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Our Approach

#931 EAL Parental engagement at Northgate High School

What did we do?

I completed the LBL training programme on EEF guidance and the 5 pillars of Learning Behaviour framework. The sessions included:

  • Metacognition,
  • Social and Emotional Learning,
  • Improving behaviour in school,
  • SEND,
  • Parental engagement .

Together with the Communication Team, I identified parents with a low attendance on parents evenings, parents of disengaged EAL students, and parents with problems in communication in English. I planned and organised EAL parents meetings with translation available, to address and discuss general school related issues like:

  • Go4schools (the programme we use for recording attendance and behaviour),
  • how to access and understand school reports,
  • cashless catering,
  • Sex education in school,
  • Pastoral Team,
  • How to record absence,
  • Pathways and careers after high school.

I organised ‘Working together’ sessions with focus on addressing these concerns. Different members of staff were invited to deliver these sessions. For example a Science teacher and Head of Department were invited to speak about Sex Education, a member of the Pastoral team – about their role and the support they offer, member of staff from Careers office – pathways after high school

I also designed, planned and delivered an English acquisition course for parents, mainly based on ESOL courses, with focus on every day vocabulary required, such as Greetings, Likes and Dislikes, Shopping, Money, Food, Health, The body, Directions, Town centre, Jobs and CVs.

On the 11th of July I planned a trip for the parents to the Suffolk New College to try to raise aspirations and inspire. I was facilitated with a ‘work phone’ to keep constant communication with parents. They feel more comfortable to talk directly to me in their mother tongue about absences, different school related issues, behaviour concerns.

Thank you for clarifying the steps after high school

My younger daughter wants to come to this school now (the mom had to bring her with her to the English lessons)

I still don’t think Sex Education should be taught in year 7, they are too young


Summary of impact

• Parents of I.12 more engaged with keeping student in school

• Parents call the EAL phone, more comfortable to communicate different issues through me

• I help the departments in school and Progress directors with translating and communicating with parents

Steps taken

• Identified EAL parents with a low attendance on parents evenings, parents of disengaged EAL students, parents with problems in communication in English.

• Organised a parent meeting to present the offer and check interest

• Planned two types of intervention: 5 English Acquisition sessions and 3 ‘Working together’ session

• Invited speakers to address different concerns of the parents

• Planned prepared and delivered 2 levels English Acquisition course: Beginner and Intermediate

• Organised trip with school minibus to the Suffolk New College

What would we do differently

• Low attendance on parents course – plan a different time in the day? Maybe after school?

• Involve Sixth Form students for translation

• Bring speakers from the community to talk about their success stories

• Involve external agencies


• Staff time £180

• Worksheets and resources £20

• EAL phone – £30 + monthly plan £10/month

• Suffolk New College trip – £50

See how others have implemented this Big Idea

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Removing the literacy barrier to learning - Clacton County High School

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Improving Behaviour with Projection Education - Trimley St Martin Primary School

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The Inclusivity of EAL families within our School Community. - St Margaret's Primary School Ipswich

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Improving Handwriting - Clacton Coastal Academy

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Finding the right intervention to support engagement - Murrayfield Primary Academy


Luminita Dan, EAL Teacher