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ST. MARY’SChurch of England Primary School

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EAL (English as an Additional Language)

Percentage of EAL pupils at St. Mary'sComparison to National Average
81% (Summer 2, 2023)20.9%


EAL at St. Mary's

At St. Mary's a considerable proportion of our children enter the school speaking English as an additional language - 81% compared to the national average of just 20%.


We have a rich history of teaching children how to learn the English language. Our admissions records show that for the best part of 50 years, the area (alongside the docks), has welcomed those from countries far away and as a result the school has adapted its teaching pedagogy to support new learners.

A dedicated EAL teacher

We are fortunate to have a dedicated EAL teacher - CELTA qualified - who works alongside our children to assess, support and liaise with teachers to help ensure that pupils make progress quickly.


St. Mary's EAL Teacher

Mr Ronen Buchalter


Assessing new arrivals at St. Mary's

Meeting with parents

  • We ask parents to bring in any reports, school texts and exercise books from the pupil’s previous school.
  • We advise parents that the pupil may bring reading books in the first language to school.


Resources for the pupil

  • Provide pupils with a bilingual dictionary and dual language story books.
  • Provide pupils with an indexed ‘word book’ for noting down key words and definitions (or translations if the child knows the word in their first language). (Definitions could be written in English or in the first language, or the child could draw a picture to remind them of the meaning of the word).


Assessing the pupil's language acquisition

  • We use the NASSEA toolkit for assessing pupil's current EAL phase of learning - to support teachers in class as well as measuring progress pupils are making.
  • Our EAL teacher spends time observing in class, supporting pupils in small groups and withdrawal intervention to provide additional support.

Technology enables Independence

We know that children joining us, who are new to the country, already have a knowledge and skillset that we must try to understand.  

At St. Mary's we advocate for EAL new arrivals by providing tools - such as this OCR (optical character reader) that enables children to access subjects where they have the knowledge and skill - but not the language. This enables children to continue to excel in maths - unhindered by the language barrier.  These are distributed by our EAL teacher.

EAL Classes for Parents/Carers

September 2023 - EAL Classes 


Class Title and AudienceDay and Time:
Early English - new arrival parents, adults and young people who want to learn English.Every Tuesday morning at St. Mary's - 9am to 10am - School Hall
Intermediate Conversational English - a class to help you brush up on your spoken EnglishEvery Friday morning at St. Mary's - 9am to 10am - School Hall


We recognise that for new arrivals to the country, often parents and carers are not able to support their child in practising language because they too do not speak the language. To support our parents and carers in the community, our EAL teacher offers language lessons on site weekly. Mr Buchalter meets parents in groups, big or small, for conversational English classes. 


To find out more information - email Mr Buchalter here

Parents attending English classes must sign up with Mr Buchalter and sign in and be on time to lessons. 


  • Writing, reading and equipment provided free of charge.
  • Language classes introduced using technology and our dedicated EAL teacher.
  • Refreshments are provided for adults attending the classes.

EAL classroom support strategies

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