EAL support is provided for all students who do not have English as a first language through timetabled lessons which occur in place of a Modern Foreign Language.
The Department consists of four teachers, the Head of Department, three full time teachers and a part time support teacher, who is integral to the Department, being specifically assigned to the Leicester City Thai Football Academy Scholars to support them both pastorally and academically. The EAL Department is well-stocked with a range of books and resources for the varying levels of teaching required so that provision is more personalised to individual groups. The main textbook for each group is related to the Cambridge Assessment: English preparation course which they are following, though it is supplemented when required by other materials.
In 2017 Ratcliffe College became an official Cambridge Assessment: English examination centre and so all students now have the opportunity to gain global English qualifications at school throughout their time at the College.
In January 2015 the School formed a partnership with Leicester City Football Club (LCFC) to establish the Thai Football Initiative in which a selection of young men from Thailand are chosen to train in a scholarship programme with LCFC, while studying English and a BTEC in Sport at Ratcliffe College as Academy Scholars. The first cohort completed their time here in July 2017, achieving an English qualification relevant to their level, with two students achieving IELTS level 6 or above.
Within EAL lessons students are supported in their various subjects across the curriculum. 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 the majority of 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.
In addition, students are prepared for the Cambridge Assessment: English series of examinations. The level they are prepared for is dependent on their English level as assessed at the start of the academic year and based on the Entrance Examinations completed.
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, as 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 prep 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.