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Academic programme

Our academic programme is generally divided into lessons for Young Learners aged 10 to 13 and for Young Students aged 14 to 17. All classes are taught in the Spens building, our purpose-built educational centre at the heart of the Fettes College campus with its 25 state-of-the-art classrooms. We cater for all levels from A1 to C1 but do not offer lessons for complete beginners or students higher than C1 level. A1 classes may have mixed ages.


The FCLC way

After breakfast, students go to class on campus where they will spend the morning learning and bonding with their teacher and new friends. There are three sessions, each with a different focus, but all are connected in our highly integrated approach.


After a motivating warm up, homework is checked and then students work on developing and improving their grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation in a mixture of games, activities and exercises. Accuracy is the focus in this session.


In the second session, our students get to use their new and existing language in a range of tasks which could be short and intense or longer and more relaxed, all based on the themes of the week. Fluency in communicative use is the focus in this session.


Last but by no means least, in the third session our students are introduced to places of educational interest based on the cultural programme that they will visit with their class during the week or with our activity leaders at weekends.


Online placement test

Prior to arrival, students take an Oxford Online Placement Test to establish their level of English. This allows us to place students in classes in advance, thereby allowing teachers to prepare more effectively as well as ensuring a smooth start to the academic programme, which takes place every morning, Monday to Friday. As standardised tests do not provide a full representation of a student’s ability, we confirm their level with speaking activities at the school and change students’ classes if required.


and classes

Teachers follow a student-centred approach to teaching and learning English. Within the lessons, all of the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) are covered as well as the three language systems of vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar. The students practise their communicative skills using a task-based language teaching methodology within a variety of contexts. Throughout the week, the students are also prepared for the cultural programme’s off-campus excursions. Our teachers, from a variety of nationalities, are all qualified to teach English as a foreign language, have undergone a police background check and safeguarding training as well as instruction in delivering the FCLC academic programme.


17.5 hours of classroom tuition per week

Class levels

Motivating lessons for all students from A1 to C1 level


6 hours of teacher contact time on two afternoon excursions


Task Based teaching methodologies in sessions 1 & 2

Total learning

23.5 hours of total teacher contact time per week


All academic, classroom & lesson materials provided by our team

Class size

Maximum of 14 students per class, average class size of 12 students

Placement test

Online placement test taken at home prior to arrival at FCLC


On campus

Our lessons are held in our flagship learning centre, the Spens Building, which offers modern facilities yet sits perfectly at the heart of the Fettes campus in the shadow of the main Bryce building. Teachers take advantage of the technology in each classroom and use the interactive whiteboards as much as possible, which is a perfect tool to engage students individually or as a group. The classrooms are bright and spacious, creating a perfect ambiance for lessons. Feedback from our students has been overwhelming regarding the facilities in the Spens Building and we are delighted to once again offer this as part of the programme’s facilities.


Off campus

On two afternoons per week, students visit places of educational interest in Edinburgh with their class and teacher, which are linked to the theme of that week. Places may include Edinburgh’s Royal Botanical Gardens, the National Galleries of Modern Art, the Scottish National Museum, Edinburgh Castle, Dean Village, the Museum of Edinburgh, Calton Hill and Edinburgh’s world famous Royal Mile. Students are prepared for these excursions in class and complete activities while on the excursions to deepen their appreciation and understanding of the site.


Keep on learning

Homework is an important element allowing students to use the language they have worked with in class and for teachers to give constructive feedback. Teachers assign homework based on sessions 1 & 2 on a daily basis, which is checked the following day in class.

Each student is also given an FCLC diary on arrival, which includes writing assignments for each day of the programme including tasks about new friendships, aspects of the weekly themes and their experiences at FCLC and in Scotland.

Lesson materials

We give you everything you need

All necessary materials including pens, folders and pedagogical resources are provided for use throughout the course and students build up a portfolio of work in their folders to take away with them at the end of their course. All our classrooms have interactive whiteboards and there is free WiFi access throughout the campus.

Graduation ceremony

The perfect ending

On successful completion of their language course, students receive a certificate and end-of-course report individually prepared by their teacher. These are presented at the graduation ceremony, which takes place in the spectacular surroundings of the Fettes College Chapel within the main school building.