Our Pre-GCSE Course is based at Queen’s College, Taunton in Somerset, and is for international students aged 13-15 years.
During the summer, students follow a busy academic timetable. Students take a compulsory programme of English and Drama, plus Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, ICT / Computing, Business Studies, Art, History and Geography. The total class time is approximately 30 hours per week.
Students spend at least nine hours a week in English lessons, which include oral presentations, research projects and every day conversational English. Students have the chance to study using films, songs, videos, newspapers and radio in order to understand English. We also teach English for daily life – talking about health, asking for directions, and so on. The aim of this is to make students as comfortable as possible in adjusting to a new culture.
Students receive at least six hours of homework a week, supervised and supported by our friendly Student Hosts.
The recommended minimum English level for this course is CEFR B1 / IELTS 4.0.
Course dates & prices
|2023 Dates and Prices Coming Soon||-|
All of our subjects are taught by subject specialists who focus on teaching the technical vocabulary needed to study each subject. Our science teachers understand the importance of laboratory work so you will spend a lot of time doing practical, hands-on experiments. Our maximum class size is 16, but the average number of students in recent years is around 12-13.
We believe Drama is an ideal way to practise speaking in English. Participating in the Drama shows increases confidence in using language, helps with pronunciation and develops a strong sense of team-working. We make sure that the shows are enjoyable and everyone takes part. In the past, we have found that all students are enthusiastic, really enjoy the final performance and learn a lot by doing something outside of their ‘comfort zone’.
After students finish their lessons every day, they will be able to practise speaking English with lots of Student Hosts. They work every day after classes, and all day when there are no classes. Students can spend over 50 hours a week chatting in English with our Student Hosts. Our Student Hosts are kind and friendly. They are native English speakers and help to explain British culture and are usually very good students at top universities themselves. Every day they will play sport, have dinner, help with homework in the evenings. They arrange many of our Social Activities and Sunday Clubs, and also go on all the trips.
Students will also participate in sports for one hour each teaching day. This gives students a taste of some popular British sports including football, netball, rugby, hockey, basketball, tennis and cricket. The sports facilities at Queen’s College, Taunton are excellent and the sessions are led by Student Hosts who have often played the sports to a good standard themselves. Students will learn the basic rules of each of the sports on offer and will learn some of the key vocabulary so that they are able to participate actively in their favourite sports in their new school.
In addition to the academic timetable, there are many Social Activities on the summer course. Etherton Education has designed some unique activities so our students can relax and enjoy themselves after a full day of studying. We have two big social evenings each week which may include activities such as a Fashion Show, a Business Game, Speed Chatting and many more. These evenings develop creativity and give students a chance to practice their leadership and teamworking skills. The social aspects of the summer are a really important time to improve English speaking skills and confidence. Students are encouraged to try new things, make new friends and participate actively. We also hold two Formal Dinners as part of the Summer Course at the end of week four and week eight. This gives students the chance to learn how to behave at formal events, and gives them an opportunity to dress up smartly and have fun with their friends. There is a three course meal and both staff and students are invited to give speeches.
Each Sunday students will be invited to join one of many Sunday Clubs. This allows students to learn new skills and develop interests or hobbies outside of the classroom. In the past our Sunday Clubs have included boxercise, dog walking, circus acts, cooking, tie dye and many more. Sunday is a great time to get involved in something new and it is fun way to learn outside of the classroom.
Every Thursday there is a full-day trip for students to learn more about the history and culture of Britain. The destinations may include: Oxford, Longleat Safari Park, Bath, Bristol, Dartmoor and Cardiff. Whilst on these trips, students will visit many famous sites and attractions. Trips are planned in advance, so students will visit different trips depending on their course dates. All our trips are subject to change at short notice due to weather, travel and / or circumstances beyond our control.
Students are supervised almost all of the time but have some freedom to move around when they are on the campus of Queen’s College, Taunton. On trips, students 15 years and over may have periods of up to two hours’ shopping time in groups of three. Students under 14 years and under are always supervised on trips.
Thank you for these kind words
“This summer course helped me, I learnt how to get to know people, and I made lots of new friends. I can say that no one except my parents have taken care of me as well as the student hosts.”