Resources for schools

Welcoming New Arrivals in School, Teaching and Learning

Top ten tips on welcoming new arrivals

  1. A welcoming, inclusive ethos creates safety, belonging and success, putting safeguarding first.
  2. An anti-racist, anti-discriminatory, trauma-informed approach which is non-judgemental, with staff and pupils trained to welcome.
  3. A multilingual approach which actively sees home languages as a strength and uses interpreters/ translation for communication.
  4. Develop trusting relationships with parents, learn about the child and their needs, explain our education system and learn about their educational experiences.
  5. Ensure all pupils and families understand the school’s bullying and racism policy.
  6. Focus on settling in, making friends, feeling valued, visual and collaborative learning - remember the silent period can last for 6 months - be flexible.  
  7. Focus on language learning through the curriculum, with high expectations and EAL pupils at the centre of planning for mainstream teaching and learning.
  8. Engage with different “knowledge of the world” through school life and the curriculum using a decolonising and inclusive approach.
  9. Encourage maintenance and development of the home language with parents as partners.
  10. Maintain professional curiosity about safeguarding, wellbeing and learning needs.


See further information on what you need to consider, advice about private fostering and advice about trafficking from the NSPCC  

Children who have left their home country will be traumatised and may have suffered loss and experienced war. Unlike other children in your setting, you will not know anything else about these children. In order to get some fundamental background information, set up a meeting with the family and an interpreter to find out some basics:

  • Who have they arrived with?
  • Who is left at home - what contact do they have?
  • Have they lost anyone close to them?
  • Back at home, before the war, were they adopted, been in care or any other vulnerabilities (SEND, domestic abuse etc)?
  • If the child is privately fostered refer this to the SPA (unless the arrangement is through a scheme such as Homes for Ukraine).
  • Refer families to the Homes for Ukraine scheme in your borough as soon as a placement is not working. 
  • Women and children are vulnerable to trafficking. Does the child/family show signs they may have been trafficked?  

Please also note key guidance about social media and community groups in the UK.

Checklists and guidance

Welcoming new arrivals

Proficiencies in English - use an assessment tool  to establish acquisition of English over time through observation in class - Bell Assessment framework or Hounslow 

Mainstream teaching

Additional support needs

Wellbeing and wider support

For bespoke support and training please email 

Last Modified: 03/05/2023 16:39:22