New Arrivals Excellence Programme (NAEP): Case study 7
- Date: Sep 2007
- Programme: New Arrivals Excellence Programme (NAEP)
- Focus: Working with new communities: one school’s approach to supporting newly arrived pupils
- Number in series: 7
- Phase: Primary
- Key stage: Key Stages 1 and 2
- Ref: 00692-2007DWO-EN-03
- % free school meals (FSM): 63%
This is a slightly larger than average junior school in the East Midlands with some 350 pupils on roll. The school is situated in an area of high deprivation, its free school meals (FSM) index is high at 63%. The school is a multi-ethnic school and more than 95% of its pupils are from minority ethnic backgrounds. There are 17 different languages spoken in school with children coming from 34 different countries. There is very high mobility across the school and turbulence is significant, especially in Years 5 and 6. For example, out of a cohort of some 80 plus pupils, there were 14 new arrivals in Years 5 and 6 and 12 new arrivals in Years 3 and 4.
The school has had a rich and successful experience of working with bilingual children and their families, mainly of Asian background, for some time. Over the last few years it has needed to adapt to meet the needs of new arrivals from different countries and cultures. These new communities presented fresh challenges to the school which has quickly adapted its approaches and resources to meet the changing need. The range of language expertise in the school no longer matched the first languages of new arrivals and bilingual strategies had to be amended to address these new languages.
Working with parents and the local community is a strong feature of the school’s approach to meeting the needs of new arrivals. Links with parents and carers, as well as the wider community, are seen as vitally important and the school works extremely hard, and in innovative ways, to engage parents, many of whom find coming into school difficult. The headteacher actively encourages parents to join in the life of the school, taking on formal roles as governors for example, as well as joining in classroom activities, workshops and visits.
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