Academic Support

I am proud to have been responsible for the academic teaching since Earlscliffe opened its doors. My role is to support the teachers who in turn support the students in their learning. Our teachers are highly qualified, passionate about their subjects and dedicated to getting the best from their students.

Together with the teaching staff constant monitoring through weekly TRaC tests enables us to support the students constantly and effectively. This bespoke element of Earlscliffe enables the students to leave us with the best possible grades.

We are able to meet each individual student’s academic needs ensuring that they are on the right academic pathway to achieve their goals, not just in terms of their grades but their goals in life.

Group Tutors

Parents, students and partner counsellors all over the world choose Earlscliffe because the college offers a highly personalised service from the moment of first contact.
We believe there should be continuous communication between college, student and parent to ensure we are working towards shared objectives and this approach is integral to our ethos of pushing for honours while providing all the help and guidance needed along the way.

Our tutoring set-up provides a close, friendly and constructive means to monitor the progress of each student.

Group tutors hold regular meetings with students, discussing academic progress, general welfare, university applications and more.

The Group tutors help set a positive tone for the students day. As well as making sure the students are ready for the school day Group tutors introduce events, competitions as well as monitoring the students independent academic work with online courses and our non-academic support program VESPA.

Small Classes

Even in the most popular subjects we insist on small classes. The reason for small classes is very simple. The greater the individual attention that the student receives, the greater the chances are that the student will achieve better grades.

Small classes allow these teachers to get to know the students and with six hours and 45 minutes of teaching time each week meaningful and positive relationships are built, a determined work ethic is created and each student achieves their potential.

In a small class, no student is a passenger and everybody has to contribute; small classes create safe environments so students are more willing to participate.

We allocate intensive, lesson-based teaching to each chosen subject, and this is complemented by a student’s own dedication outside the classroom.

TRaC Testing

Our TRaC™ (‘Test, Rank and Coach’) system of weekly, competitive testing is a key factor of Earlscliffe’s assessment and target-setting strategy.
Teachers set tests for each of the main A-level/ITY/Foundation/Business Diploma subjects during the week. Papers are based on the week’s work and they are returned graded according to A-level or GCSE criteria and ranked according to the student’s relative performance in class, and followed up with coaching sessions to assist with continuous improvement as needed. TRaC™ scores are made available to parents and guardians each Friday through the Parent Portal (password protected).

Students soon get used to the system and regard it as a valuable tool, not only in assessing their knowledge and skills, but in maintaining motivation through competition.

It is unusual for a student on any course to achieve all high grades in TRaC™ tests in the first few weeks of the course, as they settle down and get used to  the academic requirements, the language and indeed mark schemes.

Neither should success in TRaC™ tests be taken as a guarantee of success in synoptic final exams when one or two years’ worth of knowledge may be tested and have to be applied in a high-pressure environment working against the clock. TRaC™ tests examine a student’s knowledge and understanding of a week’s work or at most, one topic area.

TRaC™ testing keeps students working at a consistent, measurable level and pace.

These weekly results are monitored by the students teacher as well as the Head of Department and the students Head of Year.

A-level grade (including Foundation) boundaries roughly correspond to the following:

0-59% below a C grade ; 60-69% = C grade; 70-79% = B grade; 80%- 89% = A grade and 90%+ = A* grade

GCSE (ITY) grade boundaries roughly correspond to the following:

below 35%+ =E or 2 grade; 45%+ = D or 3 grade; 55%+ = C  or 4/5 grade; 65%+ = B or 6 grade; 75%+ = A or 7 grade; 85-90%+ = A* or 8 & 9 grade

Parents are encouraged to monitor TRaC™ performance and pass their comments and exhortations to their children accordingly. For a fuller discussion or explanation of your son or daughter’s TRaC™ test record please contact the Deputy Head:

Head of Year

There are three Heads of Year at Earlscliffe who are responsible for looking after those students in their year group. They liaise with Group Tutors and are the next point of contact for a student who has an academic or pastoral issue. Heads of Year have a weekly meeting with the Head of Boarding and Pastoral Care and are in regular communication with parents and staff. The three Heads of Year are all experienced members of the team and have an excellent rapport with students, staff and parents alike.