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EAL and Intensive Language Courses

Sibford School has a specialist EAL department (English as an Additional Language) staffed by experienced TEFL teachers dedicated to helping our students acquire the language skills needed for academic achievement.

The EAL support offered is divided into three distinct areas:

Intensive English Course

This course is for students who need to improve their English language before joining Years 10 (pre GCSE courses) or Sixth Form (pre A Levels). 

The Intensive English Course is designed to give the students a thorough grounding in the English language and the core skills needed to progress to a strong intermediate level. They are taught by highly qualified and experienced staff using a range of teaching styles and this Intensive year will not only improve their English Skills but develop their confidence as a member of our community. Thus when their level is sufficient to join the mainstream course here, they will be well-adapted. 

In addition to EAL lessons other subjects are studied, commonly: maths ( in which they will have an opportunity to take the GCSE if their maths level is adequate) physical education, art, food nutrition, music, media, and English Through Books and Film. We aim to introduce students to more practical subjects which will enable them to use their language and experience subjects which may be new to them. They will be able to integrate with the school through joining a mainstream tutor group, PE and games lessons, after-school activities, and in the boarding house. 

Courses are chosen to suit the student’s level with class books, workbooks, online materials, and accompanying readers. The lessons use varied teaching techniques and cover the skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking and students broaden their vocabulary and understanding of grammar incrementally. 

Successful completion of this course should lead to the commencement of GCSE or A Level courses. However, this course may also be of interest to students wanting to improve their language before beginning a Foundation course at university. 

We are now accepting applications for the next academic year (2024/2025) and beyond.

Mainstream education with EAL support

This part of the provision is for students who wish to follow the British curriculum and at the same time improve their language skills.

The ultimate aim of most international students is to have a British education and gain recognised British qualifications. For students with a pre-intermediate level of English and above, the mainstream school timetable with EAL support is the best option.

Students will be taught using a course that will build on their particular level, focusing on reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills.  Students will broaden their vocabulary and understanding of grammatical structures and enjoy fun, communicative activities in class.

EAL students who study mainstream subjects benefit from total immersion in the language both in the classroom and by forging friendships with English classmates.

EAL lessons make up around 25% of the weekly timetable.

Entry requirements

  • For students entering in years 7 – 9 (age 11 – 13): English should be at least Elementary
  • For students entering in years 10 – 11 (age 14 – 15): English should be at least Intermediate Level.
IELTS preparation course

Students are required to have a strong, intermediate level of English.

This course is for students who are following A Level courses as members of our Sixth Form. The IELTS examination is necessary for any international student who plans to study at a British university.

The primary aim of this course is to prepare our students with the necessary language and techniques to achieve an acceptable test score in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

The course uses the latest IELTS course books and through discussion and analysis, enhanced with tailor-made materials adapted from current periodicals and journals, all demands of the test are met. As the reading and writing parts of the test are particularly challenging, not being merely a language test, this approach allows the student to more fully appreciate everyday and world issues. This is crucial for attaining an acceptable test score. It also allows the students to expand their overall English language skills.

Where possible our students will achieve a satisfactory IELTS score in Year 12. In Year 13 they may then progress their English even further by being taught towards the higher and prestigious Cambridge Certificate in Advance English (CAE) - an advanced English qualification for both university and working life. Success in this exam will earn UCAS points which will enhance university applications.

EAL at Sibford School

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