HEAL stands for Hull EAL, and EAL is English as an Additional Language.
We are a group of teachers and teaching assistants working in schools in Kingston-upon-Hull, dedicated to serving as best as we can our EAL learners. The group started meeting last autumn when Mr Kamil Trzebiatowski, an EAL Coordinator at Newland School for Girls, invited EAL and mainstream teachers and TA staff to his school. A question was put to the participants at the end of the meeting, “Would there be interest in having regular meetings?” – and there certainly was such interest.
Just this current week, we had our third meeting. We meet at schools across the city, both primary and secondary, who host us and usually provide some biscuits – the cake last time was amazing! The events are of course free. We have volunteer speakers from different schools sharing their current practice with each other. Some presenters choose to use a PowerPoint presentations, but some simply talk to the group.
We have a Dropbox folder where we share resources with each other.
The members of the group represent a variety of subjects and phases and varying fields of expertise. It is a genuine learning community that genuinely serves our EAL learners.
Our numbers are growing – we started with just 5 or 6 members on our books, but now have 20! At each meeting we add more – our ripples are larger and larger.
It is a lovely friendly and informal group that I am proud to be leading. I say “leading” as it is a truly collaborative group. I’ve already learned so much from the other teachers.