English as an Additional Language - Ratcliffe College

English as an Additional Language (EAL) – Ages 11-16 

Who we are:

Our EAL programme aims to provide support for all students who do not have English as a first language through timetabled lessons. These lessons happen in place of a Modern Foreign Language. Students also study English to get ready for their Cambridge English exams, which they will write towards the end of the academic year.

The EAL programme which is followed in the Senior School is a preparation course for the Cambridge English qualifications and the lessons are all at the level which is suitable for the students. The department has a good range of books and resources for the different levels of teaching needed so that the teaching which is provided is suitable to the individual group of students. The main textbook for each group follows the Cambridge English preparation course at the students’ English level, though other materials are also used to make sure students have the best understanding of all parts of the course.

In 2017 Ratcliffe College became an official Cambridge Assessment English examination centre and so all students can now get global English qualifications at school throughout their time at the College.

What we do:

Within EAL lessons students are supported all in their subjects from across the curriculum, but a key aim of these lessons is to help the students achieve grades 9 to 4 in their English Language GCSE. This has been achieved by most of our students over the years, with some EAL students opting to take literature in addition to the English Language GCSE. A few students have also successfully completed English Literature at A Level.

Students also work to get ready for the Cambridge English series of examinations. The level they are prepared for depends on their English level which is assessed at the start of the academic year and based on the entrance examinations.

As Ratcliffe College has recently become a recognised Cambridge Assessment English examination centre, all students will now complete an English qualification towards the end of each academic year, appropriate to their English level.

All students who have English as an additional language are required to attend lessons throughout their time in the School in order to support their English development, cross-curricular achievement and to be prepared for the English qualifications needed to continue into further education.

Over and above the group lessons, there is also a lunchtime EAL drop-in session where students can bring in work with which they need help and receive the support as necessary. The EAL students are encouraged to take part in the broader life of the School so as to advance integration. EAL students are very active and successful in a vast range of extra-curricular activities. The ‘Star Board’ in the EAL department recognizes these achievements.

Our EAL students are a key part of the life of the School and readily take on responsibilities over and above their everyday classroom life. EAL students are regularly appointed as monitors and Senior School prefects. EAL students are successful at Ratcliffe in a range of activities and have often been awarded School Colours for, amongst others, academics and music.


Mrs Michelle Reeves, EAL Co-ordinator