Inclusive schools aim to see every child as a unique individual, valuing their language skills, backgrounds and educational experiences. They have high expectations for all children and are concerned with ensuring that children take part in the full curriculum. They monitor the progress and achievement of all groups of children, planning to meet the diverse needs, and ensuring that vulnerable children receive appropriate support.
EMAG staff are often involved in the welcome and induction of refugee pupils and their families. They may also offer early support in the acquisition of English, and run family learning groups or coffee mornings. As a result, they are often the "friendly face" in schools for refugee families, and build up valuable knowledge of the whole family. Thus a positive initial contact is vital.
Supporting the acquisition of English is the responsibility of all teachers. While some small group support may be necessary in the very early stages of learning, there are a range of teaching strategies and approaches that can enhance the learning of English within the normal classroom learning environment and curriculum.
Developing an inclusive curriculum
Schools can promote refugee children's achievement by ensuring that topics, activities and learning materials are relevant to their language, religion and culture. All children can benefit from learning about Britain's diversity, past and present, and from developing an understanding of refugee issues.
Ofsted recognised the important role played by EMAG teachers in providing advice and training for school staff in the support of refugee children. ("The education of asylum-seeker children" Ofsted Oct 2003). If the whole school shares an understanding of the issues and collaborates in the planning, much greater progress can be made.
- Collaborative Learning - For those interested in students learning English or those working with students learning another language of instruction, the paper below discusses the value of collaborative learning for students in multilingual classrooms - http://www.collaborativelearning.org/theorypaper.pdf
- www.logos.it Has a basic children's dictionary in 30 languages.