International School of Bearn, Morlaas-Pau:
The International School is situated in Morlaas-Pau, in the south west of France, near the Pyrenees and just 50 km from the Spanish border. We provide a broad, balanced, relevant and international curriculum taught in English, which will enable students to take on a full and active role as citizens in an international world.
Our Pre-School (Early Years and Reception) curriculum is based on the Foundation Stage of the UK National Curriculum which guides what is taught in British schools. This is divided into six areas, namely :
• Personal, social and emotional development
• Communication, language and literacy
• Mathematical development
• Knowledge and understanding of the world
• Physical development
• Creative development
Our Pre-School is a very happy and secure environment in which all of our young children are encouraged to take part in a wide variety of learning opportunities. We like to maintain strong links with parents as it is vital that we work together to ensure that our children progress in their development and learning. We are always pleased to welcome parents into school to speak to us or to spend time with us during the day if they wish. We follow topics which last for approximately half a term each. Every Wednesday we have ‘show and tell’ when the children can bring in something small to show the rest of the class. Our Pre-School children take part in the weekly assembly and they benefit from interaction with the older children.
Primary School Program:
The I.S.Béarn curriculum is based on the English school system and is characterised by some of its most successful and positive features. We believe in active and participatory learning in which children are purposefully involved in lessons and acquire the important skills of questioning, research and analysis alongside the fundamental and underlying bases of literacy and numeracy.
In general, the following components are developed gradually through the school :
• Literacy – learning to read, write, listen and speak.
• Numeracy – learning to be confident in manipulating numbers.
• Science – exploring the world around us and enjoying the excitement of discovery.
• Social Studies – moving outwards from ourselves and our local environment to learn about the history and geography of the world.
• French – to enable foreign students to enjoy the experience of learning a new language and to enable French students to gain proficiency in their mother tongue.
• English as a Second Language ESL – for students who need to receive close attention to the development of basic skills in English language, including grammar, vocabulary, writing and study skills.
• Music – expressing and creating through participation and performance.
• Art – learning to express, control and communicate our vision of the world.
• Drama – helping conceptual development and the exploration of abstracts through particular, concrete situations.
• Information Technology I.T. – using computers to assist our daily work with relevance to learning in every subject.
• Physical Education P.E. – developing our bodies and the skills needed for sports and personal development.
• Library – a tool for research and a treasure chest of stimulating books for pleasure.
• Religious education / Cultural awareness – appreciating the spiritual dimension in our lives.
• Ethics – respect for others and for the norms that bind us into a community.
Secondary School Program:
The aim of the secondary section is to provide our students with an education of the highest quality so that when they leave us they can successfully join other educational establishments or the community at large having achieved their full potential and been equipped with personal qualities they need to lead a successful life.
To achieve this the school will strive to provide:
• a smooth transition for students joining the school
• a continuity of education across the Key Stages
• a stimulating and caring environment
• a commitment to the highest academic standards
• internationally recognised courses and qualifications
• a partnership with parents, business and local community
The ISB learning experience in the secondary section is designed to maximise the students’ talents using a variety of teaching stimuli, techniques and experiences. It is characterised by:
• small class sizes (around 14)
• adapted established courses to suit individual needs
• a broad and balanced curriculum
• use of classroom interactive whiteboards
• regular homework to encourage independent learning
• continuous assessment to monitor student progress
• end of year testing in line with National Curriculum criteria
• a strong sense of community service
• regular music and theatre productions
• extended field trips in October and March
• participation in after-school activities and clubs
In grades 7, 8 and 9 students follow the English National Curriculum programmes of study, revised to take into account the French location and international nature of the school.
In grades 10 and 11 students prepare to take the University of Cambridge IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) examinations.
Students follow courses in the following subjects:
Information Communication Technology (ICT)
French (FLM or FLE)
At the end of Grade 9 all students sit English National Curriculum Standard Attainment Tests (SATs) in English, Mathematics and Science.
Key Stage 4 (Grades 10 and 11: age 14-16 years)
Students in Grade 10 and 11l follow a two year course of study leading to examinations for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).
In Grade 12 and Grade 13 (6th form) we offer the University of Cambridge International AS/A Level courses.
In May 2008 the International School of Bearn was approved by the University of Cambridge to offer its IGCSE and IAS/A Level courses and as a Cambridge Examination Centre.