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English as an Additional Language

Leweston has over fifty years experience of teaching EAL and the Department is staffed by experienced, specialist teachers who work with pupils on the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing from beginner to advanced levels.


Students benefit from EAL lessons in many ways. They may use them to assist progress in their main subjects and extra support is often beneficial to improve essay writing and research skills. Many students study for internationally recognised examinations such as Cambridge Preliminary or First Certificate, or the British Council’s IELTS. All of these are available as one year courses. These language skills will boost performance in other subjects.

Our Director of International Students is available one night a week in the boarding house to assist with academic or pastoral concerns. Students can drop in to chat about any aspect of their lives. In addition to this EAL support is available at lunchtimes and after school.

While we expect that pupils communicate in English at all times around the school we do respect their first languages. Pupils are encouraged to participate in clubs to teach their language to others. In addition, pupils have the opportunity to take GCSEs and A levels in their first language if this is appropriate.

EAL Pathways

Years 7, 8 & 9

Students in these years are assessed on arrival and a decision is made about the best pathway. Some students will use EAL for support with their timetabled lessons while others will study for Cambridge Preliminary or First Certificate examinations.

Year 10

Students in Year 10 can select English as their foreign language option and study for Cambridge First or Advanced Certificate. This is an internationally recognised qualification which also builds academic language skills for other timetabled subjects.

Year 11

Students in Year 11 receive tailored support for the GCSE English Language examination. This is compulsory for all students studying in the UK and must be passed at grade 5 or above.

Sixth Form

Students in Year 12 prepare for the IELTS examination required by all English medium universities. Depending on their level they may take this course in six months, one year or 18 months. In Year 13 students can finish their IELTS course or use EAL for support in their A level subjects. Support is given with writing university applications.