Gold seal on Peterborough primary school achievements

Pupils from Leighton Primary School with Natalie Guilfoyle, EAL leader (left) and head teacher Hayley Sutton (right).
Pupils from Leighton Primary School with Natalie Guilfoyle, EAL leader (left) and head teacher Hayley Sutton (right).

A Peterborough school has achieved a top award for its achievements in supporting children who speak English as an additional language.

Leighton Primary School in Orton Malborne has been awarded the Gold Quality Mark by the English as An Additional Language (EAL) Academy for enabling pupils of different cultures and language backgrounds to reach their full potential.

A third of the school’s 400 pupils speak English as a second language. The main language spoken in addition to English is Polish, along with a mixture of European dialects including Latvian and Bulgarian, to those further afield such as Kurdish and Mandarin.

Last year the school achieved the Academy’s bronze award and was recommended to go straight for the gold award this year

The academy highlighted the ethos and supportive nature of the school, and spoke highly of the wide range of additional support and the high quality of teaching provision.

Central to the school’s success are the pupils themselves who work as language ambassadors supporting EAL children. The ambassadors offer support as reading buddies and translating work tasks. They also show new children and their parents around the school and act as mentors to allow new children to settle in well.

Headteacher Hayley Sutton said: “This is a great achievement for our school as it displays the high standard of provision that is on offer for the children that come to Leighton with little or no 
English language and are new to the English education system.

“Our language ambassadors play a valuable role in school and this award reflects how talented and skilled these children are to be able to speak two, three or even four languages fluently to support those children who are learning the English language from scratch.”