ISF Waterloo remains the only school in Belgium offering these qualifications for young non-native English learners.
Head of School, Belinda Yates said, ‘Although we teach in English, for 90 percent of our 160 students, English is not their mother tongue. In fact we have 27 different mother tongues in our school families. Therefore, we wanted a way to certify the level of English language ability that these young students have achieved – a standard that would be recognised in other schools and countries as well. That is exactly what the Cambridge English Young Learners exam provides – and in a fun way!’
The Cambridge English Young Learners tests are produced by Cambridge English Language Assessment (part of the University of Cambridge), whose exams are all linked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, the international standard to describe language ability.
These exams are series of motivating, activity-based language tests, specially designed for children in primary and lower secondary education. The tests cover all four language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and are designed to make a child’s early language learning experience positive and fun, while achieving internationally recognised standards. There are three examination levels: Starters, Movers and Flyers, which are not age-specific.
At ISF Waterloo, each of these language skills is comprehensively covered within the daily school curriculum. This means that the children don’t follow any extra lessons or courses to be ready for these exciting exams, but take them based on what they have already learned in school.
In June last year, for the first time ever in Belgium, 24 young students at ISF Waterloo (together with 24 from our sister organisation in Antwerp, ISF Active English), took their Starters, Movers and Flyers tests. They all passed with glowing scores, averaging over 95 percent, and have now moved on to their next level of Cambridge Young Learners exams.
Ms Yates added, ‘The 25 children who sat their language tests this year at ISF Waterloo are now eagerly waiting for their Cambridge certificates. This is a great way to motivate students to learn English and to give them a good language foundation.
Contributed by ISF Waterloo International School