Learning Support

Our goal is to help pupils develop the skills they need to think and learn independently.

We work individually and in small groups with pupils in the Lower School and in the Sixth Form.

Programmes of Study

We expect our pupils to develop a range of study skills and learning strategies that will enable them to study successfully across subject areas. The development of effective higher level reading and writing skills is crucial to academic success and plays a central role in learning support lessons.

We help a number of our students with planning & organisation, teaching them how to set goals and objectives, how to plan ahead, prioritise and manage their workload effectively.  Methods used include note taking, mind maps and using technology to support learning.

We also show students a range of approaches to revision and exam technique. Our aim is for pupils to develop confidence in their own learning so that they can succeed academically whilst developing the skills that will equip them for life at university and beyond.

Pupils usually attend one thirty-five minute tutorial per week with a specialist teacher.

English as an Additional Language

Information on potential EAL pupils, including age, first language, level of English, whether they have studied previously in an English medium school or have special interests or abilities, is normally obtained by the Admissions Department in advance of a pupil's arrival. This is done on the basis of test results and reports from the pupil's previous school.

However, following their arrival at the school, the proficiency level of new EAL pupils is assessed using the Oxford Placement Test and those who require extra language provision are identified. Ongoing assessment of a pupil's academic progress may indicate a need for EAL support. In addition, requests for support at any time may be made by a pupil, parents or by a pupil's teacher/tutor/Housemaster or Housemistress.

New Shell EAL pupils may attend small group English Language lessons in which students focus on honing their English language skills in preparation for the rigorous academic life at Marlborough College. Lessons to prepare students for Cambridge IELTS exam for university entrance are available upon request. In addition, EAL classes are also given on an individual one to one basis for linguistic and subject-specific support and these are available for all year groups.

The EAL provision is very flexible in order to take into account the wide range of different educational backgrounds and expectations of our pupils, different levels and abilities, different linguistic needs and the different dynamics of class, small group and individual teaching. We endeavour to ensure that our lessons maintain pace, variety and challenge, encourage active learning and are appropriately differentiated. Most importantly, we aim to provide pupils with the linguistic competence and academic skills to succeed in their subjects.