Frequently Asked Questions
Why choose our English language programmes?
We have over twenty years’ experience of organising courses for students. As well as this, we are accredited by ABLS which ensures that our school offers well organised and implemented programmes.
It is our wish to provide our students with the best service we can and so we have created policies and put administrative systems in place to help us achieve these. Our staff members have qualifications in child protection, child welfare, health and safety as well as teaching. Younger students are looked after at all times including lesson times, break times and on excursions by qualified and well-trained staff. It is a requirement that all adults who work with children have a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service) and we comply with this.
Our ethos has always been based on offering a high quality, personal service by getting to know the students individually and having small class sizes (1:12), helping our students to learn English fast.
We try to ensure that we have a good mix of nationalities in each class so the students are not only speaking English rather than their mother tongue but also make international friends and, of course, have fun.
Our home-stay families are thoroughly vetted and re-inspected every two years.
Leamington Spa is a great place to study, as it is a beautiful Regency town with plenty to offer students. It is cosmopolitan without being overwhelmed by large numbers of international students.
faq 1. Which courses can I choose from?
We can offer a wide range of high-quality English language courses which all have a great deal of flexibility. As well as our popular Summer Camp for children we also offer Closed Group Programmes for schools and colleges and One to One and Small Group Courses for children and adults all year round.
The adult courses include tuition in General, Business English and Examination Preparation. Courses can be combined to extend the number of hours of study and we run Family Courses during the Summer Camp and by request at other times of the year.
faq 2. Are the arrival and departure dates flexible?
It is understandable that flights don’t always perfectly fit in with our schedule and so we will accommodate students arriving and departing at different times although this will result in slightly higher accommodation costs to the students. However, we would remind you that students feel more comfortable if they start their courses on the same day as all the others.
faq 3. How much do airport transfers cost?
Please ask for details. We will be happy to send our transfer prices document to you. Our collection service includes a meet and greet service but should you require a specific unaccompanied minors service please make this clear on your booking form.
faq 4. Do we have to book airport transfers through The Heart of England?
No, students can book airport transfers with us but are welcome to make their own arrangements if they wish.
faq 5. How do you organise airport transfers?
Students will be met by a bus, minibus or taxi by a representative of The Heart of England Study Programmes. They are then taken to a central meeting point for host families for groups or directly to their host family’s house for individuals.
faq 6. What should I do if I arrive independently?
Students arriving independently must advise their hosts directly or the school as to what time they will arrive. If this has not been organised with at least 1 weeks’ notice they may have to wait for access to the house.
faq 7. What happens on the first day of study?
There is a grammar-based test which we ask students to complete prior to arrival which helps us place students in the correct level on their first day. We also have weekly speaking assessments. These consist of speaking activities completed in class. The teachers will continue to monitor the students to ensure that the tests have given us the right results.
faq 8. What if the student wants to change level?
The teachers meet on a regular basis to discuss the students’ ability and students are moved, if required, between classes following these discussions.
Your child may want to move to be in the same class as a friend. This would not help as they will not progress as fast as they should and will also hold the rest of the class up. They will quickly make friends in their own class and this will help their confidence more than if they rely on friends.
Please remember our teachers are qualified and experienced so will have a clear idea of which class is best for the students and the decision of the Director of Studies is final.
We give all students a simple satisfaction questionnaire on their second day which highlights any problems. Our teachers, hosts and afternoon leaders also report back any conversations they have had with students where they feel that there may be a problem. Similarly, we ask for feedback on the students’ final day.
faq 9. When do bookings close?
We are getting busier each year so we advise booking as early as possible.
faq 10. How does the booking process work?
Please phone or email and someone will provide you with an enrolment form and help you through the process of booking.
faq 11. Why should our adult students choose one-to-one or small group tuition?
Studies around the world continue to evidence the benefits of focused one-to-one and small group learning. Even here in the UK, the government is committed to funding one-to-one tuition, despite the cuts in education.
faq 12. How do you choose your teachers?
Good teachers possess a number of qualities; they are patient, well organised, reliable and have excellent subject knowledge. Above all, though they have a desire to help students learn effectively. We only hire native speakers with suitable qualifications and experience.
faq 13. How do I know whether the tuition is working or not?
Progress will be documented by the school through the use of formal and informal assessments. These assessments are formative and able to describe the progress the student is making. The school offers individual assessment meetings to offer guidance and the opportunity for the students to express their thoughts to the school.
faq 14. What does progress look like?
Generally, progress can be measured formally through the use of tests and assessments. However, whilst tests can provide a clear indication of academic ability, especially in the first few months, progress might manifest in other forms. For example, the students’ confidence may develop, children’s behaviour may improve or their willingness to contribute will improve.
Often improvement does not happen as a smooth change. Students sometimes feel they are not progressing for a while and then suddenly make a large improvement.