English as an Additional Language

Students whose first language is not English will have completed an English assesment before arrival and the school will have been forwarded the most recent school reports or examination results. All students have an induction programme to assess their English language capabilities and needs. Extra support is provided through timetabled EAL (English as an Additional Language) lessons. These lessons aim to develop the students English language skills and communicative ability and to build the students' confidence to succeed in an English speaking environment.

Students take a variety of courses depending upon their standard of English. Beginners may follow Cambridge KET & PET courses and some will follow a GCSE English course. In the Sixth Form, students attend an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) preparation course. They remain on this course until they secure a high enough IELTS score to enter their preferred university. Some students will also study AS Level English Language.


Cambridge English: KEY (KET)

Difficulty levelA2 elementary
The Key English Test is the easiest of the Cambridge exams.

Who is it for?
Do this test if you want to know your studies have started well and you have a basic knowledge of reading, writing, speaking and listening.

What is the KET test like?
The test has three sections:

  1. Reading & Writing - 70 minutes, 56 questions
  2. Listening - 25 minutes
  3. Speaking - 8-10 minutes

There are two versions of the KET test:

  1. KET
  2. KET for Schools

Both versions have the same type of questions. The KET for schools test has content of interest to school-age learners.

Cambridge English: Preliminary (PET)

Difficulty levelB1 / low intermediate
The Preliminary English Test is one of the Cambridge ESOL exams.

Who is it for?
Do this test if you want to know that you have an intermediate level of English. With this level of English you will enjoy holidays in English speaking countries. You should probably continue studying once you have passed the PET exam.

What is the PET test like?
The test has these sections:

  1. Reading and Writing are taken together - 90 minutes
  2. Listening - 30 minutes
  3. Speaking - an interview, 10 minutes

There are two versions of the PET test:

  1. PET
  2. PET for Schools

Both versions have the same type of questions. The PET for schools test has content of interest to school-age learners.


IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is used as the language of communication. IELTS is required for entry to university in the UK and other countries.

Who is it for?

IELTS is recognised by universities and employers in many countries, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. It is also recognised by professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies. 
More than 1.4 million people a year take the test.

What is the IELTS test like?

You can choose between the Academic or General Training versions of the test. All candidates do the same Listening and Speaking sections.
The test has four sections:

  1. Listening - 4 sections, 40 questions, 30 minutes
  2. Speaking - interview, 15 minutes
  3. Reading - different for Academic or General Training - 3 sections, 40 questions, 60 minutes
  4. Writing - different for Academic or General Training - 2 pieces of writing, 60 minutes

This site also contains vocabulary tests, including practice tests for the academic wordlist, as well asgrammar tests that are relevant to IELTS.

Level and scores

Multi-level. You get a score between 1 and 9. Half scores such as 6.5 are possible. Universities often demand an IELTS score of 6 or 7. They may also demand a minimum score in each of the 4 sections.  Please follow this link for an explanation of the IELTS scores: