English as an Additional Language

EAL support is provided for all students who do not have English as a first language through lessons which occur either in place of a Modern Foreign Language (usually French) or outside of the curriculum if no other options are available.

The department consists of two teachers, the Head of Department and one other full time teacher. There is a specialist EAL classroom which contains 3 computers, an interactive white board, a DVD/TV and a video machine. There is also audio equipment, including CD and Tape players. The EAL department is well-stocked with a range of books for the varying levels of teaching required so that provision is more personalised to individual groups.

Academic Programme

Within the EAL lessons students are supported in their various subjects across the curriculum. This occurs in the GCSE years in particular, as well as with the A Level students. A key aim of these lessons is to help the students achieve grades A* to C in their English GCSE. This has been achieved by the majority of students, with some EAL students opting to take literature in addition to the English GCSE. A few students have also chosen English Literature at A Level.

In addition, students are prepared for the Cambridge ESOL series of examinations. The level they are prepared for is dependent on their English level as assessed by the Quick Placement Test. While students do not tend to write the external examination unless necessary, the syllabi help to prepare the students for the ultimate goal in Year 13 of writing their IELTS examinations.

All students who have English as an additional language are required to attend lessons until they have reached Level 7 IELTS. Thereafter, support is still provided through lessons. The focus of these 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. 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.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Over and above the group lessons, in-class support for EAL students is available if class teachers feel this is necessary and this is organised with the EAL teacher. However, there is also an afterschool EAL prep drop-in session at which time students can bring in work with which they need help and receive the support as necessary.

At present there are no EAL trips, though potential ideas are being considered.


Mrs Michelle Reeves, EAL Co-Cordinator, mreeves@ratcliffe.leics.sch.uk