Secondary Students whose first language is not English take the Oxford Online Placement Test as part of the admission procedure. The test assesses their level of English and grades them according to the CEF (Common European Framework) levels. As the level of English needed to function in the school increases the higher up the school a student is studying, so the level required to enter each year group also increases. A student may enter Year 7 with A1 level (minimal English) but will need to be at B1 level to enter Years 9 or 10. However, the students writing skills and oral skills (assessed during interview) are also taken into account.
ESL students entering the School at Secondary level are taught by a trained ESL teacher. Students in Years 7-9 receive four ESL lessons per week instead of Foreign Language lessons. Students taking ESL examinations for IGCSE, receive six lessons weekly and at IB level, ESL students may choose to do English B.
In ESL classes, students are taught various strategies to meet the requirements of academic English such as report writing, summarising, skimming texts to find the main point, writing about experiments and writing critical evaluations.
As in the Primary section, ESL classes in the Secondary section offer group work and pair work as well as whole class activities, which encourage rapid English acquisition and confidence building.