SUCCESS FOR ALL STUDENTS
The goal of our program is to provide learners with an educational experience that emphasizes critical thinking within a balanced program of academic, social and emotional learning.
Language, Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, World Languages, Physical Education and Wellness classes provide a comprehensive program for students. Electives provide them with opportunities to study French as an additional language, Digital Media, Art or Drama. Please see our complete course description on the right hand side bar.
Our aim is to nurture lifelong learners with a strong foundation of academic skills, critical and creative thinking, to inspire them to be independent learners and to prepare them well to succeed beyond BFIS. Our graduates receive offers of acceptances from some of the most prestigious colleges and universities worldwide
K-12 English Language Arts Philosophy
At BFIS, we believe that a strong English Language Arts curriculum encourages a life-long love and appreciation of reading and writing. We understand that literacy is the key to understanding and communicating with others and we are committed to developing, in our students, the skills of readers, writers, listeners, and speakers.
- We believe that students learn English Language Arts best when:
- students are thinking critically and creatively
- student-centered approaches to teaching and learning are employed
- literary and non-literary texts are studied to offer comprehensive historical, social, and multicultural contexts
- effective communication & collaboration skills are taught and practiced
- students are writing across a variety of text types
- students are reading and analyzing a variety of genres
- students are engaged in ongoing reflection of their progress towards learning targets, standards, and benchmarks
Through our English Language Arts program, students will:
- use writing and reading for inquiry, thinking, and processing ideas
- exhibit the confidence to identify as readers and writers
- demonstrate skills in speaking and reflective listening
- read, discuss, and analyze rich literary and non-literary texts
- embody the mindset and skills of critical consumers and producers of media
- comprehend and communicate across multiple text types to address task, purpose, perspective, and intended audience
- hone their research skills to gather and present information in a variety of oral and written formats
*Our curriculum is based off of the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts. Our reading and writing units of study are adopted from Teachers College, Readers and Writers Workshop.
Grade Level Maps
At BFIS, we believe that we can use mathematics to describe the world around us. It is our aim to develop joyful, confident, and curious mathematicians. Our mathematics program strives to meet the needs of all learners by providing support and/or enrichment, depending on individual needs. Thus, we promote a curriculum that intends to meet the different needs of our students. This philosophy highlights the shared beliefs and values we hold for our PK-12 mathematics program.
- We believe that students learn mathematics best when they:
- find joy in their learning
- are presented with relevant and realistic contexts or situations
- construct their learning through both individual and collaborative approaches
- take risks and make mistakes in an emotionally safe and nurturing environment
- find patterns and structure through inquiry and investigation
- access the curriculum through differentiated instructional strategies tailored to students’ needs
- feel empowered to use mathematics to solve problems that are relevant to them
Through our mathematics program, students will:
- communicate mathematics, reason and justify their thinking
- create a process and plan for problem solving
- persevere in solving problems
- develop a conceptual understanding of mathematics
- think and reflect critically, creatively and logically
- attend to precision
- use appropriate tools strategically
*Our curriculum is based on the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.
Grade Level Maps
K-12 Science Philosophy
At BFIS, we believe that students should learn science by doing science. Through this hands-on and practical approach to the teaching and learning of science, students are engaged in the inquiry process across the disciplines of Physical Science, Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and the applications of science through Engineering and Technology. All students will complete their studies of the sciences at BFIS through the IB program in grades eleven and twelve. This philosophy highlights the shared beliefs and values we hold for our K-12 science program.
We believe that students learn science best when they:
- engage in the inquiry process as they conduct investigations
- think critically
- acquire knowledge and skills through student-centered approaches
- apply their science knowledge to explain phenomena and/or to solve real-world problems
Through our science program, students will:
- ask questions as they develop a sense of wonder and curiosity about the way that science and scientists work
- define and solve meaningful, real-world problems
- develop and use models
- plan and carry out investigations
- analyze and interpret data
- use mathematics and computational thinking
- construct explanations
- formulate arguments based on evidence as they engage in ethical and evidence-based debates with peers
- obtain, evaluate and communicate information and complex understandings using scientific terminology
- apply 21st century skills such as, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, information literacy, media literacy, technology literacy
*Our curriculum is based off of the Next Generation Science Standards.
Grade Level Maps
K-12 Social Studies Philosophy
At BFIS, we believe that a strong social studies curriculum is the key to developing skilled, empathetic, and knowledgeable citizens who are willing and able to take informed action in their community, nation, and world. The shared beliefs and values we hold for our PK-12 social studies program are:
- We believe that students learn social studies best when:
- learning is driven by inquiry in order for students to make meaning and find relevance in the content.
- units of study are based on vertically aligned curriculum standards that are rigorous and challenging for all students, with attention to developmental and age appropriateness.
- hands-on and student-centered approaches to teaching and learning are employed. This often includes project-based learning.
- connections are made within and across disciplines through the integration of other subject areas.
- the core values of the school community are reflected and reinforced through the social studies curriculum.
Through our social studies program, students will be able to:
- apply disciplinary tools and concepts in the humanities.
- act as curious learners who plan inquiries to investigate compelling questions.
- think critically and use their knowledge to take informed action.
- demonstrate an understanding of different perspectives throughout history and modern times.
- show empathy and actively engage as global citizens.
- practice 21st century skills, such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and problem solving that will prepare them for the challenges of college and/or career and civic life.
*Our curriculum is based off of the C3 Framework for Social Studies Standards.
Grade Level Maps
In the ESO years, the courses are based on the Spanish official program contents for 3º and 4º ESO. The objective of these two courses is for students to write essays and analyze literary texts from the linguistic as well as literary perspective. In Literature, they are exposed to an overview of Spanish literature from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
Students are required to continue taking all three Spanish Regular Program subjects (Spanish Lengua y Literatura, Historia de España and Catalán) in 9th and 10th grade in addition to the High School classes in order to earn the ESO certificate in the Spanish system.
Students are required to take Spanish each year.
French is an elective beginning in grade 6
Spanish as a Foreign Language (SFL)
For the 9th and 10th grade student, the following SFL classes are available based on student needs.
Pre IB SFL
French as a Foreign Language
French 9 (one year)
French 10 (pre-IB French) (one year)
PK-10 Physical Education Philosophy
At BFIS, we believe that physical education is an integral part of the development of every student and is a critical component to having a complete educational experience. It is our aim to develop physically literate individuals and we promote lifelong physical fitness and wellness. Our physical education program is designed to be inclusive of all students. This philosophy highlights the shared beliefs and values we hold for our PK-10 physical education program.
- We believe that students learn physical education best when they:
- find motivation, passion, and joy for maintaining a physically active lifestyle.
- have opportunities and choices as they are exposed to and try a variety of new activities, games and sports.
- set personal goals, receive feedback on their progress, and reflect on their achievements.
- understand the connection between what they learn in PE and how it applies to their lives.
- are supported to take risks in a safe environment.
Through our physical education program, students will:
- show competency in a variety of transferable skills including: motor skills, movement patterns, self-discipline, and critical thinking.
- apply knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.
- demonstrate knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.
- exhibit responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others while strengthening peer relationships as they demonstrate fair play, sportsmanship, and collaboration.
- recognize the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction.
- create lifelong healthy habits.
*Our curriculum is aligned to the SHAPE America's National Standards for Physical Education.
Our High School Physical Education program provides opportunities for students to try a variety of individual and team sports and activities in the following areas:
- Invasion Games
- Striking & Fielding Games
- Net & Wall Games
- Outdoor Adventure
Many BFIS students, including Spanish students, also follow the Spanish Regular Program to validate studies at BFIS to the Spanish equivalent (Primaria, ESO and Bachillerato). This Dual Program is comprised of the American Program subjects and three required subjects from the Spanish Official Curriculum:
- Lengua española (Spanish)
- Historia de España/Sociedad subjects.
The Dual Program allows BFIS students to graduate with both the American High School Diploma and the Spanish Bachillerato Diploma.
The Spanish Elementary Degree (Primaria: grades 1 -6 ) is granted automatically by the Spanish/Catalan government with proof of having completed school requirements as well as the three Spanish subjects. For the ESO (Enseñanza Secundaria Obligatoria: grades 7 -10) as well as for the Bachillerato Degree (grades 11 and 12), students must satisfactorily complete BFIS requirements as well as the three Spanish required subjects.
- French 9/10 (year long course) The program in grade 9/10 allows the students to develop their ability to use French in a variety of situations and provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary to start the pre-IB course. This course is compulsory for students who wish to take French at the IB, or would like to continue developing their language skills further. Focus is given on more cultural and social issues such as: Body and soul, a teen world: how to manage conflicts and express feelings, the Arts and the language, our future plans: environment and sciences. This course meets the requirement of level B1 of the CFRE.
- Drama 9/10 (one semester) as a pre-IB Theatre class and builds on Drama 9 with more technical detail. Students study examples of comedy, spoken word and physical theatre working on voice, movement, and expression skills with reference to specific theatre practitioners. Students go through a process of advanced ensemble building. They can create an original piece of collaborative theatre or rehearse extracts of a script, all to be performed in front of an audience. Lastly, they complete a unit on impromptu speaking, developing skills such as organization of ideas, using evidence to support claims, public speaking, and quick thinking.
- Art 9/10 (one semester) is an Arts foundation course building on Art 9 in preparation for the rigor of the IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma. It focuses on historical and current academic research and knowledge and the development of studio skills using varied medias. This course initiates the students’ entry into the Arts at the High School level in light of the IB Student Learner Profile and in preparation for the rigor of the IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma. The course will focus on studio exercises that develop academic skills in drawing (contour, negative space, form, drawing techniques utilizing varied mediums), understanding the Elements and Principles of Design as a language and tool in the investigative and creative process: Use of line, volume, shape, form, texture, proportion, value, color, emphasis, contrast, balance), introduction to research (documentation: comparison and analysis, formal analysis, cultural context) and learning to structure studio works: composition, construction/process/final stage (drawing, painting on canvas, photography and constructions).Group and Individual Critiques are a key tool in the evaluation process. (one semester)
- Design Technology 9 and 10 will focus on the completion of several engineering challenges that will enhance the understanding of 2d and 3d design, as well as basic electronics and mechanics. Students will be exploring design thinking, project management, and communication skills alongside design methodology. Classes will cover basic digital fabrication techniques, but will be focused on the completion of projects that will last several weeks.
- High School Modern Rock Band 9/10 (one semester). The major emphasis of this course is to build student achievement through a modern band ensemble. The course builds the skills necessary to perform on electric guitar, acoustic guitar, electric bass, keyboard, drums, vocals and technology at a beginner to intermediate level. With an emphasis on the music styles of the last 50 years, many of these will be discussed, demonstrated and performed by the students. No prior experience except an interest in music. Some key takeaways from the class are that students: 1. Learn new musical instruments such as guitar, electric bass, drums, and keyboards 2. Explore an interest in singing with a group 3. Deepen understandings of the fundamental elements of music 4. Study the history and evolution of rock music 5. Use popular and rock music as the springboard to group music making.
- Computer Science 9/10 (one semester) is going to focus on the Java programming language. There will be an indepth look at using object oriented programming languages to complete a set task. Java is one of the most widely used programming languages across the globe. Students will look at all aspects of coding from start to finish in this new language. This course includes an overview of data structures, inheritance, duplication, branching and techniques. The class helps beginners gain a basic understanding of programming languages, applications and object-oriented programming. This is a project based class where students are expected to work on projects and use skill learned in class and out of class to solve the problems set forth.
High School Wellbeing Course is a series of lecture-speaker sessions focusing on specific areas, including goal-setting, stress/anxiety management, community service, relationships and sexual health, social/emotional issues, nutrition, introduction to college admissions, mindfulness, etc.
At BFIS, we have a natural desire to contribute to society, teaching children how to balance their own needs with the needs of those around them. We believe this will help them maintain healthy, well-rounded, and compassionate lives. Participating in community service activities students develop teamwork, problem solving, and interpersonal skills while learning about diversity.
Flex is a new program that will provide increased options for MS and HS students to explore a topic of interest or to get additional support in one or more subjects. The goals of the program are to:
- Provide time for personalized support
- Provide choice based on interest or passion
- Match teacher expertise with students needs or interests
- Foster relationships between teachers and students
The Pre-IB skills course aims to provide Grades 9-10 students the information they need before entering the IB program as well as explore the skills needed to be successful in the IB by:
- Discovering the traits that make a successful IB learner.
- Discussing approaches to learning to develop the skills needed for the IB.
- Completing community service projects to experience the value of giving back as part of a holistic education approach.
All students should have the opportunity, instruction, guidance and support necessary to succeed in school and maximize their individual academic, social and emotional potential. We believe that all students must be active participants, at the center of the learning process, in an environment that encourages them to pursue their dreams. Students that qualify for Learning Support at BFIS have mild to moderate learning differences and the aptitude to meet curriculum and assessment requirements.
Our counselors at High School help students develop the understanding, strategies and skills that support a positive sense of self, promote respectful relationships and build student capacity to recognize and manage their own emotions. Academic counseling is also available to all students to help them understand their individual strengths, to set goals, and to assist them in planning an appropriate program of studies. Counselors, teachers and parents will work together to support and encourage all students in reaching their full potential.
The mission of our College Programming/Counseling program is to educate students and their families about the range of opportunities available and to assist students in making choices that will enable them to pursue their personal, academic, and career aspirations. College Counseling is provided by our counselor s specialized in universities from the US, UK, Spain and Europe.
College counseling starts in10th grade with College Nights at BFIS to share information about the process with students and families. In 11th & 12th grades, students get on-going personalized one-to-one counseling, receive assistance in preparing college applications and admissions, and have access to college-planning resources to ensure that students find the college that is the best fit for them. High School students also attend the College Fairs organized by BISA (Barcelona International Schools Association), the CIS (Council of International Schools) and have the opportunity to meet professionals from different sectors in our Career Day.
BFIS students, in preparation for college/university, also take part in standardized testing: PSAT / SAT / ACT.