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Language Policy

Author: Russell Abraham and Janet Vernaglione
Reviewed: January 2024
To be reviewed: May 2025

Admissions and Teaching Group Allocation Principles 

As part of the admission process, parents are asked to complete a form which includes information on any languages other than English spoken in the home, which language is considered to be the student’s first language and the strength of their English knowledge. All EAL (English as an additional language) students joining in Year 7 should have a Proficiency In English level already however the MLL (Multi-lingual learner) lead can carry out assessments using the Bell Foundation Assessment framework during the first term of arrival where existing levels are missing / queried. 

Students are placed in teaching groups by the relevant Head of School and all groups are mixed ability. For any MLL students who are band A-C, a bespoke timetable would be established in consultation with the MLL Lead and appropriate EAL support would be provided. 

When we have numerous students with French as a home language, we aim to place these students into the same teaching group, so that we can provide a bespoke French programme to extend their learning beyond the curriculum. 

Teaching group size will vary between 20 and 24 students. Groups are mixed, meaning that there will be an even spread of MLL Band E students with various home languages in each group.

EAL Provision 

Our expectation is that newly arriving students should be enabled to access all areas of the curriculum. When students arrive with a PIE Band D, support will be provided by a teacher or teaching assistant in order to address difficulties. We have an inclusive approach to teaching MLL students and therefore they follow the same pathways as others in their year group. This has worked well to date. All students on the MLL register are monitored by the MLL Lead. We have budget to provide 1 to 1 EAL sessions up to 2 hours per week depending on need. In 2023-24 we have 2 students accessing 30 minutes EAL support each per week. 

When students join on an International Programme as immersion students and a significant EAL need is identified (band A-C), we have put in place additional support from a teacher, Teaching Assistant or student helpers. Many of our Sixth Form students complete a TEFL (Teaching English as a foreign language) qualification as part of their Enrichment programme and this equips them well to be able to offer structured support to such students.  

Student progress is monitored by class teachers. Any significant difficulties will be referred to MLL lead and / or ENCO team for assessment and to establish whether the difficulty is caused primarily by the need for language acquisition or whether it is another learning need. 

Jèrriais Programme 

The Jèrriais teacher visits all Year 7/8 classes on an annual basis to run a taster session and encourage more students to join the extracurricular club. A follow-up letter is then sent. We have one student who has been attending classes for a number of years and has reached quite an advanced level. We have also included Jèrriais as part of our Year 12 Elective programme. We include a Jèrriais element in our annual Festival of Cultures event. 

Through the Jèrriais club, students have the opportunity to develop their understanding of the language and its importance for the local culture. They will use the language in communication. For those students who do not choose to attend the Jèrriais club, there are currently limited opportunities to encounter and use the language in meaningful contexts.

Home Languages 

We have students with a wide variety of home languages in our school setting (33 different home languages recorded in 2023/24). Students have been surveyed and results show that there is not a high demand for home language support. Where students would be interested, this is rarely for support in the same language, making it more challenging to put in place appropriate and meaningful support. Students are generally more interested to work together on a language and culture club, meeting to share their home language and culture with others and to learn about others’ home languages and cultures. There are some students who already attend clubs to develop their home language outside school; this is particularly the case for French, Polish and Portuguese. 

Where students have a home language that is taught as part of our curriculum (French, Italian, Spanish), we always seek to provide extension opportunities, including bespoke programmes working with our Language Assistants, supported by our MFL teachers. We have had a number of students who have been supported to sit GCSE and A level exams early, achieving great success (details provided in the MLL register). We have also supported students who wish to sit a national qualification in another home language that is not taught as part of our curriculum, including Russian, Polish and German. We do not currently run extracurricular clubs for home languages not taught as part of the curriculum. We will review demand for this, though at present there is little commonality in terms of the demand.  

Our annual Festival of Cultures day provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate home languages and culture with an emphasis on food which has proved to be extremely popular. In 2023 over 40 countries were represented in the International Food Festival which is part of the day.

School-Home Relationships 

We seek to nurture strong relationships with our parent body.   We have the school website translated into other languages for students with parents whose first language is not English. We are able to provide, on request, bespoke translations of individual documents in a wide variety of languages and we are increasingly exploring AI tools to enable us to further extend this availability.

World Language Provision 

French, Italian and Spanish are taught as part of the curriculum. We have also included, where possible, learning opportunities in Latin, German and Mandarin as part of our A level Elective Programme. Students have also enjoyed participating in extracurricular courses in Mandarin, Jèrriais, Japanese and Russian. We do not currently have a Russian teacher and are awaiting the return of our Japanese teacher. 

French has historically been taught as a core subject at JCG. This policy to maintain French as a part of the core curriculum to GCSE level is reviewed regularly. We have chosen to continue this given the island’s geographical proximity to France, its historical connections with France, the importance of Jersey’s commercial and diplomatic relationship with France, and the significance of French as a global language spoken across all continents and as an official language of organisations such as the EU, the UN and NATO. Given our geographical proximity to France, we are able to organise activity trips and homestay visits for our students to practise and develop their language knowledge in context. We also have a number of students with French home language. 

When considering other languages to be taught within the curriculum, we are guided by a number of factors. These include the popularity of the language among students (for example, German was withdrawn from the curriculum around 15 years ago due to very limited uptake) and the availability of qualified and inspiring teachers (including our ability to ensure continuity of learning during staff absence or departure, bearing in mind the availability of language specialist teachers on island and graduating from UK universities). Italian and Spanish are languages of global significance. Italy hosts more UNESCO world heritage sites than any other nation and is a cultural superpower in terms of its contribution to art, architecture and music. Spanish is an official language of 21 countries. Both Spanish and French are in the top 5 most spoken languages in the world. Out of these top 5 languages, Spanish and French are the most accessible languages for an English speaker, meaning that achieving mastery of the language is a realistic aspiration. As they are also Romance Languages, Italian and Spanish are a logical next step from French in students’ language learning. It is also a consideration that not all languages are available for GCSE and A level qualifications (for example, Romanian is not offered by any exam board).  

Opportunity for Language Development 

Outside the Classroom We run biannual trips to France, Italy and Spain. These are home stay visits, so students have the opportunity to stay with a host family and use their language in context. They learn a great deal during these visits, developing their fluency and confidence and learning about the target language culture. We also encourage our A level students to take part in a work experience placement programme, during which they experience a week of full immersion in a working environment, living in the target language culture. These opportunities are currently on hold during the pandemic. 

Our students regularly take part in the Languages Eisteddfod in a range of languages, including French, Italian, Spanish, Jèrriais, Portuguese and Polish. 

Students are exposed to language learning outside school through music, film, literature and current affairs. Appropriate resources are signposted to students and shared via our JCGMFL Facebook group. 

We organise an annual ‘Language Speakers’ event for our Year 9 and 11 students. During this event, we invite speakers from a range of professions and industries to talk about their experiences of language learning and the benefits this has brought to them in their personal and professional life. 

We run a programme of extracurricular opportunities for students, including a pen pals club for students in KS3, a Modern Languages Film Club, an international current affairs discussion group and a Language and Culture club. In the Autumn term we run a House Languages event, where we encourage students in all year groups to practise, memorise and recite a poem in another language. We run extracurricular preparation sessions to support students with this. 

We seek to develop a positive attitude to language learning, rewarding success and effort through achievement marks, contact with home and postcards of praise. We no longer group students by prior attainment and have noted a positive impact on students’ motivation and attitudes to language learning.  

Links to other policies

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy  

Curriculum Policy 

Individual Student Needs Policy

Trips, Expeditions and Visits Policy