learners’ progress to the Head of Centre at end of each-term.
  • Parents and staff are aware of the school’s policy on pupils with EAL.
  • Relevant information on pupils with EAL is passed on to all staff.
  • Training in planning, teaching and assessing EAL learners is accessed.
  • Challenging targets for pupils learning EAL are set and met.
  • Are knowledgeable about pupils’ abilities and needs in English and other subjects.
  • Use this knowledge effectively in curriculum planning, classroom teaching, use of resources and use of resources and pupil grouping.

Monitoring Progress

  • The monitoring of pupils’ progress is shared between all teachers, learning support workers and the Head of Centre.
  • Pupils are also encouraged to set their own targets and objectives to bolster self-esteem and increase accountability.

Supporting the EAL Policy

Whole school language development

All teachers will need to consider the language demands as well as the content of the curriculum and plan how they can support pupils to develop oracy and literacy across the curriculum.

In writing schemes of work and medium-term plans, teachers should consider the following questions:

  1. What opportunities are there to explore ideas orally and collaboratively?
  2. How can teachers (or additional adults or other children) model the key subject language needed?
  3. What specialist vocabulary do pupils need in order to understand new concepts and how can this be presented to them in an accessible way?
  4. What range of texts do pupils need to read and how can their reading be scaffolded to support learners with diverse needs?
  5. What types of written tasks do pupils need to carry out and how can these be framed to support pupils at different levels?
  6. Are lessons planned to ensure that any additional adult has a clear role in developing literacy?

The role of the class teachers is to:

  • Develop consistent approaches to teaching and learning in literacy and to build increased awareness of the existing language knowledge and understanding that pupils bring to lessons
  • Use speaking and listening strategies to develop subject learning
  • Plan for teaching and learning of subject-specific vocabulary
  • Develop active reading strategies to increase pupils’ ability to read for a purpose and engage with a variety of texts.
  • Model writing for key text types within their subject. Language and literacy experiences of EAL learners
  • Some pupils already have good language and literacy skills in two or more languages
  • Some pupils are beginner EAL learners have never learnt to read or write in any language.
  • Some pupils have missed some or all of their education and have not fully developed the language and literacy skills needed for primary school · Some pupils have SEN with language or literacy needs

All these diverse groups benefit from teaching that develops their language and literacy so they become fluent in the academic language of the primary curriculum which is the key to academic success.

As pupils progress through school, the language and literacy demands of the curriculum increase and pupils need to develop a wider range of language skills, in particular making the transition from spoken to written forms. They also need to be able to adopt different styles (genres) to meet different purposes and audiences which need to be explicitly taught.

Beginner EAL learners

It takes 1-2 years to become fluent in everyday spoken English, but 5-7 years to develop proficiency in formal, written English. At Egham Park we aim for all EAL pupils to:

  • immediately feel part of the school
  • develop language in context
  • experience their full curriculum entitlement

Additional support in class and some small group literacy teaching will be beneficial in the early stages, although pupils should not necessarily be withdrawn from Maths or practical subjects where they can usually make good progress whatever their language level in English.

Teaching strategies to support EAL beginners:

  • Provide a classroom rich in oral experiences
  • Enable pupils to draw on their existing knowledge of other language/s
  • Encourage and use bilingual support from other students and staff
  • Use translated materials and bilingual dictionaries
  • Allow students time to practice new language
  • Use visual support of all kinds (diagrams, maps, charts, pictures)
  • Develop card sorting, sequencing and matching activities

Developing language and literacy skills

In order to be fully literate, pupils need to be able to understand how we adapt our everyday speech into formal, written texts.

Learning through talk

  1. Using speaking to clarify and present ideas
  2. Using active listening to understand a topic
  3. Hypothesising, evaluating and problem-solving through discussion

Teaching strategies

  • Provide pre and post-listening activities such as listening frames
  • Use information gap and other collaborative activities
  • Allow students to do some assessments orally
  • Ask students to rehearse answers with partner before answering
  • Use additional adults to support discussion groups

Learning from Text

  1. Reading for meaning – inference and deduction
  2. Understanding how subject specific texts are organised
  3. Developing research and study skills

Teaching strategies

  • Make the purpose of reading explicit
  • Read aloud to pupils
  • Teach pupils how to find their way around text books and use index, contents, etc.
  • Show pupils how to write questions before starting research
  • Help pupils decide whether to scan or skim read or close read
  • Ask pupils to transfer information from text to diagrams
  • Encourage and show pupils how to use the library for research and pleasure

Learning through writing

  1. Using writing to think, explore and develop ideas
  2. Structuring and organising writing to link ideas into paragraphs
  3. Developing clear and appropriate expression at sentence level

Teaching strategies

  • Make sure pupils are clear about the purpose and audience for their writing
  • Point out the differences between speech and writing
  • Help pupils use appropriate levels of formality
  • Give pupils model texts before asking them to write
  • Show pupils how to organise writing using planning frameworks, graphic organisers,
  • Support extended writing with frames and key connectives to link ideas.
  • Ask pupils to evaluate, correct and redraft their writing