Supporting Newcomer Children and their Families

Hilary Cunningham

Fane Street Primary School

Hilary Cunningham, the Principal of Fane Street Primary School tells how they support the school community

Key Learning

  • Having a large number of newcomer children enrolled often means that there is a high pupil turnover.

  • Educational and academic challenges have to be addressed creatively to support all pupils.

  • Think about putting the children in tiers such as children who are New to English”. Have a staged support to address the wide range of needs.

  • Allow the Newcomer Co-ordinator specific time to meet with new families enrolling in the school.

  • Consider Trauma Training for staff.

  • Consider Play Therapy with a qualified counsellor.

Hilary's Tips

  • Look at personnel both inside and outside of the school who can support pupils and families. Think of creative ways in which to fund support for the whole family.

  • Think about how timetables can be adjusted to support the varying degrees of need in the pupils and also allow for pupils to have an identity within a year group and class.

  • Support parents in language development so that they can improve their life opportunities and also support their children educationally.

  • Addressing health and wellbeing issues through the school may be seen as a less intimidating way for families to gain help.

To Recap

  • What measures has your school in place to support newcomer children educationally and socially?

  • What agencies are you engaging with?

  • How are you supporting families?