Learn About Our Programme
A Bilingual Education
No one can doubt that the mastery of several languages is a great advantage, giving a head start for their future. Based in the capital of Europe, our school has opted for the combination of English and French.
Children who have followed our primary school curriculum will be fully fluent by the end of their sixth year and should have working knowledge after only one year. Specialist teachers in English (ESL) and French (FLE) offer necessary support to those children arriving with little or no English or French. The curriculum followed in the primary department is based on the Belgian programme for the French-speaking component, and on the Cambridge Primary Programme, for English. Children who follow our curriculum should have no difficulty integrating into other English-speaking, French and international schools.
As a Cambridge accredited school, our English Programme is founded upon international and reputable standards. Its curriculum is structured in broad subject areas of Writing, Reading, Speaking & Listening and is detailed in specific learning objectives per Year. Our English Section provides the subjects of Mathematics and Science also established by the Cambridge Programme. We value the application of knowledge and our students greatly benefit in exploring new concepts within each subject through engaging experiences and critical thinking. Our process based approach, underpinned by Cambridge, highlights the internalisation of in depth learning and celebrates every child’s progress for an inclusive learning environment.
In order to facilitate our learners who are new to the English language; ESL (English Second Language) classes will provide linguistic foundations in small and friendly classroom environments. These classes are taught by specialised teachers, using the ESL Cambridge Curriculum to build a solid bridge, for all students to eventually enter into the Main English classroom. Our beginners will have an important immersion opportunity in learning Science within a Main English class context, whereby vocabulary will be gained with the benefit of learning alongside their fluent peers. As Maths is a universal language of numbers and symbols, we have found that our new students adapt quickly within the first year.
Our Cambridge Science programme is organised along three strands of study: Biology, Chemistry and Physics using investigative skills of scientific enquiry.
Individual and cooperative learning opportunities are presented to our pupils, and we encourage independence in scholarly stewardship and the development of skills as responsible and respectful citizens.
The French language curriculum at BICS is based on classic teaching methods that provide our students with a solid foundation, thereby making the French language more accessible to a broader audience. Immersion and constant practice are the pillars of this approach.
Tried and tested methods, such as learning to read in syllables, systematic practice in the rules of grammar and conjugation, and daily vocabulary-building help pupils to grasp and assimilate the richness of one of the world’s most complex languages. A moderate amount of homework is assigned so that by working individually at home each child is able to reinforce the concepts learned in the classroom. Learning to write beautifully in cursive, using a fountain pen, is applied daily with careful attention and later mastery; whereby our pupils acquire the importance of valuing their work and the quality of its presentation.
Our programme follows the Belgian and French systems. In the primary school, History and Geography are also taught in French. In order to facilitate their start with the language, beginners are taught in small groups by teachers who are specialised in the teaching of French as a Foreign Language (FLE).
Through a parallel programme, the teaching of Mathematics in French completes and reinforces the Cambridge Programme given in English. This additional learning in both languages and day to day practice allows each student to acquire a finer understanding and more extensive skills in this subject area.
Mathematics is given equal practice in French and English. The English curriculum is founded on comprehensive Cambridge competencies and the French section follows with important revision and reinforcement using the Singapore method. Our pupils have the opportunity to approach mathematics from different angles and glean newfound vocabulary making for a rich learning experience. As Maths is a universal language of symbols; our second language learners have proven to adapt very quickly and with success.
History is taught in a conventional and chronological way. At the start of primary school; pupils study major historical periods, before refining their knowledge of Belgian and greater European History.
Geography is explored in both topographical and human aspects. It is first studied in proximity; from the closest and most concrete topics in discovering Belgium before extending to a wider context of Europe and beyond.
Religion classes are given by our chaplain, Canons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, who teach all students the Holy Scriptures and catechism of the Catholic Church. If the children so wish, they can also register for the preparation of the sacraments of the Eucharist and Confirmation.
Music, Art and Theatre
The appreciation of arts and acquirement of artistic skills has always held great importance at BICS. Music teachers provide our pupils with weekly lessons in the foundations of reading music and in collective refinement of singing in class and at chapel. These lessons enrich our pupils as they discover technical aspects of music, and learn to distinguish composers and their works in particular periods of history. Our music classes also prepare our students for our annual end-of-year theatre production and offer opportunities in both drama and dance. Teachers provide weekly art lessons, using a variety of mediums for the enjoyment of our pupils. These art works are then valued and displayed to beautify our corridors as cheerful and colourful spaces. Our Year 7 class benefits from a specialised Art teacher, and this allows our students to explore more sophisticated techniques in their final year.