17th December, 2019

EAL Policy

EAL (English as an Additional Language) Policy


“This Catholic School will seek to educate the whole person, academically, morally, socially and spiritually through the example of Jesus Christ and the witness of committed capable teachers”. (The Trinity Catholic School Mission Statement)

All schools have a requirement to promote race equality in line with the requirements of the Equality Act (2010). This policy explains how The Trinity Catholic School makes provision for pupils with EAL (English as an additional language), in line with the school’s ethos and with legislative requirements (the government’s main priority being to promote rapid language acquisition and include them in mainstream education as quickly as possible (DfE 2012a) and Equality Act 2010).

As a Catholic school, we at Trinity acknowledge that each person is unique and needs to feel safe, accepted, understood and valued in order to learn. For pupils who are learning English as an additional language this encompasses recognising and valuing their cultural, linguistic and educational background. Therefore, we are committed to meeting their individual educational needs, overall well-being and pastoral care. Furthermore, as bilingualism is a strength and language is at the heart of thinking, teaching and learning, we aim to provide the linguistic support necessary for individual to reach their potential.

At Trinity, having a home language other than English is viewed as an asset and not a special educational need. Children who are acquiring English as an additional language are as able as any other children. Therefore, the teaching and learning planned and provided for them should be no less cognitively challenging.

However, the school also recognises that a child for whom English is an additional language may also have SEND and, when this is the case the EAL Department liaises closely with the SEND Department to effectively support the pupil.

Definition of EAL

The government definition of an EAL learner is anyone who has been exposed to a language other than English during early childhood ‘and continues to be exposed to this language in the home or in the community’. Thus, the term EAL is used to describe a diverse group of pupils for whom English is an additional language, who are connected and grouped together by their use of one or more languages other than English at home or within their community. However, it should be noted that although bilingual learners all use or have access to more than one language at home or at school, this does not necessarily imply full fluency in both, any or all languages.  (Aiming high: raising the achievement of minority ethnic pupils – DfES 0183/2003).

Therefore, EAL learners range from new arrivals to the UK who speak little or no English to young people who were born in the UK and speak English most of the time at home and school, but who also speak another language or other languages occasionally to extended family members. Even within the group of learners termed ‘new arrivals’ there is great diversity: they can be beginners, intermediate or advanced learners of English, arrive at any age and come from a range of educational and socio-economic backgrounds. Some EAL learners will have moved country voluntarily and some will have been forced to leave their country of birth.

If you require further information about the EAL provision at The Trinity Catholic School please contact the EAL Coordinator (l.steele@trinity.nottingham.sch.uk), or Miss C. McGrath (the designated member of the Senior Leadership Team) via the school office.

Points of contact for EAL

At The Trinity Catholic School the EAL Coordinator is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the EAL policy, and Miss C. McGrath (Assistant Headteacher on the Senior Leadership Team) has been nominated to act as a direct line manager for the EAL Department. All EAL provision is coordinated from the Emmaus Centre on Kingsbury Drive, situated between the school’s upper and lower school sites. However, all teachers participate in the teaching of the English language within the teaching of their own subject and all staff and school governors contribute to the implementation of the policy, which will be reviewed on a regular basis.

Identification and Assessment: Record keeping and review

The EAL Coordinator uses information from primary schools to identify pupils with EAL and visits the feeder primary schools within the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Multi-Academy Trust to discuss the pupils’ backgrounds and the provision that they have been supported with at the primary schools. For pupils who have got a place at The Trinity Catholic School from a primary school outside the trust, information regarding EAL needs and support is requested by phone.

Each pupil is given a spelling test and a reading age test at the start of Year 7. An EAL initial assessment (based on Hounslow materials) is also carried out on pupils who are new to English (who have been in the UK less than two years). The latter is used to assess a pupil’s oral, aural and written skills and also to gather information about a pupil’s linguistic background, the languages he or she speaks/understands, previous educational experience, family and other information such as favourite subjects and aspirations. All pupils with EAL who start at Trinity in-year are also assessed using the EAL initial assessment and either given the reading age test or assessed using EAL reading assessment resources if of a beginner level. Where possible, the pupil is also assessed in his or her home language.

An EAL Pupil Passport is created for pupils with EAL who start in-year and/or who are new to English and shared with staff as a document on the pupil’s individual profile on SIMS (the School’s Information Management System). All pupils for whom English is or was not the home language are defined as EAL (see ‘Definition’) and are recorded as being so on SIMS.

Parents/carers of pupils who are given specific EAL support during the academic year are invited to attend a meeting with the EAL Coordinator to review their child’s provision and progress. The EAL Coordinator and/or members of the EAL department are also in attendance at the Parents’ Evenings.


Research has shown that although it takes approximately 1-2 years to become fluent in informal, spoken English, it takes an average of 5-7 years to develop formal, written English to a proficient level and some pupils may require a longer period of time to acquire the latter. Therefore, the support that we provide at Trinity School reflects the pupils’ needs at different points of their English language development whilst promoting whole school inclusion.

Where possible, pupils who are new to English are integrated into mainstream subjects; enabling them to settle more smoothly into feeling part of the school, accelerating the development of oral fluency, building and developing social interactions and friendships, accessing the curriculum to which they are entitled and developing their subject-specific vocabulary in context.

EAL support is allocated according to pupil need. Coordinated by the EAL Coordinator, the main types of EAL provision provided by the school are:

  • Full-time education in classes through a differentiated curriculum with additional help and support by class teachers.
  • Withdrawn tailored intervention (one-to-one/small group) support delivered by a member of the EAL department staff.
  • New-to-English programme to teach and develop basic English vocabulary, grammar and literacy (one-to-one/small group).
  • Specific subject-related support, mainly at Key Stage 4 to ensure that pupils make progress towards achieving their targets.
  • Key Stage 5 EAL support classes, including IELTS preparation classes.
  • In-class support, with resources.
  • EAL guided reading groups (during whole school reading time).

Specific EAL support is provision additional to or different from the school’s ‘Universal Provision’ (the school’s differentiated curriculum) and is triggered by a pupil being new to English, initial EAL assessments, staff observations or raised concerns (supported by evidence) about pupils who are not making expected progress, despite receiving  differentiated learning opportunities.

Effectiveness of EAL provision

The Governing Body will monitor, review and report upon the implementation of the EAL policy during the course of the academic year. The impact of this policy and the EAL support provision at The Trinity Catholic School will be assessed using the analysis of pupil attainment and progress. This is evaluated through the school’s usual assessment and accountability procedures:

  • Raise Online, ALPS and 4Matrix.
  • Teacher assessments and the school’s tracking systems.
  • Standardised test (GCSE & A Level) analysis.
  • Use of DfE English language proficiency levels and standardised tests, such as reading tests.

Extra-curricular Clubs and Support

Inclusion for all pupils, including those with EAL, is something that the Trinity Catholic School is firmly committed to. The opportunity to access extra-curricular activities and attend school trips is offered to all pupils. Pupils with EAL are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities and, where needed, may be accompanied or supported in doing so by staff from the EAL Department. Furthermore, members of the EAL department staff are available to give learning/homework support in a lunchtime club in the Emmaus Centre.

Training in EAL

Our aim is to keep all members of the school staff informed and up-to-date with developments and relevant training related to pupils with EAL and this is done in a number of different ways:


  •  New teachers to The Trinity Catholic School and student teachers on placements at the school are invited to attend a presentation and receive training about EAL: to gain information about the EAL cohort at the school, meet the staff and be given some teaching strategies.
  •  Information is disseminated and staff training takes place during INSET days or at staff meetings.
  •  The EAL Coordinator and/or EAL Department staff attend training provided by the EAL Team at Nottingham City Council (IDEAL) and other organisations, such as EAL Nexus (The British Council).

Involvement of parents

Parents and carers and a child’s cultural and linguistic background are key to a pupil’s education and so keeping parents and carers informed and gaining their input and feedback is important to us. In the EAL Department, this is done through the review meetings, the presence of EAL staff at events attended by parents and carers, for example Parents’ Evenings and correspondence between home and school. Furthermore, parents and carers can make an appointment to see any member of staff, including the EAL Coordinator throughout the academic year.

Where appropriate and possible within resourcing, the school tries to provide interpreters for meetings (including Parents’ Evenings) and translations of important documentation to aid parents and carers in being kept abreast of events and also to facilitate and enhance the communication between home and school.

Involvement of pupils

The pupils with EAL who receive additional EAL support are regularly given the opportunity to voice their worries, wishes and how they feel that they are progressing. Yearly pupil voice surveys are also carried out. The results are then used to inform and influence the work of the EAL department.


As previously mentioned, the feeder primary schools will be visited by the EAL Coordinator, during which information will be gathered about pupils with EAL who will start Year 7 in the next academic year. Furthermore, non-feeder schools are contacted by phone to ascertain relevant information. Any of those pupils with EAL who are identified as benefitting from it are offered an EAL additional transition day. The EAL Coordinator also attends the Year 6 Parents’ Induction Evening.

Complaints procedure

Initial investigations into any complaints about EAL provision will be carried out by the EAL Coordinator and line manager for EAL from the Senior Leadership Team who will report back to the complainant through the normal complaints procedure. Should the complaint not be resolved at this juncture, it will be considered further by the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher or the Governor with responsibility for EAL and further recommendation may be made.


EAL English as an Additional Language
IDEAL Identity, Diversity and EAL team
IELTS International English Language Testing System
SENCO Special Educational Needs Coordinator
SEN Special Educational Needs
SEND Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
SIMS School’s Information Management System