HEAD OF ENGLISH AND EAL FACULTY - MRS CHARLOTTE BROOME - CBR@cheney.oxon.sch.uk
Laura Stafford – SEN Literacy Co-ordinator
Sam Terry – Principal Teaching Assistant of English and Literacy
Jamshid Shahin –Teaching Assistant of EAL and Literacy
Catherina Lincoln – Teaching Assistant of EAL and Literacy
James Askew – EAL Teaching Assistant
Cheney has over 400 bilingual students and though not all students require additional help with their English language, a large number are supported by the EAL Department.
Bilingual students at Cheney come from a diverse range of backgrounds. Many are from the local ethnic minority community. Others are children of parents at university in Oxford. Some are asylym seekers or refugees. Others are here short-term, accompanying aprents who are contracted to one of the nearby hospitals.
Bilingual students benefit from Cheney’s unique EAL support. The international aspect of the school’s community makes it an exciting environment for all students.
ENGLISH AS AN ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE AT CHENEY
The EAL department provides language support in three main ways.
As interventions – on a 1:1 basis and in very small groups; this support has been particularly effective for new comers who arrive at Cheney with very little English;
As a Taught Subject – Cheney is unique in Oxford offering EAL as a timetabled option. There are currently 50 students studying in the EAL option groups. Once again, we have seen from the 2015 exam results that the intensive focus, particularly on reading and writing, significantly improves the performance of bilingual students through to GCSE. Also, having an EAL option at KS4, allows students to receive additional support in English, Maths and Science. All students following these courses, in the past, achieved higher grades than they were predicted, a number achieved A and A*.
In Class Support – EAL Staff liaise with subject teachers to support bilingual students across the curriculum, with particular emphasis on English, Maths, Science and Humanities. Support is given using differentiated materials/tasks and through translations by bilingual staff.
Homework Clubs - We currently run homework clubs open to all EAL students during the lunch hour and after school.
GCSE Achievements – A number of bilingual students achieved 5 or more higher GCSE grades and are now following AS Level, and BTEC courses. Some bilingual students were able to take GCSEs and A2s in their first language. In most cases the success rate has resulted in A and A* grades.
Support will be concentrated in Key Stages 3 and 4 , help is also available for the increasing number of bilingual students staying on for Years 12 and 13 and those who transfer into Year 12 from other schools.
A WHOLE SCHOOL APPROACH
It is Cheney’s policy to ensure that bilingual students have equality of opportunity in accessing the curriculum. Staff within the department are committed to raising the achievement of bilingual students. To this end, we work in partnership with outside agencies such as: the Connexions Service, Jacari and The Children’s Society, to overcome any barriers to learning that students may present. The school ensures that level of language is not mistaken for level of ability and the EAL department liaises with other departments to place bilingual students in appropriate sets. This process begins at admission meetings with the Head of the EAL department being present at the initial interview along with EAL staff. School communications to parents can be translated into the main community languages by our bilingual staff. Interpreters are drafted in from outside for other languages, when necessary.
Bilingualism is valued highly at Cheney. Students are encouraged to sit GCSE and A levels and in their home language. In some cases these exams can be taken a year or two early.