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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 on the Fettes College campus with its 25 bright, modern classrooms.

Although we offer courses from A1 to C1 level, we recommend a minimum level of A2. Classes at A1 and A2 level may have mixed ages and we do not offer lessons for beginners or for students higher than C1 level.


The FCLC way

After breakfast, students go to class on campus, where they spend the morning learning and making new friends.  Each morning is made up of three sessions, all taught by the same teacher. Each day’s lessons include giving and correcting homework, studying grammar, vocabulary and phonology and doing task-based activities. A lot of the material is unique to FCLC, especially the PowerPoint presentations about our weekly themes and excursions.


Teachers give their students two pieces of homework each day and check them the following day:  An activity based on the lesson and a writing activity based on the weekly theme or life at FCLC.  The students keep what they have written in a diary given to them by FCLC.  We hope our students and their families will enjoy reading about their friends, their thoughts about FCLC, Edinburgh and Scotland and what they have learned when they go home.


The students improve their grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation through material related to the weekly theme with a focus on accuracy.


The students use their new and existing language in different activities, which could be short and intense or longer and more relaxed, all based on the weekly theme.  Students want to communicate meaningfully and these activities are perfect for that.


To help our students get the most from our excursions, each day the teachers introduce one place they will visit, using PowerPoint presentations, language input, videos, activities and discussions.


Language teaching and learning cannot be neatly divided.  As the different language skills are related, they may be covered in any of the three sessions to make the lessons different and interesting.


Online placement test

Students take an Oxford Online Placement Test before they come to FCLC.  This is very important, so we can know their level of English and put them into the right classes. Our teachers can then start preparing lessons that are right for their students.  Because this is done before the students arrive in Edinburgh, they can go to class immediately on Monday morning with no stressful tests at the school.

To be sure all students are in a class at their correct level, the teachers do speaking activities on Monday mornings to compare the students’ test score and how well they can speak.  If a student is not in the right class, the Academic Manager will change their level.


and classes

The teachers prepare interesting lessons at the correct level for their classes based around our weekly themes.  Every day’s lessons include reading, writing, listening and speaking as well as vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar. The students also use English to do different activities and to speak with each other about important ideas.

As excursions are an important part of our programme, the teachers prepare their students for them in class using our own material.

Our teachers, from a variety of countries, are all qualified to teach English as a foreign language.  Additionally, they have all passed a police background check and have done safeguarding training and a course 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


9 hours of teacher contact time on three afternoon excursions

Weekly themes

All lessons are based around our unique weekly themes

Total learning

26.5 hours of total teacher contact time per week


All materials used in lessons and on excursions are 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

Lessons are held in our modern and comfortable learning centre, the Spens Building. The classrooms are large and bright and and there is a room on the top floor for project work.  Each room has an interactive whiteboard, which the teachers use as much as possible, to keep the students interested and engaged.  It’s only a short walk from the Spens Building to the Dining Hall, where snacks are served between the first and second lesson of each day.  We feel that all of these things make a perfect environment for learning English.


Off campus

On three afternoons per week, students visit places of interest in Edinburgh with their class and teacher, which are linked to the theme of that week. Places may include the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh, 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 make the visits educational as well as enjoyable.


Keep on learning

Homework is an important part of learning, as it allows students to use the language they have worked with in class and it allows teachers to see what the students have learned.  Teachers ask their students to do homework based on their lessons every day, which is checked the following day in class.

Each student is also given an FCLC diary, which includes writing activities for each day of the programme.  The students are always given a choice of two activities, which may be about new friendships, the weekly themes or their experiences at FCLC and in Scotland.

Lesson materials

We give you everything you need

All necessary course materials including a pen, a folder and learning resources like activity sheets are provided.  Students are encouraged to keep the resources along with their diary and take them home at the end of their course so they can review their lessons later. As FCLC does not use a course book, our teachers can prepare lessons that meet their students’ wants and needs.  All our classrooms have an interactive whiteboard and there is free Wi-Fi access throughout the campus.

Graduation ceremony

The perfect ending

On the last Friday of their course, students receive a certificate and a report individually prepared by their teacher. These are presented at a graduation ceremony, which takes place in the beautiful Fettes College Chapel at the top of the main school building.