Providing a friendly, social and supportive environment, our EAL Department offers comprehensive support and EAL lessons to international pupils of all year groups.

Year 9-11 pupils receive EAL lessons to support many of the mainstream subjects across the curriculum and benefit from expert tuition in minimal sized classes. Whether it’s providing in-class support or help with a specific area of study or piece of work, our EAL teachers excel in educational and pastoral care for overseas pupils.

Sixth Form pupils not only benefit from one-to-one teaching and private study, but also tuition for the International English Language Testing System examination (IELTS), often required for further study in UK, US and Australian universities. And the EAL Department is always available to provide general help, support and assistance with UCAS applications too.

iGCSE ESL Board and Syllabus: Edexcel

The aim of the Edexcel International GCSE in English as a Second Language (ESL) is to test the student’s English language ability through realistic tasks based on authentic tests. Two separate papers test reading, writing and listening skills and students will be rewarded a grade from A* to G for their performance in these two papers. Each of these three skills contributes 33.3% of your total score. Candidates are not allowed to use a dictionary for any of the papers.

Course Content

Paper 1 :  Reading and Writing

This paper is worth approximately 66% of the total marks for International GCSE ESL and assesses a candidate’s reading and writing skills in separate exercises. This is a 2 hour examination paper which is set and marked by Edexcel examiners. The total number of marks available is 100 : there are 50 marks for reading and 50 marks for writing.


There are three reading passages of increasing length and difficulty in this section. The passages are taken from a variety of sources including, newspapers, websites and fiction, and may include factual information, explanations, opinions and biographical writing. There are a variety of tasks such as multiple choice, note completion and sentence completion.


There are three parts to the writing section and it is important to consider the appropriate style, register and format for a particular task. The word limit for each task is between 75-100 words and it is important that this is adhered to.

Paper 2 : Listening

This skill is assessed in a 45 minute examination which represents approximately 33% of the total mark. The recorded texts may be monologues, dialogues or three people in a conversation. There are three parts and candidates will hear each recording twice.