English Language Programme

Integration from the start

Some pupils who don’t have English as their mother tongue will find it difficult to fully access certain elements of the curriculum when they start at Millfield Prep. We neither throw them in at the deep end, nor do we segregate them from their native English-speaking friends. All of our pupils are integrated into the life of Millfield Prep from the very start of their time here. They live in a boarding house along with people from England and all around the world and represent the school in sports teams alongside their British classmates. They form strong international friendships very quickly.

Catering for the individual

EAL classes are taught in small groups by qualified and experienced English Language teachers who have a wealth of experience. Each pupil's individual language needs are quickly identified and met. Some pupils will need more EAL lessons every week than others, but regardless of whether the pupil is having six or sixteen EAL classes per week, they will still have over half of their lessons with their study group, the vast majority of whom have English as their mother tongue.

Through discussions, grammar practice, vocabulary expansion sessions and other fun classroom activities, pupils are encouraged to find out how to express their opinions and ideas in English. The activities used in class will not only enable them to listen, speak, read and write comfortably in an English environment, but will also prepare them for entering their curriculum subjects when their language level is of a suitable standard. Our aim is for children to develop self-confidence in a new environment and to ensure that all of our pupils’ English levels get to a stage from which they are able to go into their curriculum subjects with their classmates. Once in mainstream subjects, our overseas pupils can improve their English alongside their knowledge of the content of the subject, be it volcanoes in geography, the one-hundred year war in history or circuits in science.

Extra-curricular activities

Outside the classroom, all pupils can enjoy the wide range of activities and clubs including: horse-riding, fencing, sailing, orchestra, archery and chess (to name but a few!).

Throughout the year, we celebrate festivals from the UK and the rest of the world, including Chinese New Year and Christmas. As a group we take five educational trips to places where the pupils can learn more about life in Britain, and use their English in real-life situations.

In addition to the busy social life at Millfield Prep, the EAL department also hosts an International Evening each year, when pupils are encouraged to bring food from their country for their friends to taste, while they enjoy the evening’s entertainment and music.