Provision for EAL pupils
Pupils for whom English is an Additional language
It is the aim of the School that pupils for whom English is an Additional Language are helped not only to become increasingly fluent in speaking, reading and writing English, but also to cope with the study and understanding of other subjects, in particular, helping with subject-specific vocabulary, helping pupils to gain good GCSE grades and ultimately to improve their English to a standard which will enable them to gain entry to a British University. There is also a weekly drop-in session in the English Department for pupils at all levels who require additional support with their language needs in other subjects or in the run up to EAL exams. All international pupils can attend this on an informal basis.
Entry into the School
As well as subject papers, pupils for whom English is an Additional Language complete a free writing paper and the Oxford Placement Test (online) prior to entry. At the beginning of the academic year all new overseas pupils are informally assessed in order to ascertain how much, if any, extra English tuition is needed. Housemasters, tutors and members of staff also liaise with the English/EAL Department regarding any concerns about the language ability of pupils in order to ensure that all EAL pupils receive language support as necessary.
B Block pupils who need EAL lessons have three periods of extra English per week as an alternative to timetabled French periods. The aim, in these lessons, is to consolidate the basics of the language and to help pupils with the difficulties they encounter in other subjects. One-to-one EAL lessons can also be arranged which can be appropriate where a pupil wishes to study French but requires some additional EAL support.
A & O Block
There are four periods available for A Block and O Block pupils have five EAL lessons per week. Both groups follow the Edexcel GCSE course, using the Edexcel course books. The EAL Department believes that the Edexcel course not only complements the CIE English as a First Language IGCSE course but equips EAL pupils with a wider range of skills, and gives them more opportunities to engage with the language and texts.
Sixth Form pupils from overseas may need to take the internationally recognised English language test, the IELTS. It is important that students applying to a British university find out the language requirements of their prospective university course at an early stage, so that they can work towards achieving this level in their Lower Sixth year. There is a weekly sixth form IELTS lesson on Wednesday afternoons and also in the Lower Sixth there are three additional periods a week available dedicated to the teaching of IELTS. Upper Sixth students can also set up small group or one-to-one sessions to help with their IELTS preparations, if required.