English as an Additional Language Support (EAL)

While respect for cultural diversity lies at the very heart of the mission of Northfields, our main working language is English, and each student needs to become a proficient user of English in order to access much of the curriculum.

Our main aims for EAL students are to:

  • Support students in the development of their proficiency in English, to enable them to effectively participate in mainstream academic activities.
  • Enable students to develop the confidence and skills necessary to become fully integrated in the social life of the school.
  • Provide support for the social and emotional needs of EAL learners
  • Offer support and training to teachers in differentiation for EAL learners, to ensure that lesson learning targets are made achievable by all learners
  • Gain proficiency in an additional language while supporting maintenance of their mother tongue and cultural heritage
  • develop a respect for, and understanding of, diverse linguistic and cultural heritages
  • enable the student to develop multiliteracy skills through the use of a range of learning tools, such as multimedia, in the various modes of communication
  • enable the student to recognize and use language as a vehicle of thought, reflection, self-expression and learning in other subjects, and as a tool for enhancing literacy
  • enable the student to understand the nature of language and the process of language learning, which comprises the integration of linguistic, cultural and social components
  • offer insight into the cultural characteristics of the communities where the language is spoken
  • encourage an awareness and understanding of the perspectives of people from their own and other cultures, leading to involvement and action in their own and other communities


Teachers across the curriculum work to support acquisition of English, as the language of instruction. Class teachers differentiate teaching and learning accordingly to enable EAL children to make best progress. To facilitate this process further, we develop an individual, comprehensive EAL programme to support learners who have had less exposure to English, or who speak English as a second, third or even fourth language. Our dedicated EAL coordinator provides additional support for children who do not have English as their first language.

EAL learners are accommodated in a variety of ways:

  • Individual monitoring once per week which includes reading, monitoring of progress on online programmes allocated, assessments of reading, writing, speaking, listening skills and appropriate focus on areas for development.
  • In-class support – whereby the EAL staff member supports the student in certain lessons
  • Small group lessons for primary students (Secondary school offers ESL classes for students below B2 level).
  • EAL club (after school English focusing on language usage)
  • Homework club (to support students with homework)