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Alert

Last day of school for students is Thursday 21 December. Classes will resume on Monday 8 January 2018.

Administration office hours during holidays are 3 - 5 January, 9:00 - 13:00.

At BISL, our approach is rooted in the best of the British and International education systems, providing a modern, relevant and appealing education in English, which maintains a careful balance between tradition and innovation, taught by bilingual or native speakers, with courses in Slovene language and culture. We offer a style of education for expatriate and local students which is a much sought after alternative to other education systems in Slovenia.

We allocate students to groups based on age, but also consider class size, previous schooling and English-language proficiency. If we subsequently find that a student is not optimally placed, we may change their class, following consultation with parents. 

We may also require that a student takes additional English lessons (at extra cost) if we believe that their level of English is hindering their learning. 

Pre-School

Pre-School

for children aged 3 to 5

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In many ways, these are the most important years of a child’s education: the greatest percentage of everything a person learns in his or her life is between the ages of 0 and 6, so the foundations laid at this level will serve the child for the rest of their school career and beyond. This is why the emphasis in the Pre-School and Primary Section is very much on learning and enjoying learning. BISL provides a caring, nurturing environment which will enable children to thrive and enjoy their learning experience. We take into account each individual child’s ability to enable them to succeed with appropriate support.

In preparation for Primary School, our Pre-School (Vrtec/Kindergarten) programme combines the best of the latest UK National Curriculum's Early Years/Foundation Stage framework with the topic based programme. Units of five weeks each cover topics such as Communicating, Exploring and Healthy Living.

Although the teaching is mostly in English, as this is the optimum age for language development, there are sessions each week in Slovene with a specialist teacher, which include a range of activities, games and songs. Irrespective of the actual language learned, a life-long facility for learning languages is established.

The school day runs from 08:00 to 15:20, Monday to Friday during school terms. A typical day includes:

·       Morning Circle time (hello, welcome songs, etc.)

·       Directed learning activities, including literacy and numeracy development

·       Snack (morning and afternoon - children bring their own from home)

·       Child-initiated play

·       Music, Dance or PE

·       Slovene

A hot lunch is offered for those who wish it (at additional cost). Time is set aside for children who want to have a nap while others do quiet activities. When a child starts at Pre-School, an introductory programme includes the parents  attending on a gradually reducing basis.

Primary

Primary School

for children aged 5 to 11

In common with other British schools, the Primary Section at BISL covers the 5 to 11 age range. 

Primary classes have their own dedicated rooms with interactive whiteboards, and spend a large part of each day with their class teacher.

Our Primary curriculum is comprehensive, thematic and creative, with clear learning processes and specific learning goals. It is based upon the National Curriculum of England (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum) and enhanced through a topic-based approach. This ensures a learning programme that is academically rigorous, but is also exciting, active and meaningful for children. It encourages personal learning - cooperation, communication, resilience, thoughtfulness, respect, and morality - and promotes international mindedness.

5- or 6-week units cover a range of themes which are relevant and appropriate for different age groups. For example, younger children’s learning may include topics such as ‘Holidays’ or ‘Toys’ which enable children to draw on their own direct experiences. Older children study more complex topics, such as learning about ‘Weather and Climate’ or finding out about ‘The Human Body’. 

English and Mathematics are regarded as core subjects and receive the largest time allocation from the class teacher. Work usually relates directly to the topics and themes used to deliver the other areas of the curriculum: History, Geography, Science, Design Technology and Art. French, Slovene, Dance, Music, and PE are taught as discrete subjects by specialist teachers.

Assessment is continuous throughout the year in order to enhance the learning that takes place. Reading, Writing and Maths are assessed summatively twice a year and shared with parents during parent consultations. Working within the structure of the British system and using annual standardize progress measures allows us to make meaningful comparisons with UK national data, to have realistic expectations of what an individual child can achieve and to develop individual targets for improvement.

Learning technologies and the effective use of IT are completely integrated into the curriculum. From Year 3 onwards, children learn to use multimedia, learn to research effectively using the internet and learn the first steps of computer programming. In order to do this, they bring in their own i-Pads to school, as these are the perfect device for engaging them and helping their different learning styles. Parents are able to see the websites that the children use in class or see their digitally generated work through access to Google classroom.

Slovene lessons are taught in two groups: Advanced, where students follow a curriculum similar to that in Slovenian state schools; and Foundation, for students studying Slovene as an additional language.

The day starts with class time, followed by Literacy and Numeracy (including Phonics in Years 1, 2 and 3).  The rest of the day is spent with the class teacher, focussing on the topic based programme, or with specialist teachers for Slovene, Physical Education, Music, Dance and, from Year 3 and above, French.  Students also have a morning and a lunch break to eat their snack or lunch and enjoy the outdoor play.

There are two Primary Assemblies a week, focusing on particular themes and a Whole-School Assembly on the last Friday of each block.

A hot lunch is offered for those who wish it (at additional cost).

The last hour of the day (from 14:45-15:45) is devoted to Activities, which may include choices such as:

  • Football
  • Netball
  • Drama (in English and in Slovene)              
  • Nature Club                  
  • Computer Club                
  • Cooking Club
  • Poetry Club               
  • Art                                      
  • Chess

Students may also join BISL Creators or BIMS after-hours lessons at this time.

Secondary

For students aged 11-18

In common with other British schools, the Secondary Section at BISL covers the 11 to 18 age range. The academic programme is further broken down into:

Key Stage 3                                               (Years 7 – 9)                     (age 11 – 14)

Key Stage 4: iGCSE                           (Years 10 – 11)                 (age 14 – 16)

Key Stage 5: the Sixth Form          (Years 12 – 13)                 (age 16 – 18)

Secondary classes are largely taught by subject specialists in subject-based rooms with interactive whiteboards or digital projectors.

Our Secondary curriculum is a broad and academically rigorous learning programme that is based upon the National Curriculum of England (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum) and culminates in IGCSE and then GCE examinations from the UK. This is enhanced through the inclusion of Slovene (taught in two groups: Advanced, where students follow a curriculum similar to that in Slovenian state schools; and Foundation, for students studying Slovene as an additional language). Secondary students also participate in our programme of regular Adventure Trips.

Secondary students require a laptop computer for their studies and for developing their digital literacy. Laptops should:

  • be light and portable, with good screen visibility and a comfortable keyboard

  • run on either Microsoft or Apple operating system (Chrome books are not a preferred option)

  • have a long battery life (suggested 8 hours)

Students who own an iPad may also use it occasionally as an additional learning tool, but not as their main digital device.

Students who do not have a base in Ljubljana can enrol at the Dijaški dom Bežigrad, which is a comfortable boarding facility that BISL students have used for a number years and with whom we have good links.

Key Stage 3

(Years 7 – 9)

As students transition from Primary to Key Stage 3, they will experience a number of changes. Notable among these, Secondary students are more mobile and will encounter more teachers during the school day – they are taught by subject specialists in subject-specific rooms rather than in a “home room” with a single class teacher.

The Key Stage 3 curriculum includes a broad and balanced range of subjects which set the foundations for study towards IGCSE exams. All students also learn Slovene, in either the Advanced group, where students follow a curriculum similar to that in Slovenian state schools, or at a Foundation level, for students studying Slovene as an additional language.

The subjects are taught for the following number of 45 minute lessons each week:

Year 7 

  • Science - 6 lessons per week
  • English and Mathematics - 5 lessons per week
  • Physical Education - 4 lessons per week
  • History, Geography, Slovene and French - 3 lessons per week
  • Art & Design, Computing and Music - 2 lessons per week
  • Citizenship and Activities - 1 lesson per week 

Years 8 and 9

  • Science - 6 lessons per week
  • English and Mathematics - 5 lessons per week
  • Physical Education - 4 lessons per week History,
  • History, Geography, Slovene and French - 3 lessons per week
  • Art & Design, Computing, Citizenship and Music - 2 lessons per week
  • Activities - 1 lesson per week

Students have Citizenship classes each week, and one lesson is dedicated to Activities, when students can choose from a range of optional activities, from Debating to Dance or from Drama to Caring For The Community, in which they can join in with other members of the whole Secondary school. Students also participate in our programme of regular Adventure Trips.

Key Stage 3 students require a lap-top computer for their studies.

Key Stage 4

(Years 10 and 11)

The Key Stage 4 curriculum offers breadth and balance, with courses leading to GCSE and IGCSE certification from CIE (Cambridge International Examinations) - the world’s leading international British qualifications provider and AQA (Assessments and Qualifications Alliance) - the UK's largest examination board. These examinations are sat by students at schools in more than 160 countries.

Students usually take nine subjects, leading to GCSE/IGCSE examinations at the end of Year 11. Most subjects consist of two examination papers and Geography, Music and Art also include coursework. The syllabus and assessment outline for each IGCSE subject is available on CIE's website (www.cie.org.uk).

All students study a core curriculum, which includes external examination courses in:

  • English as a First Language (or as a Second Language if required); English Literature; Mathematics; Biology, Chemistry; Physics; and French.

Students also chose to follow two further examination courses in:

  • either Art & Design or Geography;  
  • either Music or History. 

Additional examinations can also be arranged for students in a variety of native languages.

All students study Slovene, either at a native-speaker (‘Advanced’) level, similar to the curriculum in Slovenian state schools, or as an additional language (‘Foundation’). There are no external examinations for these courses. Students also have lessons in Citizenship, Study Skills and Physical Education which do not lead to IGCSE qualifications. They also take part in cross-school Activities, which give opportunities for challenge and service beyond the curriculum, such as the school’s music programmes, Caring For The Community or participation in the International Award for Young People (###a href="http://web.britishschool.si/">www.intaward.org) - known in the Slovenia as MEPI (www.mepi.si) and in the UK as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (www.dofe.org) and participate in our programme of regular Adventure Trips.

Subjects are taught for the following number of 45 minute lessons per week:

  • Mathematics, English Language, English Literature and Physical Education - 4 lessons per week
  • Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Slovene, French, Geography or Art & Design, History or Music - 3 lessons per week
  • Citizenship, Study Skills, Activities - 1 lesson per week

Key Stage 4 students require a lap-top computer for their studies.

Students who do not have a base in Ljubljana can enrol at the Dijaški dom Bežigrad, which is a comfortable boarding facility that BISL students have used for a number years and with whom we have good links.

Sixth Form

(Years 12 and 13)

For the final two years at school and in preparation for our students’ entry to university, we offer AS- and A-Level courses from CIE (Cambridge International Examinations) - the world’s leading international British qualifications provider and AQA (Assessments and Qualifications Alliance) - the UK's largest examination board. These examinations are sat by students at schools in more than 160 countries. These qualifications are accepted by universities and employers worldwide, who recognise the high level of achievement of students who have gained them, and BISL students have gone on to study at universities around Europe (including Slovenia), the USA and the Far East, as well as in the UK.

A-Levels give students the opportunity to specialise or capitalize on their strengths as (unlike the Slovenian Matura or the International Baccaulaureate), they can focus solely on the subjects that are appropriate for their future university and career ambitions. There are no compulsory subjects, and so this programme may particularly suit young people who have completed two years of Slovenian Gimnazija and would rather concentrate on their strongest subjects or those not available in the Matura.

The AS- and A-Level subjects offered at BISL may include:

  • Art & Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Economics, English Language, Geography, History, Mathematics, Media Studies, Music, Physics, Psychology.

Not all subjects will run each year, due to the number of students opting to study specific courses.

Students typically follow four subject courses in Year 12 and three in Year 13 ("cashing-in" one at the end of Year 12 as an AS-Level). Each subject is studied in depth, with 7 lessons per week. Additionally, there are weekly classes for essay-writing and university preparation (which includes careers advice and course guidance as well as topics such as writing applications, writing CVs and interview technique). All students also participate in Physical Education activities and have the option to take classes in Slovene language and literature. Sixth Form students also participate in - and some help organise -  our programme of regular Adventure Trips.

As we want our students to become independent and resourceful learners, ready to go on to university if they wish, they spend part of each day in Private Study in a dedicated area, completing assignments, undertaking research and preparing for their next class.  

This type of study builds important bridges between school and university, in terms of social as well as academic development.

We also expect our senior students to assume a leadership role within the school community: they should be people the younger students can look up to and respect. Many take part in community service activities within or outside school, and some participate fully in the International Award for Young People (www.intaward.org) - known in the Slovenia as MEPI (www.mepi.si) and in the UK as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (www.dofe.org).

All Sixth Form students require a laptop for their studies.

Students who do not have a base in Ljubljana can enrol at the Dijaški dom Bežigrad, which is a comfortable boarding facility that BISL students have used for a number years and with whom we have good links.


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FAQ's

What curriculum will my child study at the British International School?

At BISL, the Primary Section follows the National Curriculum for England, enhanced by the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). Our Secondary students are prepared for GCSE, IGCSE and A-Level examinations from Cambridge and AQA.

All subjects, except Slovene and French, are taught in English.

What subjects will my child study?

At pre-school stage, our programme combines the best of the latest UK National Curriculum's Early Years/Foundation Stage framework with the International Primary Curriculum’s Early Years Programme. Units of five weeks each cover topics such as Communicating, Exploring and Healthy Living. Although the teaching is mostly in English, there are sessions each week in Slovene with a specialist teacher, which include a range of activities, games and songs.

In primary school, our curriculum is comprehensive, thematic and creative. It is topic-based approach with 5-6 week units tobcover a range of themes which are relevant and appropriate for different age groups. For example, younger children’s learning may include topics such as ‘Holidays’ or ‘Toys’ which enable children to draw on their own direct experiences. Older children study more complex topics, such as learning about ‘Weather and Climate’ or finding out about ‘The Human Body’. English and Mathematics are core subjects and receive the largest time allocation from the class teacher. Work usually relates directly to the topics and themes used to deliver the other areas of the curriculum. 

At secondary level, the number of subjects studied and the depth of study increases. Subjects in the curriculum include:

  • English, French and Slovene languages
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • History 
  • Geography 
  • Computing
  • Citizenship
  • Art and design
  • Music
  • Physical Education (PE) and Dance

How will my child's progress be monitored?

Academic reports are issued three times per year and parents are invited to attend parent-teacher meetings each term. 

Throughout the school year, student progress is consistently monitored against English National Curriculum standards through accepted benchmark testing methods and internal assessments.

My child speaks only basic English - how will she cope?

All our teachers have experience assisting students who speak English as an Additional Language (EAL). Our curriculum is differentiated to accommodate the diverse needs of EAL students. If your child requires additional support beyond that provided within the classroom, this will be discussed with parents on a case-by-case basis. For further information, please see the Co-Curriculum page.

Will my child have to do homework?

Homework is an important part of school life and is necessary to reinforce knowledge and skills. All Students are expected to complete age appropriate homework assignments as directed by their teacher.  Students will be given reading as a part of their weekly homework programme.

Does my child have to wear school uniform?

Yes, in following the British tradition, we require all students to wear the school uniform. We place high importance on students taking personal pride in how they dress. 

Does the Slovene Ministry of Education recognise BISL as a school?

In June 2016, a new law was passed which dispensed with the previous formalities for ‘home schooling’ of Slovenian children aged 6-15, who were, in fact, attending an international school. This law recognises international educational programmes (ZIMPVI – RS46/16) as being equivalent to completion of education at a local Slovene school. The new law will require schools to be registered with the Ministry of Education and schools will have to incorporate some specific elements in their curriculum – for example, every student will have to receive 140 hours of teaching of the Slovene language each year.  But it means that local children will be able to attend BISL, safe in the knowledge that this will be recognised in law as an acceptable and equal alternative to a local school.