Better Bilingual – EAL CELEBRATION EVENT – Monday 4th July 2022

Thank you to everyone who supported our Better Bilingual EAL Celebration Event this year.

It was an amazing afternoon in which invited guests from our local area and across the UK showcased good practice and resources to promote high attainment in multilingual primary and secondary school classrooms.

Better Bilingual is very grateful to Blaise High School, Bristol, for hosting the event and in particular to EAL Leads Judith Prosser and Bethany Swindell for their efficient organisational skills prior to and on the day. Thanks also to Frances Bywater (Deputy Headteacher) who officially opened our EAL Celebration Event.

Exhibitors provided attendees with opportunities to examine and discuss a range of high quality resources to support first class EAL practice, including:

  • The EAL Academy – Chiaka Amadi (EAL Consultant): Curriculum examples – a ‘language aware pedagogy’.
  • Across Cultures/Learning Village – Jane Bryan: Providing EAL learning and resources for 6-16 year olds.
  • Multilingual Matters – Florence McClelland: An independent academic book publisher based in Bristol.
  • The Bell Foundation – Katy Isaac (Trainer): Award-winning EAL Assessment Framework for schools.
  • National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC): EAL Journals on display.

Better Bilingual’s non-executive directors Lucille Charles & Paul Fordham were on hand to share our Vision & Mission, whilst Catherine Brennan, Better Bilingual Director, was delighted to ‘top and tail’ the event, including a preview of some new short films by UWE students to promote the value of multilingualism and our Better Bilingual work with schools.

Chiaka Amadi, EAL Consultant from the EAL Academy, kicked off the main agenda with a keynote speech which explored the hierarchy of languages and provided much food for thought for the audience of EYFS, primary and secondary practitioners as well as invited students from our host school.

Attendees were then invited to move around the first of 2 ‘carousels’ of presenters who shared elements of their own good practice, including:

  • Zoe Welsh, EAL Specialist Teacher at Willow Park Primary (Bristol) – Welcoming & Teaching Refugee pupils in the primary school.
  • Hannah White, Languages/EAL Lead at The Dolphin School (Bristol) – Celebrating Mother Languages.
  • Hayley Hayes, EAL Champion at Southville Primary (Bristol) – sharing examples of EAL differentiation.
  • Alice Rowden, EAL Coordinator at Bristol Free School – sharing EAL successes from across the school.
  • Judith Prosser & Bethany Swindell, EAL Leads at Blaise High School (Bristol) – Tracking English language proficiency.
  • ‘Student Buddies’ from Blaise High School (Bristol) – sharing their experiences of welcoming newly arrived students in their school.

There was then an opportunity for attendees to network whilst tucking into the tasty vegetarian food provided by ‘Refugee Women of Bristol’, which received fantastic reviews on the day, and Blaise High School Student Ambassadors were on hand to take guests on a short tour of the school library, excellently managed by librarian, Sarah Middleton, to view an impressive display of multicultural and bilingual books.

Attendees were then invited to move around the second ‘carousel’ of presenters, including:

  • Stephen Bray, EAL Lead at Gardners Lane & Oakwood Federation (Cheltenham) – sharing the success of implementing the Young Interpreters Scheme.
  • Heloise Kerr-Wilson, EAL Lead at Gloucester Road Primary (Cheltenham) – sharing her school’s SLT commitment to the whole school agenda for EAL and how she supports pupil access to the curriculum.
  • Sadie Cannard, EYFS Teacher at Oasis Academy Connaught (Bristol) – sharing how New to English children are welcomed and supported in the Early Years context.
  • Bathsheba Wells Dion, English & EAL Lead Teacher at Bristol Cathedral Choir School -Welcoming and Assessing EAL Students.
  • Sally Pollard, EAL Lead & English Teacher at Redland Green School (Bristol) – sharing how the school has developed good quality EAL admission and inclusion practice.

Written evaluations on the day suggested that a splendid time was had by all!

Huge thanks to:

Blaise High School for generously hosting this event;

Refugee Women of Bristol for the delicious refreshments;

Chiaka Amadi for the stimulating keynote speech;

– all our wonderful presenters and exhibitors;

– our generous sponsors: The EAL Academy, Learning Village by Across Cultures and The Bell Foundation plus Multilingual Matters who kindly gifted a set of books to our hosts.

We’re already looking forward to next year’s event and hope you are too!


Categories: EAL


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