English as an Additional Language Policy

                   English as an Additional Language Policy

Name of Policy

EAL policy

Reviewed by

Isabelle Alexander


September 2023

Date of next Review

September 2024

This policy applies to Junior School, Senior School and EYFS

Stepping in: we aim for every girl to feel known, supported, confident and able to shine at Wimbledon High.
Striding out: we aim for every girl to leave us prepared to shape the society in which she lives and works.

Senior School

Whilst the majority of bilingual pupils in the Senior School are fluent in English when they join, we are increasingly aware of small numbers who may require additional support. It is important to be alert to the fact that EAL needs may surface as our very competent pupils progress in their education.


EAL pupils are supported in order to enable access to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum, and are encouraged to play a full part in class and extra-curricular activities. Bilingualism and multiculturalism are assets that are actively supported and celebrated with, for example, bilingual girls sitting public examinations in those languages according to stage not age, an annual Heritage Week run by the girls to celebrate our multicultural school and themed catering days.

Year  teams work alongside the Head of the Neurodiversity and the Assistant Head Academic in identifying and then supporting students with EAL needs. Plans are made on a case-by-case basis, working in combination with parents or guardians and, increasingly, the nearby Wimbledon School of English. 


The aims of this EAL policy are:

  • to enable all pupils to participate in the full range of school life and activities, and to succeed to their individual potential;
  • to create a positive learning environment;
  • to reflect through the whole-school ethos the value placed on diversity and the respect accorded to all individuals;
  • to support EAL needs as a collective, whole-school responsibility, believing that all teachers are teachers of pupils with individual needs.


EAL assessment and provision is co-ordinated, in conjunction with the Head and SMT, by the Head of Neurodiversity and Heads of Year.

The Head of Neurodiversity ensure that:

  • School staff are provided with any necessary guidance and support relating to effective teaching approaches and materials.
  • EAL pupils are advised on first language examinations, in consultation with the exams officer.
  • Parents/guardians are involved in decision-making.


There is no additional specific provision for girls with English as an Additional Language beyond that described above.  Where needs could be identified that exceed our ability to provide, parents will be given advice on possible sources of help, which they would have to access outside of the school. Bursary students would always be assisted with relevant funding as required. 


In addition to the provisions outlined in this policy, students seeking further support with their English language acquisition can find additional resources and assistance as follows:

  1. Subject-Specific Vocabulary and Key Terms: For each subject, a comprehensive list of subject-specific vocabulary and key terms is available on Firefly and can be found here: Key Terminology by Subject
  2. Referral to Wimbledon School of English (WSE): In instances where a student's English language proficiency requires additional intervention beyond what is provided within the school, the following steps will be taken to refer the student to Wimbledon School of English:

a. Initial Assessment: The Head of Year (HoY) will conduct a round-robin assessment via CPOMS to identify the need for intervention.

b. Parental Contact: If a need for intervention is identified across multiple subjects, parents will be contacted to discuss the findings and potential next steps.

c. Ten-Week Intervention Plan: An initial ten-week intervention plan, including an assessment at WSE, will be proposed and discussed with parents. This intervention plan will outline suggested measures to support the student's English language development.

d. Financial Considerations: It is important to note that the cost of the intervention at WSE is to be borne by the parents, unless the student is eligible for a bursary. This aspect should be communicated sensitively to the parents during the discussion of intervention options.

e. Confidentiality: In line with the ND process for referrals (ND at WHS) , teachers should refrain from directly discussing the potential need for EAL intervention with the student or parents. Instead, any concerns should be referred to the HoY and Assistant Head (AH) Academic for further assessment and action.

By providing clear avenues for accessing subject-specific resources and outlining the steps for referral to external support services such as Wimbledon School of English, we aim to ensure that all students receive the necessary assistance to thrive academically at WHS.

Junior School


At WHS EAL pupils are supported in order to enable access to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum, and play a full part in class and extra-curricular activities. Bilingualism and multiculturalism are assets that are actively supported and celebrated.


For the purpose of planning appropriate provision and communication between staff and parents, EAL pupils’ competence in English is assessed at the beginning of term in Reception. This is carried out through 1:1 and small group conversations. For all other year groups this is through verbal or written reading comprehension as appropriate.


In the EYFS at WHS we encourage children to develop language (home and English) through play and other meaningful learning opportunities. Children are surrounded in a rich language environment where English is modeled by both adults and their peers which supports the development of a good standard in English. Children are given the confidence to communicate using their developing and newly acquired language skills whilst also valuing communication in their home language. As part of our curriculum we invite families into school to share celebrations from their own cultures or home countries which can lead to the sharing of other languages.


In addition to quality first teaching across the curriculum, within the Junior School we support EAL pupils to improve their English language skills through a range of co-curricular activities such as chatterbox club, preparation for English Speaking Board assessments, debating club and  creative writing club.


Children are not regarded as having a learning difference solely because the language or form of language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught. However, when EAL pupils do not make anticipated progress this may indicate learning differences. Once reasonable adjustments have been implemented in the classroom, if there has been no progression then the school’s usual cause for concern process will be triggered.


Staff are alert to actual or potential high ability in EAL pupils, and they are identified and supported appropriately.