Success Stories

Some examples of successful working partnerships between Kick Start Enterprise, Early Years settings, primary schools and secondary schools in Bath and North East Somerset.

First of all it must be acknowledged that any successes Kick Start Enterprise has had over the last few years have been accomplished with the support of the Managers, Leaders, teachers and other practitioners in the Early Years settings and schools with which we have been involved as well as through the ongoing passionate commitment of the very experienced and hard-working team of Kick Start Enterprise professionals.

Secondary school – whole school systems development

Context:

A high achieving secondary school with a sizable (and growing) bilingual population.

Target:

To develop whole school systems and knowledge which addressed the needs of and raise the attainment of EAL learners.

Actions:

  • The Kick Start Enterprise consultant and the school’s EAL coordinator, supported by a member of the Leadership team identified all of the school’s EAL learners who were below expected levels of attainment and set about assessing them in detail.
  • Assessment included interviewing the students’ parents with the support of interpreters as needed and analysis of first language writing using a diagnostic writing tool to identify specific EAL learner errors.
  • An individual EAL Action Plan was drawn up for each student based on these assessments and disseminated to all of their teachers to support staff to plan specifically for the EAL learners’ needs in the classroom.
  • A ‘Beginners’ Programme’ to support EAL new arrivals was developed.
  • A system for reviewing 3 times a year student progress against targets on their EAL Action Plans was implemented; within this systems were also set up to meet with parents where there were concerns about students.
  • Whole staff training sessions were delivered to support teachers to implement EAL strategies, including collaborative learning techniques into their Quality First teaching.
  • Training was also delivered to the management team on good EAL practice to look for in lesson observations.

Outcomes:

The school continues to rigorously monitor its EAL learners and for the past two years their bilingual pupils have out-performed in attainment all other groups in the school.

Primary school – individual pupil level work

Context:

A Year 3 pupil of dual heritage (White and Black Caribbean) had been underachieving and causing concern since Year 1; staff felt that identity was one issue affecting this but it was proving difficult to work in partnership with the family to sensitively address this. The boy saw little of his Black Caribbean father (who lived abroad) and spoke of being the ‘only one who isn’t White’ in his close family of Mum, step Dad and half-siblings. His mother did not regard her son’s dual heritage as a significant issue and preferred to limit conversations with the school on this topic.

Targets:

  • To develop better engagement with the family.
  • To enable the child to feel proud of his dual heritage and to engage more positively in both classroom and homework activities.

Actions:

  • The school’s Kick Start Enterprise consultant worked with the pupil to gently explore positive Black role models, sharing books bought by the school for the class library, and to broach the topic of family and dual heritage, with a positive approach to both parents’ ethnicities and extended families.
  • The class ‘Journeys’ topic provided an opportunity to identify global links the pupil had, which led to his eagerly sharing information about both sides of the family, including his father and paternal relations in the Caribbean.
  • The Kick Start Enterprise consultant shared a range of targets and strategies for home and school to help nurture the child’s positive sense of self as a dual heritage boy.
  • The teacher built on Kick Start Enterprise advice in class and communicated with the family more often.

Outcomes:

  • The pupil began to feel more confident in acknowledging and exploring his dual heritage identity.
  • He became more confident to talk about his family and links to the Caribbean.
  • The ‘Journeys’ homework, which had previously not been completed by the pupil, was returned to school with full information and photos of both sides of the family; he was proud to see this homework on display alongside his classmates’.
  • Home-school relationships improved.
  • The impact on attainment is yet to be evidenced.

Pre-school – support for a bilingual pupil with SEN needs

Context:

A Polish pupil was referred to Kick Start Enterprise by a pre-school. At the time he had very difficult behaviours and no understanding of English. An initial assessment revealed that he understood about 2 words in English and only very basic instructions in Polish; he spoke 3 words in Polish and none in English.
His behaviour was sometimes difficult at home but no way as bad as it was in the pre-school. He was referred to an Educational Psychologist and subsequently diagnosed with autism.

Target:

To identify and embed strategies to support the child’s needs as a new-to-English learner.

Actions:

  • Discussions took place between the pre-school, an Educational Psychologist and Kick Start Enterprise in which it was agreed that the child’s Education Plan include bilingual support.
  • The setting appointed a Polish-speaking TA who was a qualified teacher in Poland who worked with the child daily.
  • Working closely with the Speech and Language Service as well as the Kick Start Enterprise consultant, the TA delivered an appropriate programme, initially mainly in Polish.
  • The Kick Start Enterprise consultant met regularly with the child’s mother, advising on ways she could support the child at home. It was also suggested that she take him to the local Polish supplementary school.

Outcomes:

  • His behaviour and his use of Polish at home and in the setting started to improve.
  • When the TA gradually started to introduce some specific vocabulary in English he began to start acquiring English with more confidence.
  • The family reported that the child enjoyed attending the Polish Supplementary School.
  • In Year 2 the family returned to Poland but prior to their return he was assessed to be progressing well within SEN constraints and was developing emergent writing which showed a few EAL errors.
  • This study reaffirms the principle of building the second language on top of the first and that it applies to children with SEN as well as to other bilingual children.

Evaluation from EMA Lead, Junior school

“Throughout this year our Kick Start Enterprise consultant’s support and expertise has been invaluable for us.
She has modelled ways of working, both with families and pupils which has increased our confidence dramatically and has recently undertaken a really helpful BME learning environment audit with us.
She keeps us informed of all available Kick Start Enterprise training opportunities which we try to attend if possible. The quality of the training has always been of a very high standard.
I would like to thank our Kick Start Enterprise consultant for the dedication she shows our children both BME and EAL. She supports us to fulfil our role, understanding that school can often be very busy, and ensures that these children remain one of our priorities.”

Feedback from Manager, Nursery school

“Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me and complete the Early Years BME audit plan. I found our time together very informative and enlightening and the nursery is already implementing many of the practices discussed.”

Evaluations from Primary school – whole staff training

‘Ensuring more advanced EAL learners achieve their potential’
The focus of the session was on supporting class teachers to identify and confidently use a range of language and vocabulary development strategies to enable language development and access to the curriculum.

  • “Clear explanation and approaches to improve our EAL practice.”
  • “Useful activities – good to have assessments at hand to help support.”
  • “Very friendly delivery.”
  • “Very informative.”
  • “Thank you for sharing your knowledge.”
  • “Useful to have time to reflect on our current practice.”

Primary school – impacts recorded in EMA Annual Review report 2015-2016

  • EMA Leader has greater understanding of BME children’s attainment and needs, leading to more informed judgements about targeted support.
  • Teachers have a greater understanding of EAL acquisition and pedagogy and have developed confidence to meet the needs of Early Stage EAL learners within classroom provision.
  • The EMA Leader has developed confidence to support teachers with EAL Action planning and within the review and transition cycle; EAL learners are making progress.
  • The outcomes from BME pupil voice audits showed that all pupils, including BME learners have respect for others and a positive sense of their own identity, impacting positively on their self-esteem; no significant difference was found in the responses from BME pupils compared to responses from other pupils.

Primary school – impacts recorded in EMA Annual Review report 2015-2016

  • School Induction Policy established with clear procedures for the induction and assessment of newly arrived EAL learners.
  • New pupil tracking procedures are in place ensuring that teachers use high level formative assessment.
  • Bilingual and multicultural books have been added to EYFS areas; this practice to be established in KS1 and KS2.
  • Informed by staff training, teachers are using bilingual and multicultural resources within everyday practice to ensure cultural and linguistic diversity is valued, e.g. ‘Language of the Month’, bilingual dictionaries; singing of songs in languages other than English.
  • A stimulating learning environment has been created within all classrooms ensuring that linguistic and cultural diversity are valued explicitly.
  • A school Equalities Team has been established made up of 10 pupils; a display in the school hall celebrates ‘Good to be me’.

Primary school – impacts recorded in EMA Annual Review report 2015-2016

  • All children’s culture and language feeling better valued.
  • BME parents feeling valued and included, volunteering to share and support our diverse curriculum; sharing about home countries; cooking; reading stories, etc.
  • PTA fundraising event: ‘International supper’ well supported.
  • Pre-learning of vocabulary (with parental support) has supported children’s learning.
  • Pupils’ developing confidence has increased participation in lessons.
  • NQTs have developed confidence and expertise through individual Kick Start Enterprise consultant ‘surgeries’.
  • Teachers and TAs have developed confidence and expertise through training sessions delivered in school by Kick Start Enterprise consultant.

Kick Start Enterprise gets published and visits Westminster

“In 2013, whilst examining the data of a BANES primary school with a large EAL population I discovered that very few of them were receiving free school meals and that this was out of line with national data. I asked the school if they would like me to look into it and began to explore benefit entitlements and whether they were linked to residency status. My subsequent paper: ‘Pupil Premium – issues of uptake and entitlement’, was published by NALDIC (National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum) and is also available on the Kick Start Enterprise website.

The paper was picked up by Liberal Democrat MP Nick Harvey who had been doing work with the Children’s Society in relation to the lack of entitlement for children from families in receipt of tax credit and I was asked to attend a ‘Round Table’ discussion in Westminster on Free School Meals, attended by the heads of various charities and a member of the cabinet office.

It was discovered that a whole range of children from poor backgrounds were receiving neither free school meals nor the pupil premium funding to which they were entitled. These included children from families from another country in Europe and finding difficulties in proving habitual residence / right to reside; from a non-European country and having no recourse to public funding; and with irregular paperwork – including an estimated 120,000 children who are undocumented, up to half of whom have been born in the UK.”

Kick Start Enterprise is proud to have been a key part of these key discussions and remains committed to supporting equality throughout society.

Thanks to all of you for your support for the work about which we remain passionate and committed!