ESOL (English as a Second or Other Language) fosters an improvement in English in all four skill areas - reading, writing, listening and speaking - and the study of British life and institutions. It also incorporates literature lessons and promotes extensive reading for pleasure.

We ensure that the girls who do not speak English as their first language are able to access the curriculum, and secure the necessary English-language qualifications and skills needed to study at a British or American university. ESOL teaching also supports the girls who need an English language qualification that is recognised in their own country.

ESOL is taught within a suite of dedicated classrooms and the girls receive between four and six hours of tuition a week within the school timetable. They are set by year group and ability. Teaching is in English and uses a communicative approach, underpinned by the teaching of formal grammar

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 examination centre, so all examinations (except for IELTS) can be taken on site. The ESOL staff has experience of examining speaking and writing papers in the Cambridge suite of examinations. In terms of IELTS, 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.

Apart from academia, all ESOL girls are encouraged to join in school inter-house competitions, dance shows, sports teams, debating societies and general knowledge quizzes, to make the most of their time at Mayfield and to integrate. Lots of cultural activities are organised by the boarding houses during the course of the year, which ESOL girls are strongly advised to participate in. They also go on theatre trips organised by the English Department with the rest of their year group and are expected to participate in all social and cultural events organised for their year group.

We also celebrate the girls’ cultures through events like the International Fair, the Year 12 International Lunch and the Chinese New Year Dinner.


Head of Department

Mrs Kasia Kilvington

Kasia Kilvington has been at Mayfield for eight years. She has an MA in Modern History from the University of Oxford, an MSc in Global Development Management, and a Diploma in Teaching English to Adults from Cambridge University. She has taught in Poland, Colombia and the UK, and was also a Senior Editor at Oxford University Press, working with education ministries and teachers to publish ELT materials for secondary schools in Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East, along with graded readers for a global market.