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Pupil Welcome Book - Devon County Council

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Pupil Welcome Book
The Pupil Welcome Book – an introduction
Pupils who speak English as an additional language come to Devon for a variety of reasons and frequently arrive during a term rather
than in September. This can be a worrying time for pupils and schools, especially those who do not have experience of bilingual pupils.
Our Welcome Pack for primary schools will help you with the admissions procedure, but once the pupil has arrived, what next?
The Welcome Book aims to help you with the social inclusion of the newly arrived pupil and will provide you with some activities to do in
the early days. Whilst it was designed with bilingual pupils in mind we think it could also be useful for any pupil who arrives mid-term. The
book has been devised after interviewing bilingual pupils several months after they started in Devon schools. All the pupils were really
happy in their new schools and the inclusion process had gone well, however, there was some vital information which the children were
not told. The Welcome Book has been written to cover topics which the pupils felt were important.
You may have seen the Welcome Book designed by MantraLingua. This book is available on CD Rom so that you can adapt it to your
school and the language of specific pupils. This book is for parents. It introduces your school to parents giving visual information on such
topics as uniform, start and finish times and routines specific to your setting.
Our Welcome Book is designed for pupils. It consists of a number of pages which introduce a newly arrived pupil to your school. We
have tried to think of all the different locations to be found in a primary school and have included these. Please use the pages which you
feel are appropriate to your setting and make new pages for situations which we have omitted. The pages are designed to be illustrated
and we feel photographs would be most suitable for this. Again, use digital photography or a single use camera, whichever is more
convenient for you. You will want to think carefully about who takes the photographs because there are several options. In one school
the pupil took the photographs herself, working with a Teaching Assistant. Another asked a governor who was involved with the school
photography club to work with the pupil. This situation was particularly successful as the pupil increased her circle of friends by joining
the club and the governor gained an insight into working with bilingual pupils. You may have an older sibling in school, or another pupil
who speaks the same language or you may have another pupil who would benefit from the responsibility of working on a project with
another pupil.
Your pupil should end up with a book which they are proud to share. We hope the pupils will enjoy showing their classmates the book
they have made. It would be good if the bilingual pupil could take the book home. (You do run the risk that parents will not understand
that the book needs to return to school so make two copies if possible.) This will help the parents or carers to get to know the school and
will provide an opportunity for discussion in the home language. It would be wonderful if the book could be translated into the home
language so that it becomes a dual language text. Perhaps you could sensitively ask the parents if they could do this or they may know of
someone in the community who would do it. This is an excellent way to show you value the home language.
We hope that although you end up with a valuable resource for the pupil, your class and school, it is actually the process of making the
book which is most important and this is why it is important to give some thought to the process you will use. One school who used a
Teaching Assistant working one-to-one with a pupil felt that the pupil did not become as included as she could have done because the
activities took her out of the classroom and away from her peers. Another school involved the pupil in the photography club to take the
photographs and felt that this had widened the pupil’s circle of friends. Although the photographs were taken out of the classroom, this
school used them as a focus for discussion within the class. The pupil had taken the book home to show her parents and hoped she
would be able to make a similar book at her next school.
If you would like to record the progress the pupil is making, we have included a teacher and pupil checklist.
Finally we wish you well with the Welcome Book and your newly arrived bilingual pupil. We hope you enjoy working on the book together.
Please contact the Advisory Teacher for your area if you have any questions or concerns.
Welcome to
This is my new
This is
She is the Headteacher.
I go into school this way.
This is the office.
This is the playground.
This is First Aid.
We have our dinners here.
This is
She is my teacher.
This is my classroom.
This is the Hall.
Here are the toilets.
This is the cloakroom.
This is the
Computer Suite.
With thanks to
•Pupils ……
•Jacqui Weall, Advisory Teacher, EAL Service
В©Copyright September 2004
English as an Additional Language Service
Devon County Council
Telephone: 01803 869113
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