Sandwell Transition Education Partnership Service
Why has STEPS been created?
STEPS is part of Sandwell’s school admissions process and has been created to Safeguard children with EAL who are new to Sandwell. It aims to gather and then disseminate key information about them; including their learning needs and abilities, including EAL and mathematics.
Who is the STEPS Centre for?
The Centre is open during school term time to newly arrived children with EAL, from 9:30 until 12:30pm. It has the capacity for 75 children, who are allocated a place in one of the three classrooms: KS1, KS2 and KS3&4. The children come to the Centre accompanied by their families/carers through the Sandwell Education Directorate’s Admissions procedure. At the interview, family information data will be recorded and an initial baseline assessment for each school-age child will take place.
The curriculum the children will follow is designed around six cyclical Literacy units, based on The National Curriculum English programme of study as well as mathematics. Each of the units focuses on a particular element of multi-cultural Britain, with cross-curricular links to other subjects. The unit are titles: All About Me, School, Sport, Houses and Homes, Food, Plants and Animals. Formative assessment is used to identify the learning strengths and needs of each pupil including their EAL level. This information is then shared with schools and other relevant agencies to minimise potential lost learning time and provide an overview of the EAL and mathematics learning needs as well as any other information such as a physical disability or early indications of SEN.
How are school places allocated?
All newly arrived children with EAL have to attend the Centre. A school place will be allocated through the Sandwell’s Fair Access ‘Hard to Place Panel’ which meets every six weeks for Primary, and every three weeks for Secondary.
What happens when a school place has been allocated?
Once a school place has been allocated, a STEPS Centre transition worker supports the child into school by sharing all relevant information with the school, and family. They may accompany the child/young person on their first day to school, and will maintain contact with the child and family for the initial weeks.
What else does the STEPS Centre provide?
The STEPS Centre provides information and short courses for the parents and carers as well as the local community. This is done through multi-agency provision that includes Public Health, Family Centres, Social services and Community Groups. The courses and information will be held at the STEPS Centre as well as the local community.
Building capacity in Sandwell schools – EAL CPD
The STEPS Centre facilitates half-termly network meetings and CPD opportunities for primary and secondary school EAL Coordinators.
The RHCS external evaluation report of The STEPS Centre 2020