Forest International School Paris is a student-centered school. We value distinctive inquiry-based interdisciplinary studies, project-based learning, social emotional learning and creativity.
We take best practices from various pedagogies, whether it be using Montessori tools and its child-led approach, the hands-on and multi-disciplinary project work one finds in Waldorf- Steiner schools or the outdoor learning spirit from forest schools in England and Scandinavia.
Our aim is to ensure that every child is given the opportunity to achieve his/her full potential. We strive to create a positive school experience where everyone's stengths are emphasized, as well as a learning culture where each child feels valued and respected, and where taking risks is encouraged. We give students the opportunity to discover themselves as learners, so as to identify the possible gaps that have occurred in their education and help them recognise when they are successful as well as when and why they haven't been so in the past.
In the primary school (6 - 11 years old), each child has a class teacher who is responsible for teaching all academic subjects.
Here we focus further on the social and learning development of each child. Students are expected to attend our curriculum activities for full days. Learn more on the Primary page.
Our curriculum combines two recognised teaching programmes: the English National Curriculum (an educational syllabus used in schools across England and international schools around the world) and the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) which we follow for all other academic subjects - science, history, geography, arts, and music.
These programmes of study and the activities we offer promote the cognitive, aesthetic, physical, social and emotional growth of each child.
Because the curriculum is completely integrated, meaningful connections between interdisciplinary concepts and ideas can be made. Students may not be involved in exactly the same activities and projects at the same time, as we foster project-based learning in small groups and believe this better reflects the world outside school.
The English National Curriculum is an educational syllabus used in schools across the UK as well as in many international schools around the world. It aims that all children gain a good grounding in reading, writing, speaking, listening and numeracy. It also places children’s personal development at the core of the learning process. At FISParis we follow this curriculum for maths and literacy.
First launched in 1988, it has been developing consistently ever since. It is often characterised as ‘broad and balanced’ since students, up to the age of fourteen, study the full breadth of subjects that are needed to help them develop into well-rounded citizens of the future. The curriculum focuses on delivering high academic standards, yet ensuring that students also develop the wider life skills that are so crucial for applications to top universities and their future adults life.
Detail of the Syllabus
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
The English National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non- routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
The various curricula from Fieldwork Education (International Primary Curriculum and International Middle Years Curriculum) provide for all other academic subjects - science, history, geography, arts, and music.
This curriculum has been developed as a cross-subject enrichment programme and it is delivered through thematic learning units. The IPC and IMYC place the emphasis on a combination of academic, personal and international learning for children worldwide, combined with innovative and exciting ways to learn. It has been successfully integrated by many primary internationally-minded schools that are also following the English National Curriculum for Maths and English.
Forest International School Paris is a student-centered school where we value distinctive inquiry-based interdisciplinary studies, project-based learning, social emotional learning and creativity.
Our responsibility is to facet the adults of tomorrow’s world; we carry the responsibility of fostering pupils’ self-confidence and innovative thinking skills required for success in an increasingly complex world.
At FISP all pupils, including native French speakers, are taught in English every day.
The pre-school and primary children are also offered additional language lessons; currently they can learn French as a foreign language. However, if there is sufficient demand for any alternative language, the school will happily consider adding this to its programme.
We are aware that many families arrive in France with little or no knowledge of French or who would like to improve their French. Therefore, our French teacher, by special arrangement, offers French language lessons for adults.
French as a Foreign Language
French as a Foreign Language is taught using a fun and interactive method. It consists of a large range of activities such as role-play, games, singing, creative arts, listening to stories, as well as performing in front of peers and parents. The lessons are planned in accordance with the IPC (international primary curriculum) topics in order to facilitate the children's learning and making connections between different activities of the week. In addition, every opportunity such as national and international celebrations is used to enrich pupils' vocabulary as well as their general knowledge.
At the end of each term, children receive a portfolio that serves as a great revision and a tool to talk about all that was done during the term. Younger children focus on speaking and comprehension. For the older children, writing and reading is introduced. In addition, Primary aged children are being prepared to take Alliance Française tests of ability. These are a French language tests that are an equivalent of the Young Learners Cambridge Test of ESOL (Starters- Movers-Flyers).
Children are assigned to different groups according to their age and personal maturity as well as knowledge of the French language.
French for native speakers
For those who, after leaving FISP, would like to continue their education within the French system, we offer an extended French programme. This allows them to maintain a high level of French, and follows the French National Education curriculum according to the age and the level of each child. Pupils following this programme join the distance learning course proposed by the French Ministry of Education.
We value the physical development of children which is crucial in early years and that is why we allocate adequate outdoor time each day. We have daily trips to the forest, where children practice skills like running, jumping, climbing and balancing. This allows the children to develop their motor skills and confidence, and gives them an opportunity to interact with nature and feel a sense of freedom.
At FISP we believe our students’ learning experiences must reflect the world in which they live. Nonetheless we are aware of how powerful and controlling technology and specifically screens can be to children, due largely to their easy access and intuitiveness.
We therefore decided to be a low-tech school and only introduce the use of technology from late primary, where the children’s neurological development is mature enough to cope with such stimulus.
We embed technologies within all our learning environments from Middle School. In Grades 7 to 9, all students regularly use a laptop computer.
All classrooms (except Nursery) have interactive white-boards which are used daily. The primary classes have computers for the children to work on individually. Programming is instructed in Primary and Middle School. All Middle School students learn to use a wide range of technologies to present their work.