St John’s become part of the Erasmus Plus Project
Kent County Council, together with partners in Sweden and Belgium have been successful in securing funding from Erasmus Plus to run a project to exchange practice between educational establishments supporting children and young people migrating into and across Europe. Different European countries have different ways of creating intercultural competence. Today, the need to exchange and share experiences is crucial on issues regarding the mapping of the student’s previous school experiences, learning processes based on previous school experience, the methodology of work and the guidance to inclusion. This two year project will consist of a series of study visits and local dissemination activities between the partner organisations.
Our school was invited to participate in the project and on the 7th March teachers from Sweden, Belgium and Kent will be visiting our school to share experiences about inclusion of young newcomers to our country.
“Respect for Ourselves; Respect for Others; Respect for the Environment” This is the St John’s Way – we value and we celebrate our multi-cultural and diverse community.
In recent years, we have seen an increase in the number of children with English as an additional language (EAL) in our school, and we know that, without adequate support or provision, these pupils could become disengaged and isolated.
At St John’s, we firmly believe that children for whom English is not their first language are as able as any other children, and that the learning experiences we plan for them should be no less challenging. To ensure the good progress of EAL children in our school, as well as the specialist EAL intervention (co-ordinated by Mrs Krawczak), we also ensure that EAL support is embedded into every aspect of the school curriculum.
This year, we are about to launch ‘The Young Interpreter Scheme,’ a group of children trained to support new arrivals in our school.
This scheme provides additional support to pupils who are learning English as an Additional Language (EAL), to their families and to the school community. It recognises the huge potential that exists within our school community for pupils of all ages to use their skills and knowledge to support new learners of English into St John’s, so that they feel safe settled and valued from the start.
Young Interpreters undergo specific training to prepare for this very special role and are selected on the basis of different personal qualities they may have. The support they can offer to a newly-arrived pupil can be very reassuring from a parent or carer’s point of view, especially at a time when their child may be adapting to substantial changes.
Our first Cohort of children who will be trained as young Interpreters, begin the training programme in April 2015.