Blog entry by Jamie Earnshaw

Picture of Jamie Earnshaw
by Jamie Earnshaw - Monday, 19 July 2021, 11:23 AM
Anyone in the world

By the Hampshire EMTAS Specialist Teacher Advisors 
 

EMTAS logo


This last year has been busier than ever for the EMTAS team.

 
Our Bilingual Assistants (BAs), led by our BA Manager Eva Papathanassiou, have been working tirelessly, remotely throughout the national lockdowns and then, when it became possible, in person, providing support to pupils, families and schools. Much time has been spent by our BAs supporting children and families with accessing online learning. 


We have seen an increase in the number of referrals compared to last year and have been busy ensuring that all requests are responded to. The most popular languages referred to us this year have been Nepali, Polish, Romanian, Arabic, Turkish, Portuguese and Cantonese. 


Our language phone lines have also been popular. The phone lines are available to support with sharing information with parents/carers, answering any questions they have and helping with home-school communication. Contact details and the list of languages can be found here.  


Over with the Traveller team, new this year a series of termly GRT-focused network meetings were held online. These will continue to be online through 2021-22 in order to make them accessible to staff in schools across the county. Like our other network meetings, they are free to attend for Hampshire-maintained schools. To find out when the next ones are, check the Training section of the EMTAS website. 


The EMTAS Admin team have continued to offer back-office support, maintaining records, sending out resources and dealing in impressively efficient ways with new referrals that have been flooding in from schools since the end of the last lockdown.   
 
EAL/GRT Excellence Award 


We are delighted that over 60 schools have started to work towards their EAL or GRT Excellence Awards this term. 


Congratulations to the following schools who have successfully submitted or completed the validation process this year: 


EAL 

Petersfield Infant School 

Validated at Gold 

Merton Infant School 

Validated at Gold 

Whiteley Primary School 

Validated at Bronze 
 

John Keble C of E Primary and Ampfield C of E Primary Federation 

Validated at Silver 

Brookfield 

Awaiting validation for Bronze 

 
Tower Hill 

Validated at Bronze 

 

Manor Field Infants

 

Validated at Silver

 

GRT 

St John the Baptist C of E                                                         

Validated at Silver              


Heritage Honours Award 

HH

The EMTAS Heritage Honours Award, launched this academic year, celebrates the achievements of children from BME, EAL and GRT backgrounds at school and within the home/community. Children and young people can be nominated for an award by the school they are currently attending. 


More than 65 successful nominations have been made this year. Reasons for nomination variously include success in heritage language examinations, practical and creative use of first language within the school environment, sharing cultural background with peers, acting as an empathetic peer buddy, success in community sporting events and excellent progress in acquiring EAL. 


Congratulations to all the children and families involved. Find out more here. 
 
New e-learning 


The team has been busy developing new pieces of E-learning this year which will be available from September 2021.  

-  Supporting children and families from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) backgrounds 

-  Developing culturally inclusive practice in Early Years settings 

-  The appropriate placement of learners with EAL in groups, sets and streams 

The e-learning modules can be accessed on our Moodle here. 

 

Supporting English as an Additional Language (SEAL) 


This is a course aimed at Teaching Assistants and it covers key aspects of practice and provision in relation to pupils for whom English is an Additional language.  The full course comprises 6 modules which are delivered one a term over two years.  There is a new SEAL course starting in October 2021.  

For further details, please go to the Training section on the EMTAS website. 


Guidance Library 


Thank you for all the positive feedback we have received about the remote support we have provided in the Guidance Library section of our Moodle. We will continue to add to this next year. Access our Guidance library here. 
 
EMTAS Blog 


This year, we have published 20 blogs, written by a range of practitioners, including EMTAS Bilingual Assistants and Specialist Teachers, school-based staff and University students. We look forward to continuing to publish a fortnightly blog next year. 


If you would like to contribute, please do get in touch with Astrid Dinneen astrid.dinneen@hants.gov.uk (who would like to say a massive thank you to Jamie Earnshaw for editing the blog so beautifully during her maternity leave).

 
EMTAS Resources Update 


This year, we have been busy adding to our Resource Library. Below, we have listed some of the resources available to loan. You will also find a link to our online catalogue, so you can view all the resources we have available. 


Story Packs 

Caterpillar


Each book has a series of props, made from key characters/events in the story, on lolly sticks (six of each prop), plus six copies of a key phrase that is used throughout the book. This resource can then be used with a group of children, who can enjoy telling the story in their own language, or share in English, using the props, or in many other ways. The resource can be lent out with one dual language version of the book. 


Some of the stories we have include:

- Sports Day in the Jungle – Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish 

- The Hungry Caterpillar - Punjabi 

- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see? – Arabic, Albanian, Bengali, Chinese, Portuguese, Somali, Turkish, Urdu, Shona, Hindi, Panjabi 

- Farmer Duck – Bengali, Chinese, Malayalam, Turkish, Urdu, Bulgarian, Japanese, Panjabi, Romanian, Hindi, Nepali, Polish, Tagalog, German 

- Monkey Puzzle – Brazilian Portuguese 


EAL Story sacks 


We have in stock a selection of EAL story sacks. They come in stories suitable for KS1. They have the story book, story props, and an audio CD of the story. Plus, they have a DVD with printable resources of activities for children with EAL.

 
Fiction for older readers 


For the later primary and early secondary age (10 – 14 years), we do have many stories that can be enjoyed, in a variety of languages. We also have some of the very popular choices of fiction, such as Harry Potter and Tom Gates, in some languages.

  
GCSE texts 


We have a range of GCSE texts available to loan, such as A Christmas Carol, Animal Farm, Macbeth, and Romeo & Juliet, available in different languages including Polish, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Italian and Spanish. There are direct translations, thesaurus versions, graphic versions and GCSE notes. 


Exam Dictionaries 


We have a large range of exam dictionaries, which are word to word only and do not have a definition or what the word means. 

 
New books for older readers with low reading ages 

Older readers


We now have a range of reading books available, primarily aimed at secondary school aged students who have low reading ages but many are also suitable for upper primary school aged pupils too. They have been written specifically with older readers in mind and so the content has been chosen to interest this age group, ensuring that the readers do not feel that the books are ‘babyish’ even though the text itself may be relatively simple.    


The reading ages of the books range from approximately 5-6 years old to around 9-10 years old. They have been divided into nine groups so that books with similar reading ages can be easily identified. Books from a particular colour band for an individual student can be borrowed, matched to their reading level, then, as the student’s reading skills improve, a book from the next colour band up could be borrowed as their reading skills improve.   


These books would be suitable for older new arrivals who need support to develop their reading skills in English and for whom reading books aimed at younger readers would not be suitable.  They would also be appropriate for older students with EAL who also have SEND or for older pupils from Traveller backgrounds who are still developing their reading skills.  

 
A word of warning about using these books with UASC and refugees – there are some titles within this group of books that are not suitable for use with UASC or refugees due to either the genre, content or illustrations. This is because these children and young people may have experienced trauma either in their country of origin or during their journey to the UK and some of the books may remind them of this. 

 
EMTAS Library Catalogue 


The EMTAS Library Catalogue can be found on our website here. Use the search box at the very top right-hand side of the screen to search for resources in a particular language. You can then email our Resources Manager, Julie Yates, who will arrange for the resources to be sent out via the courier. 


Contact Julie Yates at julie.yates@hants.gov.uk  
 

Staffing 


At the end of this term, we will be bidding farewell to a number of colleagues.  


Chris Pim, who retires at the end of the summer term, has been a member of the EMTAS Specialist Teacher Advisor team for many years.  Schools in Fareham and Gosport will know him particularly well as he’s been their District teacher and has provided ad hoc advice and support as well as network meetings and other training opportunities.  Until handing over to Lynne Chinnery in September 2020, Chris was also often to be found in schools in Havant and Waterlooville performing a similar role.  


Chris’s particular interest has been in the use of ICTs and he leaves a fantastic legacy in this area.  His project on the use of immersive gaming as a driver for writing was exemplary EAL practice in the classroom.  He’s been instrumental in conceiving of and developing the EMTAS EAL e-learning available to schools across the county as part of the SLA.  The EMTAS Moodle, the blog, the videoscribes and the app ‘Big Ideas’ were other contributions made by Chris to the resources available to staff in schools.  He led on the project that looked at Hampshrie’s Fijian communities, resulting in a dual language book about Rugby being produced, along with two new Fijian/English versions of titles in the Mantra collection of dual language books.  We also have Chris to thank for the new Heritage Honours Award, the subject of a recent blog from Henry Cort.  All at EMTAS will miss him greatly.  


On the Bilingual Assistant team, we say goodbye to Cintia, who has been working with our Portuguese speaking children and families, and Marianne, who has been supporting our French referrals. We wish them the best of luck in their new ventures. 
We extend a warm welcome back Astrid Dinneen, who returned in July following maternity leave. Astrid will be back working with schools in Basingstoke & Deane, along with overseeing the blog and the Young Interpreter Scheme, and much more! 


As a result of the staff changes to the teacher team, there will be some changes to the geographical areas the Specialist teacher team will be covering from September. Helen Smith has spent the last year supporting schools in Basingstoke and Deane but, from September, Astrid will be resuming her work in this area. Instead, Helen will be supporting schools in Test Valley.  As we bid farewell to Chris Pim, Jamie Earnshaw will be taking the lead in Fareham and Gosport.  


We also welcome Abi Guler to our Bilingual Assistant team.  He will be working with our Turkish families. 

 

Finally… 


We have some exciting projects up our sleeves for 2020-21! 


After having to be postponed on two occasions, we are very much looking forward to our EMTAS Conference, which is to be held on Friday 15th October.   


We will be continuing to hold our termly network meetings. Check the Training section of the EMTAS website for dates and to see what these sessions will cover. 


Following the support we provided to students completing a Heritage Language GCSE this academic year, we look forward to sharing the results in September. We will also be getting ready to support students with Heritage Language GCSEs in the autumn and again next summer. We will keep you posted with news of the packages of support we will be offering. 


Have a great summer and we look forward to seeing you all next term! 


More news coming soon... 
 
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[ Modified: Wednesday, 21 July 2021, 4:51 PM ]

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