Kick Start: providing support to educational providers working with vulnerable groups.
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June 2014 Edition number 6

Kowetha, Ramadan and help for vulnerable pupils

Summer 2014: while the world’s top footballing nations, and England, celebrate soccer in Brazil, Kick Start continues the international vibe with a score of features on religion, language and support for BME families.
For EAL arrivals, there are a host of options explained by Stephen Bray in ‘Ask The Expert’. There is a review of Dinah Morley and Cathy Street’s fascinating new book ‘Mixed Experiences: Growing up mixed race’. We have the latest report from Kick Start professional Judith Longstreth, on the implications of ‘Pupil Premium’, and news on her meeting with Nick Harvey MP.
We link to The Guardian's report on the value of bilingualism to us all, and there’s news about the importance to Polish families of Saturday schools.
Finally, with Ramadan due to begin on 28th June, there’s a feature and some suggestions for school-based activities to develop children’s awareness and understanding of this important time in the Muslim calendar.

Pupil Premium update

Following the publication of Judith Longstreth’s original article Judith Longstreth on Pupil Premium ‘When is a poor child not a poor child?’ she has written an update and has been to Westminster to meet Nick Harvey MP who is trying to change the ruling on the Working Tax Credit. Click the following link to read Judith's new article 'Update on Pupil Premium issues in relation to access and entitlement'. Judith would be very interested to hear about the experiences in your school so please send feedback to her at

Pupil feedback on our new video

Click on the image to check out this excellent and informative video featuring pupils who have participated in our programmes.

Update on Pupil Premium issues in relation to access and entitlement

Over the last year I have been investigating the difficulties that some children have in relation to access and entitlement to the Pupil Premium. This started when I looked at the data of a school I was supporting and found that only one of their bilingual pupils was in receipt of the Pupil Premium despite obvious hardships faced by many of their families. I then wrote an article outlining my findings which was published by NALDIC. Click here for article.

An update was included in the last Kick Start newsletter.

The underlying difficulty is that access to Free School Meals and therefore the Pupil Premium is linked to the benefit status of the child’s parents which in turn is linked to their immigration status. It is hard for schools to know easily what is going on, as schools do not always have knowledge of the immigration status of their parents or necessarily much detail of their financial standing – and more to the point neither should they. Children in poverty are therefore in the forefront of two major political rows – in relation to benefits and immigration. Most educators wish only for the needs of children in poverty to be addressed.

Click here to read about more updates which may be of interest, and to read this article in full.

Upcoming Kick Start programmes

Kick Start are very excited and proud to have made links with Western Training Partnership. Further details to follow.

Bespoke training

Kick Start offers bespoke training to schools and Early Years settings to support developing practice around spiritual, moral, social and cultural aspects of school life, EAL pedagogy, or the achievements of FSM meals pupils.

Contact us for a free appointment with one of our consultants.

0844 8708 132

People say the nicest things...

"It was really helpful to understand how EAL children feel. The activity where you spoke to us in a different language was a real eye opener"
Early years practitioner on training delivered by Bharti Joshi

"It is invaluable having Judith Longstreth working with us. Her guidance and support have moved us forward."
EMA leader, St Gregory's Catholic College
"I really enjoyed the EAL training and understand a lot more now, it will really improve my practice" Alice Parker, Hopscotch Nursery, Bath

This article from The Guardian caught our interest...

Learning Polish, the UK's second most spoken language, is a plus

Polish Children in traditional dress

photo credit: Alamy

Already 16,000 children attend Polish Saturday schools, but local authorities could do more to support such work, writes the Polish ambassador to the UK.

Click here to read full article.

In The News

Bilingualism offers 'huge advantages' claims Cambridge University head

Vice-chancellor Leszek Borysiewicz wants education system to allow children to strive to become as bilingual as they can be.

Leszek Borysiewicz, vice-chancellor of Cambridge University 

Leszek Borysiewicz, vice-chancellor of Cambridge University, sees bilingualism is an important asset. Photograph: Felix Clay for the Guardian
Arriving at his Cardiff primary school aged five, the future vice-chancellor of Cambridge University had just one English phrase. Coached the previous evening by his Polish emigree parents, young Leszek Borysiewicz quickly tried out "Please can I go to the toilet?", before realising his classmates were only putting up their hands for registration.

Click here to read the full Guardian article ...

Understanding Ramadan
This year Ramadan begins on 28th June. Below is a short article, (reproduced courtesy of BBC Schools) to support schools to understand more about this important time in the Muslim calendar and some useful links:
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and a time when Muslims across the world will fast during the hours of daylight.

Ramadan is the fourth of the five pillars of Islam.

The Qur'an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during this month. The actual night that the Qur'an was revealed is a night known as Lailut ul-Qadr ('The Night of Power').

How do Muslims keep Ramadan?
Almost all Muslims try to give up bad habits during Ramadan, and some will try to become better Muslims by praying more or reading the Qur'an.
Many Muslims will attempt to read the whole of the Qur'an at least once during the Ramadan period. Many will also attend special services in Mosques during which the Qur'an is read.

Fasting is intended to help teach Muslims self-discipline, self-restraint and generosity. It also reminds them of the suffering of the poor, who may rarely get to eat well.
It is common to have one meal (known as the suhoor), just before sunrise and another (known as the iftar), directly after sunset.
Because Ramadan is a time to spend with friends and family, the fast will often be broken by different Muslim families coming together to share in an evening meal.

Eid ul Fitr
The end of Ramadan is marked by a big celebration called 'Eid-ul-Fitr', the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.

Muslims are not only celebrating the end of fasting, but thanking Allah for the help and strength that he gave them throughout the previous month to help them practise self-control.

The festival begins when the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky.
There are special services out of doors and in Mosques, processions through the streets, and of course, a special celebratory meal - eaten during daytime, the first daytime meal Muslims will have had in a month.

Eid is also a time of forgiveness, and making amends.

During Eid-ul-Fitr Muslims dress in their finest clothes, give gifts to children and spend time with their friends and family.

At Eid it is obligatory to give a set amount of money to charity to be used to help poor people buy new clothes and food so they too can celebrate.
See also.. 
Classroom activities & worksheets.. 
Video clip – “The story  of Abdullah during Ramadan”..
Local Events
and Groups

‘Kowetha’ is Cornwall’s community group for black and minority ethnic families. The group has recently made available a booklet, endorsed by Barnardo’s, which supports parents who are raising children in predominately white rural areas: ‘Children visible by colour’.

Based on parents’ experiences, it provides advice on supporting children who may experience particular challenges.

Priced £5, the booklet is informative for parents, schools and other professionals who work with BME children. If you would like a copy please email .
See also:
The 'Children and Young People Now' Early Intervention Conference on 12th September in London will be a fantastic opportunity to hear how the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) can support your work, how to refocus children’s centres to become more effective in intervening early with children and families, and much more.
Open to all who provide services to children and families whether from local authorities or PVI settings. Speakers include Carey Oppenheim (EIF), Andrew Morris (Big Lottery Fund), and Matthew Reed (The Children’s Society), amongst others.

Book now to take advantage of the ‘early bird’ rate, which could save you up to £100!

The reading list

‘Mixed Experiences: Growing up mixed race – mental health and well being’
by Dinah Morley and Cathy Street,
published by the National Children’s Bureau ( NCB)

Click here to read the review by Kick Start consultant Dot Lee...


Ask the expert

Q: Next academic year we are expecting a number of new arrivals for whom English is an Additional Language. What can we do to support the inclusion and access to the curriculum of these learners?”
A: There are a number of strategies that schools and settings may consider to support new arrivals. Those which do this best ensure that such practice is embedded within a whole school approach.

Click to here for full article..


Teaching Bilingual and EAL Learners in Primary Schools by Jean Conteh, University of Leeds

Shortlisted for the UKLA Academic Book Award 2013!
As the number of children learning EAL in primary schools increase, trainee teachers need to develop the professional skills and expertise to teach them.

This text reconsiders which children should come under the umbrella of EAL and provides practical strategies for teaching them in an inclusive classroom.

It asks 'what do we mean by EAL?' and covers essential theories of learning and approaches to teaching.

Chapter topics include; speaking and listening; and reading and writing, and activities and case studies to link theory to practice are provided throughout. 

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