EAL (English as an Additional Language)
The GFM welcomes students of all nationalities and we are very proud of our school community.
In December 2022, The GFM was awarded the EAL Excellence Bronze Award from the Ethnic Minority Traveller Achievement Service (EMTAS); we are thrilled to have achieved this. The award recognises our ongoing work with students who speak English as an Additional Language (EAL) and their families.
Around 15% of our students speak English in addition to at least one other language, resulting in an impressive array of languages spoken in total: currently 25 including Cantonese, Turkish, Portuguese, Romanian, Polish, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Shona and Arabic.
All pupils need to feel safe, accepted and valued in order to learn. For students who are learning English as an additional language, this includes recognising and valuing their home language and background. These opportunities are available at the GFM both inside and outside of the classroom.
EAL (English as an Additional Language) students joining us in Year 7 from Primary school will be assessed along with their cohort during their induction, but will also have an informal interview and EAL specific assessment, so that additional support can be organised if necessary. Students joining at other times will also have an initial EAL assessment so that specific support can be tailored to their current level of English.
Our EAL learners are assessed on entry to the school, using the Bell Foundation EAL assessment framework which adopts the DFE five A-E band . This helps us to establish an initial progress level and to set targets, along with the teacher’s input.
Following initial assessments, if required, a plan will be created with strategies included to help EAL learners reach the next stage of their language proficiency. This is shared with teachers, so they are aware how to support EAL learners to access their learning. This will be monitored by the EAL Lead and reassessed on a termly basis.
We strongly believe that learning English takes place in the classroom. However, we do lead bespoke programmes to aid access to curriculum which are led by members of our support staff. These sessions provide and build on the English skills needed to thrive in the classroom, and are directly linked to the subject areas that they are studying.
Heritage Language GCSEs
We place a high value on each student’s home language (heritage language), providing guidance and assistance to students who wish to take heritage language GCSEs where this is appropriate. Our EAL students have recently achieved excellent grades in the following language GCSEs:
Polish, Russian and Spanish.
Multilingualism is a strength, and therefore we encourage EAL students to use their first language in lessons. We use a range of resources and strategies to ensure that every EAL learner can access the lesson and achieve their full potential. We also teach a diverse curriculum to ensure that all of our EAL student’s cultures are reflected in their learning.
Every week, we give all of our students the opportunity to get to know many different members of our diverse community. We bring together students from various places around the world to share their languages, cultures and just to get to know one another with fun language based activities and games.
Every term, we hold our EAL parents/carers events at the Gosport Community Hub based at Brune Park. This is a chance to bring the families of our EAL learners together and to give them a chance to meet other members of the community who have the same culture or share the same language. It is also an opportunity to discuss the support that we give our EAL students in school.
Ukranian Summer Update
Thanks to the generous funding from the Ukrainian Support Fund and the dedication of the Gosport Community Hub Team, we were able to host our first Ukrainian families day, which was a huge success! and enjoyed by all. We also offered some much needed summer essential items bags that were made available throughout the holidays but thanks to the hard work of Lianne Smees soon developed into a clothing offer.
Huge thanks to Gosport Voluntary Action Group for supporting families to attend and Free Cakes for Kids, who donated the tasty cupcakes. Most of all thank you to our Gosport community, for your generosity, we salute you. Without your kindness, much of what we do would not be possible!
Support from the Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service
We work closely with the Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service (EMTAS) when personalising provision. Wherever possible students are visited by a bilingual assistant who speaks their home language, to advise on strategies for making good progress in school. We also arrange meetings with students and their families to ensure that the student has settled in well and is happy at school.