English as an Additional Language (EAL) & English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Our Department Vision

At Copthall, we aim to ensure that:

  • Every EAL student will feel that their home language and culture is recognised and celebrated.  
  • Every EAL student will be supported to develop their English and access the full curriculum. 

We are very proud of the incredible diversity of cultures and backgrounds represented at Copthall – there are over 80 different languages spoken across the school! The EAL department caters for the range of social, emotional and academic needs that our students with English as an Additional Language have, whether they are a complete beginner in the language, or can work at a high level in it. Currently we provide a range of extra support for about 5% of the school population.

EAL Policy 

The Curriculum Leader may be contacted via email


Every new student who comes to Copthall is assessed on their ability to read, write and speak in English. Some students with English as an Additional Language need extra provision and we create a personalised timetable for each of these students, offering between two and eight hours of extra support per week. During these hours they receive small-group interventions which aim to accelerate their acquisition of English and ensure they can be reintegrated into all curriculum lessons as soon as possible.

For students with no or little English at KS4, the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) qualification is an alternative learning pathway. It strengthens the students’ reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in English and helps provide them with the basic language skills required to succeed in their other subjects.

Students take an ESOL exam at the end of each academic year during KS4, and the highest levels are the equivalent of a GCSE qualification. ESOL enables students to become more confident with their command of English, and it also equips them with the basic communicative tools to study, live and work in the UK.



Every year at Copthall we celebrate International Mother Tongue Day (IMTD). In the lead up to the day there are usually a series of competitions such as treasure hunts. This allows us as a school to celebrate the linguistic diversity within it, and raises awareness of the variety of languages spoken within our walls.

This is further celebrated in our annual International Evening, which coincides with IMTD, featuring a fashion show, dance performances, a food fair and “learn-my-language” stalls.

In order to introduce our newer students to aspects of British culture and life, we organise visits to London landmarks and cultural sites, although these cannot always be guaranteed.

Careers & Employment

The ESOL qualification is specifically geared towards preparing our EAL students for various aspects of adult life and employment. We also regularly welcome previous EAL students back to work within the department as teaching assistants in order to gain vital work experience and have the chance to impact the lives of the next EAL generation.

Recommended Reading

Within the department we have subscriptions to Reading Eggs and Flash Academy, which the students can use from home to practise their English.

As a department dedicated to improving students’ English, we also recommend every and any English-language book, music and film they can get their hands on!

Useful Links:



At Copthall we have two dedicated EAL rooms which are designed for small-group instruction. One of these rooms doubles as a computer room where students can take advantage of our online subscriptions and develop IT skills navigating the computer in English.

We also possess a small range of bilingual dictionaries which some students may use with them in curriculum lessons to aid their learning.

Subject Documents Date  
EAL Policy 2020 24th Jun 2020 Download
ESOL specification 24th Jun 2020 Download
EAL provision 24th Jun 2020 Download
Parent Guidance on Home Language 21st Oct 2020 Download