Surbiton High School is enriched with a significant number of pupils and staff from a wide range of ethnic minority backgrounds and it strongly believes that this diversity contributes to the learning experience of the whole school community. The School encourages pupils to take pride in their family’s background, valuing their home languages, and they are encouraged to gain qualifications in such languages.
All pupils have full access to the Curriculum in all offered subjects. Pupils are likely to develop competence quickly in the social forms of spoken English through daily exposure to English in their classrooms and during co-curricular involvement. In order to develop fluency in academic spoken and written forms, focused and targeted teaching of the more abstract and impersonal ways of expressing knowledge and understanding can speed up the acquisition of the more formal uses of English required for learning.
The School uses initiatives like the Language for Learning Policy, where its particular focus on literacy acquisition and shift in classroom culture has impacted significantly on achievement and accuracy. This benefits EAL (English as an additional language) pupils in particular because of a greater focus on the mechanics of learning through reading, writing and speaking and listening.
Specialist EAL teachers, working in conjunction with the Learning Enrichment Department, provide one-to-one or group support to those students whose EAL needs have been identified.