Meet our friendly Teachers and Staff
Teachers and Staff at BLS English
Founder & Director: Patrick
I welcome you to BLS English which I started in 1995 as a teacher. I chose Bury St Edmunds as the location because this is where I love to be and I feel that others will also love staying and studying here. The teachers and staff at BLS English are incredibly dedicated to making your experience a positive one.
My role is being involved and overseeing the day to day running of the school. I will oversee all aspects of your course. Our team of teachers and welfare staff are exceptional and together we will give you all the personal care and attention you need. I have travelled extensively across Asia and Australia both teaching and meeting interesting people. I love sport, especially football, and volunteer as a coach to the local football club. I very much enjoyed organising a recent football tour for Spanish children to Bury St Edmunds.
Director of Studies: Robert
I have taught and travelled in Japan, China, Malaysia, Morocco, Russia, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Canada and Brazil, as well as travelling and working in Europe and the UK. I completed my DELTA in London and hold a BA in Human Geography & Spanish and am very happy to welcome you to my home town, Bury St. Edmunds. Outside of school I enjoy rugby, cricket and enjoying the beautiful local countryside.
Accommodation and Welfare: Lucy
I am one of the friendly faces you will see on your first morning at BLS English. I will assist you in settling into your new surroundings, whether it is with one of our fantastic host families or the school residence. I ensure that all child protection policies are adhered to, creating a safe and secure environment for all of our students is top of my priorities.
I have lived in Suffolk for the last 30 Years and love Bury St Edmunds, I have a keen interest in Horses, eventing, and Racing due to my daughter competing along with Football after spending many hours on the side lines supporting my son I am one of the people you will meet at BLS English when you need assistance, whether that is with one of our fantastic host families or the school residence. I ensure that all students have a safe and secure environment to stay.
Student Enrolment & Administration: Katja
I moved to Bury St Edmunds three years ago from London and instantly fell in love with this town. I love traveling and discovering beautiful historic places and now I am living in one! I am also fond of theatre, photography and cooking. At BLS I do a bit of everything in relation to administration, from assisting the Principal to enrolments and invoicing.
Student Enrolment & Administration: Sarah
I moved to Bury St Edmunds 18 years ago and love gardening and cooking. My main focus is to help people from their first email or phone call through to welcoming them on their first day. We will support you from start to finish
Work Experience and School Integration Coordintaor: Becci
I am the work experience coordinator here at BLS, I am here to help introduce and support EU students in voluntary work. The opportunity allows each student to improve their English speaking abilities and provides them with an exciting involvement in the working world.
By working closely together we aim to build a world-wide working opportunity for over 16s plus to build their CVs and leave our school with the confidence to go forward into the employment world.
Whenever anything needs fixing, here’s your man! Often on hand to help with any questions relating to our three beautiful buildings. A hands on member of the team who can certainly save the day!
BLS Teaching Team
Vicki has been teaching for BLS since 2015. Before this, she was able to gain a considerable amount of teaching experience in various contexts and countries before joining us. This helps her in understanding different approaches to learning languages which is important when working with people from all over the world. At BLS she teaches adult students as well as junior students at different levels. Her knowledge of foreign languages enables her to focus on specific problems learners might have. Vicki likes to have her lessons well prepared in advance and tries to meet every student’s need when teaching. In general, she can be described as very considerate and friendly. Vicki not only enjoys teaching in the classroom but also likes taking students outside (e.g. to the interesting Bury market) in order to give them an impression of the English language in a real life setting.
I grew up in Suffolk and I have been teaching for BLS since 2012. Before I started teaching at BLS I worked in the equestrian industry, which involved teaching adults and children to ride horses. Working in that business I had the opportunity to travel quite a lot; I have been to Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Hong Kong and Singapore. I love to work with people from many different backgrounds and cultures – that is why I enjoy teaching at BLS.
I have been working for BLS for more than 4 years now. I love my job. And I love the challenge of working with people of all ages and from all over the world. I have worked as a teacher in Cambridge where I tutored students working on their doctorate papers. I also gained a lot experience teaching English to foreigners during my 15-year stay in Germany.
Duncan (BA Hons. English and History, PGCE) has taught three disciplines during career: horse behaviour, motor sport and English. After settling in Bury St Edmunds in 2008, he has taught English at both the local college and Bury Language School. Duncan believes passionately that we learn best from enjoyable experiences, so his sessions blend humour and fun with serious study. A published author and script writer, Duncan can explore the commercial dimension to students’ studies. A Spanish speaker due to living and working in Spain and Mexico. Hobbies: World War One studies, building motorbikes and rugby, (sadly, now only as a spectator).
I have taught a wide range of students at schools, colleges and university in the U.K. and oversea; ex-British Council in Thailand and Singapore; V.S.O in Sri Lanka; lecturer at the University of Riyadh and many summer schools in Cambridge. Survived two military coups in Thailand and a tsunami in Sri Lanka. Favourite activities include theatre, both on-stage and off; sailing and musical performances.
I have lived in Bury St Edmunds since 2016, and started working for BLS almost as soon as I moved. Through the school, I’ve developed a great affection for the town and various locations we take trips to, and am keen to show students the sights and elaborate on the rich history available to us. I greatly enjoy the opportunity to work with such a wide range of students – this enjoyment comes across in my lessons, which I aim to keep interactive, friendly and fun. In my free time I am involved in local theatre as an actor, writer, and coordinator of drama workshops.
Laurence (Residential Warden and Teacher)
Hi, I’m Laurence and I have nearly 30 years of experience teaching English in Europe, Asia and North Africa. I have taught all levels and ages and prepared students for all internationally recognised exams. I use project work in my class as I believe that students work best if they have some autonomy in a structured environment. My interest in English history helps me a great deal when I take students on tours of the local area. I enjoy teaching and I am positive that my enjoyment is reflected by the positive response I get from students.
I have been teaching at BLS since 2017, after teaching positions in London and China. I aim to bring as much fun into each lesson, using a variety of language games and activities. Teaching the students about English culture is one of my favourite topics, and they always teach me a thing or two about their’s too. The school is a lovely place to work because of its character and friendly staff. I also couldn’t wish for a nicer town to work in. I love telling stories about Bury St. Edmunds to the students and always feel excited to show them around the beautiful town. In my spare time I enjoy arts and crafts, travelling, and am a very keen yogi. I also teach Yoga and mindfulness and try to encourage mindfulness and kindness within the classroom.
Hello, my name’s Tim. Before I joined BLS in 2012, I worked in Kuwait, Thailand and Cambridge so I’ve gained some valuable experience teaching in a range of different environments and levels. I like to teach in a fun and interactive way and believe language learning should be inclusive and accessible to all. I enjoy teaching at BLS because it has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. It’s a great place to learn about the UK and improve your language skills.
My name is Gareth. I’ve been working in TEFL for over forty years, in a number of countries in Africa, the Far East and the Middle East as well as in the UK. I’ve had various jobs teaching people of all ages and from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds in the private sector, in the military, in telecommunications and in the oil and gas industry, and I’ve also worked as an examiner and as part of a textbook writing team. I’ve always enjoyed TEFL, and still get great satisfaction from helping to improve learners’ language skills as well as increasing their understanding of other people’s culture and way of life.
After reading Sociology at the University of Bath Carl Bennett travelled extensively in the USA and Middle East before becoming a partner in a business information research agency in a career that spanned the US, Australia, Norway, Germany and Hong Kong. He has been teaching English as a Foreign Language since 2015 as well as teaching in Suffolk schools. He also teaches on film sets in London and on the East Coast. He wrote two books for young adults (A Day For Pyjamas and Not Your Heart Away) one of which won the BBC Writers Room prize in 2013. He is currently commissioned to write a half-hour TV drama
pilot about young learners with ADHD.
Having previously taught in Spain, I started at BLS in 2013. I teach children and adults from beginners to advanced level, including exam preparation. My goal with every class is to create an environment where even the shyest student feels comfortable to come out of their shell and my overall purpose is to ensure that students leave BLS feeling that they have been fully immersed in a British cultural experience, while improving their fluency and increasing their confidence in their use of English as a second language. It is a joy to work at BLS; the classes, the activities and the excursions all keep students active and provide the chance to use English to make friends with students from around the world. It’s incredibly rewarding to see them leave with a such a spring in their step!