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D R A G O N S T O D AY S P R I N G 2 0 1 6



NGLISH as an





he Dragon’s pastoral care ethos

ensures that children feel valued,

both for what they achieve and for

who they are. Consequently, cross-cultural

understanding, teaching and learning has

become an integral part of the pastoral

support provided by the School, with the

EAL department at its heart.

Along with our colleagues at Lynams and

Bardwell Road, we aim to provide a rich

and differentiated curriculum through

which each child can discover his or her

strengths as an EAL/bilingual/multilingual

learner. We chiefly do this through one-to-

one lessons tailored to a child’s individual

needs so that learning in an English school

and in the English language becomes a

positive experience that enables children

to achieve great heights, both within and

beyond the academic curriculum while at

the Dragon, and in their subsequent

school careers.

The EAL department consists of four

friendly, experienced and supportive

teachers who operate an open door policy

and are always available to children if

they have a worry or question or just want

to chat. They see their role as helping,

listening and supporting each child while

building a relationship that helps them

provide the child with lifelong skills.

Children appreciate this interaction

with specialists in language acquisition

who understand the wonderful learning

opportunities the Dragon provides while

also recognising the challenges

multi-lingual children face every day,

culturally and linguistically.

On a wider school level, the Dragon

International Day of Languages was

introduced last year to create an annual

event that would bring everybody together:

boarders, day children, staff and the various

departments, to celebrate the fact that we

are a multicultural,

multilinguistic school.


The Dragon community is

diverse and multicultural:

the number of first languages

spoken in the School is always

changing. The EAL department

takes care of children who have

language needs because English

is not their first language.

We know that integrating into a new

environment and using a different

language can be daunting, so we prepare

all our new children very carefully. Prior to

their arrival, a support team is created for

each overseas boarder, EAL or bilingual

learner. Ma Duval, Head of the EAL

department, makes sure that an EAL

teacher is primed to give one to one lessons

if necessary, and liaises with house parents,

tutors, form and subject takers so that a

child’s transition is as smooth as possible

and every child can make a positive start at

The Dragon. She also liaises with parents

via Skype during the admission process if

they are based abroad; the EAL department

then remains accessible to parents

throughout a Dragon’s career both

in person and electronically (Skype,

email, telephone).