Title of Policy EAL Policy
Inspection Ref. Add ISI Documentation Ref Number as appropriate
Applies to Senior School Teachers
Endorsed by Head Master
Responsibility Deputy Head (Academic) and Head of EAL
Date reviewed Michaelmas 2021
Next review Michaelmas 2022
Good English Language Support is crucial to the success of overseas pupils at Wells Cathedral School and we are able to offer a varied programme that can be tailored to all those pupils who we judge will benefit from it. The programme is based in the International Study Centre in the school, in the centre of the campus. Pupils identified as needing this English Language Support Programme will have access to the facilities offered in the International Study Centre, and will be taught by qualified EAL (English as an Additional Language) specialist teachers.
The programme includes:
Pupils are taught in preparation for the following examinations (as appropriate to their individual needs). The IELTS, CPE and CAE exams are recognised by British Universities as a clear indication of whether the student’s command of English is of an appropriate level to be accepted onto any course applied for.
Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English
International English Language Testing System
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English
English as a Second Language
Cambridge Preliminary English Test
Cambridge First Certificate in English
Pupils are normally expected to have reached the level of IGCSE English as a Second Language Grade 5 or IELTS 5.5 before being accepted into the Sixth Form. The English level of pupils new to the school is assessed using the online Cambridge English Placement Test (CEPT) and an informal interview process.
Younger pupils are given whatever support we consider necessary to bring them up to an appropriate level of English, and to enable them to follow the normal school curriculum. The EAL department also liaises regularly with subject teachers and tutors to ensure that any difficulties arising from limitations in the English Language are addressed quickly and effectively. Concerns or progress can be recorded via a google form, accessible to all school staff from a dropdown menu on the WCS bookmarks. Feedback from mainstream teaching staff is also requested at key points in the school year; after an initial 2 - 3 week settling in period, or internal examinations, for example. This monitoring process is ongoing for all students for whom English is not a first language, regardless of whether they currently receive EAL instruction.
The number of hours per week of English tuition will vary, and depends very much on the individual pupil’s requirements. If at any time a pupil needs extra help, provision will be made within the curriculum, where timetabling allows.
The school will take reasonable steps to provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning, to support their language development at home, and to ensure that they also have sufficient opportunities to learn and reach a good standard in English language. Where appropriate, older pupils will be encouraged to develop their home language by working towards the GCSE or A level in their home language, with some support from the languages faculty. In addition to this formal opportunity, the pupil-led International Committee regularly organises cultural and language based events throughout the year to enable all pupils to gain a wider understanding of other languages and cultures. In recent times this has included pupils teaching introductory classes for other pupils in their native language as part of Languages Week, participation in assembly in the cathedral and the organisation of cultural events within school.
A charge is made for the English Support Programme.
Head of EAL
Date of next review: September 2022