Award for Nadia's passion and commitment to improving lives of refugees and new arrivals

July 23 2022
Award for Nadia's passion and commitment to improving lives of refugees and new arrivals

AN educator's tireless work to help children who have newly arrived in the UK has won her a national award.

Nadia El Jarad, a learning support assistant at Fairfield High School, has been awarded the Pearson National Teaching Award Certificate of Excellence for her work supporting the health, wealth and welfare of pupils whose first language is not English - known as English as an Additional Language or EAL students.

The school in Allfoxton Road, Horfield, which has hundreds of pupils from Eastville, has School of Sanctuary status under the Bristol City of Sanctuary project, for the way it welcomes and supports refugees.

Nadia's daily "devotion and passion" in engaging students and their families with school life led to a fellow learning support assistant nominating her for a Pearson award, professional awards which have been celebrating excellence for nearly 25 years.

Author Michael Morpurgo wrote a letter on behalf of the awards to Nadia, in which he described her work as "life-enhancing and life-changing".

He said: “For a child to have a great teacher like you is so important. You open doors, shine a light.”

Fairfield EAL lead Jo Hall said: “Nadia has infinite kindness and serenity that she shows to every person she meets.

"She works tirelessly to engage students and their families with Fairfield school life.

"She nurtures all who know her, often with a delicious food parcel she brings from home, and always has time to listen and to wish you well.

"She is totally committed to improving the lives for refugees and new arrivals to this country."

Nadia did not know she had been nominated until school principal Nick Lewis gave her the certificate in a surprise presentation.  

She said: "I am honoured and humbled to accept this teaching award following my continuing efforts in English language for the EAL students in secondary education. 

"Teaching languages is my passion, and the real pleasure lies in knowing that my help and support makes a difference to children's lives every single day. 

"Teachers have faced new challenges over the last two years since the pandemic began, but we still continue to strive to help the next generation of children with their secondary education.

"I express sincere thanks and gratitude to my bright and hard-working students, my supportive co-workers, and my loving family."