TESOL Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages
Blundell’s is a wonderful place for international pupils to come and feel part of an English boarding school community. Young people come from all over the world to study here, and they receive a very warm welcome. They are fully included in the academic, sports and social programmes. Because there are such a small number of foreign language speakers here, they have an excellent opportunity to speak English all the time, integrate into boarding school life, and improve their English significantly. There are currently about eighty overseas students at Blundell’s School. Those who come to study here are expected to have a good level of spoken and written English, and are tested before arriving.
Many students find that the level of English required for GCSE, AS and A2 exams is very high, and that they need some extra help with their schoolwork. Overseas students in lower years do not usually study French, instead having one-to-one or group TESOL lessons a few times a week, in order to improve their English, before they go on to become fluent and confident. With such small groups we are able to help individuals make rapid progress with their English. The lessons focus on improving communication and confidence, using a wide range of textbooks and materials. Pupils are also supported with their homework and any subjects they might find challenging.
In the TESOL department three fully qualified and specialised teachers with a great deal of experience are available to provide support, advice and encouragement for international pupils. The students enjoy the friendly, communicative and personal approach to learning, and this is reflected in their success and happiness with life here.
Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language
Most overseas pupils arriving before year 12 take the Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language exam in Year 11. This exam is designed for learners who already have a working knowledge of the language and who want to consolidate their understanding in order to progress in their academic or professional career. The qualification reflects the widespread use of English in education, commerce and entertainment. We currently study Syllabus 0511 where the oral component is counted toward the final grade.
Pupils begin preparing for the IGCSE English as a Second Language exam in Year 11, and are currently using course books written by the exam board, Cambridge. In exceptional circumstances where a pupil is staying only for Year 10, they may be allowed to sit the exam at the end of Year 10.
We are very proud of our Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language results, with 92% of pupils achieving A* to C grades in 2015.
For more information, visit: http://www.cie.org.uk/programmes-and-qualifications/cambridge-igcse-english-second-language-count-in-oral-0511/
IELTS Exams International English Language Testing System
Most international pupils arriving in Year 12 take the IELTS exam, which is usually required if pupils wish to continue their studies in a British or English-speaking university. Many universities ask for this qualification, including Oxford, Cambridge and LSE.
Pupils begin preparing for the IELTS exam as soon as they start Year 12, and are currently using the ‘Objective IELTS’ course books. They can take the exam whenever they choose and may take it several times if required, but most pupils take the exam in May of Year 12, to give them enough time to prepare, but leave them free time in Year 13, where the workload intensifies further.
We are very proud of our IELTS results, with 90% of pupils reaching Band 6.5 or over. Indeed many receive Band 7, 7.5, and even 8 overall. A few recent candidates were awarded 9 out of 9 for the Speaking section.
For more information, visit: http://www.ielts.org/
On the whole our international pupils are very successful indeed; GCSE and A Level exam results are often outstanding, and pupils generally go on to good universities. Our international pupils regularly receive offers from Russell Group universities, including Oxford, Cambridge and the London School of Economics.
Profile: Eva Zhang
Eva Zhang came to Blundell’s for the Sixth Form from Shenzhen Experimental School in China.
At Blundell’s she took part in the National Maths Challenge and was awarded two Gold medals, and also won a Gold in the British Maths Olympiad. She also gained a Bronze award in the national Physics competition, while her team came third in the national Chemistry Analysis competition.
It was no surprise to hear that she was given a place to study Maths at Trinity College, Cambridge.
We must not forget, of course, that Eva is also a grade 8 pianist and performed a beautiful Chopin Nocturne at the Summer Concert!
- We value and respect different cultures and philosophies - we all learn from each other!
- We want our international pupils to feel proud of their cultures and be recognised, as well as being fully included in the life of the school.
- We have an International Welcome Evening and International Evenings throughout the year so that international pupils can meet and enjoy free time together.
- We celebrate the Chinese and Korean New Year.
International Leavers 2008 – 2015
- Imperial for Biomedical Science
- Keble College, Oxford for Maths & Computer Science
- Trinity College, Cambridge for Mathematics
- Exeter – Accounting and Finance with Industrial Experience
- Middlesex – Interior Design and Applied Arts
- University of Kent for Psychology with Clinical Psychology
- Liverpool for Architecture
- UAL for Fashion Journalism
- LSE – Economics
- University of Nottingham – Economics
- University of Hong Kong – Economics & Finance