At Kensington, almost all of our children have English as an additional language. Many have spoken English since birth and are highly proficient but we also have lots of children who arrive at the school with no English.
As a result, we have staff who are specifically trained in supporting children new to English; our teachers are also experts in supporting children who are just starting to learn the language. We are extremely proud of the fact that, on average, children go from joining the school with little or no English to at or nearly at age-expected in just 11 months. This is an incredible achievement and testament to the hard work of the children, staff and parents.
Rise and Shine
At Kensington, all children who start the school are allocated to the 'Rise and Shine' programme. This programme ensures children starting the school have a very focused, tailored approach to rapidly integrate them and then accelerate their progress to reach age-expected within or under the 11 month average for children at Kensington Primary. Children in Early years are able to communicate in English in 6 months, Key stage 1, 3-4 months and in Key stage 2 it takes 2-3 months.
Mid-phase admissions with no English / school experience
Nursery and Reception: Box Clever intervention is used along with the day-to-day structure of learning.
Y1-6: In Key Stage 2 children with the same first language act as buddys and guides for the first few weeks, showing children around the school and translating where needed. This gives new arrivals time to ask questions in their first language and get used to the routine.
Phonics assessment is carried out within the first week. EAL assessment within the first two weeks. Children access the new arrival programme three afternoons a week. Literacy lessons are differentiated and children are given basic vocabulary to focus on and build understanding.
EAL assessment within the first week. If required signposted for phonics assessment.
Children that have no Phonic knowledge join ‘Rise’ programme every morning. Children with phonetic knowledge but unable to blend join ’Shine’ programme every morning. In Literacy there are targeted groups working at word and phrase level: building the child’s key vocabulary skills, developing communication skills and sentence structures.
Rise (Keystage 1 and 2) Everyday 9.00am-9.40am
Phonetic sounds, word time and ditties. Phonics is taught alongside key vocabulary and visuals for the child. They are also taught basic communication such as, greetings, feelings, days of the week, colours and objects. Progress checked monthly by phonics lead.
Shine (Keystage 2) Everyday 9.00am-9.40am
Blending sounds then move on to comprehension skills. Children learn verbs, adjectives adverbs. Work on sentence structure, verb subject agreement and asking and answering questions on a text. Progress checked monthly by EAL lead.
New Arrival Programme: Three afternoons a week for half an hour
This programme runs for two months. Children learn basic communication for everyday needs. Begin by learning greetings, places in school, stationary and classroom language. Progresses to face, body parts, verbs, family etc. increasing their everyday vocabulary and language week by week. The language used in this programme is structured so that children learn how to use present tense in first and third person. They are asking simple questions and responding to questions. At the end of the two month period, children are re-assessed to track their progress.
All of this works supports the children to make rapid progress and very quickly become part of the Kensington success story.