John Stainer

English as an

Additional Language

New arrivals whose first language is not English

Children who have lived in the UK for a long time and may appear to be fluent, but who also use another language at home.

Children who were born in the UK but for whom their home language is not English

Simultaneous bilinguals (those learning 2+ languages from birth)

At John Stainer, we celebrate the diverse range of cultures, languages and religions represented by our pupils, their families and the world in which we live. We are aware that having to learn a new language can be daunting for children and their families. So to ensure that each child’s needs are effectively met and to reduce the challenge that comes with learning English, from the onset, the head teacher and another member of the pastoral team meet with EAL children and their families. We value these meetings as we believe that they are the precursor to establishing a good relationship with our parents.

During these meetings, a profile is created for the child. This forms the first stage of their induction period as it provides an insight into the child’s personality, proficiency in their first language, experience of language at home, their educational background, including whether they have attended school before and whether they have any SEND. This also allows us to find out more about the child’s family, their interests and their experiences in their country of origin as well as in the community.

This provides relevant information which allows our staff to assess and track EAL children’s language skills, adapt their planning, engage other children sometimes in the form of talk partners or playground buddies, and tailor the learning environment to address the needs of our bilingual learners. This process has been proven to facilitate rapid progress in all areas of our EAL children’s learning.

To access a copy of our language proficiency framework please see below, which is included in our induction pack. This framework allows staff to work out children’s baseline level and track their progress towards fluency in English.

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Since October 2016, the DfE requires schools to include EAL proficiency levels on an A to E scale, with teachers using the ‘best fit’ model:  Eg:  A (New to English); B (Early Acquisition); C (Developing Competence); D (Competent); E (Fluent)

Targeted Interventions

We believe that language acquisition goes far deeper than immersing children into whole class, language rich sessions. We know that there are some exceptions as some aspects of English need to be taught discretely, through a communicative approach.  Our highly experienced staff, are trained to provide targeted interventions to ensure that these skills are taught. These sessions are short and focussed and may be done on a one to one or small group setting.

At John Stainer, we use Little Bridge alongside good quality first teaching, to ensure basic skills are not missed.

Our ethos and attitude here are John Stainer is such, that our children’s confidence is boosted and that children, including those with EAL, are able to thrive.

 Have a look at Littlebridge - one of our intervention resources

 Useful Websites

At John Stainer, we pride ourselves in making learning fun, interactive and engaging.  The following websites are useful in helping to learn English at home or at school.

Google Translate


A translation tool. Immediate translation of words and phrases into many different languages.


Another translation tool. Immediate translation of words and phrases into many different languages.

Little Bridge

Little Bridge is an online community where children learn key skills together using a shared language, English. Their gamified activities use the power of story-telling and take place in the context of a virtual town where students enjoy an immersive learning experience. Children are able access this resource from home as well as at school.

Language Nut

Languagenut is an exciting educational program which promotes a fun, simple and engaging approach to language learning for children.

MES English

A very useful resource for teachers or parents of young learners. Free flashcards, printable worksheets and handouts to match, phonics worksheets, printable ESL games, a printable project library, printable certificates, stickers to print  and other activities all ready for printing.

Spellings for Children with EAL

These are all very important words that children need to learn how to spell.

However, the word lists below are key vocabulary from our lesson sequences used with New Arrivals, or those at the early stages of learning English here at John Stainer.

We believe that learning to read and to write these words from an early stage will certainly help children with EAL to accelerate the process in which they communicate in English.

Click on the links, at the top of the page, to access the activities. Practise these by using the read, cover, write check method for at least 5 nights. Remember to join your handwriting if you can.