Going for GOLD!
The following is a blog that features on the EMTAS website following the amazing news that our school became the first in the whole Country to be awarded the Gold EAL Excellence Award.
After achieving the silver Award in 2019 this April the school was delighted and very proud to be awarded the first GOLD EAL Excellence Award from EMTAS. The award was developed by the Specialist Teacher Advisory team and is an online school self-evaluation framework to help monitor the impact of provision to all EAL children.
I was introduced to the award at one of the EMTAS Network meetings run by Claire Barker. I quickly realised that not only would it be amazing for our school to be recognised in this way it was going to be of huge benefit to me in my role.
The Excellence Award covers 5 broad areas-
Using this framework (which has become an invaluable tool) I was able to make sure that we, as a school were ensuring the provision we were offering was making the best impact on our children.
I was still relatively new to the role and initially will admit to feeling a little overwhelmed especially as we have a high percentage of EAL pupils in or school so when the award was shown to me I thought it perhaps seemed a scary prospect and was concerned it may add to my work load BUT how wrong was I! I was able to clearly see what was needed in our school and how this could be achieved.
I made the decision to keep a file, breaking it down into the 5 areas. I was able to add photographs, pieces of children’s work, assessments etc to use as evidence. Personally I like things in ‘paper’ form that are easy to refer to. Equally, I know of other schools that have done the whole award online which has also worked well for them.
I was offered support from EMTAS throughout the whole process whether it be asking questions by e-mail or visits to the school to help inform me of our next steps and what we could improve on to reach our ‘goal.’
When I felt we were ready to be validated I sent all the evidence to EMTAS and was then visited by a Specialist Teacher Advisor from another area, Astrid Dineen. I shared my file and we discussed what we were doing as a school and how we were ensuring we were embedding the best practice for our EAL learners and their families.
I would encourage any school to use it. Everything is so clear and laid out for you and gives you the ability to see what you are working towards to become an ‘excellent school!’
Supporting our families
During the year we hold coffee mornings to support our families. These have been assisted by EMTAS who are the Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service.
The coffee mornings have been a good chance to meet up with other parents who have English as an additional language, to gain some helpful information to support their children in school and a chance to ask questions. We have covered things like supporting learning at home, using the school website, communication and attendance.
We have also been supported by EMTAS at other school events such as our Internet safety day where an interpreter was present to help answer any queries.
Celebrating our multi-cultural school
During the school year we hold events to embrace the many cultures in our school.
We have been supported by EMTAS ( the Ethnic Minority Traveller Achievement Service) to run an assembly called #Project where the children shared some interesting facts about their countries and cultures.
Once a year we dedicate a whole day to celebrate. As well as embracing the many cultures of our school, the children learn about a specific country or continent and produce some wonderful displays and presentations; these are shared with the parents in the afternoon.
The school has been full of some amazing work but also the smell of so many different foods for everyone to try, kindly donated by our parents and many staff and children dressed up in their national costumes.
Support from EMTAS
EMTAS stands for the the Ethnic Minority Traveller Achievement Service.
Their aim is to remove barriers and inequalities in attainment and achievement for children in schools.
They offer bilingual support for children and parents, advice and training for staff, phone lines in different languages and loan out resources such as books, dictionaries, and artefacts.
EMTAS phone lines (Term time only)
Please ring us on our help lines below for information and support with home-school communication or if you have any questions relating to your child’s education or well-being.
All our assistants speak good English so if you can use even a little English you can call at any of the times listed below.
If you need an interpreter for any other language just ring EMTAS: 01256 330195 or email: email@example.com with your contact details and the language you speak and we will do our best to help you.
Note for schools: our phone lines are included in our SLA and are free to Hampshire maintained schools and academies that have bought back into our SLA. Pre-schools and non-subscribing academies can purchase a subscription to our phone lines. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how this might work for your setting/academy.
Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil and Telegu
Anantha Bharathan Kurup
Katarzyna Tokarska or Magdalena Raeburn
Ozgul Springett or Kadriye Francis
Gypsy, Roma and Traveller phone line
EMTAS telephone advice service for schools and parents/carers to answer questions relating to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils and to discuss any concerns.
To speak with one of our dedicated Traveller team:
English as an Additional Language (EAL), Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
If you have concerns about the progress of a pupil for whom English is an Additional Language, please first read the information on the Special Education Needs/Disabilities (SEND) or bilingual page. If, having done this, you still require support, then phone our EAL/SEND phone line for further advice. Note that this phone line is for schools and other professionals only.
Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA)
EMTAS telephone advice service for schools and parents/carers to discuss concerns and get advice in relation to the Emotional Literacy Support needs of pupils from black and minority ethnic groups (including Travellers).
To speak with our trained ELSA team member, Julie Curtis: