Skip to content ↓

Cotham School

English as an Additonal Language (EAL)

Cotham School has a dedicated team that supports students and their family who are new to English. On a student’s first day at the school, they will meet with an HLTA/teacher from the EAL team and will complete an English Assessment. The team aims to meet the family within two weeks of a student starting at the school to ascertain a clear understanding of the students learning needs and use this to inform plans for support.  

Based on the assessment findings, the team will decide on a programme of intervention to support the students with their English language learning. They will also determine whether the student needs an ipad to help with translation in class. 

The students will be given a level based on the English Proficiency from the bell foundation like this:


Level A - New to English

Level B1-B5 (lower) - Early Acquisition of language stage

Level B5- B10  (higher) - Developing competence in language 

Level C - Competent in English


If the students is of level A - New to English or Low B - Early Acquisition, they will be lent an ipad to use for translation in class. The ipad needs to be handed back at the end of each day to their teacher of lesson 5. 


We provide EAL interventions for students of Level A / Level B1-B5 / Level B5-B10.

In these interventions, students will be developing their English language in four skills - speaking / listening / reading / writing. 


Depending on their English reading and writing level, students might also be given some Phonics interventions, to learn to read and write following this programme:


How to support your child developing their English at home: 

Students of Level A and B will be given an account on Learning Village. An online English language learning programme. Every student with an account should log in and practise at least 4 times a week for 30 mins each time. Every time a student logs in, it is recorded and regularly monitored by their EAL teacher.

A mini vocabulary booklet has been provided to all EAL students in which they are instructed to write any new words learnt during the day from any lessons and to learn these new words at home. 

Their teachers check their booklet weekly and test them on new words.

All EAL learners visit the library regularly with their EAL teacher. You can ask your child about their new book and encourage them to read it. 

When your child watches a film, encourage them to watch with the english subtitles, it is a great way to make progress. 

Finally, in order to make progress in their second language (English), research has found that it is very important for the learners to keep learning and developing their home language. With that in mind, it will be good to encourage your child to read in their home language. The Bristol Central Library has books in many languages and they are free to borrow, you just need a member ship which is also free. 

Bristol central library:

English online:

This site has proven to be very beneficial to our students. The whole family and carers can also join in and it is free. You just need to register.


Understanding the English Education System (primary and secondary): 

It is not easy to adapt to a new system when coming from a different country with a different language and culture. This website has created some helpful materials in many languages to help families and carers understand the British Education system better:*dpc9n3*_ga*MjAwMDU1MjE4OS4xNjc4NDQ0MzEy*_up*MQ..

Support for Asylum seekers/refugees families: 

General support:

Bristol Refugee Rights:

BRR host Bristol’s Young People’s Immigration Forum – a quarterly meeting for statutory and voluntary agencies who support young people with insecure immigration status.

Address: Wellspring Settlement, 43 Ducie Rd, Barton Hill, Bristol BS5 0AX Tel: 07526 352353

Email for further information.

Refugee Council:

Refugee Council’s is a national charity working with refugees and people seeking asylum in the U.K., providing various forms of support. Tel: 08081967272


Red Cross Refugee Support Bristol

Get help as a refugee or asylum seeker | British Red Cross

The Red Cross supports refugees in a wide variety of ways, from offering

emergency provisions to those facing severe hardship to giving orientation

support and friendly advice to the most vulnerable. They can assist Family

reunion and resettlement, travel, emergency large-scale arrivals and offer

specialist support to young people and refugee women.

Address: Unit 19 Easton Business Centre, Felix Road, Easton, Bristol,


Tel: 0117 941 5040

Refugee Women of Bristol: 

Refugee Women of Bristol

Refugee Women of Bristol raises the educational and economic status of refugee and asylum seeking women and provides access to English language learning, volunteering and training opportunities in order to increase the ability of service users to gain employment and support themselves and reduce isolation and improve confidence. At their drop in centre they see women from all over the world, including Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Gambia and many others countries. All women from a refugee or asylum seeking background are welcome.


Health services supporting adults and families:

NHS: The Haven (for refugee and asylum seekers)

Tutoring services for children seeking asylum/refugee status


One to one support to EAL pupils, who are from a disadvantaged background and do not have English as their first language. Address: 7 Unity Street, Bristol, BS1 5HH – Appointments are available upon request Tel: 0117 3257913 Email:

Bristol Student Action for Refugees

Bristol Star (Student Action for Refugees) the local branch of the national charity ‘Student Action for Refugees’. They run projects around the city such as ‘Homework Club’ which supports primary and junior school aged children from refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds with their homework. They also offer support for those hoping to access higher education and the Sanctuary Scholars currently studying at the university.


Food distribution and support services: 

The Trussell Trust 

Supporting a nationwide network of food banks and providing emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, and campaigning for change to end the need for food banks in the UK. The Trussell Trust has a number of food banks across Bristol, Keynsham and South Gloucestershire. See the different locality food banks below: 


Bristol North West Food Bank Address: Bristol North West Foodbank & Homebank, Social Justice Hub, St. Andrew's Church, BS11 9EN

Tel: 01179235343




Bristol North Food Bank Address: Ebenezer Church, 285 Filton Avenue, BS7 0BA 

Tel: 0117 4725172 




Bristol Eat Food Bank Address: 32 Stapleton Road, Easton, Bristol, BS5 0QY 

Tel: 07584 625082 



The wild Goose drop-in Centre:

What does the Centre do?

• Provide breakfast and lunch four days a week for those facing extreme insecurity such as homeless or hunger.

• Offer shower facilities, clothing, a laundry service and toiletries. 

• Host advisory sessions about housing, finance, employment, health, citizens’ rights, alcohol and drug issues in partnership with local statutory and voluntary organisations. 

• Host a weekly medical clinic (the ‘wet clinic’) for those dependant on alcohol. 

• Engage with young people and schools to increase awareness of homelessness issues and to raise support for in Hope. ESSENTIAL INFORMATION

• The Wild Goose is open four days a week, providing a caring and supportive community, alongside immediate help. 

• Open Mondays, Wednesday, Thursdays, and Fridays 9:30am – 3pm. 

• Breakfast is served from 9.30-10.30am and lunch from 12-1.30pm. 

• The Engagement Team are available throughout these hours to organise practical help, such as showers or clothing, and be there to chat and signpost to other agencies where applicable. 

Address: 32 Stapleton Rd, Easton, Bristol BS5 0QY

Tel: 01174057116 / 07941414425


Food cycle Bristol, Barton Hill

FoodCycle isn’t a food bank. Food banks will provide items to be taken home to cook. FoodCycle runs Community Meals, which means we invite people to come and sit with us, around a table and enjoy a hot, nutritious meal. Our meals are served with warmth and dignity by friendly volunteers in a welcoming environment. Our weekly community dining service not only helps tackle food poverty but it also helps alleviate loneliness by bringing the community together. 

There is no need to book, you just need to show up on the day! 

Location: Easton Christian Family Centre, St Jude's, Bristol, BS5 0SQ

Easton Christian Family Centre, St Jude's, Bristol, BS5 0SQ

Every Wednesday 7:30 pm



Location: Barton Hill Settlement, 43 Ducie Road, 

Barton Hill, Bristol, BS5 0AX

Every Saturday 1:30 pm