Friendly help for immigrants at Spalding schools

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LATVIAN, Lithuanian and Polish students at the Gleed Girls’ Technology College and Gleed Boys’ School have been helped to settle in at school with a peer mentoring scheme.

As many as 100 pupils from Eastern European countries attend the girls’ school and just over 100 at the boys’ school, some arriving half-way through the year, which could make their integration even more difficlt.

However, the two schools are piloting a scheme in which English students act as EAL - or English as an Additional Language - mentors.

The foreign students report feeling more confident speaking English, approaching new people, asking questions and generally feeling part of the school.

Community development co-ordinator Caroline Battong explained: “We buddy up English students who have been trained as mentors with Eastern European students who have just arrived and need extra support settling into school. They meet each lunch time where they can play games, chat, ask questions and have help with homework. The peer mentors are trained to help the girls and boys feel as embedded as quickly as possible.”