We celebrate cultural diversity, value language background of all children and understand advantages of being bilingual. We also recognise that if a child develops good use of home language, they are in a better position to achieve high competence in English and succeed in school.
That is why we encourage families to use their first language with their children. If children understand an idea or know e.g. a fairy tale in their home language, they will easily pick up the English word that means the same thing or understand the story. We appreciate then how much you can help your child do well in school by reading and talking to them in the home language. Please choose a leaflet below to find out more about bringing up children bilingually.
At St Swithun Wells School, we have a number of pupils who use English as an additional language. It may mean that they speak a different language at home and are fluent in it. However, it also refers to pupils who may speak little of their home language, but are exposed to their parents and relatives speaking it to each other. Apart from English, we have 20 other languages and they include (arranged in order from the biggest number of speakers in our school): Polish, Malayalam, Spanish, Slovak, French, Italian, Portuguese, Tagalog, Greek, Urdu, Igbo, German, Cantonese, Shona, Zulu, Ga, Romanian, Maltese, Amharic, Luganda, Depending on a child’s individual needs, we use a range of strategies to support children with EAL in their learning.
For families who are newly arrived in the country or are not familiar with the British education system, please read the leaflet below.
Young Interpreters is an award winning scheme in which children from KS2 that are excellent speakers of English, both monolingual and bilingual, support children who are newly arrived in the country or those who speak a different language at home and are not yet confident using English. Young Interpreters spend time reading books and playing games with their buddies, helping them make friends and develop English in a fun way. At the same time, Young Interpreters themselves are learning how to be more empathetic, caring and good communicators.