At St Thomas Cantilupe school we warmly welcome all children and their families. We are proud of our diverse and inclusive school.
We have many children who learn to speak English as an Additional Language (EAL) whilst simultaneoulsy learning through the medium of English. At St Thomas over 60% of our children are EAL, nationally this is 20.4% and in Herefordshire 8.7%. Our 'superdiversity' includes over 14 languages, children who have joined the school at times other than reception, children who have special education needs and those who are gifted. Our values of unity, perseverance and love enable each child to shine brightly.
|How do we support children who are new to English?|
When children first come to school we make sure that they have all they need in terms of uniform, a lunch and most importantly friends to help them to settle in. Children support one another as language ambassadors.
Parents are supported with completing forms, accessing online portals and making sure that children are registered with a GP.
In terms of learning, we have experienced staff who assess children's strengths and next steps. We then plan how we will support each child in the classroom and through working together with families. This support includes access to specific phonic programmes, Seesaw, Learning Village and the British Council website.
Every child and their family is included in four main ways:
- By having inclusive attitudes as a school
Children feeling safe, happy and settled is our priority.
|How do we support children and their families socially?|
Everyone being and feeling included is paramount. We do this through providing prayer spaces, additional parent meetings, careful seating plans, a language of the month, using translation apps and having additional welcome meetings.
|How do we support children and their families academically?|
We assess children using the British Picture Vocabulary Scale as well as using the Bell Foundation assessment. This helps us to ascertain children's starting points. We use visuals, widgits, pre teaching, graphic organisers and a range of other strategies to ensure academic progress. We place a strong emphasis on reading and use specific books which make a real difference to EAL learners. Parents are fully included in these strategies so that we can maximise learning for all.
|How do we ensure great teamwork between home and school?|
We find out about what your child likes, is unsure of, enjoys or worries about. We spend time getting to find out what matters to you. All children have opportuntities to join the many clubs that we offer, to share in special weeks, to be subject ambassadors and to lead worship. We offer lessons for parents to learn English and we warmly encourage the sharing cultures and celebrations.
|How do we promote linguistic inclusion?|
We give children additional time to pre-learn key language, to use symbols as well as words, to use gesture and buddies in order to make sure that they understand and can take an active part in learning. We use open questions, games, peer talk and a language rich curriculum to develop inclusion for all.