English as an Additional Language

Maharishi School

English as an Additional Language

knowledge is structured in consciousness


Maharishi School EAL Policy (Revised October 2016)

What is EAL?

EAL means English as an Additional Language – when a pupil speaks a home language other than English.

We are committed to providing appropriate and personalised support for all pupils with EAL. Throughout their time at school, we will provide pupils with the necessary means to access the curriculum. We will give children the opportunity to improve their fluency in speaking, reading, writing and understanding English.

Definitions of an EAL Learner :– “First language is the language to which the child was initially exposed during early development and continues to use this language at home and community. If a child acquires English subsequent to early development then English is not their first language no matter how proficient in it they become” DFES Guidance 2007.

Bilingual Learner:– “ Bilingual here is taken to mean all pupils who use or have access to more than one language at home or at school- it does not necessarily imply fluency in both or all languages” DFES Guidance 2007.

Advanced Bilingual Learner: – “Advanced Bilingual learners are pupils who have had all or most of their school education in the UK and whose oral proficiency in English is usually indistinguishable from that of pupils with English as a first language but whose writing may still show distinctive features related to the language background” DCFS 2009.


Maharishi School offers a broad and balanced curriculum taught in the spirit of the National Curriculum but not limited by it.  We promote entitlement for all children to a number of areas of learning and give them the opportunity to develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes that are necessary for their self-fulfilment and development as responsible citizens. We promote the principles of a consciousness based education for all through the diverse education that we provide in our school.

The aim of this policy is to help ensure that we meet the full range of needs of those children who are learning English as an additional language. This is in line with the requirements of the Race Relations Act 1976 and Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2001.

At Maharishi School teachers take action to help children who are learning English as an additional language by various means.

Developing their spoken and written English by:

  • ensuring that vocabulary work covers the technical as well as the everyday meaning of key words, metaphors and idioms;
  • displaying key vocabulary;
  • explaining how speaking and writing in English are structured for different purposes across a range of subjects;
  • providing a range of reading materials that highlight the different ways in which English is used;
  • ensuring that there are effective opportunities for talking, and that talking is used to support writing;
  • encouraging children to transfer their knowledge, skills and understanding of one language to another;
  • building on children’s experiences of language at home and in the wider community, so that their developing uses of English and other languages support one another

Ensuring access to the curriculum and to assessment by:

  • using accessible texts and materials that suit children’s ages and levels of learning;
  • providing support through ICT, video or audio materials, dictionaries and translators, readers and amanuenses;
  • using the home or first language where appropriate;
  • setting targets in literacy for targeted children

Curriculum access

All children at Maharishi Primary School follow a broad and balanced curriculum in line with the expectations of the National Curriculum. Children with English as an additional language do not produce separate work, unless within a focused target intervention group. We do withdraw children from lessons to receive EAL support in order to support those children who are targeted and in need of additional small group work, in addition to those children who are new to English.

In the Foundation Stage we plan opportunities for children to develop their English, and we provide support to help them take part in activities. The Foundation Stage helps children learning English as an additional language by:

  • building on children’s experiences of language at home and in the wider community, so that their developing uses of English and of other languages support one another;
  • providing a range of opportunities for children to engage in speaking and listening activities in English with peers and adults;
  • providing bilingual support to extend vocabulary;
  • providing opportunities for children to hear their home languages as well as English.

Strategies for working with children new to English  

  • Provide lots of hands on experience so children can learn the new language through participating in activities that support cognitive development.  
  • Teach newly arrived child useful words and phrases (enabling language) and the routines of the classroom in order for them to communicate with their peer group.  
  • Additional visual support is provided e.g. Visual timetable, communication fans, gestures, pictures, photographs, posters, objects and demonstrations.  
  • Classroom activities have clear language and learning objectives, use of appropriate resources and support where available to enable pupils to participate and access the curriculum in all areas.  
  • Key language features are identified in all curriculum areas for e.g. language structures, key vocabulary and forms of text.  
  • Create a language rich environment.  
  • Display positive images of people from ethnic minorities.