EAL/Supporting Multilingual Learners

New to Fairfield? Scroll down to find out the ways we can help…

Our Mission Statement

“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.”  Frank Smith

We aim to: 

  • Make studying easier for students with English as an Additional Language (EAL) through academic support
  • Help our EAL students feel more confident through mentoring, extra-curricular activities and language study
  • Make sure our EAL students get the most out of the opportunities at Fairfield High School

In our Department: 

We support teachers to deliver a broad, balanced curriculum which reflects the needs of children with English as an additional language.

We celebrate multilingualism and will develop students’ ability to use their home language alongside English by providing dual language resources and supporting translation.

We monitor students’ results, inform families and set targets to ensure multilingual pupils reach their full potential.

How are we achieving this?

EAL Ambassadors play an important part. We choose 10 ambassadors from across the year groups and with different levels of English proficiency, who have shown excellent attitude, resilience, behaviour and motivation.

They are available to help our students settle in, represent them on the student council and give advice to help them go far.

Our EAL Team

Our team accompany and support students individually and in groups both within and outside of their normal classroom. They are present most break times in the EAL room to offer advice and a place for our young people see a friendly smile. In addition many of our pupils use the EAL room to pray.

Bryony Downing
(EAL Lead)

Nadia El-Jarad
(Learning Support Assistant)

Diana Avedikian
(Learning Support Assistant)

We also support students with: 

  • A vocabulary record system for every multilingual student
  • Spelling program in tutor sessions at KS3
  • “Drop everything and read” every day for Years 7, 8 and 9
  • Individual/ small group support from a teaching assistant in class for students beginning to learn English
  • Academic language development for small, targeted groups of students in Years 8-10
  • The Step Up to English programme to help some multilingual students move towards GCSE English
  • Volunteer tutors from Jacari support students individually once a week
  • Support for students to sit GCSE exams in their home languages

All our multilingual students have access to: 

  • LSA support
  • A dedicated space with computer access, staff support and resources as well as space to pray (in E016)

How do we monitor this?

  • Student voice
  • Teacher feedback
  • Reading and spelling data (collated twice a year at KS4 and three times a year at KS3)
  • Learning walks
  • Book scrutiny
  • Pupil progress across different subjects

New to Fairfield? Have you just arrived in Bristol?

Please email us to say hello! Please email [email protected]. We can help you with:

  • How the school works: classwork, homework and behaviour
  • School systems: communication with families, online homework, paying through ParentMail, permission forms
  • Translation
  • Local services
  • Community events

School of Sanctuary

FHS is now recognised as a School of Sanctuary. This means that we are a safe and welcoming place for all, especially those seeking sanctuary. This could be people whose lives were in danger in their own country, who have troubles at home or are just looking for a space where they can feel safe.

At Fairfield, we help our students, staff and wider community understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary and we extend a welcome to everyone as equal, valued members of the school community. Fairfield High School is proud to be a place of safety and inclusion for all.

Find out more about Schools of Sanctuary here.

Success Story: Abdallah (2020 leaver)

When Abdallah Ishak arrived in the UK with his family from Lebanon in 2016, he could speak and write Arabic but didn’t speak any English at all. Abdallah says that in the beginning FHS was “very hard” because of his language level, but he gradually learned by listening to other people and translating new words in his dictionary.

Abdallah took the opportunities offered to him at school including attending Jacari 1:1 sessions with a tutor, extra science and extra maths after school. He says, “When it’s early in the morning, break and lunch I don’t waste my time playing, instead I prepare or revise, which helped me 100% to get prepared for the next lesson.”

On top of this, Abdallah did lots of homework to support his studies, sometimes with the help of his family, and now says that writing and speaking are his top skills.

Abdallah’s advice to new English learners is “Use the dictionary and listen to other people speaking to English as much as possible.” If you want to improve your writing, Abdallah recommends that you “Write lots and ask your teacher for help.”

The best thing about Fairfield? “The teachers are very helpful,” he says.

Abdallah is now leaving Fairfield with a place at South Gloucestershire College and five GCSEs. After College he wants to go to University to train as a pharmacist or a doctor because he gets good results in science and maths.  We wish Abdallah all the very best for his bright future.