Choosing the right school for your child is one of the most important decisions you make for them; it will have a clear impact in their future career and so requires careful analysis.
If you are contemplating the possibility of offering your child an international education so that they can learn a second language and become truly bilingual, The British School of Barcelona shares five important elements to consider when making your selection, because following an international curriculum goes far beyond mastering a language.
1. Mastery of a second language
Learning a language from a very early age and becoming familiar with its use in any daily activity ensure that the learning of this second language is better assimilated and that it can be used safely and fluently to be considered bilingual. For our Early Years leads, one of the advantages of acquiring a language from an early childhood is the possibility of learning the language in a natural way at a stage in life when the brain is more malleable and receptive to learning.
Evidence shows that in order to master a language learning needs to happen in a social context where the child is exposed to stimuli and events which are essential. If this takes place before the age of five, which is when 85% of the child’s brain develops more rapidly than at any other time in life, the chances of success increase. An international education offers the advantages of being able to learn the language in an immersive way at school, while the brain manages the exchange of languages used in the classroom and at home in a natural way.
The British School of Barcelona offers language immersion from the earliest stages of education. All the teachers at the school are English speakers so that students can be in permanent contact with the second language of learning.
2. An International curriculum with worldwide recognition
From an academic point of view, an international education is a passport to the best universities in the world, both in Europe and in other continents. The programmes and degrees of international schools are valued by universities and employers across the world.
Academic excellence and personal development are essential for The British School of Barcelona, which ensures a high standard of teaching and learning at all levels. The aim of a school should be to ensure that all students reach their full potential, regardless of their needs and abilities, through a varied and flexible educational offer.
As part of this international education, students take official exams led by external examination boards, and obtain qualifications that have an impressive reputation worldwide and that are regarded as an excellent basis for the university, for the world of business and for life.
3. Multiculturalism, respect for diversity and a global mentality
Attending an international school means being involved in day-to-day work with students of different nationalities, which provides a multicultural component that is valued as an opportunity to develop an open and global mindset. International schools, such as The British School of Barcelona, with around 1,550 students of up to 60 different nationalities, promote values such as respect for diversity and recognition of difference. Thanks to our multicultural population, both teachers and students, we often celebrate numerous religious and cultural festivals throughout the year, so that students grow up in an environment of tolerance and global mindset that help them become true citizens of the world.
Likewise, an international education creates chances to exchanges with countries where the language of the school is spoken, which helps create long-life relationships with people of other nationalities, learn other cultures and be well prepared if studying/living in another country. This is even more evident in a school like BSB, which is part of the international educational group Cognita, with 82 schools in 11 countries around the world, which facilitates the exchange of international experiences.
4. Development of 21st century skills
An international education helps students develop the skills they need to succeed throughout their lives, whether in college, university or in their professional career. Students not only develop better cognitive abilities and communication skills thanks to the simultaneous learning of two languages, but the international curriculum encourages the development of intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills of the student, as well as a deep knowledge of the subjects they study.
The international educational model of our British school prepares students through learning strategies that foster the development of creativity and innovation, initiative and leadership, critical thinking and problem solving, as well as resilience and the ability to learn for life, providing an extraordinarily strong foundation for a successful future. For this, the school offers the necessary support and resources to help students develop these life skills to be able to face the demands of a complex and ever-changing world.
5. Job opportunities
An international education opens the doors to professional experiences of all kinds, thanks to mastering a language as a native or proficient level (one of the most demanded skills in the 21st-century workplace), having a qualification endorsed by an internationally renowned university, and cultivating a global mindset.
In fact, our University and Careers Guidance programme highlights that more and more companies value a broad training portfolio, interpersonal skills (the so-called soft skills) and international experiences, which together embody a great advantage and differential value compared to the rest of candidates. For this reason, everyone at BSB has been committed to the quality of education, emotional wellbeing and individualised student support for more than 60 years so that students can thrive and build a successful, inspiring future.