International SupportSUB MENU
Students from all over the world attend The Leys, adding a valuable cosmopolitan dimension to everyday life. The ratio of pupils is generally 80% national and 20% international, with pupils coming from Europe, Africa, Australia, America and the Far East.
Traditions and cultural awareness are very important in language acquisition. In the ESOL Department, we help pupils achieve their full potential in using English for academic and professional purposes as well as every day and social situations. No one can predict which aspect of a language will be important to him or her in the future. Although English is a world language, dialect, pronunciation and usage differ greatly, often having an unsettling effect on pupils as they begin their studies in an English speaking country.
The Department is heavily involved with the induction of pupils from overseas, regardless of their level of English. Assessments take place before and on arrival at The Leys and pupils are then placed on a programme appropriate to their needs and our expectations. Pupils follow individual learning plans based on our series of assessments but the main focus for all pupils is on academic English and examination preparation.
The Department is situated in the Kelvin Building and comprises an office, study/resources area, main classroom for approximately 12 pupils and a smaller classroom for groups of up to 6 pupils. All areas are equipped with computers that pupils can use for prep and personal study. Both classrooms have an interactive whiteboard, which are used frequently in lessons. HMC Inspections have always commended the Department for its work.
The full ESOL programme consists of up to three periods per week in small groups, plus afternoon and evening clinics. The monitoring, cultural awareness and enrichment programmes give opportunities for one-to-one attention. After assessment an individual ESOL profile, detailing a pupil’s linguistic strengths, weaknesses and recommendation of improvement is created. There is an additional charge made for pupils on the ESOL and Monitor programmes.
Years 7 to 11
Years 7 to 11 concentrate on the key areas of reading, writing, listening, speaking and use of English. Pupils are introduced to topics that will help them achieve the required ESOL and GCSE examination results needed for further study. The support is based around the normal school curriculum, often working directly from a pupil’s classwork.
The Sixth Form programme includes induction, assessment and implementation of examinations necessary for matriculation into higher education. The equivalent of an IELTS Band 6.0 is the minimum entry requirement for International pupils. Most ESOL pupils take IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and work at proficiency level, with the expectation that they achieve a Band 7.0 in each skill area before they leave The Leys. For university entry from September 2011, UCAS points will be awarded for the CAE (Certificate in Advanced English) at Grade A and the CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) at Grades, A – C.
To help pupils from overseas integrate into school life and make new friends, The Leys runs an international society which meets on a regular basis. Each year a theme is chosen to explore the different cultural perspectives on topics such as religion, food manners and etiquette and celebrity. The very open atmosphere at The Leys ensure that making new friends is never hindered by cultural or language barriers.
International Evening is an important event in the School year where pupils explore their own culture as well as practise skills needed in the real world. The International Evening in the Lent Term provides an opportunity for pupils to showcase food, dance and music from around the world to help make pupils more aware of their community in the global context.
Throughout their stay at The Leys the International Mentor will be available to pupils to help them overcome any specific difficulties related to living and studying in a foreign environment. Before they arrive at The Leys, pupils are put in contact with an already established pupil at The Leys who acts as their ‘buddy’.
- Alex Bennett-Jones MA(Ed) QTS BSc (Dunelm) CELTA