What kind of English support do we provide?

English Support is offered at Oxford Sixth Form College in a variety of courses to meet our students’ needs. Our tuition in small groups of up to 10 allows teachers to identify each student’s specific needs.

Our general provision includes:

EAP – English for Academic Purposes is taught to students alongside their A level or BTEC Business Level 3 Diploma programme. These students study an IELTS (Academic) course – students work in all the different skills and exam techniques to achieve the IELTS requirements of their chosen University

ESP – English for Specific Purposes offers English support to students who are studying their BTEC qualification

APP – Academic Preparation Programme is a comprehensive programme of English (25 hours a week) aimed to improve students’ English in order to allow them to make progress to a qualification in England (GCSE, A level, BTEC)


How does our provision of English Support help you to achieve at Oxford Sixth Form College?


We offer preparatory classes for IELTS that cover all different levels in small group classes. These classes range from pre-intermediate to advanced level, helping us cater to students in different programmes. The focus is largely on exam technique, vocabulary building and on improving accuracy. The advanced class is offered to students who need to attain an overall of 7.0 or higher for university entrance. Students are challenged and encouraged to continue to improve throughout the course. The other classes all have a target of 6.5  overall with a minimum of 6.0, but students work at different paces in each.

Once students make progress, they are moved up a level until they attain the IELTS score they need. This attainment depends heavily on the student’s willingness to work independently outside of class on the reading and writing booklets that the EAL department offers the students. This supplementary material is used to encourage students to practice the necessary skills and to develop their range of vocabulary, which is an important requirement for making progress in their English. Furthermore, we also encourage students to engage in reflective learning after each IELTS session, which helps support their understanding of key terms and ideas.  These concepts are commonly used in the IELTS test.

Oxford Sixth Form College students generally perform above the UK average for IELTS. We offer support (language clinic once a week) to students who struggle with learning a language, and teachers are supported by excellent materials and technology within the classrooms. These students are monitored closely to ensure that they are getting the best support available to them.



At Oxford Sixth Form College, we offer A level students support for their subjects. This support comprises vocabulary development, studying support and writing development. Students work alongside the EAL teacher and their peers to complete assignments for their A-level subjects. Classes are usually grouped according to discipline (e.g. social sciences, humanities, science and mathematics), and EAL teachers liaise with subject tutors to ensure that these international students are getting the support they need to progress in their chosen subjects.




At our school, we also offer BTEC support for international students. Similar to EAP, students work with the EAL teacher and peers to complete assignments, which encompasses developing vocabulary and research skills in order to obtain an in-depth understanding about a company or concept. EAL tutors liaise with BTEC teachers in order to support these students further in their quest to obtain a high grade in each assignment.



The Oxford Sixth Form College Academic Preparation Programme (APP) has been designed to give international students the support they  need to ensure they make progress in their course of study (e.g. GCSEs, A levels and BTEC).


How is it assessed?

All students are initially assessed based on their placement test scores and on their IELTS scores. Then, progress is monitored throughout the year, and students who do not make sufficient progress are placed on a specialised programme to help them progress at a faster rate.

IELTS lessons will be assessed through the official IELTS examinations.


What are the College's IELTS Entry Requirements?

IELTS and Entry Requirements

A Level

For entry to a two-year or five-term A level or BTEC Business Level 3 course, students who do not have IGCSE or GCSE English grade C or above must have a minimum overall score of 5.5 with no less than 5.0 in each of the four assessed areas of listening, reading, writing and speaking.

For entry to an intensive, one year A-level course, students who do not have IGCSE or GCSE English grade C or above must have a minimum overall score of 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in each of the four assessed areas of listening, reading, writing and speaking.


One Year GCSE

Students who do not have IGCSE or GCSE English grade C or above must have a minimum overall score of 5.0 with no less than 4.5 in each of the four assessed areas of listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Academic Preparation Programme (APP) 

A minimum overall score of 4.5 with no less than 4.0 in each of the four assessed areas of listening, reading, writing and speaking.

After Oxford Sixth Form College

At Oxford Sixth Form College we pride ourselves in the programme structures offered because these are carefully developed to ensure that students obtain the skills they need for their subjects as well as for life. Life skills involve developing students’ skills required in social settings and for working in groups and in organisations. Although different students have different needs, these are catered for in English Support.


How much improvement should I make?

This will depend on your initial score and other factors such as attendance, independent study, reflective study, homework completion and contribution to in-class activities.

However, a hard working and well motivated student should be able to improve by at least one band e.g. from 5.5 overall to 6.5 overall after three terms of study.

Must I continue to attend IELTS classes if I get the score I need for university?

You must attend IELTS classes until you have scored 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the four assessed areas. Our requirement that you do so ensures that you are completely prepared and able to work at the level of academic English required of you at university.