We’re all part of the same group

English as a Second Language

So how old is too old to learn a new language? What if a child wasn’t able to attend the BBS Nursery and Primary Schools? These are questions prospective parents ask themselves before considering a move to the BBS Middle School. 

This is something we have thought about a lot at the school. We realise that not everyone has come to us from a very early age, but we would never close the doors on becoming bilingual “later”. To support students who join us at the Middle School we have set up our ESL (English as a Second Language) programme. 

How does it work? 

All the students share the same time-table; during English lessons the class splits in two (thanks to special classrooms with inner doors) and a teacher follows ESL students with specific books and materials. This leads to an equivalent Cambridge Checkpoint in English as a Second Language. 

Tutoring programme

Many of the subjects at Middle School are taught in English by mother-tongue teachers. So how do new students keep up? These students take part in exactly the same lessons as their class-mates and they are assigned a tutor – another teacher – who works with them during lessons. At times the students form small groups that follow the same topic for the day, which gives them a more tailor-made delivery. This applies in particular to subjects such as Maths and Science that have already been well established in English at the Primary School, while for “newer” subjects (Art, Technology, etc.) the whole class stays together. 



Cambridge Checkpoints

So we can make sure that new students reach the required level of English, they also work towards the Cambridge Use of English and Cambridge Listening papers, as well as the standard exam paper. In Maths and Science, thanks to the tutoring programme, all the children take the same Checkpoint exams in Year 3. 

Students’ progress is continuously monitored so that in exceptional cases, they could switch to EFL (English as a First Language) lessons and take the respective Cambridge Checkpoint. 

We’re all part of the same group

So that new students can really participate in the BBS school life and feel like they are completely integrated into the class, they follow the same authors and topics as children who came from the Primary School but at a differentiated level. 

For example, different texts from the same author are chosen to be read and studied in class: through active and student-centered learning activities, our new pupils are made to feel at ease with the level of English that they have reached at any given time. 

From day one, new pupils at Middle School are immersed in an English environment which stimulates their language learning so that they become more proficient in English more quickly.