English as an Additional Language (EAL)

Click here to view a chart of our settling in procedure for EAL pupils.

River House is a truly international school and at any one time 40 to 50 languages are spoken by the children and staff combined. We have many pupils who arrive at the school unable to converse in English and many more who are bilingual.

The school recognises that parents wish their child to learn English as a language and all teaching within the school is carried out in English. However, intensive survival language support is given to recent arrivals with no English.

On the first day of joining the school a child will be allocated a class buddy and wherever possible, introduced to another pupil who speaks their first language.

For those with little English and those who have been in the UK for 3 years or less and, due to the language barrier, are currently working below the expected National Curriculum level for their age group, the EAL department provides support by working in-class with a child plus, where appropriate, an individual or small group lesson once a week.

EAL children spend most of the school day in class with other children. This is because children learn more quickly when socialising and interacting with their peers who speak English fluently and who can provide good language and learning role models. As we are a Montessori school, which offers children a hands on and exploratory style of learning, young children in the pre school and reception rarely need additional support lessons.

We firmly believe that speaking more than one language is an asset, and the first language has a continuing and important role in identity, learning and the acquisition of other languages.

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