A Gold EAL Quality Mark for Clapham Terrace Primary School
Clapham Terrace Community Primary School and Nursery in Leamington Spa sits in the centre of the Old Town and has dedicated itself to being at the heart of that community. A one-form entry nursery and primary school, it has worked hard to make itself a place of lively learning and to embrace the diverse demographic of its pupils, including the growing number of children learning English as an additional language (EAL).
A good proportion of the of the children who arrive with little knowledge of English come with their families to work at the local Jaguar Land Rover factory. This can affect mobility levels at the school as some of those families may leave the area after a two-year placement.
The staff at the school go out of their way to provide a warm welcome. There are clear procedures for admitting newcomers and helping them settle in. After a tour of the school and an official interview, pupils go home with an ‘About Me’ pack while their classmates prepare to welcome the new pupil on their first day at school. Teachers are well supported in this by their team of bilingual volunteers, who help parents discover all that the school has to offer. Sadly, due to Covid-19 restrictions, parent meetings now happen infrequently.
The school was keen to see pupils involved in extra-curricular activities so the EAL leader Mrs Batchelor, with the support of the governor responsible for EAL, began to monitor attendance at clubs and enrichment activities and saw an increased take up by EAL learners. Mrs Batchelor then looked to the eight designated areas where the school expects children to take on leadership roles. Of these, SPLAT (or Art) leaders, ICE (Including Children Everywhere) leaders and Detectives and Ambassadors all have particularly strong EAL representation. This is rotated to ensure as many children as possible are given an opportunity to come forward.
Children make excellent progress in their learning with 100% pupils in Key Stage 1 making expected progress. in Year 1, all pupils made better than expected progress from their baseline. EAL pupils also make extremely good progress throughout Key Stage 2, with a consistently high percentage of pupils making at least expected progress.
The school is proactive in developing reading skills with regular communication in English and other languages to parents. Mrs Batchelor described the way in which she supports parents of the youngest children to learn to read in their home languages, and the recognition of the difference in phonic systems.
The humanities curriculum features units that reflect the children’s backgrounds. Parents actively contribute to the content and expectations are high. Learning is organised in flexible mixed ability groupings that allow EAL learners to hear good models of English. Talking and writing are supported through the use of a wide range of scaffolds such as sentence starters, writing frames, vocabulary banks and substitution tables.
As one pupil put it: “I like learning here and I don’t want to leave this school!”
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