Inner city school ready to teach English as a second language to all students

The Yorkshire Post is reporting that every teacher at a Leeds school has been trained to take part in an innovative programme to teach English as an additional language to all its pupils – even native English speakers…

City of Leeds School attracted national publicity earlier this year after the Yorkshire Post revealed the plan to help raise standards in a school where less than a quarter of children have English as a first language and the majority are new to the country within four years

Now it has a plan in place to teach English as a foreign language through an extra lesson every week.

Teachers in all subjects have been given training to deliver the English language classes…

Head teacher Georgiana Sale said: “It will be done in groups who will be in stages not ages so you might have a pupil in year seven alongside someone in their GCSE year if their ability to speak and read English is the same.”

Ms Sale said the solition had been developed because of the proportion of pupils at the inner city school who are new to the language. However the decision has been taken to extend this to all children in the school in order to help improve performance. Last year, just over a quarter of its pupils achieve the national benchmark of five good GCSEs, including English and maths – one of the lowest scores of any state school in Yorkshire. However Ms Sale it was unfair to expect the school to reach national averages in English when so many pupils were new to the language. She said it did achieve national targets in both science and maths despite the language barrier being faced by students. “As far as I am aware there is nothing like this which has been done before so we have had to write all the material and do the training ourselves – with the help of Leeds Metropolitan University.

“One of the things which is nice about this is that the whole school is involved from the woodwork teacher to the school chef who is going to come in and help as an assistant. It will help us to get the message across to everyone at the school that learning English is vitally important.”…

More at: Inner city school ready to teach English as a second language

 

This school received quite a lot of grief when they first announced the idea of teaching all students English as a foreign language but does not what they are doing seem to have a lot of merit? Is it not better to stop splitting children according to whether English is a first language or not (which will not always be clear cut anyway) and just teach all students in one system according to their level of needs? What do you think? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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