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.
We have an enthusiastic group of students trained as ‘Young Interpreters’ who ensure that new EAL students are well supported in school. The Young Interpreter Scheme won the Guardian Public Services Award in 2013 and is highly regarded in the UK and abroad. This group meets regularly to learn about different languages and cultures to promote the inclusive and diverse community within the GFM. They also support EAL students with learning in lessons through discussing topics and translating vocabulary. We are very proud of their work and all that they do to promote inclusion through leading by example.
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
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.
For helpful advice about bringing up your child in a bilingual family, here is the link to the EMTAS website page for parents and carers: