At Taunton School we offer two pre-sessional courses; GCSE (ages 14-15 years) and Sixth Form (ages 16-17 years).

These 10-day courses are designed to provide that all important boost for international students before joining a GCSE, A Level, BTEC or IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma programme in the UK.

For many international students, particularly for those whose proficiency in English is not as high as might be desired, it can be a very daunting task stepping into a British independent boarding school for the first time. Without the necessary linguistic skills and cultural awareness, getting off to a flying start can be extremely challenging.

By attending one of our pre-sessional courses, not only are students able to improve their proficiency in English, but they are also able to develop key academic skills which will equip them well for their onward educational journey.






Pre-Sessional (GCSE)14-1610 DaysSaturday, 23rd August – Wednesday 2nd September




Pre-Sessional (IB/A-Level)17-1810 DaysSaturday, 23rd August – Wednesday 2nd September




Pre-sessional courses include three hours of intensive academic English each morning. In the afternoons students receive two hours of other academic preparation, including lessons, lectures and workshops focusing on the following areas:

  • Acquiring, recording and learning new vocabulary
  • Increasing effectiveness in listening skills
  • Improving academic writing skills (including extended essay writing support)
  • Developing reading techniques, such as skimming and scanning
  • Effective pronunciation, enunciation and debating
  • Understanding the meta language of examination papers
  • Broadening study skills and getting the most out of their revision
  • Wellbeing and dealing with examination stress
  • Answering examination questions in full
  • Effective note taking from text and oral presentations
  • The language used to describe patterns in tables, maps and graphs
  • Plagiarism and academic notation

Students are also expected to complete set assignments during the evenings in order to maximise the effectiveness of these courses. Students can opt to take part in a range of trips and activities as well as opportunities to visit the town centre.

Upon completion of one of our pre-sessional courses, students are far more focused, prepared and able to cope with the demands of the GCSE, A Level, BTEC or IB programme they will move on to, enabling them to hit the ground running and providing them with the necessary academic skills to make the most of their education in the UK.

Please note that Airport transfers are not included in the price of the pre-sessional courses although transport can be arranged by the School at an additional cost.