Best Practice

Supporting the transitions of students with EAL

How can secondary schools best support the transition of students with English as an additional language into year 7 and between key stages 3 and 4? Sarah Moodie advises

Secondary schools are busy environments all year, but especially in the first weeks of September and October. New students and teachers arrive. Teachers, subject classes, and tutor groups meet.

Parents of learners in year 6, meanwhile, are considering secondary school choices and year 7 teams are welcoming one new cohort while simultaneously preparing open evenings to recruit the next.

At this time, the school’s inclusive ethos needs to be at its most assertive, and the message that learners using English as an additional language (EAL) are welcomed and seen as an asset needs to resonate to all learners, parents, and carers, including prospective ones.

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