English as an Additional Language ‘EAL’
At Kensington, almost all of our children speak English proficiently alongside their home language but some children who arrive at the school may require additional support with English.
As a result, we have staff members that are specifically trained in various approaches to support children who are new to English; our teachers are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to provide in-class support to help children learn, develop and apply new vocabulary and sentence structures. We also provide small group intervention sessions to ensure effective opportunities for speaking and listening, reading and writing.
We are extremely proud of the fact that, on average, children are able to reach age-expected levels within 11 months of starting school with little or no English. This is an incredible achievement across all boards and a testament to the collaborative hard work of the children, staff and parents.
Mid-phase admissions with no English / school experience
Here at Kensington, we recognise children come from a variety of backgrounds, personal experiences and cultures. We do our best to cater for each individual child’s learning experience using and adapting different methods of pedagogy.
- Nursery and Reception
- The structure of Early Years enables children to learn English rapidly, we also hold an intervention programme called ‘Box Clever’ to ensure children are learning essential vocabulary.
- Year 1- Year 6:
- Children are supported during the first few weeks and allocated a ‘buddy’ (preferably with the same first language) who will show them around the school and help them understand the new school routine. The ‘buddy’ will be a child from class chosen by the teacher, and in Key Stage 1 a Teaching Assistant will also support the child. Phonics and EAL assessment is carried out during the first two weeks of a child joining the school. The child will then be able to access support for phonics in the ‘Rise and Shine’ programme and support for everyday language through the ‘New arrival programme’.
- Class teachers differentiate lessons and children are provided with effective opportunities to develop communication skills. In Literacy we create target groups to ensure children are exposed to an array of skills working at word and phrase level: building on the child’s key vocabulary skills for everyday language use. Writing skills are also developed through structured scaffolding frames to encourage independent writing. We also provide bilingual dictionaries to support their learning in the classroom.
Rise and Shine
At Kensington, all children who start the school are allocated to the 'Rise and Shine' programme.
‘Rise’ specifically caters for children who will need to learn Set 1 Phonic Sounds of the English alphabet. This programme will take place every morning to ensure consistency in progress and achieving age-expected levels.
Children who are already familiar with the Set 1 sounds of the programme will join the ’Shine’ programme to develop their knowledge of ‘blending sounds’ every morning. This is a key programme used at the school to ensure children starting the school have a much focused, tailored approach to rapidly integrate and then accelerate children’s progress to reach age-expected. Children in Early years are able to communicate in English as early as 6 months; Key stage 1, 3-4 months and in Key stage 2 it takes 2-3 months.
New Arrival Programme: Three afternoons a week for half an hour
The new arrival programme runs for two months. This programme equips children with basic communication skills for everyday needs. Children are introduced to different greetings, names and places in and around school, stationary and classroom language. They also begin to learn names of body parts, verbs, family etc. This helps to increase the child’s everyday vocabulary and language progressively 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 being to ask and respond to simple questions. At the end of the two month period, children are re-assessed to track their progress and next steps.
All of this work supports the children to make rapid progress and very quickly become part of the Kensington success story.