In recent years, we have seen an increase in the number of children with English as an additional language (EAL) in our school, and we know that, without adequate support or provision, these pupils could become disengaged and isolated.
At Holy Family & St. Michael's, we firmly believe that children for whom English is not their first language are as able as any other children, and that the learning experiences we plan for them should be no less challenging. To ensure the good progress of EAL children in our school, we ensure that EAL support is embedded into every aspect of the school curriculum.
This year, we are to become the first school in the Wakefield area to implement the award-winning ‘The Young Interpreter Scheme,’ through which a group of our children will be trained to support new arrivals in our school.
This scheme provides additional support to pupils who are learning English as an Additional Language (EAL), to their families and to the school community. It recognises the huge potential that exists within our school community for pupils of all ages to use their skills and knowledge to support new learners of English into HFSM, so that they feel safe settled and valued from the start.
Young Interpreters undergo specific training to prepare for this very special role and are selected on the basis of different personal qualities they may have. The support they can offer to a newly-arrived pupil can be very reassuring from a parent or carer’s point of view, especially at a time when their child may be adapting to substantial changes.