• Radley College, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 2HR
  • Telephone: 01235 543000, Fax: 01235 543106





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Academic Support

The Academic Support Department provides study skills which enable all boys, including the very able and talented, to achieve their full academic potential; and to ensure that no boy’s progress is held back by any kind of learning difficulty.

Central to the policy is the recognition that very able and highly intelligent individuals may suffer from weaknesses or difficulties in particular areas: we aim to help such boys realise their true potential. Equally, a boy with quite exceptional abilities may require special provision to help him achieve his full potential. The service provided is an integral part of the curriculum: it supports learning and the acquisition of skills in all subject areas which involve literacy and numeracy and it has been a key ingredient in our success in public exams.

Assessment Prior to Entry

Parents and feeder schools are asked to inform us of any special educational needs of which Radley should be aware and to send us a copy of any reports, including any Educational Psychologist assessments. Our Head of Academic Support will analyse the assessment and advise the Warden as to whether Radley is the appropriate school for the boy’s particular learning profile.

In certain cases a boy may be advised to go to another school that is better equipped to deal with his particular circumstances. One issue that sometimes arises is handwriting and the use of laptops. Our handwriting policy encourages competence in handwriting. We normally expect the feeder schools to continue with the use of handwriting which we consider a fundamental skill and as such an educational entitlement.

Assessment After Entry

Each Shell boy is tested in literacy and numeracy in the first half of the Michaelmas Term. Any boy who has been identified as having a learning difficulty is given extra tuition and if deemed appropriate will be formally assessed by an Educational Psychologist. If Access Arrangements are recommended, these will be put in place for internal, mock and public examinations. Boys’ progress is reviewed regularly by the Academic Support Department.

Extra Time in Common Entrance

Radley must agree to all Access Arrangements being in place for Common Entrance (by the start of the academic year before beginning at Radley) and evidence presented for a boy’s entitlement must be based on standardised results in an EP report. Current JCQ regulations stipulate that Access Arrangements for GCSE and A-level should be determined by an EP assessment carried out in or after the Shell year.

As such, boys who have Access Arrangements for Common Entrance must be re-assessed when they arrive at Radley to determine their eligibility for ongoing special arrangements in school exams, mocks and for GCSE and A-level.

Use of Computer in Common Entrance

JCQ regulations, which govern access arrangements for GCSE and A-levels and to which we adhere for Common Entrance, state that a candidate is allowed to use a word processor when it is appropriate and it represents a boy’s ‘normal way of working’ and if it has been recommended by an Educational Psychologist.

Therefore, in order to confirm that a candidate be allowed to use the word processor for CE, Radley needs to receive the requisite supporting evidence (the Ed Psych report including the commendation based on standardised evidence). This should be sent at the start of the academic year before a boy starts at Radley. All boys are re-assessed in Shells at Radley in order to make a judgement regarding their means of writing as well as other Access Arrangements in future public exams.

Naturally, continued use of a word processor will be allowed in the Shells and throughout their time at Radley if it is recommended by an Educational Psychologist (or an accredited Specialist Teacher) in or after the Shell year and represents a boy’s ‘normal way of working’. However, it should be noted that we strongly believe boys both with and without Specific Learning Difficulties are disadvantaged if they do not develop the skills of handwriting, and we expect the boys to practise that skill in the course of the Shell year where handwriting remains, for the majority, the normal method of working in class, in prep, and in examinations. Boys who use a word processor will still have to handwrite work where it is appropriate not to type.


English as an Addtional Language

Radley College is committed to making appropriate provision of teaching and pastoral support for pupils for whom English is an additional language (referred to as EAL students in this document). We aim to ensure that all EAL students are able to use English competently and confidently in order to access the full curriculum and play a full part in the life of the College.



1. To ensure as far as possible that language is not a hindrance to the development of each boys’ potential.

2. To offer support, encouragement and recognition at all stages of the language learning process.

3. To achieve effective yet sensitive integration into the school community.

4. To create an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding of cultural differences.

5. To encourage a sense of pride in each boy’s own culture.

6. To guide and encourage boys to make the most of their time in England.



1. To assist boys to meet the language matriculation requirements for British universities where appropriate.

2. To assist our EAL students to improve their spoken and written English in order to access their academic curriculum and in social contexts.

3. To give EAL students the skills and confidence to use a variety of strategies to enhance understanding and to express meaning clearly and accurately.


Underlying Principles

Radley recognises that our EAL students come from a variety of backgrounds with different experiences of learning English. We believe the multilingualism of our EAL pupils enriches our school and our community. We believe there is a collective responsibility, held by all staff, to identify and remove barriers that stand in the way of EAL pupils’ learning and success.

The Head of Academic Support works closely with Tutors and form masters and academic dons to monitor academic progress and social integration and welfare.


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