There has been an educational establishment on our Wandsworth site in south west London for more than 100 years.
It was founded in 1895, funded by a tax on whiskey! Students had to pay what was then a substantial fee of £1 a term for day classes. There were around 500 students studying there, a large number for those times.
Today, over 21,000 students are enrolled at South Thames College, and government funded courses like BTEC Nationals and A-levels are free for 16-19 year olds.
In 2009, the College merged with Merton College, another thriving education establishment in South West London.
Interestingly, while many things have changed dramatically over the last 100+ years, the focus of what is now South Thames College has not.
In 1895, students were enrolled on 'Trade Classes' designed to train and, maximise the potential of, people looking for skilled work, including carpentry, brickwork, plumbing and hygiene.
Today our vocational courses are still designed to give excellent training and maximise the potential of students looking for skills. These still include carpentry, brickwork, plumbing, and hygiene, but we have expanded into many other areas too.
Large, 11-20 students, Medium, 6-10 students, One-to-One, Small, 2-5 students
Our range of courses includes Trinity ESOL, City & Guilds certificate in English Skills and Cambridge English Skills for Life, preparation for other Cambridge English exams and IELTS.
ESOL can help you if English is your second language and you are living or planning to settle in the UK. The course is offered at five different levels from Pre-entry (for beginners) to Level 1 (for intermediate learners). You'll need to do a short test when you apply so we can put you on the level that's right for you.
The course covers:
Listening and speaking
You'll learn about life in the UK through topics such as transport, health, work, leisure and many others. You can also attend a maths class alongside your English studies. If you're aged 16-18 you'll study a full-time programme that includes personal and social development, ICT, maths and enrichment as well as English.
You'll work towards the City & Guilds Certificate in English Skills and Trinity College London Skills for Life qualification.
These are part-time courses and start in September - they last for one year. We run ESOL courses at all three campuses: Merton, Tooting and Wandsworth. You need to have some basic understanding of the English alphabet and forming letters. Before you enrol, you'll have a short test with one of our tutors to help us decide what level is right for you. If you have any ESOL qualifications from the last three years, please bring the certificates with you to the test.
If you're 19 or older and want to study another course alongside ESOL, remember to check the entry requirements for the other course as well.
English GCSE - Level 2:
Gain an English GCSE on this flexible course - perfect if you've been out of education for a while or you're looking to boost your GCSE grades for university. Study at Merton, Wandsworth and Tooting - choose the campus that's easiest for you. Study part-time and choose to come in on weekdays or Saturdays. Depending on whether you're studying other subjects you may be able to take GCSE maths too. If you have a grade D or below (or didn't take a GCSE) in English then this course is free.
You must be 16 or older to study GCSE English or if you're studying at another college you'll need to be 19 or older. You'll be invited to take an assessment before you join the course so that we know which level you're at and which class is right for you.
English: Standard schedule - All Levels
Improve your English skills to communicate with confidence in professional, social and academic situations. You'll learn about UK life, culture and society and work on all English language skills: grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, listening, speaking and pronunciation.
This course is flexible and can be tailored to meet your unique learning needs. You can study from four weeks to a full academic year (44 weeks).
You can add one or two extra elective classes to your programme to get additional practice in specific skills.
You can also add one-to-one private English lessons to focus on your specific needs and professional requirements.
You can also enrol on one or more of our many part-time leisure courses across a range of subjects including arts and crafts, film making, history, music or yoga. These will help you make friends and practise your English with native speakers.
The general English programme is 15 hours per week. Classes run in the morning 9:00-12:30, Monday to Friday. Elective classes run in the afternoon. By adding elective classes you can boost your programme to 20 hours a week with one elective class or 25 hours a week with two elective classes.
Additional part-time leisure courses and one-to-one tuition are not included in your standard programme hours. You should check the timetable for any other courses or classes you're interested in to make sure they don't clash with your general English (and elective class) timetable.
Your progress will be assessed regularly by your tutor through written assignments, presentations and tests. The number of assessments you have will depend on the programme you are studying. You can prepare for Cambridge or IELTS exams by taking the exam preparation elective classes.
This course is offered at different levels according to your ability. We don't run classes for beginners. Your English should already be a minimum of A1 level or equivalent and you should be able to have a simple conversation and understand basic information and instructions in English.
English with professional work placement - Advanced
This course will improve your professional English and give you valuable experience working at a UK company.
You'll study our English course with a mandatory class (from our Elective programme) to prepare you for your work placement. The course covers UK life, culture and society and you'll work on all English language skills: grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, listening, speaking and pronunciation. You'll also learn about UK business practice and develop your CV and interview skills to get you ready for your placement. You have the option to tailor your programme and add extra elective classes in:
Cambridge and IELTS exam preparation
English for UK university studies
Presentation, meeting and negotiation skills
Writing and grammar
Pronunciation and speaking fluently
Life in London and the UK
Skills for teaching English and preparation for the Cambridge Teaching Knowledge Test.
After the course you'll take a full-time unpaid placement. This will give you valuable experience for your career and improve your communication skills and professional knowledge. You'll receive a certificate and your employer will provide you with a good reference if you complete the placement successfully. We'll help you get a placement in a sector relevant to you. This could be:
Film and TV production
Hospitality and tourism
The duration of the general English course is flexible - most students complete it in 8-12 weeks, but the minimum is 4 weeks. You may need to study for longer depending on your level of English when you start the course.
Most work placements last 2-3 months, but can be between 1-6 months. The placement is full-time (35+ hours a week). The exact hours may vary from sector to sector and will be confirmed when your placement is secured.
The name of the course, as it appears on your qualification or certificate, will be Standard English With A Work Placement - International
You must be at least 21. If you have a Tier 5 YMS (Youth Mobility Scheme) Visa the maximum age you can be is 30.
To start the work placement you should have at least good B2 level English, equivalent to IELTS 5.5 in Speaking. Some employers and sectors ask for a higher level. Please be aware that if your English is at the minimum level required for the placement, you may not be able to work to the same level of responsibility as you would in your first language.
Your English must be a minimum of CEFR level B1 when you start the English course. If your English is level B1 you may need to study the general English course for 12+ weeks to build your English skills to the level required for your work placement.
These courses are a short version of our Professional English: Standard English course and you'll learn about UK life, culture and society and work on all English language skills: grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, listening, speaking and pronunciation. We'll also help you get the most out of your time in London.
Classes generally have 16 - 20 students though we can accommodate up to 22 per class.
You'll study for 15 hours a week Monday to Friday, 9:00 - 12:30. You can study for 4, 6 or 8 weeks. Group bookings are available.
The name of the course, as it appears on your qualification or certificate, will be International Summer Courses
This course is offered at seven different levels according to your ability. We don't run classes for complete beginners. Your English should be a minimum of A1 level or equivalent. You should be able to have a simple conversation and understand basic information and instructions in English.
Our application form includes an English test. Or, you can include results from a recent IELTS or Cambridge English test. We will assess this then offer you a place on the level we think right for you. During the first few days of the course, your teachers will check to make sure the level you're studying suits you.
If you're already in London, we will arrange for you to have your assessment in-person at the college.
Most students on the course are aged 18 - 35, but we accept students aged 16 - 17 if there is a relative, family friend or other adult in London to be responsible for them.
You'll cover English teaching theory and put this into practice through practical teaching experience. There are five main topics:
Learners and teachers and the teaching and learning environment
English language analysis and awareness
English language skills including reading, listening, speaking and writing
Planning and teaching resources for different situations
Developing teaching skills and professionalism.
You can complete this course in either four weeks (intensive) or ten weeks (semi-intensive). Both study options lead to the same qualification. The ten week course will give you more time to enjoy London and immerse yourself in UK culture.
You'll take two types of assessment during the course - observation of teaching practice and written assignments. There is no final exam.
During the teaching practice assessment you will be observed teaching for a total of six hours with two classes at different levels of ability.
There are four written assignments. These focus on:
Analysing and responding to learner needs
Analysing language for teaching
Teaching language skills
Reflecting on classroom teaching.
You must pass both the practical teaching assessment and written assignments to complete the course successfully.
Most students on this course are aged 20 years or older. You'll need to take a language assessment and have an interview in person, on the phone or via Skype. You should also have:
Written and spoken English at high C1 level
A qualification that would generally allow entry to higher education.
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