English fluency: The Amazing Children Of Brampton Manor School
Summary: English Fluency
Arriving in a strange country where you know nobody, no friends, no parents just you. Now imagine you are a child who doesn't speak the new country's language “English” fluently. You would think this child will struggle, and the chances of this child doing well in a new English school would be poor.
Well, I’m pleased to tell you, you are wrong! This weeks English fluency podcast is about an amazing school that has helped children achieve amazing results against all the odds.
We like to make our podcasts interesting, to encourage you to listen to the audio many times. This is an important part of our learning to speak English fluently approach. However, some weeks we knock the ball out of the park and this week we have an interesting podcast that will help you learn to speak English fluently and will make you feel good about the world and show you how anyone can do this if you focus on it.
Audio Transcript: English fluency: The Amazing Children Of Brampton Manor School
Hi there, and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English. This is our Thursday podcast, so it’s shorter and slightly easier than our Monday podcast. If you’re new to Adept English and you haven’t yet visited our website, just go and have a look at our courses page. If you really want to go faster with your English fluency, then our courses give you practice at understanding real English conversation.
So if you’ve listened to our podcasts before, you’ll know that I like sometimes to make a podcast about stories in the news that are interesting. It’s good to work on your English fluency while also hearing about something interesting in its own right. So this one was a news story, which I heard last week and which I really liked.
An impressive school story
The news report was about a school in East London, called Brampton Manor, which is a state school, in a relatively poor area. A ‘state school’ means that this is a free school, you don’t pay a fee, it’s one that is provided by the state. The school is in the borough – that means area or district – of Newham in East London, which is one of the poorest areas of London. So people there don’t have much money. That’s important, because usually, when you look at academic achievement, the children who do best usually come from areas where there’s more prosperity, where the parents have more money. So you might expect children and students at Brampton Manor not to achieve as much academically, as schools in more affluent areas. A good way of measuring how well off, how poor or how prosperous are the families of children in school, a useful statistic – is ‘How many children have free school meals?’ Because only the poorest families get to have ‘free school meals’.
So the news this week was that 41 students from this school, from Brampton Manor had been offered places at Oxford or Cambridge University. That’s amazing! Especially when you consider that in this group of students, over half are on ‘free school meals’. And even more so, given that almost all of these students come from what we call ‘ethnic minority backgrounds’. So they don’t have all the advantages, associated with being white and being British. That means that at some point, their families have moved to the UK from other places outside of Europe. As a whole, only 2% of the children at Brampton Manor School are white British. And listen to this - two thirds of the students who received offers for places at Oxford and Cambridge – two thirds of them will be the first people in their family ever to go to university. Brilliant, I love it! This is what education should be about! And take note of this – for many of the students, English is their second language! For instance, one of the students arrived in the UK with very little English, just three years ago. So there’s a good example of how someone can learn English fluency quickly when they’re motivated and they have the right environment and support around them.
And even more impressive...
Some of the students with offers at Oxford and Cambridge are migrants or refugees, who arrived alone in the UK as children, so even more remarkable. It’s well known that the children of families who migrate to the UK often work hard and do well academically. They and their parents see the opportunity that education gives them, perhaps much more than many white British children whose families don’t necessarily give them positive messages about education. But to succeed as a sole migrant or refugee child, with no family support is truly remarkable.
The top end of a school, for the 16-18 year olds in the UK is called ‘Sixth Form’ – and the Sixth Form at Brampton Manor only opened in 2012. Sixth Form is where you do your A level course of study, in preparation for university. So it’s even more remarkable as the Sixth Form at Brampton Manor doesn’t have a long history. In 2014, one student received an offer from Oxford. In 2017, 25 students received Oxford or Cambridge offers, and of course, this year it was 41.
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So what does the school do, to help its students achieve such success and help those who need to learn English fluency? Well the school ensures that text books are bought for its students, rather than relying as most schools do, on parents buying these. Also there’s a study centre, which is open from 6am, six o’clock in the morning until 7.30pm. And they have members of staff, who are themselves graduates of Oxford and Cambridge, so that they can help with the process of applying for places there.
Quotes about the school’s success
The Principal or Head of the school, Dayo Olukoshi, says to his students: “It’s not about the way you look. It’s not about your skin colour or whether you fit in or not. It’s about – how ambitious are you? How big is your dream? Because we’re in the business of bringing your dreams into reality.”
And the Vice Pincipal, Mandeep Gill added “For some students it’s Oxford and Cambridge, and that’s brilliant, but for many others it’s not…...[we] are just as proud of those 70 students who got an apprenticeship last year.”
So that’s a great news story. We need to look at what this school is doing right. How does it support English fluency amongst students, for whom English is a 2nd language – and how does it do so well at encouraging aspiration?
Anyway, enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
PS: If you work hard, focus and try your best you can achieve amazing results
I think this week podcast highlights an underlying ethic of successful people. People who try hard at whatever they do, stay laser focused on their goals and objectives get rewarded. With the right environment, the right support the odds of success just get better.
There is a saying in English “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” It means that you can make it easy for someone to do something, but you cannot force them to do it. Adept English works hard to make learning to speak English just about as easy as we can. But if you have doubts, do not want to commit to the listening required then even we cannot help you.
The school children in today's podcast who graduate from Oxford University will have an amazing future ahead of them and they deserve it.
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