International Curriculum

International Curriculum

BCS offers a number of study programmes which are particularly applicable to students from outside the United Kingdom. 

International students will automatically be allocated a set number of EAL lessons per week, depending on their year group: 

Years 7, 8 Six lessons per fortnight. 
Year 9 Four lessons per fortnight. 
Year 10, 11 EAL  Five lessons per fortnight.
Year 10, 11 ESL IGCSE Eight lessons per fortnight. 
A Level Pre-Sessional 10 lessons per fortnight. 
Years 12, 13 Eight lessons per fortnight. 

Click on the sections below to explore further. 

Years 7 - 9

We recognise that EAL learners, who may be new to English and to the UK, need continuity and security as they start our school. We therefore aim to make an early decision about teaching group/class placement and adhere to it unless we discover the learner is seriously misplaced.

We ensure that when EAL learners join us in Year's 7 - 9, they will:

  • have access to the whole curriculum
  • be taught with their peers
  • be placed in groups with fluent English speakers who will provide them with good language models
  • be placed with their intellectual/academic equals
  • not be automatically placed with SEN learners
  • placed in a year group that best suits their needs
  • be provided with EAL lessons to support their language development depending on their individual needs
  • be provided with opportunities to develop and use their home language in play and learning
  • in boarding be roomed with pupils who do not speak their mother tongue


It is expected that all pupils for whom English is a second language will take EAL as one of their options in order to access group EAL support.

As part of this, pupils will receive general English support across all subjects and will also be prepared for the Cambridge English: First examination.

Cambridge English: First, also known as the First Certificate in English (FCE), is an upper intermediate, international English Language qualification that focuses on Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

Cambridge English: First is one of the most widely taken of all the exams provided by Cambridge English Language Assessment and is accepted in commerce, industry, universities and higher education institutions as proof of everyday written and spoken English for work and study purposes.

BCS offers preparation for the Cambridge English: First (FCE) for Schools. This course targets the interests and experiences of school-age learners to improve their English skills. If the pupil reaches the appropriate language level then they are supported in applying for the examination.

The assessment consists of four examination papers designed to test the key language skills. The four papers are: Reading and Use of English; Writing; Listening; and Speaking. The Speaking test is taken face-to-face with two examiners and two candidates, providing a realistic and reliable measure of ability.

The examinations take place off site in a British Council and Cambridge approved test Centre in Bournemouth.

EAL pupils may also be entered for the IGCSE English as a Second Language qualification as an alternative to English Language and Literature qualifications, depending on their level of proficiency

Pre - A Level

Our Pre A Level Course can be entered for two or three terms starting in September or January.

The Pre A Level Course is aimed at international students whose levels of English are not yet developed enough to access the A Level programme. The focus is to help students improve their English and build language skills suitable for studying at A Level. The intention is that students will complete the Pre A Level Course, with the aim of potentially moving onto the two year A Level at BCS. An EAL assessment will take place at the end of the year to confirm the transition and other examinations will be used to inform subject choice for A Level.

The course structure includes:

  • Opportunity to sit a GCSE in a language as a native speaker
  • IGCSE Mathematics
  • Intensive EAL and preparation for FCE/CAE examinations
  • Assessed courses in:
    • Business
    • Visual Arts
    • Science
    • Physical Education

Pupils have two hours of timetabled study time each week, and in addition are be expected to study independently to meet assignment and examination deadlines. BCS also runs daily academic clinics for every subject.

Find out more about A-Level subjects here