Tuesday, March 21st, 2017.

Trainee teachers bringing their enthusiasm and passion to learn to EAL event

Excelsior Academy’s reputation for excellence in teaching children whose first language is not English was showcased to dozens of trainee teachers.

The EAL (English as an Additional Language) and Diversity conference staged workshops for the trainees from Newcastle’s Sacred Heart Catholic High School and Newcastle SCITT.

The aim was to demonstrate how Excelsior Academy teaches EAL youngsters, successfully working with them to help the academy achieve its best ever GCSE results last summer.

Pupils demonstrated exceptional levels of progress in English with more than 80% advancing three levels of progress and 62% gaining an A* to C grade English GCSE pass.

For around 50% of Excelsior pupils, English is their second language.

Deborah Barakat, Excelsior Assistant Principal and ITT Lead, said: “All the trainees were Sacred Heart trainees and they came to Excelsior to have a taster session of diversity and EAL because of our reputation for excellence in this field.

“This is the fifth time we’ve delivered this session but the first year we have done it where we’ve just had workshops.

“They take out what they want from the workshops and put it back into learning. The trainees have started to teach EAL learners and they wanted to see how we address it.

“Our message was that ‘you can do it and you have no excuse not to do it. These children are in your class, get to know them and start teaching them.’”

Deborah and Excelsior staff incorporated workshops including ‘Are You Feeling Hungary’ where trainees were given a presentation in Hungarian, but within seven minutes are able to understand and engage with the presentation through the clever use of props and prompts.

Trainees also learned about the power of a positive mindset and the ability to overcome challenges through their own initiative.

The event also included EAL TeachMeet where 15 Excelsior colleagues shared resources and strategies.