English as an Additional Language
The EAL Department supports overseas pupils of all year groups, providing help with their English for other subjects as well as preparing them for the Cambridge PET, FCE and Advanced exams, and university entrance through IGCSE and IELTS examinations.
All pupils are assessed prior to arrival so that appropriate support can be provided from day one. We try to cater for individual needs, learning styles and cultural backgrounds, and tuition is in small groups, occasionally even on a one-to-one basis.
Cambridge ESOL Exams
In Year 9, EAL pupils will prepare for the Preliminary for Schools test (CEFR B1) which they sit in June. This is a general English course and provides opportunities for pupils to grow in confidence with their spoken English in everyday situations, as well as developing the grammatical accuracy and breadth of vocabulary needed for life in the UK. In Year 10, pupils progress to the First for Schools (CEFR B2), an upper intermediate English course, which starts to introduce and develop a more academic English usage. Higher ability pupils in the Lower Sixth will typically follow the challenging Advanced course (CEFR C1). If successful they will gain an internationally recognised qualification accepted by thousands of employers around the world and all UK universities, a qualification that demonstrates that a learner has the English language skills needed to follow any undergraduate academic course, participate in academic tutorials and seminars, carry out complex research and communicate effectively both orally and in written assignments.
IGCSE English as a Second Language
The International GCSE offered to pupils as a one-year course in Year 11 is better suited to many overseas pupils than the standard GCSE in English; there is no coursework and no expectation of a literary background or knowledge of British culture. A grade ‘B’ suffices for entry into many courses at the majority of British universities - although further qualifications, such as a satisfactory IELTS score, may also be needed. The IGCSE exam, which pupils take at the end of Year 11, includes modules in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking through a short interview.
In the Upper Sixth, pupils still in need of a recognised English language qualification for university entry prepare for the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) examination; all British, Australian and most US universities recognise this qualification. Some universities insist on the IELTS as opposed to other qualifications.
Welcoming overseas pupils
We have a special interest in the pastoral care of all overseas pupils and we aim to help them to settle happily and smoothly into their new environment. The International Pupils' Association exists to promote the interests of international pupils and enriches the school by drawing upon the cultural diversity within the pupil population.