What the resource is:
In response to a high level of pupil mobility and increased migration, the DCSF has produced guidance to support both primary and secondary schools in welcoming new arrivals and teaching them successfully.
The guidance document has sections on primary and secondary schools and addresses the many challenges that face schools with high levels of pupil mobility. It is very highly recommended for use in teacher education. It covers issues such as planning for new arrivals, welcoming procedures, learning English as an additional language, supporting pupils who may feel isolated and insecure to adapt to a new country and school environment, addressing incidences of racism, designated staff, different models of induction programmes, classroom practice, initial assessment and assessment for learning, as well as involving pupils in their own learning development and building links with families and communities.
The guidance document is supported by online case studies of schools. These represent schools in low, medium and high diversity areas, with different social intakes and in different geographical locations. It includes primary, secondary and faith schools. The case studies provide very practical ideas on how to address the challenge of new arrivals who often do not speak much English (for example, Polish and Tamil speaking pupils). The materials are supported by a Management Guide aimed at senior school staff.
The quality, authority and credibility of the resource:
The case studies of the procedures and strategies used to welcome new arrivals have been well chosen to represent a cross section of contexts, schools and approaches to the issue. Each study provides information on:
- the particular context of the school chosen
- how new arrivals are inducted
- a description of the measures taken by the school to address the physical, social, linguistic and educational needs of the new children
- the impact of these measure on the school
- a selection of quotes from stakeholders
The implications for ITE tutors/mentors:
The resource is particularly useful to tutors new to ITE or to those who have had limited experience of teaching new learners of English as an additional language. The materials would be best introduced into a course when students have had some exposure to their practice schools, but still have opportunities ahead to put new knowledge into practice. Tutors can chose from the range of case studies one which is most relevant to their students. Selected clips from the appropriate video can be introduced in lectures or workshop sessions and, together with the material in the accompanying booklet, form the basis of a discussion and a reflection on how the strategies suggested could be adapted and used in the particular settings in which the students are practising. The printed materials available online can also be the basis of a task, or a major assignment, leading to a critical review of practice experienced in the classroom.
The relevance to ITE students:
The arrival in school of pupils with little knowledge or experience of English is frequently a source of great anxiety for both ITE students and early career teachers. This resource is very highly recommended as it explores a range of strategies that have been proven to work in different school contexts. It encourages students to consider the full range of issues than need to be addressed to ensure that new arrivals settle and progress. A strength of the case studies is the way in which they demonstrate, not only how the schools integrate new arrivals, but how they address the community cohesion agenda through becoming more inclusive and developing partnerships with parents and community organisations.
The relevance to early career teachers and senior staff:
Much of what is relevant to ITE students is equally relevant to early career teachers, many of whom may have had limited experience of working with new learners of English. A great value of the document is its focus on a whole school approach to integrating new arrivals. The detailed guidance offered will be particularly useful to senior staff who are in a position to implement the kind of procedures recommended in the case studies. The materials can also be used as a resource for CPD or Masters' level courses for practising teachers and senior staff. The accompanying management guide addresses issues of leadership and teaching and learning for new arrivals. It links the material to the three Waves approach to intervention support and advises on how the recommended procedures fit in to the school improvement cycle.
Raymonde Sneddon 2010
University or East London