International Transition Year (ITY)

International students age 15yrs+ may attend Earlscliffe in order to complete a 3 Year A-level programme or to complete only one of those three years, the ITY. A minority choose to complete ITY over two years, taking GCSE exams at the end of their course.

Why choose the Earlscliffe ITY?

A two year A-level course is not easy and rather than risk difficulties due to a lack of academic English or sufficient previous subject knowledge, some students prefer to take this general academic preparation course to make sure that when they do start their two year Earlscliffe A-level programme they are well-equipped to succeed academically.

ITY students may choose either the examined or non-examined route: some will sit final GCSE/IGCSE papers and others may not wish to risk attaining any lower grades (ie. Cs) which may later impact university offers.

Other students from overseas prefer to take the Earlscliffe ITY as a year away from their own system, to perfect their English, study academic subjects and get involved in boarding college life as fully as possible, with the aim of returning home to their former school and national system after completing the ITY with us. Such students would ordinarily be classified as UK Year 11 or Year 12.

The course content
* English Language
* Mathematics
* Dual Science Award
* One Humanities subject
* Native language
ITY students are taught by our usual Earlscliffe academic staff.

ITY students participate in the standard Earlscliffe Orientation Week in September with all new students. This includes both academic and social orientation culminating in a London Weekend at the end of the week.

ITY students participate fully in sports, cultural activities, academic enrichment opportunities and everyday college life alongside their A-level counterparts. All students are integrated socially. The usual hallmarks of the Earlscliffe A-level programme are applied to the ITY: small classes (maximum 9 per teaching group); weekly TRaC™ testing to monitor performance and progress, and intensive teaching. A limited number of places are available for students wishing to spend one or two terms with us on the ITY.


The Pre-sessional ITY Programme

The Earlscliffe pre-sessional courses give students the opportunity to fully prepare for the next phase of their academic journey. Earlscliffe offers a GCSE pre-sessional course and an A-level pre-sessional course.


These pre-sessional courses provide students with the opportunity to improve language skills before commencing the more demanding curriculum. During the majority of the school day, students will be immersed in mainstream classes with an academic focus on the improvement of:

  • Listening and speaking skills
  • Reading and writing skills
  • Developing good study skills


However, students will also attend dedicated EAL classes.


How is the course organised?

The study timetable runs from Monday until Friday from 08:30 until 16:30 with a morning break, lunchtime and an afternoon break. In addition, homework and self-study will be assigned by the teacher.


How is the course tested?

All students take weekly TRaCTM tests and will be assessed at the end of the pre-sessional timeframe. They will then take their GCSE or A-level exams at the end of the full course.


Pre-sessional timeframe

Dependent upon the language skills presented by the student upon enrolling with Earlscliffe, the pre-sessional course will be managed across the following timeframes:

  • One term
  • Two terms
  • Extended term(s) that includes the periods otherwise allocated for school holidays

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