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English as an Additional Language

School Context

Joseph Cash is a larger than average primary school with 457 pupils on roll. Pupils are admitted into school from 2 years of age. Our school is situated in a culturally rich area. We are proud to welcome children from many different countries, religions and ethnicities – we serve a wonderful community. Our school serves a 'global majority' since 78% of our pupils are from non-white British heritages. A large number of our families come from Pakistan, India and Romanian, we also have families from Poland, Iran, North Africa and many other places! We are immensely proud of our community that work and learn together, our diverseness of cultures and faiths, enrich the work we do and the relationships we develop together.

At Joseph Cash over 30 different languages are spoken, 70% of children speak English as an additional language. Currently, after English, Panjabi and Romanian are most commonly conversed. 82.5% of children are from Ethnic minority groups, this is well above the national average. Many more children join our setting throughout the school year, compared with other schools, inward mobility for 2017/18 was 86 pupils (20%). The vast majority of transient pupils have limited English language skills upon arrival. Due to excellent provision, pupils who enter school with low levels of English catch up quickly and our school systems for early support, ensures that these pupils acquire appropriate language skills to be able to meet national expectations.


What if English isn't our first language?

If English isn't your family's first language, you may worry how your child will cope in an English-speaking school.

Schools are used to helping families where English is an additional language. A recent survey found that one in seven primary school pupils learns English as an additional language.

There is lots of evidence that bilingual children can do well at school. However, they - and you as parents - will need extra help, especially in the early days.

How can I help my child?

Your interest and involvement in your child's learning are the best ways you can help.

If you don't speak English the school should be able to provide an interpreter for parent-teacher meetings so you can find out what's going on.

Tell your child's teacher about their previous education. What kind of school did they go to? Which subjects does your child find easy or difficult? What did they like/dislike about their last school?

At home, talk to your child about what happens at school. Encourage them to teach you their new English skills - you could keep a notebook together with words in your first language, the English translation and how to say the words.

Your child is likely to pick up English very quickly - especially if they're primary school age. Studies show that being bilingual means your child is more likely to learn well and do well at school - it can be an advantage.

What help is available?

The government currently gives extra funding to schools to help them teach children with English as an additional language.

Current policy is to integrate new children into the classroom as quickly as possible, even if they have little English. In some schools, complete beginners are placed in special classes for English tuition for some periods, or full-time for the first few weeks.

After this, children are supported in the classroom. Our school employs a number of bilingual teaching assistants, these staff members currently support children across school whom speak the same first language.

Everyone involved - parents, teachers and pupils - should be aware that knowing little English does not mean a lack of potential to learn.