Gold EAL Quality Mark for Christ Church C of E Primary School
Some schools have a large turnover of pupils. Christ Church C E Primary School in Newcastle, the latest winner of the EAL Gold Quality Mark, has a really large turnover. A third of its 150 pupils have joined since the school year started in September and a fifth since January.
My visit started with a pupil led assembly celebrating diversity in the school’s curriculum; Walter Tull, Harriet Tubman and Mary Seacole all featured. The assembly also demonstrated the school’s inclusivity. Over 30 pupils made an individual contribution, including the six who spoke who spoke in languages other than English. Towards the end of the assembly a small group of pupils made the gifts below for me, their visitor, whilst also managing to sing.
It may sound corny to say that a church school practises what it preaches, but that is exactly what Christ Church does.
Christ Church’s intake is very mixed. International students studying for higher degrees at Newcastle’s universities sometimes request a place for their children before they even arrive in the UK. The school is also an oasis for children at a nearby hotel for refugee families. These pupils are welcomed whether they are coming for three days or three six years.
What about the teaching? It focuses on carefully analysed individual need while integrating new pupils into classrooms where small group talk is the basis of developing understanding. It is also highly visual.
When I spoke to a small group of EAL learners in at the end of visit, they were very clear about their sense of belonging. They are very happy to be included but also to be challenged and supported to reach high standards.
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