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English as an Additional Language – helping pupils and their parents

EAL – English as an Additional Language

According to the Department for Education, English is now the second language for 1.1 million pupils in the UK

A research project conducted in the London borough of Ealing recently found that “there are 150 different languages spoken in Ealing schools. Currently Somali is the most frequently spoken language after English, after which the most common are Panjabi, Polish, Urdu, Arabic and Tamil.”

You can read the full report here: https://eal.britishcouncil.org/information/eal-nexus-research-parental-engagement

There were several recommendations to help schools improve their parental engagement:

  • more language support for parents
  • commitment by schools to enhance communication with parents by operating a ‘language aware’ policy for all staff
  • publications for parents in plain English, jargon free, with helpful illustrations of e.g. uniform items/games kit/school meals and so on
  • homework clubs including parents, with guidance from teachers about how and in what ways they could support their children’s learning activities
  • constant revision and development of EAL curriculum
  • clear explanations of dominant methodological and child development theories including attitudes to reward and punishment, customised to the local demographic.

English as an Additional Language – Resources

Below are some interesting and varied resources and ideas for improving EAL policies and practice in schools to help both the children and the parents.

*From the UK Department of Education – Developing Quality Tuition, Effective practice in schools EAL


 *Some great tips from three EAL teachers at the Cult of Pedagogy in the USA – 12 Ways to Support ESL Students in the Mainstream Classroom


*A little bit of guidance for parents from the BBC website – English as an additional language:

*Education Scotland has some great ideas – along with lists of resources and up-to-date case studies and sharing of best practice:

*National Association for Language Development In the Curriculum – Funding for EAL

*Help from Australia: The EAL Handbook – Advice to schools on programs for supporting students learning English as an Additional Language http://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/school/teachers/teachingresources/diversity/eal/eslhandbook.pdf

*Communication Across Cultures – resources to purchase for your school:

*Top Tips from Leicestershire County Council: http://www.leics.gov.uk/mind_the_gap_booklet_2.pdf

*Malden Manor Junior School also has some good resources: http://www.maldenmanor.kingston.sch.uk/61/families-with-english-as-an-additional-language-eal

* Tips from the  TES:

*Online Resources from Learning Village – free demo and can be managed by teachers or parents:


10 Reasons Why Parent Feedback is Important

10 Reasons why Parent Feedback is Important

1. With Ofsted inspectors now required to consider any stakeholder feedback collected by the school, it is essential that schools get parent feedback quickly and efficiently.

2. Parents who take part in surveys are more likely to understand and support any particular approaches that are being used in school and will support these strategies at home.

3. Parents who get involved take a greater role in their child’s education and activities around schooling, which leads children do better academically and socially.

4. Parents’ positive perception highly influences their children’s perception of school, which, in turn, positively contributes to students’ academic, social, and emotional learning. Being asked their opinions can help this positive perception.

5. By sharing their views, parents may well be providing useful insights for the school.

6. Surveys will provide invaluable evidence for your School Self Evaluation, Ofsted Inspection and School Development Planning. Your school can ensure that you have the full views of all of your parents ready for when Ofsted visit.

7. Find out what policies and decisions parents are and are not supportive of in your school

8. Using effective channels of communication and getting parents involved in decisions helps to build strong relationships and encourages involvement in the child’s learning and progress.

9. Making parents feel involved by asking their opinions may solicit other good ideas and suggestions from them

10. Asking parents’ views on school issues on a regular basis can lead them to communicate or offer help in other ways too. This can benefit the school in many ways – eg. volunteering, fundraising and attending meetings.

11 Things you can do with a Jigsaw School App

1. Tell parents about your events. If you put in a date and time they can save it to their phone’s calendar – and even set themselves a reminder. Result? More parents at your events!

2. Get urgent news to parents quickly – everyone has their smartphone with them – wherever they are. So, get hold of parents and carers quickly when there’s an emergency – the boiler is broken or there’s six feet of snow outside the door! You can send a push notification that alerts those with your app that there is something new.

3. Stop bombarding parents with useless information – you can categorise your news and other messages into groups. So, for example, if a parent does not have a child in Year 7 or the football team they can choose to switch those messages off.

4. Get fast parent feedback – our survey feature allows you to set questions with multiple choice answers and will result in faster replies. No more paper surveys that never come back, no more asking busy parents to go and look on the website and fill something in. Good news when looking at Parent View for OFSTED

5. Send messages that are longer than texts, can have pictures in them and cost nothing – you can send as many messages as you want and there is no per-message charge as with the old text-based systems. Just a straightforward yearly subscription per school.

6. Reach hard-to-reach parents – an app with a translation service means parents can choose which language they read your content in.  We have over 80 languages to choose from. You can increase parental engagement and make everyone feel included.

7. Make your newsletters and other big documents available – you can put your newsletters, lunch menus, homework timetables in the app. Anything that can be converted to a pdf file can be made available in your app!

8.Reach most smartphones – some apps only cover iPhones and Android devices – but ours also cover Windows phones. This means that most parents with a smartphone can download your app for free! Don’t miss anyone out!

9. Have your contact details within easy reach – parents won’t need to look up your email or phone number – they can reach you directly from your contact page. They can press a button to phone you, email you, go to your website or look you up on the map – all from your contact screen.

10. Be easy to find in the app store – we will custom brand your app with your colours, photos and logos and it will appear under your name in the relevant app stores. What could be easier for parents?

11. Have complete control! We will give you access to an easy-to-use control panel and all content will be added by you. As soon as you put something in there and press send – it appears in the apps. No waiting around for someone else to add your content. Instant access and control for you.

Did you know that smartphone adoption is happening  ten times faster than the PC boom of the 80s, two times faster than the internet boom of the 90s and three times faster than the recent social network adoption? So, what are you waiting for? Get your own School App today!