FAQs

What is the focus in adult lessons?

The emphasis during lessons is on increasing fluency, accuracy and confidence when speaking and on improving and developing your listening skills. You will acquire the vocabulary, expressions and strategies needed to cope effectively in the most important everyday situations. At higher levels, taking part in discussions and debates will enable you to more fully understand British culture and society. Reading skills are developed using a wide range of authentic texts. The writing syllabus, based on classroom activities, provides the basis for homework and important consolidation.

How long can I study at the Devon School?

The minimum length of stay is 1 week. You can study 15 hours (mornings only) or 23 hours (5 mornings and 4 afternoons) each week. Morning lessons run from 09:00 to 12:30 and afternoon lessons from 13:30 to 15:30. There is also the possibility of additional 1-to-1 lessons at the end of the school day, typically from 15:45 to 17:00 – see 1-to-1 lessons for details.

If you want to study for more than 12 weeks, you can choose the Long Stay General English Course. If you'd like to study for more than 30 weeks, then you may select the Academic Year Course.


When do the adult courses start?

Courses start on any Monday throughout the year.

What can I do after school?

The school organizes an optional activity programme all year round for all its students. These trips and sports activities are a great way for you to meet other students and practise your English. All of the trips are accompanied by knowledgeable guides who can help you get the most out of your visit.

The adult activity programme changes each week. You can go on trips to local places of interest such as the grand houses and gardens of Greenway (home of Agatha Christie) and Coleton Fishacre; the historic cities of Exeter, Plymouth and Bath; the wild countryside of Dartmoor, the green hills and red earth of the South Hams and the dramatic coastal walks of the South Devon coast. In the neighbouring county of Cornwall, there are trips to King Arthur’s castle at Tintagel, the favourite seaside town of English artists, St Ives, as well as the Eden Project and St Michael’s Mount. In the evening, country pub tours, summer barbecues and trips to the theatre are popular.

How do I get to the school?

Getting to Paignton is easy with fast and frequent coach and train services from the major London airports. We offer a complete travel advisory service that will help you organize your journey. We can book your bus or train tickets, provide timetables or arrange to have representative meet you on arrival at the airport. For a full list of transfer options go to the Getting To Us page.

All students will be met by a member of their host family or a member of staff when they arrive in Paignton.

Do I need to provide a towel or my own bedding?

No, the homestay host will provide a towel and bedding. It is advisable to bring an extra towel to use in the sea or to take outside of the house.

What happens with laundry during my stay?

The homestay host will do a weekly laundry service. If you would like to do your laundry more frequently the host may be happy for you to use their washing machine but this should be discussed beforehand.

I have booked shared accommodation, who will I be sharing with?

Unfortunately we are unable to tell you the details of the student you will be sharing with before you arrive as there are often last minute changes. We will always try to share you with someone of a similar age, gender and of a different nationality. If you would like to share with a friend please let us know, this is not a problem.

What is the difference between half board and full board?

If you book half board, you will receive breakfast and evening meal with the host family and lunch at weekends. During the week you will not get lunch but you are able to purchase a range of hot and cold meals and snacks from the schools kitchen.

If you book full board you get the same as above but with meals at the school in weekdays.

Can I contact my family before I arrive?

Yes, the host families love to speak to you before you arrive. It is a great opportunity to get to know them and discuss any dietary requirements or requests. Some families do not use email often so if you don’t receive a reply you can contact us and we can remind them to check.

How will I get to my accommodation?

If you are staying in a homestay, the main host will collect you from your arrival location (bus/train station). If you get a taxi you should get it to go straight to the house. Occasionally a host family might not be able to collect you but in that case they should order a taxi for you and pay for it themselves.

If you are staying at a hotel or B&B it is your responsibility to make your way there from the coach/train station. There are taxi services which are situated at these stations or in most cases the hotels are only approximately 10 minutes’ walk from the stations.

If you need any help organising a transfer please contact us and we can help you find the best deal and book for you.

Is there anywhere good to eat in the local area?

There are plenty of local restaurants in Paignton and the surrounding towns. Come and see us at reception and we will be happy to recommend some. You can also find more information in the welcome pack.

How will I get to school each day?

Your host will bring you in on the first day at 8.30 (unless it is a bank holiday) to show you the way. From then on you will be expected to make your own way to school and back. Home stays are never more than 20 minute walk (or 30 minutes in summer) from school. If you have walking difficulties you can request in your enrolment form to be placed close to the school. There are also bus routes in Paignton and discounted bus passes can be purchased at the school.