Sibford School Language course brochure 2021

Page 1

‘Adding value to the world’


(English to Speakers of Other Languages)


Welcome Welcome to Sibford School’s ESOL Department. We hope that you will find this brochure helpful and that it will answer many of your questions. If you like what you read, the next step to securing a place here at Sibford would be to arrange a Skype interview with myself and also, if you would like, with some of our current ESOL students so that they can tell you what the school is really like from their perspective. If you have the opportunity to come and visit us, then even better. You will be able to look around, meet the staff and students and see for yourself what a wonderful place Sibford School is to improve your English and gain a fantastic education. We look forward to hearing from you in the near future, but should you have any further questions that are not covered in this brochure then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We look forward to seeing you soon. Sally Pickering and the ESOL team Sibford has a dedicated ESOL department staffed by caring, professional and experienced teachers who work tirelessly, not only to provide high-level English language training, but also to support students as individuals and members of the wider school Community and to help them to realise their full potential. Contact: For further information about Sibford ESOL department, to book a Skype interview or to arrange a visit please contact: Elspeth Dyer (Admissions Officer) email: Tel: +44 (0) 1295 781203 or +44 (0) 1295 781200

Why come to Sibford School ‘A language school in a boarding school setting.’ English is the most commonly spoken language in the world, and at Sibford School we have a passion for helping overseas pupils to learn and perfect their language skills. We have a truly dedicated, caring, professional and experienced ESOL department (English to Speakers of Other Languages) that offers students first-class learning conditions in small groups where modern and interactive teaching methods are combined with more traditional approaches. But we do far more than simply teach the language. We support our learners - both as individuals and members of the community - and work to help them improve their English, succeed in their other subjects, blossom in the wider school and to realise their full potential. The help you receive from us is twofold. Firstly, English language training. Not only will we help you get that all-important IELTS score, necessary to enter the UK university of your choice but, perhaps more importantly, we will also help you to acquire as much language as possible to enable you to cope in the real world once you have left Sibford. This means working on all the key skills; grammar, writing, reading, speaking, listening, pronunciation and vocabulary, using a combination of new media and conventional learning. Secondly, we will provide personal support for you as an individual. Offering assistance with things such as police registration, choosing the right university course, visa applications and study skills. Our pastoral care is of the utmost importance too and is one of our strengths. Although the goal of the ESOL student is to become fully assimilated in the wider school, to learn from other cultures and share their own, our international students always have the care and support of the ESOL Department. Coming to join a school in the UK is a big move and it is important you choose the right place, after all you could be here for a number of years. Sibford School is located in a tranquil, safe, rural setting in the heart of England but at the same time is close to Oxford and London. We limit our intake of overseas pupils to 12 per cent of the school population, which means that we can offer you a genuine English boarding school experience. We think that Sibford School could be just the place that you are looking for but don’t just take our word for it, see what our students have to say ...

What our students say … Shin, Year 13 The ESOL department at Sibford has helped me a lot with my English, not only for my academic subjects but also everyday English. When I first came to the UK, I was in Year 11 and studied on the Intensive English Course. I couldn’t understand a single word anybody said to me. The Intensive English Course consists of English classes every day and also other more relaxing subjects like cooking and textiles. We learn the basic grammar and vocabulary but also about life in the UK, the history and the culture of the country. These lessons make it easier for us to adapt to a new school system and a new country. After completing the Intensive English Course, my English was good enough for me to begin my A Level studies. I take art, design technology and maths which means I have to write long assignments. My ESOL teachers help me with this. We are also preparing for the IELTS exam which we need if we are to go to university in the UK. Apart from learning English, the ESOL department also organises trips for ESOL students so we can learn more about the country’s history and culture. Last year we went to Warwick Castle, The Black Country Living Museum and even had a day at a theme park. I was also lucky enough to go on the fine art field trip to Venice.

Qi, Year 11 My name is Qi. I come from China and am now studying GCSEs and ESOL course at Sibford School. Ever since my first day at Sibford, I have always been surrounded by nice people. This school, especially in ESOL, has really made me feel at home. Therefore, I never felt homesick. Though sometimes I found it difficult to understand the lessons and to communicate with other English people, the teachers here always have a great deal of patience with me and all of them have been extremely supportive in all my subjects. In ESOL, we focus on English grammar and practise listening, writing and speaking a lot. Although those things may sound boring, our lessons have never been dull. We talk about a wide range of topics in the lesson and the teachers introduce loads of interesting English culture to us, and without noticing, your English will improve gradually! Now, I’m going to study English literature for A Level, which is something I wouldn’t imagine before. With all the support and help from my teachers, this dream is now coming true. Lastly, I want to say a heartfelt thanks to everyone in this school. Sibford School would certainly be a good choice for you all. I hope I will see you in Sibford in the future

An introduction to our courses We strongly believe that everyone can learn English to a good level. Sometimes it’s just about finding the right approach and the right way for each individual student. Our highly qualified and vastly experienced staff are experts at this. We quickly build a rapport with our students and form relationships based on respect and understanding. This is key to enabling our students to feel supported and lays the foundation of their language success. We believe we have a healthy balance between embracing new technologies and the more traditional, alongside utilising the most important learning resources in the room – the experiences, thoughts and feelings of both the students and their teachers. Our staff regularly attend training sessions to ensure we are at the forefront of innovations in ESOL teaching and, most importantly, clearly love what they do. We can provide 1:1 lessons by arrangement. We are also experienced in teaching young learners and provide ESOL support for international students who live locally* and attend the Junior School.

*Note: The majority of our international boarding places are for Senior School pupils, however we can, in some circumstances, accept Junior School boarders in Year 6.

Intensive English Course This course is for students who need to improve their English language before joining Years 10 and 11 (for GCSE courses) or Sixth Form (for A Levels). The Intensive English Course is designed to give the students a thorough grounding in the English language and the core skills needed to progress to a strong intermediate level. In addition to ESOL lessons other subjects are studied, commonly: maths, physical education, textiles and business studies. It is our aim to introduce students to more practical subjects which will enable them to use their language and experience subjects which may be new to them. The ESOL lessons are varied and cater to a range of learning styles. They are designed to allow the student to progress and gain confidence in each area of their English whilst helping them to integrate with the wider school. Many students choose to supplement their timetable by attending lessons in subjects they intend to study next year – this recent innovation has proved helpful. Successful completion of this course should lead to the commencement of GCSE or A Level courses. However, this course may also be of interest to students wanting to improve their language before beginning a Foundation course at university.

Mainstream lessons with ESOL support This course is for students who wish to follow the British curriculum and at the same time improve their language skills. The ultimate aim of most international students is to have a British education and gain recognised British qualifications. For students with an intermediate level of English and above, the mainstream school timetable with ESOL support is the best option. The ESOL department works hard to raise your level of English whilst providing extra support for your other subjects. Whilst there is a great deal of subject specific language to learn, this approach allows for a greater amount of immersion in the English language and more time with native speakers. For new students we make sure this option isn’t overwhelming and liaise with all the subject teachers to ensure the students can participate, be challenged, and gain greater confidence with their English without feeling threatened or unnecessarily weighed down. ESOL lessons make up around 25% of the weekly timetable.

IELTS preparation course Entry requirement: IELTS 6.0 This course is for students who are following A Level courses as members of our Sixth Form. The IELTS examination is necessary for any international student who plans to study at a British university. The primary aim of this course is to prepare our students with the necessary language and techniques to achieve an acceptable test score in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The course uses the latest IELTS course books and through discussion and analysis, enhanced with tailor-made materials adapted from current periodicals and journals, all demands of the test are met. As the reading and writing parts of the test are particularly challenging, not being merely a language test, this approach allows the student to more fully appreciate every day and world issues. This is crucial for attaining an acceptable test score. It also allows the students to expand their overall English language skills. Where possible our students will achieve a satisfactory IELTS score in Year 12. In Year 13 they may then progress their English even further by being taught towards the higher and prestigious Cambridge Certificate in Advance English (CAE) - an advanced English qualification for both university and working life. Success in this exam will earn UCAS points which will enhance university applications.

Beyond the classroom Whilst a great deal of learning takes place within the ESOL classrooms, so much happens beyond them too. Our international students are seen as valuable members of the community who are welcomed, integrated and appreciated. The ESOL Department does all it can to help this process and to support the students in making new friends, trying new hobbies and participating fully in extra-curricular activities. In recent times our international students have represented the school in various sports (including the highly successful basketball team) taken part in school plays (both acting and carrying out roles behind the scenes), performed in music concerts and represented the school in various science and maths challenges. Many students play an active role in the boarding house or on school committees in addition to mentoring new students and ensuring they are welcomed and make friends quickly. Although we expect our students to integrate fully in the wider school, we do have an ESOL Educational Excursion every term, where we visit local places of cultural interest as a closed group. (The common language on the excursion will be English and it is worth noting that the experience our students gain by communicating in English with other non-native speakers is invaluable and can often provide them with advantages over native speakers.)

Hamid arrived at Sibford with little English, but two years later starred as Theseus in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

We believe it is important to understand the culture that goes with the language and so these excursions form a key part of our courses and help the students gain deeper understanding as well as space for personal reflection and sharing of their own cultures. Recent excursions have included: Warwick Castle, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Blenheim Palace, Warner Brothers Studio Tour (Harry Potter), The Lion King (musical in London’s West End), Oxford University and our annual trip to a local Chinese restaurant to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Boarding at Sibford

Sibford has two boarding houses which offer a warm and friendly home-fromhome for both international students and UK students who choose to board on a full, weekly or flexi-basis. Within the boarding houses, international diversity is celebrated and shared. While English is the common language used in all houses, students engage with each other’s native language, food and traditions as part of daily life which, in turn, helps them to mature into thoughtful, global citizens. The majority of our international students can board at Sibford from the age of 11, however we can, in some circumstances, accept Junior School boarders in Year 6. Boarders live in either our boys’ house, Fielding or our girls’ house, Margaret Fell. House Parents live at either end of the boarding houses and get to know our boarders well, and like parents they try to keep informed of their progress at school whilst also giving them a secure home to retreat to from the pressures of academic work. Sixth Form boarders are given more independence than the younger boarders which helps provide an excellent foundation for university life. Where possible, boarders are given their own room with private study space.

The final word Melvin, Year 13 . “ESOL lessons are interesting lessons, which gave me lots of help for the IELTS test. The ESOL teachers are nice and kind; when I am confused or misunderstand something, they are patient and explain things clearly to me. The ESOL teachers have rich teaching experience, they can explain the difficult grammar and vocabulary in a clear and simple way to me, which is helpful.” Rita Y, Year 12. “Sibford is a very good school with a good environment and excellent learning atmosphere. During my two years here, I have received a high-quality education, which has helped with my studies, especially my ESOL class. The ESOL department helps international students quickly get used to the foreign language learning environment. The ESOL teachers are well-trained and give a lot of attention to students. They know exactly what each students strengths and weaknesses are, and put effort into improving our language skills. Jason, Year 9. “l remember the first time I came to this school, l couldn’t even speak English or do anything. When I met my ESOL teacher, all my problems were solved. They are really kind and spent a lot of time helping us improve our English. We talk about whatever we want and we have lots of fun in our lessons. Maybe this is the best teacher I have met in the whole Milky Way. After 18 months my English has come on really well. I can now do the other lessons well too and am able to do most things on my own. I have lots of English friends and am very happy here.”

Rita W, Year 12. “I came to Sibford one and half years ago. I can tell you this school’s food is the best. Also Sibford has a unique ESOL department. It helps the international students to learn and improve their English, especially with the IELTS. Sibford’s ESOL teachers are fantastic. They teach seriously and meticulously; they will correct your pronunciation. They are very kind, friendly and easy to talk to. They use a more simple way to let you understand the lessons. Our learning atmosphere is fun and relaxed. Sometimes we have ESOL trips and visit interesting places in England.”

Sibford School. Tel: +44 (0)1295 781200/781203