EAL – English as an additional language provision at the Gateway Primary Free School

EAL learners are a very diverse group. The government definition of an EAL learner includes anyone who has been exposed to a language other than English during early childhood ‘and continues to be exposed to this language in the home or in the community’. This includes, for example:

  • new arrivals from abroad who speak little or no English
  • children or young people from other countries who are in the UK for a limited time, for example if they have a parent who is studying here, who have been educated in an English-medium school abroad and are fluent in several languages
  • young people who were born in the UK and speak English most of the time at home and school, but who also speak another language occasionally to extended family members.

The Gateway Learning Community is a partnership of multicultural schools in Tilbury and Chadwell St. Mary that are working together with students from 40 different countries in attendance. Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds. As well as our British population, we count among our numbers: EU Migrants; Refugees; those seeking asylum; and British-born children who speak a language other than English at home. Around 45 different languages are spoken by our students across the GLC. We recognise the difference in children’s backgrounds and circumstances and offer support through a fusion of taught English lessons, focused intervention sessions, in-class support, differentiated resources and personalised curriculums. We believe that our approach allows each of our students to access an enjoyable, useful and successful school experience.

Our aim at the Gateway Primary Free School is to welcome, value and support our EAL children and their families. All teaching staff are aware of the need to provide an education for all of the pupils in their classrooms and have an inclusive curriculum. We have created a welcoming environment and ethos that includes establishing strong links with parents / carers and their communities. The home languages of our EAL students are valued. We feel that having children who speak many different languages enriches our school community.

We currently have 85 (19.36%) EAL pupils and 26 different languages that are spoken across the Gateway Primary Free School.


  • Akan/Twi-Fante
  • Arabic
  • Bengali
  • Bulgarian
  • Caribbean Creole French
  • French
  • Hindi
  • Igbo
  • Italian
  • Kituyo/Gikuyu
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Pahari(Pakistan)
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Portuguese Brazilian
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Serbian
  • Slovak
  • Sundanese
  • Swahili/Kiswahilu
  • Tamil
  • Turkish
  • Urdu
  • Yorubu

Members of the EAL team at the Gateway Primary Free School:

GPFS EAL Coordinator - Miss Bevan

We are also lucky enough to have other staff across the Gateway Primary Free School and the GLC who are not part of the team, but who are happy to assist us in our work. They speak Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Lithuanian, Afrikaans, German, Chinese, Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi etc.  

The role of the school’s EAL department is not only to welcome, integrate and assess new arrivals, but to support and challenge them across all curriculum areas. We aim to promote English language acquisition alongside academic achievement.

Miss Maccabe supports our EAL pupils across the school, she works with EAL pupils individually and in small groups; assess new EAL arrivals and track their progress using Thurrock EAL Assessment Pack:  Strategies for achieving QCA steps and levels and Individual EAL Pupil Record.  

Depending on the level of need, pupils are offered weekly individual or small group lessons in speaking, listening, reading and writing and more advanced EAL learners are offered curriculum support both in class and in withdrawal groups. Our EAL assistant Miss Maccabe assess new EAL arrivals and tracks their progress using Thurrock EAL Assessment Pack:  Strategies for achieving QCA steps and levels and Individual EAL Pupil Record

There is an EAL class where children can come to work and find staff if they need their support.

Our EAL programme

  • Pre-teach new vocabulary
  • Language wheels
  • Vocabulary Pyramids
  • Simple instructions, words around the class, weather, body parts, colours, fruit and veg, names of the week, months, etc.
  • Maths vocabulary – maths signs, numbers, mathematical operations, timetable, etc.
  • Science – Pyramids & wheels
  • Simple grammar – articles, plurals, nouns, adjectives, verbs, connectives, punctuation, tenses – present, past, future

EAL resources

  • My Bilingual Talking Dictionary & Talking pen – Mantralingua available in 35 dual language editions
  • 1000 Words in English
  • Project 1 Student’s book and Workbook – Tom Hutchinson
  • Dictionaries
  • Orchard Games