Our main requirement is that all pupils join us with a good enough command of the English language to be able to access the curriculum from the outset. Our curriculum is, however, flexible enough to enable us to cater for those pupils whose English needs additional support for them to reach their full academic potential.
The EAL department helps such pupils to develop both their English language skills and, just as importantly, their confidence. EAL support takes place in small groups as well as in individual lessons and is tailored to address each individual’s needs and areas of weakness. We develop each of the main skill areas – speaking, reading, writing and listening, whilst also helping pupils to understand specific subject-based terminology and language. Individual subject support, study skills and examination techniques are also included in EAL lessons.
In Years 10 and 11, up to the age of 16, international pupils follow the GCSE curriculum. In the Sixth Form, up to the age of 18, they follow the British A level curriculum, taking four subjects – one of which they normally discontinue at the end of Year 12. However, for some pupils from abroad, it may be best to start with three subjects and spend additional time improving their level of English in preparation for the important IELTS examination taken in Year 13.
This examination acts as proof of English language competence for universities and they usually make offers of places conditional upon good academic results together with a good IELTS score. In addition to the usual public examinations, we offer specific preparation for the IELTS examination and, for some Year 11 students, the Cambridge ESL IGCSE examination. Teaching for the PET examination is also offered.