Award for Maindee Primary School, Newport school where pupils speak twenty languages
10:12am Friday 22nd March 2013 in News
ARABIC, Czech, and Turkish are just some of the languages you might expect to hear spoken at an international airport.
But things aren’t too different in the classrooms of one Newport primary school, where pupils speak a total of twenty different languages.
Of the 411 pupils at Maindee Primary School, at least 85 per cent are from an ethnic background and speak English as a supplementary language.
But despite it not being their first lanuage, youngsters are excelling, and the school has been recognised at a UK-wide awards ceremony.
The school impressed judges at the Primary Language Classroom Awards, coming top in the English as an Additional Language award.
Berna Pullen, of the Gwent Education Multi-Ethnic Service, nominated the school because she wanted to share the things they do well. She and 14 other GEMS staff provide regular support in the classroom to help pupils integrate.
Youngsters who are new to English are taught alongside all other pupils, as this is the best way for them to learn she said, but they will also get additional help if needed.
Teachers use a number of interactive tools such as iPads, and have developed an application to help teach pupils newwords and phrases.
One they use regularly shows videos of pupils speaking in their native tongue describing regular classroom tasks, such as writing the date or topic heading, which they can play to translate the words they routinely hear in class.
Teachers also encourage students to create comic strips in their first language and them help them translate them.
The school also celebrates all religious celebrations, such as the Islamic festival of Eid, to ensure all youngsters are aware of each of the many cultures they represent.
This year, it will add a newone to its calendar when it holds a Romany celebration in the summer.
Head of Key Stage 2 Selina Wells said the children were ecstatic to have won.
She said: “We took to the school committee to the ceremony at the NEC in Birmingham and when they read out the winner, the children just erupted.
“We are really very proud.
It shows that the commitment from all the staff at Maindee is paying off and the children appreciate it.”
List of languages spoken at Maindee Primary School