Our International Community
In any given year between 15% and 20% of our pupils come from more than 30 different countries to The Leys.More information
Students from all over the world attend The Leys, adding a valuable cosmopolitan dimension to everyday life. The ratio of pupils is generally 85% national and 15% international, with pupils coming from Europe, Africa, Australia, America and the Far East.
The International Support Department are aware that traditions and cultural awareness, as well as language proficiency, are very important in education. Therefore, the Department works to help pupils adjust to life at The Leys academically, socially and to the wider environment. The Department works with our pupils to help them to achieve their full potential in using English in academic, professional and social situations. Aspects of culture, world traditions and classroom expectations are integrated into the lessons where appropriate.
The Department plays a significant role in the induction of pupils from overseas, regardless of their level of English. The induction involves academic assessments, social integration and administrative tasks e.g. police registration.
Academic 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, but the main focus for all pupils is developing a range of communication strategies for a variety of situations. After initial assessments, an individual profile is created for each pupil detailing their linguistic strengths and weaknesses, along with recommendations. This is then communicated to all their teachers.
The Department is situated in the Kelvin Building and comprises an office, a main classroom for up to 8 pupils and 2 smaller classrooms for groups of up to 4 pupils. The department is equipped with computers that pupils can use for prep and personal study. All the classrooms have a multimedia display screen, and the display screens 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 or on a one-to-one basis, plus afternoon and evening clinics. There are also cultural awareness and enrichment programmes which are open to all pupils.
There is an additional charge made for pupils on ESOL programmes.
A solid A2 and B1 level of English is usually the minimum entry requirement for international pupils joining Year 7 and Year 9 respectively.
Years 7 to 11 concentrate on the key areas of reading, writing, listening, speaking and academic vocabulary. 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.
A solid B2 level of English is usually the minimum entry requirement for international pupils joining the Sixth Form.
The Sixth Form programme has 2 strands. Firstly, there are lessons dedicated to the language encountered in the pupils’ A-Levels. Secondly, there are lessons dedicated to developing the pupils’ academic, professional and social English whilst preparing them for examinations necessary for matriculation into higher education. This strand prepares pupils for the Cambridge English examinations, which they are expected to sit at the end of the Lower VI. These examinations are appropriate because they teach a range of English styles and prepare the pupils well for many aspects of life in and beyond university.
Pupils can take either the IELTS or the C2 Proficiency examinations in Upper VI, as appropriate. UCAS points are awarded for the C1 Advanced at Grade A and the C2 Proficiency at Grades A – C.
Pupils will normally be expected to continue lessons until they have achieved the equivalent of Cambridge English Scale 185/IELTS level 7.0 in all skill areas.
The World Culture Evening is an important event in the School year where pupils explore their own culture as well as practising skills needed in the real world. It is held in the Lent Term and provides an opportunity for pupils to showcase food, dance and music from around the world to help make them more aware of their community in the global context. The very open atmosphere at The Leys ensures that cultural differences are celebrated and they are not a barrier to making new friends.