You are here


The Cambridge Preliminary English Test (PET) is taken at the end of the first year. (Year 9).

IGCSE Second Language English taken at the end of Year 10.

IGCSE First Language English taken at the end of Year 11. Year 11 set 2 have the option of resitting IGCSE Second Language English depending on their performance in year 10.

The International English Language Test (IELTS) is taken in Year 12 and is essential for those students who hope to go to a British university.

Initial Testing

Students from overseas take the Oxford Placement test when they arrive at the school. The result of this test is used to help us to decide whether a student is placed in a mainstream English group or in an English as an Additional Language group.

Teaching Arrangements

Students taking English as an Additional Language are taught in small groups to enable them to improve their standard of English, to nationally approved examination standards. When appropriate, English Literature is studied and such study and reading is particularly encouraged among the abler students.

Examination Arrangements:

Year 9: Student take the Preliminary English test (PET). This test has separate papers for Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

Year 10: Students take IGCSE Second Language English. This test has a listening paper, speaking test and a combined reading and writing paper.

Year 11: Students take IGCSE First Language English. This exam requires reading and writing skills.  

Year 12: Students take the International English Language Test (IELTS). Most universities expect a mark of at least 6.5 in this examination.

University Entry Requirements

We seek to enable all our students to enter Higher Education having achieved the best possible qualifications. Students from overseas who do not have English as their first language, or lack a GCSE or IGCSE in English Language must have EAL qualifications if they wish to continue their education at a British university. Some students whom we place in mainstream English succeed at GCSE but may then, in the Sixth form, find that they have to take the IELTS when applying to very good universities for very demanding subjects.

Entry to Mainstream English

We occasionally have requests from parents for their son or daughter to transfer to mainstream English. We consider each student individually but generally it is the case that a student will do better to remain in EAL. In the past, students have been transferred to mainstream English and only a C at GCSE level has been achieved. When applying for university, a grade C at GCSE has proved insufficient. It is likely however that the same student would have achieved an A or a B grade in an EAL qualification that would have been acceptable.