Great Barr Academy currently has about 600 EAL pupils who speak over 20 different home languages.
Great Barr Academy is the second-largest school in Europe, with capacity for over 2,500 pupils. It currently has about 600 EAL pupils who speak over 20 different home languages. The diversity of home languages, as well as a large number of pupils with EAL, can be very challenging to manage for teachers at the school.
We talked to Hollie O’Sullivan, the Head of EAL at Great Barr about how they use the platform at the school.
“FlashAcademy® enables learning together, but is tailored to suit individual needs.”– Hollie O’Sullivan, Lead Teacher for EAL, Great Barr Academy
How has FlashAcademy® impacted the attainment of pupils with EAL?
“Our goal for pupils with EAL has been to move them up by one proficiency grade during their 15-week induction period with us. FlashAcademy® has helped us double that performance level for more than 50% of our pupils, which has been transformative across the school.
“Teachers have particularly enjoyed how independent it allows pupils to be, giving them more time to focus on pupils that might be struggling. Even pupils with very low proficiency are getting on well. The school believes it is important for EAL pupils to be in the same classroom as the other children, even if they aren’t given the same tasks.”
How often are pupils able to use the platform?
“We have implemented a structured hour of FlashAcademy® EAL at 3pm each day. When it gets close to 3pm, pupils now start reminding us to get the iPads out for FlashAcademy® and there’s a lot of excitement in the room.”
“FlashAcademy® EAL has resulted in over 50% of our pupils with EAL progressing by two proficiency grades during their 15-week induction – something that has never happened before at the school. It is having a tremendous impact for our pupils.”- Hollie O’Sullivan, Lead Teacher for EAL, Great Barr Academy
What type of impact has FlashAcademy® had for teachers at Great Barr?
“The platform has had a huge impact on the workload of our teachers. In terms of lesson preparation, resources preparation, marking; it does all of that for you, so it really lightens the load for them. The pupils enjoy it, it feeds me the data that I need, and it really does work from every aspect of an EAL department. Also, the leader boards feed into the competitive nature of the children, which they just love too.
“We are going to be long-standing users of FlashAcademy® and I am excited about the journey that we are going to go on together; we’d welcome any schools to come and visit us to see the impact for themselves.”