Aim of the Department
The aim of the department is to develop the English language proficiency of the targeted pupils so that support is no longer required.
By working with specific departments on curriculum differentiation the aim is access for all and the promotion of strategies and materials which will help mainstream teachers meet the needs of bilingual learners.
Support at St. Mark’s
Most of the work with the pupils consists of in-class support and some withdrawal of small groups. Materials are adapted and added to schemes of work. The department liaises with the pupil’s subject teachers in terms of additional materials and strategies. The needs of each targeted pupil and the setting of learning aims are monitored termly.
In addition to this the department recognizes that newly arrived pupils often find it very difficult in the first few weeks. Support is given to these pupils as much as possible to help them understand the school system and integrate into the school life.
The department runs a homework club open to all EAL students after school. The EAL students can come and get help with homework and use the computers or reference materials. In addition the department runs an ‘open door’ policy and the EAL room is open before school. During these times the EAL pupils can get help with homework or use any of the facilities.
GCSEs / A Levels in Other Languages
Some bilingual pupils are able to take a GCSE or A Level in their own language at St. Mark’s. We cannot offer extra classes in these languages but some of the pupils attend classes in their own language at weekends or evenings arranged outside the school. Unfortunately it is not possible to take GCSEs or A Levels in all the languages spoken at St. Mark’s.
Home School Links
The E.A.L. Department is responsible for establishing and maintaining Home School Links for targeted pupils. Parents of EAL pupils are welcome to contact the department if they have any concerns.
Languages at St. Mark’s
At St. Mark’s we are lucky to have a wealth of languages and cultures. The number of pupils speaking another language or coming from a bilingual background in years seven to thirteen is over 600. There are over 50 languages spoken by the pupils. The main languages are Polish, Konkani (Goa), Tagalog (Philippines), Portuguese, Italian, Spanish and French Creole.