Staff Handbook: Policies

Document owner: MGR

Last reviewed: May 2019

English as an additional language (EAL) policy

(Seniors, Juniors, Infants including EYFS)

Aims and Objectives

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 with the BGS Equal Opportunities Policy found in the staff handbook.

Bristol Grammar School’s EAL Policy is designed to support children who have English as an Additional Language i.e. pupils who have a home language other than English and/or first spoke a language other than English. Throughout this policy these pupils are referred to as EAL. EAL pupils at Bristol Grammar School come from a range of ethnic, economic and linguistic backgrounds.

It is the policy of the School that EAL pupils will have access to the whole school curriculum. Exceptional circumstances which may affect such access will be dealt with on an individual basis in consultation with the IS/JS Learning Support Coordinator or the SS Assistant Head  (Learning Needs).  

We are committed to all pupils being fully integrated into the School and due regard will be paid to individual needs, in consultation with parents, teachers and external agencies.

Admission Arrangements

Pupils with EAL should have equal opportunity to join Bristol Grammar School if they satisfy the School’s selection procedures. Parents/Guardians may be asked to contribute to any special resources. Parents/Guardians will be required to identify the pupil’s home language on the application form to the school. Parents/Guardians will be asked to let the School know if they believe that English is an additional language for their child when they complete the Learning Support Form. Such information will be acknowledged and appropriate arrangements made for the entrance tests.

Bristol Grammar School aims to:

Arrangements for Co-ordinating provision for EAL pupils

The teacher with responsibility for EAL in the IS and JS is the Learning Support Coordinator; in the SS the responsible teacher is the Assistant Head (Learning Needs). They are responsible for overseeing arrangements for the implementation and co-ordination of the EAL policy.

All staff are responsible for supporting EAL pupils in their learning within the classroom setting. Strategies may be sought in consultation with the teachers with responsibility for EAL.

In the EYFS, the Learning Support Coordinator will discuss with the key person how reasonable provision will be made for EAL children to have opportunities to develop and use their home language in play and learning while ensuring sufficient opportunities to learn and reach a good standard in English language. In turn, the key person will discuss with parents how they can help support the child’s language development at home.  If the child does not have a strong grasp of English language, the key person and Learning Support Co-ordinator will also work with parents to establish if there is any cause for concern about language delay by exploring the child’s skills in the home language.

Assessment of and Provision for EAL

Monitoring, Reviewing and Evaluation

Individual subject teachers undertake monitoring of pupil performance in line with School policy by marking of classwork, homework and tests, together with formal assessments in their subject area.  Teachers keep records to demonstrate pupil progress and produce written reports with targets and advice for the pupils.  Form Tutors review pupil progress and liaise with the teacher with responsibility for EAL with regard to EAL pupils presenting on-going difficulties or underachievement.

Appendix: Guide to EAL Stages

Stage 1 – Beginners/Post-Beginners

Beginners of English often go through what is called a ‘silent period’. At this stage, they are not confident and do not produce much English but they are absorbing and learning all the time. This period can last up to 6 months.

They may not be speaking a great deal of English but this does not mean that they do not understand the language being used around them.


Stage 2

Pupils at this stage are confident speakers of English, although they may make grammatical mistakes, especially in unfamiliar contexts. It is possible that they may not know common words outside a school setting. They will have more confidence and ability to participate in class discussions and group work. They will also be able to decode reasonably well and will be beginning to acquire writing skills.


Stage 3

At this stage, pupils will appear to be native English speakers on the surface and most will have been born in the UK. They will speak on a par with their monolingual peers and will be confident in their oral communications in most situations. Decoding will be easier and most basic texts will be understood but they will not be able to scan and skim texts efficiently with ease. There may be a significant difference between a pupil’s oral performance in class and their written work. Often, written work will be short, lacking detail and disorganised, without the expected range of technical vocabulary or subject specific language features.


Stage 4

Stage 4 pupils are very confident readers and writers of English and, for the most part, no longer qualify for EAL support. They will be independent learners and will usually not experience problems that are any different from their monolingual peers. However, they may sometimes have difficulty with colloquial phrases and sayings (also known as ‘nuances’, e.g. “pull your socks up!”) and may not understand their meaning.


Last updated

May 2019

Governors’ approval

October 2017