Immigrants' tale

21st July 2000 at 01:00
HAWKSWORTH Wood primary in Leeds never needed English as an additional language services until a month ago. Set on a housing estate in an area of high unemployment, the arrival of two Romany sisters from the Czech Republic changed all of that.

The sisters arrived in the area three weeks before. Head Noreen Young says: "I don't think they'd been well received by local services or by the local population."

The school received reports that other children had called them names in the streets.

"Iwas glad they came to us because I knew we could help them settle and that they could contribute something special and different to our community," says Ms Young.

The girls are receiving a half a day's help from the traveller support service, a half a day funded by the ethnic minority and traveller achievement grant and a full day from an EAL teacher.

Now the head reports that in a few short weeks, they've made strides in their comprehension and socially are comfortable and well-liked.

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