Teenage Residential Courses (14-17 years)*
CAE at Princess Helena College

Key Points

  • 2 or 4 week courses recommended for teenagers aged 14-17 *
  • Residential accommodation
  • Secure rural environment with 24-hour supervision
  • Elementary to Advanced levels (no beginners)
  • 20 hours of lessons per week
  • Maximum of 96 teenagers, in classes of 12 students
  • Excellent mixture of nationalities
  • Wide choice of afternoon sports and activities
  • Full evening entertainment programme
  • Private tennis courts, sports hall, pitches and heated swimming pool
  • Regular excursions
  • All costs included in course price.
  • * In special circumstances, CAE reserves the right to accept students of minimum age 13

Course Structure

  • Students can enrol for 2 or 4 weeks
  • 20 full hours of lessons per week
  • An integrated programme of language lessons, afternoon activities, evening entertainment and visits
  • Learn the English you need by doing the things you like to do
  • Enjoy social activities in the afternoon and evening
  • Daily CAE Portfolio and Homework session
  • All meals provided at the school
  • Regular weekly excursions. All students will visit London and Cambridge as well as other local destinations.

Academic programme

  • Maximum class size is 12 students
  • All students are interviewed and tested on arrival
  • Classes are allocated by language level, nationality mix, age and gender
  • 20 full hours of lessons per week
  • Level based Project work classes give teenagers a chance to practice all four skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Excursion Classes (preparation and follow up) link the classroom language to the English speaking environment
  • Afternoon Electives give you time to learn English by doing things you like
  • Join two weekly Electives in each 2 week programme
  • Daily Portfolio and Homework sessions give you time to review your progress, complete homework tasks and take part in Student Committee meetings
  • Free learning materials
  • Teenagers prepare a special CAE Portfolio to take home as a record of their achievements on the course
  • Students receive an end of course report and CAE Course Certificate.

Social Programme

The Afternoon and Evening Programme is an essential part of your course. It is here that you can really put your English into practice. Princess Helena College offers you a choice of some great activities and sport every afternoon and evening. There's a private swimming pool, tennis courts, playing fields and a large indoor sports hall. We all have our favourite activities, but we also encourage you to try something completely new!

In the Afternoons, sign up for

  • Sports
    (Basketball, Tennis, Badminton, Football, Volleyball, Cricket, Netball...)
  • Art and Crafts
    (Drawing, Painting, Mask making, Jewellery design, T-shirt painting...)
  • Activities
    (Drama, Music, Singing, Reading club, Cookery, Dance, Chess...)
  • Local visits
    (Strawberry picking, Museum visits, Market surveys, Town trails...)

In the Evenings, take part in

  • Cinema visits
  • Discos
  • Theme parties
  • Team challenges
  • Quizzes
  • Talent competitions

Excursions and Study visits

  • England is our classroom
  • Students get the chance to use their English in real situations
  • All students will visit London and Cambridge as well as other local destinations
  • Learn about the places you are visiting before the trip and talk or write about them when you get back to class.
  • Students are issued with a CAE Identity Card. You must carry this card at all times.
  • Students are supervised at all times. Older students may be allowed a short period of free time for souvenir shopping.


  • Princess Helena College is a private boarding school. In summer it becomes the centre for a CAE teenage residential course.
  • The school is a beautiful and safe building, and is surrounded by its own large picturesque park and gardens.
  • Princess Helena College is in a secure rural countryside location. It is less than an hour by road from Cambridge and London and conveniently located to Luton Airport.

Accommodation and Meals

  • Students sleep in dormitories and in twin rooms (2- 8 students).
  • There is a broad mix of nationalities in each shared bedroom or on each corridor.
  • Sleeping arrangements are made in advance and we encourage students to make new friends and speak English in the boarding houses
  • Friends and siblings travelling together may not share rooms. They may be in rooms next to each other but not in the same room.
  • Students may indicate a preference for a dormitory/ twin or single room but we cannot guarantee any requests.
  • Teachers sleep in staff bedrooms next to the student dormitories and members of staff are on duty throughout the night.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided in the school dining room. On excursion days students receive a packed lunch.


  • Students are escorted to and from Princess Helena College for all airport transfers
  • On the Sunday before the course begins, all students are met at the airport by a CAE representative
  • On the Saturday at the end of the course, students are taken back to the airport, and helped with their check-in. CAE representatives will remain in the airport until the plane has departed.
  • There will be an additional charge for any arrivals, departures or extra nights outside our set days and times.
  • Teenage students who are flying alone are encouraged to register with the airline's Unaccompanied Minor Service when booking their flight.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the teachers like?
They are energetic, appropriately qualified and experienced in working with teenagers. They will not only teach English, but also sports and other activities.

What is the nationality mix?
Our students come from all over the world. In the past we have had teenagers from over 25 different countries enrolled on this course!

How old are the students?
PHC is recommended for older teens aged 14 to 17.  In special cirucmstances CAE has the right to accept students of minimum age 13.

How much pocket money do students need?
Students only need enough money for sweets, souvenirs and presents - everything else has already been paid for. The Course Director can keep students' money safe until they need it.

What happens if a student is ill?
We have staff with first aid training available at all times to deal with emergencies. All but the most minor problems are referred to the local doctor. In the most serious cases arrangements are made to fly the student home. Standard Personal Insurance is included in your course fees.

What's the food like?
All the meals are provided in the school dining room so students and teachers can eat together. Breakfast usually includes cereal, toast and fruit juice. For lunch and dinner the menu is varied and includes meat, fish, cheese, potatoes, rice, salad, pizza, fruit and vegetables. Vegetarian options are available. On excursions, everyone will have a packed lunch.

What happens if students feel homesick?
Feeling homesick is quite normal for the first day or so, especially if this is a first trip away from home. Our staff are experienced in dealing with homesickness and will help students through difficult moments. A full and varied programme means that homesickness is quickly forgotten.

Can friends enrolling together sleep in the same bedroom?
We encourage students to use English on all our courses. For this reason, we decide who is going to sleep in which bedroom, so that everyone has a chance to make new friends and practise their English. This means that friends may sleep in rooms near each other, but not in the same room.

Do the students have their clothes washed?
Student clothing and towels will be washed at least once a week. Please do not bring any expensive or very delicate items. Bed linen is changed regularly.

Will the students be allowed to go out of the school grounds?
Teenage students at Princess Helena College are not allowed out of the school grounds unaccompanied. Excursions are supervised by staff at all times. Students carry a CAE identity card and are given clear safety guidelines. Some free time will be allowed for souvenir shopping in small friendship groups.

Why is this course so special?
It gives today's teenagers the opportunity to make friends from all over the world.