Learning

High School

The goal of our program is to provide learners with an educational experience that emphasizes critical thinking, innovation and creativity, collaboration and appreciation of multiple perspectives within a balanced strong program of academic, social and emotional learning to prepare them well to succeed beyond BFIS. 

 

High School

Developing multidisciplinary innovators

Language, Arts, Math, Science and Engineering, Social Studies, World Languages, Physical Education and Wellness classes provide a comprehensive program and a strong foundation for our students. Our aim is that all students are exposed to all dispciplines (The Arts and the Sciences) to develop multidisciplinary perspectives. Electives, extracurricular, co-curricular, leadership activities, student clubs and  independent passion projects provide them with opportunities of exploration and self-discovery. 

Through our “fail forward” approach we encourage students to think outside de box, innovate, take risks, engage into new experiences and challenges to find innovative and collaborative solutions to problems faced personally, locally and globally. 

English Language Arts

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 format

*Our curriculum is based off of the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts.

Math

K-12 Social Math Philosophy

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.

Science & Engineering

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.

Social Studies

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 K-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

Spanish / Catalan

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.

World Languages

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.

  • SFL 1
  • SFL 2
  • SFL 3
  • Pre IB SFL

 

In addition,

  • Spanish Catalan Studies 9 (one year)
  • Spanish Catalan Studies 10 (one year)
  • French as a Foreign Language
  • French 9 (one year)
  • French 10 (pre-IB French) (one year)
PE

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
  • Fitness
  • Athletics
  • Outdoor Adventure
Spanish Program

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)
  • Catalán
  • 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.

Electives
  • French
  • Art
  • Drama
  • Modern Band
  • Design Technology
  • Computer Science
Wellbeing

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. 

Community Service

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. Learn more about it in our Experiential Learning section

Pre-IB Core

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. 

A journey of self-discovery

High School

Leadership Opportunities

Leadership experience and abilities are qualifications that many colleges seek in an ideal applicant. By providing leadership opportunities to students we are not ony preparing them to get into college but also help them to develop commitment and team work skills, strengthen their self-esteem and encourage them to become active citizens and positive change agents in their communities and beyond.