English as a second language
Caerphilly LEA is part of a joint service called GEMS providing support to children who do not have English as their first language. GEMS support is provided by specialist teachers, who do not usually speak the students' languages, and by home languages support workers, many of whom speak several languages.
The teachers are experienced Primary and Secondary teachers many with additional qualifications in teaching English as an additional language. Home Language Support Workers are specialised classroom assistants who speak one or more of the many languages spoken in Caerphilly. Many are graduates and some are qualified teachers in their countries of origin. Between them they speak most of the major languages of Eastern Europe and South Asia as well as Arabic, Somali and Turkish.
GEMS can provide
- Assessment of the English Language skills of newly arrived pupils
- Advice and guidance to schools on issues relating to English Additional Language
- Advice and guidance to schools on equalities issues
- Advice and guidance to schools on curriculum development
- Teaching pupils who are new to English by specialist teachers and home language support workers
- Assistance in meetings with parents and other agencies
- Information on religious and other cultural festivals
- Training teachers in strategies to cope with English as an Additional Language