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Feyisa Demie Adviser for School Self-Evaluation and Head of Research & Statistics Unit, Lambeth LA Amanda Bellsham-Revell – EAL Consultant EAL National.

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Presentation on theme: "Feyisa Demie Adviser for School Self-Evaluation and Head of Research & Statistics Unit, Lambeth LA Amanda Bellsham-Revell – EAL Consultant EAL National."— Presentation transcript:

1 Feyisa Demie Adviser for School Self-Evaluation and Head of Research & Statistics Unit, Lambeth LA Amanda Bellsham-Revell – EAL Consultant EAL National Conference Institute of Education, University of London 13th March 2013 RAISING THE ACHIEVEMENT OF PUPILS WITH EAL : GOOD PRACTICE IN LAMBETH SCHOOLS

2 Outline 1.Background to Lambeth good practice research 2.The aim of Lambeth Research 3.Research Methodology 4.Successful practice 5. Conclusions

3 Why English as an Additional Language (EAL) Matters? Policy makers ’ concerns There is a growing bilingual population in England and it has increased by 50% since The 2012 Schools Census indicated there are over 1 million EAL pupils in England. This is about 15% of the school population (DfE, 2012) Over 200 languages are spoken in England’s schools But EAL is very unevenly distributed in England- across the country the range is from 4% in the South West to 52% in inner London

4 EAL Achievement Concerns A number of individual research studies have explored the relationship between EAL and attainment. For example Demie 2005; Demie and Strand 2006 analysis of a large sample of KS1, KS2 and GCSE data suggests that pupils who spoke English as an additional language scored significantly lower than those who spoke English as their first language. The studies confirm that pupils in the early stages of fluency perform at very low levels, while bilingual pupils who are fully fluent in English perform better, on average, than English-only speakers. DfE Key Stage 1, 2 and 3 data also shows show that pupils for whom English is a first language consistently outperform their peers for whom English is an additional language in all three core subjects. Somali, Bangladeshi, Polish and Portuguese pupils who achieved poor results were more likely to be relatively new to English. Underachievement of EAL pupils, particularly those not fully fluent in English, continues to be a concern for policy makers and schools.

5 Background to previous Lambeth Good Practice Research Much of the previous research has focused on issues of EAL underachievement. The emphasis on underachievement of pupils in national research overshadows those who do achieve and has resulted in EAL pupils being labelled as educational underachievers. Policy makers and schools need more evidence ‘on what works’ which is relevant to teachers’ practical concerns. However, there is little research into good practice in schools to raise achievement of EAL pupils. Lambeth Raising Achievement Research Projects 1.Raising the Achievement of Black Caribbean Pupils Raising the Achievement of Mobile Pupils The Achievement of African Heritage Pupils Raising the Achievement of Somali Pupils-2007 & Raising the Achievement of Portuguese Pupils Raising Achievement of White Working Class Pupils- 2008/ Raising Achievement: A study of Outstanding Schools Raising Achievement of Pupils with EAL /12

6 Research Questions 1.The aim of the Research The aim of the EAL research project was to investigate how schools have enabled pupils with EAL to achieve high standards and to identify significant common themes for success in raising achievement. It draws lessons from good practice research carried out in Lambeth Schools 2.Research Questions Why are the case study schools achieving well? What are the factors contributing to this success?

7 Research Methodology 1.Case studies and observations:  Six primary and three secondary schools were selected for case studies. Key criteria for the selection of schools were as follows: an above-average proportion of students with EAL. exceptionally good results, high standards and a sustained KS1 to KS2 and GCSE improvement over years Good KS2 and KS4 achievement by students with EAL  A detailed questionnaire was used to interview headteachers, staff, parents and pupils to gather evidence on the experience of children with EAL in the school 2.Focus groups: Headteacher, parent and pupil focus groups were carried out to ascertain their views about their experiences in the school.

8 Successful EAL Good Practice in case study schools in Lambeth Key question: What are the factors that contribute to this success of pupils with EAL? The research identified the following common characteristics of the successful schools: Strong leadership Overview of ethnic minority achievement held by senior leaders Whole school ethos recognising and embracing an understanding of EAL pedagogy and practice which promotes learning for all pupils Effective EAL strategies integral to high quality teaching and learning Effective use of data Partnership with parents Celebration of cultural diversity Well coordinated EAL targeted support through extensive use of: EAL teachers Teaching assistants Learning mentors

9 Success factors: Strong and inspirational leadership All schools demonstrate ‘outstanding’ leadership by the headteacher and senior management teams. Each is supported by a committed team of teachers. Leaders are described as ‘inspirational’ and ‘visionary’. Each has a strong moral drive for pupils to succeed whatever their background. One Headteacher commented:  'Whatever backgrounds the children come from, we want to ensure they succeed. All pupils are given the opportunity'.  'We aim to ensure the cultural and linguistic heritages of pupils are welcomed and valued within the school curriculum.'  ‘We are very good in using data and monitoring progress and this has been useful in identifying pupils with EAL who are underachieving.’  ‘We are mindful that EAL children are not seen as SEN pupils. There is a well established system in the school to differentiate between EAL and SEN pupils using staff highly trained in assessment.’ A strong culture of self-evaluation pervades all areas of the school Focus on high standards and the needs of the individual child The views of pupils, parents are sought regularly, are much valued and used to inform worthwhile changes. There is a high commitment to ensuring that pupils with EAL are included in all activities and the care and concern for all pupils is of a high priority.

10 Success factors: Effective use of data for self-evaluation Data is used as a driving force to raise standards. All schools have high quality assessment and tracking, target setting procedures for individuals and groups. Background data such as ethnicity, language spoken, EAL level of fluency in English, date of admission, attendance rate, free school meals, SEN stage,, years in school, attendance rate and types of support are well used. This was further confirmed in one case study school as follows: ‘The school has a good system for assessing and mapping the progress of pupils with EAL at individual and group level. A wide range of data on English levels of fluency and National Curriculum levels are analysed by ethnicity, levels of fluency in English and gender, enabling the school to identify support needs and organise the deployment of resources appropriately, whether for pupils with EAL or underachieving groups.’ (deputy head) Use robust data from a range of tests and assessments e.g. CATs, KS2, KS3 and GCSE assessment data to set targets/ appropriate lessons Data is used to decide priorities- planning, reviewing activities including resourcing priorities, school improvement priorities, monitoring, evaluating, reviewing effectiveness of initiatives and strategies: ‘Data should be used as a lever for change. We are a school that is effective in the use of data, is responsive, and able to act on what data tells us.’ (Headteacher)

11 Success factors: School ethos Each school has a different model of teaching for their children with EAL, but all have a holistic approach and shared vision, where every member of staff is a teacher of EAL, supported by those with specialist knowledge. It is integral rather than additional to the work of the school It does not come under the umbrella of SEND

12 Success factors: School ethos The interviews revealed this is a vision shared by staff, parents and children, that it is a conversation between all. ‘The key thing about EAL is that it permeates everything we do. It isn’t an add-on. It has to be part of the school culture …. the provision for the pupils is the responsibility of everyone.’ ( Senior leader) ‘We always have a focus on language everywhere – all staff.’ (Teacher) ‘…it’s consistent, we model and re-model everywhere in lessons and out in the playground.’ (Teaching assistant) ‘We adjusted our curriculum map after listening to suggestions from parents.’ (Teacher)

13 Success factors: School ethos ‘We interact. If you want your child to learn then we need to work together.. as a team.’ (Parent) Children: ‘She does it first on the board on a different subject so that we don’t copy it and then we do it on our own.’ ‘Group work – every person has different ideas and that helps you make your work better than if you did it by yourself’ ‘Your partner has words and knows the language and you put your ideas together and learn the language and become better.’ ‘They tell us the truth about our work. They don’t hide it.’

14 Success factors: Teaching and learning ‘..it is not about EAL teaching but recognising that high quality teaching encompasses EAL strategies and practice.’ Underpinned by: An understanding of EAL pedagogy and practice which is considered integral to high quality teaching by all. Role of training and its implementation to build sustainability.

15 Success factors: Teaching and learning Withdrawal only for immediate needs of new arrivals or in time-limited programmes to address very specific needs. A school-tailored curriculum which is not only accessible to all but leads to them being ‘… enthused about their learning, seeing and doing rather than just listening.’ Thorough information-gathering and assessment processes for new- arrivals and to inform teaching of content and language. Focus on English development in class and across the curriculum, both vocabulary and sentence structure. Emphasis on modelling, planned and scaffolded talk. Use of collaborative and active learning. Recognition and teaching of the different needs of new arrivals and the more advanced learners of English, of social and academic language.

16 Success factors: Targeted support By EAL specialist teachers and teaching assistants. Partnership teaching Interventions: Identification of barrier to learning – language barrier or specific learning need determining nature of intervention EAL - specific programmes Subject-specific interventions adapted for an EAL context Planned to meet identified needs, time-limited and evaluated. Close liaison with class teachers to ensure meaningful context and application in classroom work. Use of first and shared languages

17 Success factors: Partnership with parents Partnerships with parents is a key component of the schools’ success. All schools have strong links with parents and the communities - parents feel valued and respected by the school and describe it as ‘family’. reflect the local communities they serve, but also draw upon their knowledge and skills. enable parents to become active participants in their children's learning developing partnerships, rather than ‘engagement’.

18 Success factors: Partnership with parents ‘My school helps us use Fronter at home. When you’ve got homework, my mum looks to see what I’m learning at school so we can talk and if it’s hard she can help. The teachers put websites for to help you learn English and lists of free museums.’ (Child) ‘The school involves parents very fruitfully, both as part of the community and in developing their children’s learning.’ (Ofsted) ‘We have to be strong together to keep this school like this.’ (Parent)

19 Conclusions Common characteristics of the successful schools: Strong leadership Overview of ethnic minority achievement held by senior leaders Whole school ethos recognising and embracing an understanding of EAL pedagogy and practice which promotes learning for all pupils Effective EAL strategies integral to high quality teaching and learning Effective use of data Partnership with parents Celebration of cultural diversity Well coordinated EAL targeted support


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