Duke’s Secondary School is a place of welcome and hospitality for all spurred on by our gospel values as a Church school

“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25: 35.

As with all groups of students we offered tailored support to those who are speakers of English as an Additional Language (EAL). We have an EAL co-ordinator who is a linguist and full time teacher, supported by SEND staff, a multilingual Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) who provides bespoke English intervention lessons.

EAL pupils, whatever time of year they join us are given a “buddy” pupil / pupils to help guide and help them in lessons and around school. We are introducing the Young Interpreters Scheme to recognise and further develop the role of “buddies” and EAL pupils both monolingual and multilingual. We also have a lunchtime enrichment club for EAL and Young Interpreter students.

We hold regular staff training to help teachers to develop their practice so that EAL pupils can learn new vocabulary and subjects. We aim to enable all EAL pupils who join us to make accelerated progress with their English in order that they can access the full curriculum including out of school activities and enrichment, to make friends and find happiness here.

From June 2022 we encourage EAL students to take the GCSE in their home language. In the first year for this Duke was delighted that the two pupils entered achieved a 9 in Farsi and an 8 in Arabic. This year we have students taking Turkish and Polish.

The School Chaplain offers pastoral support and liaises with families and organisations such as Northumberland County of Sanctuary.

The school has developed considerable expertise over the years in supporting EAL pupils, many of whom are also asylum seekers with extra challenges to settling into life away from their home country.

As well as this Duke’s Secondary has been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom.

The International School Award celebrates the achievements of schools that do exceptional work in international education. Fostering an international dimension in the curriculum is at the heart of the British Council’s work with schools, so that young people gain the cultural understanding and skills they need for life work in today’s world.

Duke’s Secondary international work includes a partnership with our twinned school Röntgen-Gymnasium Remscheid, a shared celebration of International Happiness day, and work on international maths.

The International School Award encourages and supports schools to develop:

  • An international ethos embedded throughout the school
  • A whole school approach to international work
  • Collaborative curriculum-based work with a number of partner schools
  • Year-round international activity
  • Involvement of the wider community