What is the International Study Stream?
When students arrive at Rishworth School their English is assessed to see whether they have the correct level for the academic studies they are about to embark upon. If they don’t we support them with extra English for Academic Purposes (EAP) which is delivered to our ISS students by specialists who are trained to be able to support students in terms of language and lesson content all within the EAP Department. Our ISS students effectively have an additional year to do their courses of study and have the benefits of being able to remain with their friends within the right social group for their age whilst receiving tuition from language teachers who are trained to provide specialist subject support within other academic disciplines such as Physics and Economics.
Within the ISS, students sometimes need to take an extra general course of EAP at either a pre-intermediate or intermediate level. These courses are taken either during study periods (Sixth Form) or in a study block instead of a GCSE option (Years 10 and 11). The courses also include academic English for reading, writing and study skills.
Students sometimes also need extra support in academic subjects, particularly those that they have not studied before they joined Rishworth. A specific course is available for GCSE students throughout Years 10 and 11 to support them in their choice subjects and subject led courses are also held for Year 12 in Economics, Psychology, Business Studies and Physics within the EAP provision.
Small Groups and Highly Qualified Specialist Teachers
ISS students are taught in small groups within a dedicated suite of newly refurbished classrooms and facilities. The teachers within the EAP Department are very experienced, highly qualified language specialists.
Aims and approach for Years 10, 11 & 12
ISS Pre-Intermediate and Intermediate
These courses aim to develop learners’ language and skills in preparation for the general course of study. The general English course includes practising and using the four main language skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing, as well as studying grammar and pronunciation. The course is taught through different learning activities during lessons. In addition to textbooks, teaching approaches include language games, grammar games, quizzes, songs, films and studying documentaries. Students work individually, in pairs and groups.
In Academic English, the focus is on the reading and writing skills that students need to succeed in their academic subjects.
Aims and approach for Year 10 & 11
ISSplus Curriculum Support
The ISSplus course of study specifically helps the weaker academic students whose first language is not English. Students take a reduced course of study to follow this support course run by the EAP department. The course concentrates on the subjects that the students are taking at the time and also supports the EAP being taught at the same time.
The six lessons a fortnight are split as follows:
- Subject Vocabulary – Subject Vocabulary resource books are used as an invaluable resource allowing students to learn the key vocabulary needed in their GCSE subjects through repetition of the word through many different types of tasks. Dictionary skills are taught and encouraged as well as spelling rules.
- Power-point presentations – students choose an area within one of their subjects each fortnight and present it to the rest of the class. This builds confidence in their oral skills and strengthens knowledge of the area. The presentation is sent to the subject teacher.
- Fact-File lessons – the students read and complete an Oxford Fact-File once a fortnight of their own choice. They are encouraged to choose subjects which relate to their subject choices. They present the tasks neatly through comprehension tasks as well as extended activities where further knowledge through research is required. Both reading and writing skills are strengthened by doing so.
- Study skills are explored and practiced. For example, the use of a monolingual dictionary and bilingual dictionary; using the library and EAP Resource Centre; self-study; revision techniques and different methods of learning vocabulary. In the Second term Past Papers and marking schemes are studied, completed and reviewed.
- Readers – the EAP class reader is supported in different ways. For example, by open reading and pronunciation work; through extended comprehension work; further study of the author and extended discussions.
- Grammar support – the EAP grammar work is supported with further study and exploration where required.
Aims and approach for Year 12
ISSplus Curriculum Support
Subjects covered with specific current linguistic support include:
- Business Studies
We work with subject teachers and our lessons follow the same units of study as students’ subjects. This support includes helping students to understand subject content and the functional English required to apply their knowledge. For example, we teach students how to write short and long answers to exam questions, and also how to summarise text and identify the key points. We use subject textbooks, revision guides, academic English grammar books, EAP CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) resources and internet resources.
Homework is given after each lesson and it is vital that students complete this in order to make progress in the following lesson.
Students with a low level of English know that if they want to make the most of their lessons and succeed in their academic studies, they need to do more self-study than students with a higher level of English. Activities often include learning essential vocabulary and writing answers to practice questions.