English as an Additional language policy




At Truly Scrumptious Early Years Nursery we value the contribution which ethnic minority children make through bringing their culture and language to enrich our nursery environment.


We aim to provide the means for ethnic minority children to have access to a broad and balanced curriculum and achieve their full academic potential. We will make every effort to enable children to interact socially and to ensure their wellbeing. We will seek to provide parents with clear information about the school and its procedures and to establish mutual respect for culture and values.


To achieve these aims the nursery will:

  • ensure that the nursery is welcoming.
  • assess individual children for cognitive level, education background and linguistic repertoire
  • establish communication links with home and family and to identify cultural and religious background
  • provide appropriate emotional and academic support
  • ensure that the setting reflects the culture of all the children, and that every child’s culture and language is valued
  • monitor and assess progress regularly to check that the pupils have the opportunity to achieve their full potential for learning
  • liaise contacts with pre-school and transfer schools when possible to exchange information about the child’s linguistic and cognitive ability, what support has been given and how parental partnership has developed.
  • keep all staff informed by providing opportunities for information sharing/gathering.

All practitioners will:

  • be made aware of and be sensitive to cultural needs of children
  • include reflection on other cultured as normal part of the curriculum
  • promote language awareness throughout the school
  • display pictures reflecting different cultures

Your child’s key person will:

  • provide each child with a ‘buddy’ or mentor on entry to the setting and for as long as is deemed necessary.
  • ensure that bilingual pupils are assessed to determine their cognitive level and linguistic repertoire.
  • ensure that differentiated work,’ suited to the child’s intellectual ability is provided, being mindful of the level of English usage.


The SENDco will:

  • access the English language performance and progress of EAL pupils
  • support EAL pupils in gaining access to the curriculum
  • work in partnership with form teachers and support staff to tailor curriculum content and delivery to the needs of all the pupils in class
  • make the curriculum accessible through the provision of differentiated materials

Practitioners should note the following points when supporting pupils with EAL

Learning an additional language is a long-term process. While social fluency may be acquired within two years, it may take EAL pupils’ years to gain the skills and understanding to participate fully in an educational system, in-line with mother tongue speakers of English.

At Truly Scrumptious we believe that language learning is most successful, for both EAL speakers and early bilingual learners where:

  • it is taught within the context of the EYFS curriculum.
  • oral language is central to all curriculum work.

the informed contribution of parents to their children’s education is seen as vital to the children’s progress

Nursery ethos

  • recognise the child’s mother tongue – this doesn’t mean they have ‘no’ language, they have a different language/s;
  • make your classroom socially and intellectually inclusive, valuing cultural differences and fostering a range of individual identities.
  • boost the pupils’ self-esteem – remember, they have the potential to become bilingual adults but it takes time to become fluent in an additional language, with a good command of the range of language needed for academic success;

Identifying pupils’ strengths

  • pupils from other language backgrounds have a wide variety of cultural, linguistic, and educational experiences; see the cultural differences brought by the pupil to the class as a bonus and use this in your teaching.


  • have high expectations – expect pupils to contribute and to give you more than one-word answers;
  • most bilingual pupils are capable of high achievement, even when they are beginners in English;
  • the literacy goals in English are the same for all pupils; many bilingual pupils will also become literate in one or more other languages;
  • the process of becoming literate in either a first or an additional language has both similarities and differences – knowledge of the particular features of the child’s mother tongue can help.

Teaching and learning strategies

  • ensure that EAL pupils are set appropriate and challenging learning objectives.
  • recognise that EAL pupils need more time to process answers.
  • talking about language and literacy with peers and adults is essential – it helps pupils to use their home language when talking about literacy, even when their goal is literacy in English.
  • do not allow any racist comments or jokes to pass – these should be reported and dealt with according to the school discipline policy.
  • give newly arrived young children time to absorb English (there is a recognized ‘silent period’ when children understand much more English than they use – this will pass if their self-confidence is maintained);
  • group children – to ensure that EAL pupils hear good models of English, wherever possible,
  • use collaborative learning techniques – encourage children to work together in pairs and small groups, to discuss their work and possibly produce a joint piece of work; this is a valuable strategy for promoting learning for EAL pupils. It is beneficial to allow EAL pupils to work together when possible, so that they can discuss their work in their mother tongue before using English.





Children learning EAL need to be assessed in relation to the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum standards and expectations as early as possible.

Learning an additional language is a long-term process. While social fluency may be acquired within two years, it may take EAL pupils from 5-7 years to gain the skills and understanding to participate fully in an educational system, in-line with mother tongue speakers of English.


This policy was reviewed by Brittany V – 06/04/2023