We want girls to be confident in using English as quickly as possible so that they can make the most of their time at Mayfield.

ESOL (English as a Second or Other Language) fosters an improvement in and enjoyment of English in all four skill areas: reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Our aim is to ensure that those girls for whom English is not their first language are able to access our curriculum, perform to the best of their ability in all the subjects they are studying, and secure the necessary English-language qualification to enter a British or American university. ESOL teaching also supports those girls who, on leaving Mayfield, need an English language qualification recognised by their own country in order to undertake tertiary study.

ESOL is taught within a suite of dedicated classrooms and girls receive between four and five hours of tuition a week within the school timetable in classes of the same year group and similar abilities. All teaching is in English and focuses upon communicative language teaching, underpinned by the teaching of formal grammar. The girls are encouraged to read books from the ESOL library and to use specially-selected computer programmes to enhance their English beyond the classroom.

Apart from academia, all ESOL girls are encouraged to join in the school Inter-house competitions, dance shows, sports teams, debating societies and general knowledge quizzes to  make the most of their time at Mayfield and integrate. Girls who participate more excel in English more quickly.

The department has an excellent record of preparing pupils to pass the following examinations: Cambridge PET (Preliminary English Test); Cambridge FCE (First Certificate in English); IGCSE English as a Second Language; Cambridge CAE (Advanced); Cambridge CPE (Proficiency); and IELTS (The International English Language Testing System). We are a Cambridge exam centre, so all exams (except for IELTS) can be taken on site thus reducing any extra stress and improving results further.

In terms of IELTS, most of the top UK universities require from overseas pupils a minimum score of 6.5 in all papers of the IELTS exam in order to offer a place. At Mayfield the average score achieved is 7.5, which has enabled our pupils to attend some of the best universities in the country, including Oxford and Cambridge.