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Overseas Culture Support

English as an Additional Language (EFL)

English as an Additional Language (EAL or EFL)

Heathfield School welcomes girls from overseas for whom English is a foreign (EFL) or additional (EAL) language. We have girls from countries including Spain, Germany, Russia, Japan, China and Thailand who enjoy the warm and caring environment of our school. Moving to a new country with a different culture can be both challenging and confusing so we have a dedicated team who are committed to providing both pastoral and academic support to our International girls. We have a specialised induction programme which starts as soon as the girls arrive and we provide ongoing support to ensure that each girl adjusts favourably to life in an English boarding school.

English Language Lessons

Girls have the opportunity to continue developing and perfecting their English in 1:1 or small group lessons. A range of course books are used and the key language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, as well as vocabulary and grammar, are covered. Our EFL teachers can provide language support for girls with their mainstream academic subjects. The lessons are tailored to the girls’ specific needs and liaison with their subject teachers is ongoing. Girls are offered preparation for key examinations such as the IELTS and Cambridge EFL Examinations.

IELTS Examination

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination is a British university entrance requirement for students whose first language is not English. We offer full support for girls who need to sit this examination. Most of our IELTS candidates will have 1:1 coaching with an experienced IELTS teacher. To date, all of the girls who have sat the examination have achieved their target scores, ranging from 6.5 to 8. The school undertakes all the arrangements for the girls to sit the examinations in centres in London or Berkshire.

Cambridge EFL Examinations

All International girls are encouraged to write a Cambridge Language Examination at the appropriate level for them. The Cambridge First Certificate (FCE) and Cambridge Preliminary Test (PETS) are two of the most common examinations that our students take. Our experienced EFL teachers work with girls in 1:1, pair or small group lessons to prepare them for these examinations.

Our Requirements

  • Girls must sit a language entrance test as part of their admission to Heathfield
  • We require girls who enter the school to already have a level of English proficiency so that they can access their mainstream academic subjects
  • Most International girls need to attend a number of EFL lessons, which are charged as an extra. This is decided in consultation with each girl’s parent or guardian in accordance with the girl’s needs and her level of English
  • Heathfield School requires all pupils to have a UK- based guardian who is an adult over the age of 25