English as an Additional Language - Ratcliffe College

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

Who we are:

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 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.

What we do:

Within EAL lessons students are supported in their various subjects across the curriculum.  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 well as progress made within the year.  In Year 12 students follow an IELTS course in preparation for their IELTS 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, 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 the Sixth Form the focus of EAL lessons is to further prepare students for life after school through the study of relevant vocabulary, as well as continued development of the key language skills – reading, writing, speaking and listening. There is also the specific goal of achieving the IELTS level required to attend university, usually Level 7.  Thereafter the students work towards their Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency, depending on their English level at that point.  Achieving level A on the Advanced or any grade on the Proficiency has the added benefit of gaining UCAS tariff points.  These students also have the opportunity to help in the support of the younger students with EAL, which provides them with the experience of being mentors.

The Academy Scholars are supported within their BTEC lessons by their EAL teachers as well as a dedicated first language support teacher.  They also receive English lessons in which the key language skills are taught and practiced.  The students also prepare for a Cambridge Assessment: English qualification relevant to their level. Some of the scholars are following the Lexia Core 5 reading programme and are making great improvements in their reading skills.

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.