At Meadowbrook Primary, we pride ourselves on celebrating our diversity, as an educational community, whether it be where we are from or the languages we speak. We have many talented bilingual or trilingual students and parents who provide many opportunities to open our eyes on the world, its cultures, similarities or differences. My name is Mrs Cutland and in my role as EAL lead teaching assistant I help to ensure that the language talented children we are lucky enough to meet from all over the world can access our curriculum which is in English. I run a programme called Switch On for New to English children. This runs for 50 lessons and is very practical and fun. The children learn about basic words that they need when they start with us, face/body, clothes/dressing, food/cooking, numbers/money, family/friends, time/routine, weather/seasons, where we live and road safety and animals. Once their everyday English language is improved, they can access the curriculum in class easier, feeling more secure and happy. The teachers plan carefully for their needs, providing any necessary resources or help where needed, liaising regularly with parents.
We love to see our parents in school and invite bilingual readers into our Reception year to read to our children in different languages, under our Mystery reader scheme. All the children love to hear the words and it can spark an interest to learn a new language later in life.
We have won an International award from the British Council for our work in and out of school. We are lucky to be linked to many primary schools in Tanzania such as Gezaulole and Jeshini. We raise funds to improve the education of their students (we have helped to install a computer lab with projectors to enable many children to enjoy ICT skills, which will help them to get better jobs as adults, raising their aspirations at the same time). We also helped them improve their Science curriculum via our Science Leader Ms Qureshi. Our students correspond with the African students with a Pen pal system, where they can find out more about what it is like to live in a different country.
We celebrate different Languages of the term, where we learn about the country, people and even a few words. The world is a smaller place due to technology and learning about it enriches everyone.
We believe in the Rights of Children, Unicef and educate our students on rights in the world. British Values are important to us and we ensure our children are aware of what they are. Different celebrations such as Black History Month in October /Chinese New Year in January, are celebrated, as well as enlightening our children with events such as Holocaust day to link in with History.
Our library has a wide range of books on the world, some bilingual and a home language range, so that new learners can read in the own languages, until they grasp English.