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Learning Support and EAL (English as an Additional Language)


The members of the Learning Development Department provide lessons either for individuals or in small groups for both prep and senior school pupils. These lessons support English, EAP, mathematics and science, as well as lessons for pupils with dyslexia, dyspraxia and associated learning conditions.

English as an Additional Language and English for Academic Purposes

EAL lessons enable pupils whose English is not yet fluent to achieve their full potential despite working in a different language from their first language. The number of lessons per week depends on each student's needs.

EAL lessons may benefit overseas students from any year group.

  • Girls in years 7, 8 and 9 may need to learn the basics of English grammar while being helped to build up their vocabulary and practise their language skills. The approach is cross curricular so that EAL helps to support mainstream subjects.
  • Girls in years 10 and 11 may need to improve the accuracy of their grammar and extend their vocabulary. They may also benefit from practice in planning their written work and developing their ideas logically.

Most of our students reach the level of English required for IGCSE in Year 11. Occasionally, in consultation with the English department, girls are entered for IGCSE [ESL] as an alternative. In this case EAL lessons prepare the student for that examination.

Sixth form EAP work usually focuses on preparing for the IELTS test: the most widely recognised English language qualification for university entrance for overseas students. A very important part of this work is analysis of the conventions of academic writing style in order to help students understand academic texts more easily while helping them to improve their own writing.

Dyslexia and Dyspraxia Support

The department offers an initial in-house assessment for conditions such as dyslexia to any pupils from Year 2 to Upper 6th as required. A full assessment from an Educational Psychologist or equivalent is required for special access arrangements for examination concessions but any updating necessary for these concessions is available free of charge in school.

The Learning and Life Skills Faculty regularly receive information from the Kent West Dyslexia Association and the Dyspraxia Foundation regarding forthcoming classes, courses for parents, exhibitions and Fun Days and will publish this information when it becomes available.

Gifted and Talented

The department is responsible for identifying pupils who are performing to a high standard in different areas of the curriculum and advertising events of interest to these and other pupils in school, locally or nationally. These are events run by associations such as the Debating Society, NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children), Gabbitas, GIFT and the SE Regional Gifted and Talented Partnership.

The Methodist Group of Schools, of which Kent College is a member, participate in a series of joint activities.

Groups of pupils from various schools have attended Special Interest weekends and Kent College has organised a residential mathematics weekend, an English weekend, a Disaster Day and a Musical workshop based on "Les Miserables”. Further enrichment activities are planned for pupils in the Prep and Senior Schools, some to include pupils from other schools in the area and the country.

General Support

The department offers tailored support and guidance as necessary to any pupil in need of long term or short term support, giving advice on study, organisation and revision techniques appropriate to each individual's learning style. It is especially useful for those in Year 10 and above who have independent study periods and may need guidance on how to prioritise their study.

Study Skills Course

A team of teachers run a study skills course each year for pupils in Year 7. Topics covered include an understanding of how to learn, note taking skills and relaxation techniques.

Activities and Clubs

In addition to lessons, members of the department run other activities. These include a series of reading groups for dyslexic and EAL pupils, a spelling club for Year 7 pupils and lunchtime clubs for dyslexic pupils and their friends that offers an opportunity to "de-stress” and mix socially in a supportive atmosphere.




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