Open World International School follows the State national curriculum and the international Cambridge curriculum and guarantees a mastery of core subject knowledge so that each child can reach primary and after secondary level in the best possible conditions.
1. Academic Excellence achieved with Positive Teaching Methods
We use both classical methods which have proved their worth (syllabic learning of reading, chronological learning of history, weekly poetry, grammatical analysis from Year 2, etc.) and active pedagogy. Active pedagogical methods aim to put the child at the centre of his or her own learning. Learning takes place by observation, personal experience and self-reflection. We practice the Montessori method and also take into account Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences.
Montessori pedagogy is based on the importance of sensory awakening (children learn better by using all of their senses) and on self-discipline (children learn to work independently for themselves). All of the Open World staff have had Montessori training and understand its principles. Montessori pedagogy promotes learning as it reinforces independence, initiative and concentration. Montessori material allows children to perceive, understand and memorise curricular information by using their senses. It is designed to allow children to approach abstract notions in a concrete and sensory way. It is used through manipulation and independent work.
Children start to learn how to read in Year 1, in French as well as in English. Volunteers give their time to support the teachers by reading individually with each child several times a week.
The quality of our teaching is closely linked to the importance given to ‘savoir-être’ or intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence: politeness, tolerance, respect, sharing, etc. We work on these values daily.
2. Learning by Immersion
The school day is structured in order to optimise English learning throughout primary school and to give children a solid basis in core subjects such as Maths and French.
Nursery is in complete English immersion. This way children are surrounded by Shakespeare’s language at a young age and absorb a maximum of vocabulary and sounds in a natural and fun manner.
In Reception, children are still surrounded by an English-speaking environment but bi-weekly French language classes are introduced. The rough breakdown of teaching time in each language in Reception is 80% in English and 20% in French.
From Year 1 to Year 6 the school day is divided into a half day of each language. Children therefore have two teachers, a native English speaker and a native French speaker.
3. Beyond Academics
Whether through its international dimension that implies openness to the world and to other cultures, through rich and varied activities (singing, visual arts, cooking workshops, creative writing, drama, etc.) or through its active pedagogy, our teaching methods encourage children to use critical and creative reasoning.
Age-appropriate philosophy and meditation workshops are also offered to students. There are several different aims to these workshops: learning how to settle down, to deal with emotion, to redirect excess energy, to concentrate, etc. For older children, it helps them to self-reflect and teaches them how to justify their choices, to compare their beliefs with those of others, how to question their own beliefs after a debate, etc. Children are encouraged to think for themselves and to reflect to develop their own beliefs.
4. Forest School
In our school, wellington boots are essential as Mother Nature plays an important role in daily school life. Classes often take place outdoors and we take advantage of our surrounding environment to teach children basic botany, gardening, discovering the world, different sports activities, etc.