Learning English


With over 10 nationalities making up our school community our classes are rich with multi-cultural diversity. We celebrate this diversity at the same time as realising that some students will need extra support with their English language when they join us.

Many of our pupils already speak enough English to access our curriculum, but for those who cannot we provide support both within the mainstream classroom and in separate specialist classes as necessary. Our staff are extremely experienced in welcoming children and parents from all around the world for whom English is not their mother tongue. We deal with children of all levels, from those who do not speak or understand a word, to those who simply need a little extra support with spelling or grammar. We are very practiced in assessing children coming from different educational backgrounds and systems and being aware of how that can initially impact on their learning in the classroom.


An individual approach

We are here to listen to those concerns and to help you and your child settle into school as quickly and smoothly as possible. That process starts from the very first time that you contact the admissions department. We treat all children as individuals and work hard to ensure that we fully understand the specific situation and needs of all our students.

What is the EAL programme used?

Learning English as a foreign language is different to learning English in a school where all the lessons are taught in English. Your child has to learn English to communicate (social purposes) and also English for all the different subjects (academic purposes).

Students who are new to learning English will begin by learning vocabulary needed to express their everyday needs and for normal school life. This will then be built upon as they progress and gain in knowledge and confidence. The level of support given to EAL beginners will be more intense when they first join UWIS and a wide range of resources will be used to support learning. The children also need to be able to work in their classroom on the same lessons as their classmates. Of course this is not easy when you are at the early stages of understanding and using English. So the class teachers differentiate the lessons to enable all children to take part.

The EAL teachers also work in classrooms with the class teacher. The EAL teacher will focus on the English language development and the class teacher the subject content. Together they meet the needs of an EAL learner.