Providing a welcome – good induction
“Most come with basic anxieties that you can do something
about – in the first few weeks there are anxieties about
needing to be part of the school, needing the security of
Managing Pupil Mobility - DfES
Strategies to think about when receiving a new EAL student - 1
Worries on entering a new school
School was very
different back home
I’m shy. I don’t want to say
“Yes, Mrs. Teacher” in front
of everybody. They may
laugh at me.
I’m confused. Am I
allowed to play all the
time? Can I eat this?
Will I like it?
I’m angry. I was happy back
home. I miss my grandma
and my friends.
I’m lonely. I can’t join in with
the others so I have no
friends. Everyone ignores
me or treats me like I’m
I’ve never been to
school before …
That child pushed
me. What shall I
I’m tired. All this new language
around me I can’t follow it all …
zzz …
I’m worried. Everyone
else can do the work,
knows where to go and
what to do next.
I’m frustrated. At my other
school I had much more
stimulating work. All I do here
is colour.
Strategies to think about when receiving a new EAL student - 2
Strategies to think about when receiving a new child
Naming. Check the pronunciation
of the child’s name. Make sure
you pronounce it correctly.
Communicating. Use nonverbal clues and materials.
Be careful about gestures,
body contact and personal
space due to cultural
Speaking. Don’t insist on speech
too early. Listening time is
Surviving. Show classroom
routines. Introduce basic
language e.g. greetings,
name of class/teacher,
toilet, coat, yes/no, please/
thank you.
Grouping. Seat child with
supportive pupils of
similar ability, who understand the work.
Buddying. Pair with a
responsible, caring, articulate
child who will act as a guide,
friend and role model.
New Arrivals
Initial Meeting
• Provide a positive, welcoming atmosphere for
initial meeting with new pupil and parents/carers
– a new school is even more daunting for EAL
• Show them around the school
• Establish good links with parents/carers
(dialogue with home is important despite
potential language barriers)
• Use interpreters if necessary (not other pupils if
Initial meeting (cont)
• Ask for previous school records – these can be
translated if necessary
• Ascertain whether pupil has any additional
• Use previous records, info. from parents and
good initial assessment (normally by EMA
Teacher) to place pupil in appropriate group
• Is the pupil entitled to free school meals?
What does a school with a positive,
welcoming atmosphere look like?
The welcoming school
• Staff who model inclusion
• Displays which reflect the composition of the school and
local community
• Multi-lingual displays
• Display of photos of staff
• Buddies – other pupils willing to befriend the EAL pupil –
some with same language if possible
• “Having someone to show me round school was
really good. She was like a really good friend.”
(Year 9 pupil – Pittville School, Cheltenham)
Personal details
• May be necessary to enlist the help of a
translator to obtain accurate info.
• Check birth date/Year group – these often get
confused so ask parents/carers to write down
dates and numbers
• Address – again ask for written address
• Ask parents/carers to write down contact phone
nos. – can they understand if school makes a
call to them in English?
• (If not make sure there is an alternative no.
which school can call in an emergency)
Contact with home
• Letters sent home to all pupils need to be
checked for “readability” by EAL pupils and their
families and if possible translated to ensure that
messages are fully understood and that they are
not denied any opportunities e.g.
• Activities days
• School trips
• Inset days
• Non-uniform days
• Show parents/carers items of uniform
including P.E. kit and give the
name/address of where to buy it
• Check any cultural issues re. uniform e.g.
girls wearing shorts, girls swimming with
boys etc.
• Make it clear what is/is not acceptable to
wear e.g. jewellery, make-up, footwear
School rules
• Explain carefully to parents and pupil –
British school rules may be very different
to what they are used to
• Make explicit what is expected in terms of:
forbidden items
Give parents simple communication cards
to convey messages to school if they are
unable to write in English
School day/timetable
• Use visuals e.g. clock, calendar to explain
school times, term dates, holidays
• Describe the school day – where to go on
arrival, arrangements for break and lunchtime, end of day arrangements
• Attendance – if the pupil has an
appointment on a school day they should
still come to school before/afterwards
School day/timetable (cont)
• Go through the pupil’s timetable together
explaining any abbreviations, initials, room
• Provide a simple map of school
• Refer to staff photo display/video to
identify Tutor and other key staff members
• Show the library and computer facilities
• Organise for someone to do a library
induction tour with the pupil
• Organise a user name and password so
that the pupil can access school IT system
Induction Checklist
 Explained school rules and routines to family and child(ren) e.g. money for snacks,
procedures for obtaining FSM in canteen, transport issues: bus passes and times/bus stops?
 Explained general routines of the school e.g. start time, breaktime, lunch time – eg if pupils
allowed off-site?
 Made family aware of any entitlements to school uniform grant, free school meals?
 Told family where they can buy uniform?
 Highlighted days to bring in P.E kit?
 Explained school equipment needed, eg stationery, calculator?
 Explained additional materials needed for certain subjects, eg art, food technology?
 Given school number to ring if absent?
 Involved parents in tour of school?
 Shown form/tutor room, lockers, explained procedure for obtaining locker?
 Shown the break-time facilities?
 Shown dining facilities?
 Shown toilet facilities?
 Shown ICT suites, sports facilities, library, language units, etc?
 Shown school website & where to access further information?
 Given up-to-date list of school holidays, INSET days, forthcoming school trips?
 Shown and explained pupil timetable?
 Explained NC for KS3 & KS4 & outlined where & when options/ choices made?
Tutor Checklist (1)
 Read the admissions form?
 Become familiar with the pronunciation of the pupil's name?
 Prepared journal/ planner/ timetable/ plan of school?
 Considered setting/ options to best support pupil?
 Talked to your class about welcoming pupils new to the class? Have you
informed them of children due to arrive?
 Placed the pupil with a friendly and helpful ‘buddy’ who can help them
during the break and lunchtimes? Buddies can also help pupils become
familiar with classroom & school routines.
 Familiarised yourself with the pupil’s recent history and experiences, which
may include being homeless or other difficult circumstances? What is the
pupil’s current living situation? Does the pupil have any siblings or relatives in
the school?
 Have bilingual books/dictionary.
Tutor Checklist (2)
 Familiarised
 Are there any other pupils in the class/school who share this?
 How well does the child function in English? Your EMA teacher will be able
to provide support and resources.
 Looked at the pupil’s record from previous schooling (if available) and
considered how to build on previous achievement? Has the pupil experienced
being moved to several schools? Is the pupil new to schooling?
 Made contact with the pupil’s parents/carers? Are there any concerns that
you need to discuss with them at an early opportunity? Have parents/carers
had an opportunity to share their own concern?
 Referred any health concerns to the school nurse?
 Put up phrases and words in pupil's first language?
 Got set of survival pictures e.g. toilet, drink.
Useful websites
• There are a number of useful websites which can be used for
different purposes e.g.
• Translation – free online dictionaries and translation web-sites e.g.
google language tools,
• English language learning sites e.g.,,
• Web based resources in secondary EAL
• Background information on EAL pupils’ culture, language, education
system –Pathways to Learning for New Arrivals
• Translated letters in various languages for communicating with
home –
• Community languages –