English as an additional language (EAL)

The EAL Faculty

Harlington School has a diverse population with over 40 different ethnicities and around 50 languages spoken; over 75% of our students are recognised as EAL. The biggest ethnic group within our EAL pupils is Asian Indian with 20% of entire cohort, followed by Black Somali 15% and White European 10%. Our other ethnicities include Pakistani, Afghan and many others. Our purpose is to make sure that each and every EAL student receives appropriate support and acquires the English language necessary to continue his/her future education and integrate successfully within Harlington School and the wider community.

Harlington School has a team of devoted EAL Learning Support Assistants and EAL teachers who speak various languages. EAL specialists take part in the admissions process to make sure that the needs of the EAL students are recognised and catered for instantly. EAL students are placed in a form with a speaker of the same language whenever possible, and new EAL students are assessed within the first weeks at school so that an appropriate intervention programme can be put in place.

Early stage learners of English join our Ascension School where the pupils are taught English, Maths, Science and Humanities by a group of dedicated teachers within the EAL department. The aim is to teach students literacy, numeracy, key words and key concepts from a range of subjects, with the intention of equipping them with the necessary skills to fully integrate them within the mainstream school as soon as possible. Students should also gain social and cultural confidence which will support them in their ability to move around the school independently and create social relationships with their peers speaking English.

Students who are beyond the beginner’s stage, join mainstream lessons in most subjects but attend English classes delivered by EAL teachers; they follow the same curriculum as their peers, however, it is structured specifically to give EAL pupils access to the high literacy content required.

Students who speak different languages are given the opportunity to gain a GCSE or A Level qualification in that language wherever possible. For learners at the intermediate stages of English language development, we also offer IGCSE ESL exams.

We also recognise that families of students at Harlington may need support and communication in a home language. Where possible, we provide translators at parents’ evenings and make contact in the home language.