International English is for girls for whom English is not their native language. Studying International English fosters an improvement in English in all four skills areas – reading, writing, listening and speaking. It also nurtures an interest in Literature and British culture across all levels and year groups.
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. International English also supports the girls who need an English language qualification that is recognised in their own country. IGCSE English Language and Literature are offered to stronger pupils in addition to IGCSE English as a Second Language in Years 10 and 11.
International English is taught within a suite of dedicated classrooms and the girls receive between three and five 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 Cambridge English examinations in addition to IGCSE: B1 Preliminary for Schools; B2 First for Schools; C1 Advanced; C2 Proficiency; and IELTS (International English Language Testing System). We are a Cambridge examination centre, so all examinations (except for IELTS) can be taken on site. The International English staff have 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.
Outside of the curriculum, all the 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. Lots of cultural activities are organised by the boarding houses during the course of the year, including theatre trips and visits to museums. We also celebrate the girls’ cultures through events like the International Fair, the Year 12 International Lunch and the Chinese New Year Dinner.
- Who is International English for?
- Can I choose whether to do International English or English?
- What happens when I arrive?
- How many lessons will I have?
- What happens in Sixth Form?
- What are the aims of the Department?
- How are International English students assessed?
- Where do we do examinations?
- Do International English students get extra time in examinations?
- How does the International English Department help students to settle in?
Kasia Kilvington has been at Mayfield for ten 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 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.