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Instructional Coaching at BFIS

News Type: 
Thursday, October 22, 2020

What is instructional coaching?

Instructional coaching is a common practice in schools around the world. Like in sports, coaching is not just for “some” players.  Even the greatest sports players need coaches.  Everyone can benefit from working with a coach, and ultimately, it is our students who benefit the most.  Instructional coaches provide busy teachers with the time and resources needed to reflect on their teaching practice.  They act as thought partners to teachers as they strive to meet the diverse needs of their students.  A coach has a knowledge of the content and research-based instructional practices in the area that they are coaching.  They share their knowledge and expertise while honoring the knowledge and expertise of teachers.  A coaching relationship is built on trust and is non-judgmental.  Instructional coaches are not in a supervisory role.  Instead, these roles exist in schools to provide objective support and facilitate growth and learning. 

In order to build a culture of coaching at BFIS, we have developed a Teaching & Learning Team, made up of our three instructional coaches (PK-5 Math, PK-8 Literacy, PK-12 Tech) and the Director of Learning.  Sharing a collaborative work space, called The Collaboratory, this team offers extensive support in leading coaching cycles with teachers, peer observations, labsite classrooms, and school-wide professional learning sessions.  They also offer individual and team co-planning, co-teaching and modeling of instructional strategies.  A fundamental aspect of their work is the use of student data to plan and differentiate instruction around the needs of our learners.  

What does instructional coaching look like at BFIS?

There are many models of coaching that schools can utilize.  At BFIS, we use a research-based model called, “student-centered coaching”.  Our model: 

  • involves in-depth work between coach and a team of teachers, lasting approximately six to eight weeks, as a coaching cycle.
  • is driven by student data.
  • includes regular (weekly) planning sessions, and involves the coach in the classroom one to three times per week for co-teaching, modeling instruction, or observing the teaching and learning. 

In this model, we focus on the needs of our students, rather than the common misconception of “fixing teachers”.  Together, the coach and teacher use student work to identify a goal for students and then work together to co-plan ways to meet these goals.  In this way, our instructional coaches directly impact instructional practice and student achievement.  We measure the success of a coaching cycle based on the results we see in student learning.  To do this, we use pre-assessment data, daily formative assessments, and formal summative assessments at the end of a coaching cycle.  

What is the impact of instructional coaching on student learning?

Diane Sweeney, author and consultant for student-centered coaching says the following:

Since Student-Centered Coaching is an evidence-based model, it aligns with some of the most exciting research in education, the research associated with Visible Learning and the work of John Hattie. A meta-analysis of over 1,500 educational studies, this research base provides evidence of what schools can do to increase student achievement. 

At the top of the list of what schools can do to increase student achievement, are the very coaching practices that we promote at BFIS.  Our own internal action research that our coaches conduct with each coaching cycle supports this wider research.  

For more information on student-centered coaching, please watch Diane Sweeney’s video explanation here. 

What Virtual Learning Looks Like at BFIS

Friday, April 24, 2020

Virtual Learning is more than just sending videos to students for them to watch or homework they need to submit. No, it is certainly much more than that. Following the BFIS strategic plan directions, some years ago, our school started to develop online teaching and learning platforms, implementing cutting-edge technology and a 1:1 computer program. When the Covid19 crisis hit the planet, BFIS was well prepared to move from the traditional classroom to virtual learning. In January 2020 our Senior Leadership Team anticipating what was about to come, began to plan the transition to online classes, providing intensive training for our teachers and implementing some new software to run virtual classes. Our first days of virtual learning were a bit bumpy but we are making appropriate changes as we are advancing with the program.

Obviously, a virtual school experience is very different for a student in Elementary School than it is for a Middle and High School Student. Our plan and framework takes into account different levels of independence and developmental levels. 

Students will maintain their current schedules with small modifications and the program will adapt to provide a varied mix of online and offline activities in every class.  If you want to take a look to our schedules for the 2019-2020 school year , please click in this link:

Planetarium at BFIS

Monday, January 21, 2019

This week, an outside organization called Explora360 came in to deliver a series of special astronomy presentations to all students in Grades 1 and 8. The lessons took place in the auditorium, inside an inflatable planetarium that was over 3m tall and 6m wide! The presentations included impressive audiovisuals that "flew" students around the solar system, galaxy, and rest of the universe, teaching them fundamental astronomy facts and theories in the most engaging way possible. Students gave the experience two thumbs up, and we hope to bring the organization back again next year.

This experiential learning opportunity was part of the Grade 1 and 8 students' units of study on astronomy. Later in the unit, students will participate in a cross grade level exchange in which they share their learning with each other. This collaboration between Grade 1 and 8 began last year and is a simple yet powerful opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding of astronomy principles to an authentic audience.”




CIS University Fair

News Type: 
Friday, November 16, 2018

CIS University Fair at BFIS. Seventy universities from all over the world gathered today at the BFIS Auditorium to offer information about their programs to secondary schools students in Barcelona who aspire to study internationally. It was a successful and full-attended event with hundreds of students and parents visiting the fair. 

List of visiting universities: 

Adelphi University, United States

American University, United States

Arts University Bournemouth, United Kingdom

Bath Spa University, United Kingdom

Birkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom

Bocconi University, Italy

Concordia University, Canada

Creighton University, United States

Earlham College, United States

École hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland

École Polytechnique, France

Elon UniversityUnited States

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, United States

Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands

ESADE Business School, Spain

Falmouth University, United Kingdom

Florida Atlantic University, United States

Florida Institute of Technology, United States

Franklin University Switzerland, Switzerland

Hotelschool The Hague, Hospitality Business School,  Netherlands

Hult International Business School, London, United Kingdom

IE University, Spain

Indiana University, United States

IUBH University of Applied Sciences, Germany

John Cabot University, Italy

La Salle - Ramon Llull University, Spain

Leiden University College The Hague, Netherlands

Les Roches Global Hospitality Education, Spain

Loyola University Chicago, United States

Lynn University, United States

Maastricht University, Netherlands

NABA - Nuova Accademia Di Belle Arti, Milano, Italy

Northumbria University, United Kingdom

Nova Southeastern University, United States

Purdue University, United States

Regent's University London, United Kingdom

Rennes School Of Business, France

Richmond, The American International University in London, United Kingdom

Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands

Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, United States

Ryerson University, Canada

Saint Louis University - Madrid Campus, Spain

San Jose State University, United States

Savannah College of Art and Design, United States

Sciences Po (Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris), France

SOAS University of London, United Kingdom

Syracuse University, United States

Temple University, Japan Campus, Japan

Texas Tech University, United States

The American University of Paris, France

The University of Akron, United States

The University of British Columbia, Canada

The University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Toulouse Business School, France

University College Utrecht, Netherlands

University of California, Irvine, United States

University of Colorado Boulder, United States

University of Leeds, United Kingdom

University of Missouri, United States

University of Navarra, Spain

University of Reading, United Kingdom

University of Roehampton, London, United Kingdom

University of South Florida,  United States

University of Southern California, United States

University of St Andrews, United Kingdom

University of the Arts London, United Kingdom

University of Warwick, United Kingdom

Utrecht University, Netherlands

Webster Leiden Campus, Netherlands

Next Generation of Science Standards

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

On Friday September 21st, science consultant, Paul Andersen showed the parent community the power of the Next Generation Science Standards. Parents were shown a phenomena, asked questions about how it might work, drew models of their thinking, and then suggested ways to carry out an investigation.

Paul´s message...

  • Kids should be doing more science and at younger ages; 
  • Don´t kill the wonder of science by explaining how the science works. Show them a phenomena that they have to figure out first and let them investigate how it might work.
  • We can support scientific thinking by helping kids ask questions, model their thinking, and plan and carry out investigations.
  • Thinking should be framed through the following lenses:Patterns, Cause/Effect, Scale/Proportion/Quantity, Systems, Energy/Matter, Structure/Function, Stability/Change.

The video of this session will be available soon.

We are committed to offering sessions like these throughout the year to support the exciting shifts happening across the school.  

Technovation Challenge Girls to the European Finals!

News Type: 
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Last Saturday,  May 19th, five 10th grade female students, calling them as the "BFIS Sophmore" Team, have made a great success at the Technovation Challenge - Girls for a change. They are the Catalunya finalists, and heading for European finals, and then to San Francisco, CA.

Well done BFIS Sophomore Team and thank you to Shirli Ender Buyukbay who mentored the girls this year! 

Technovation Challenge has been a great success since Mindconnex brought it to Catalunya 3 years ago. Each of those 3 years there has been a BFIS Catalunya finalist team, each of them mentored by a BFIS parent community member. Technovation Challenge invites teams of girls (10- 18 years old) from all over the world to learn and apply the skills needed to solve real-world problems through technology.  More information: Technovation Challenge

FCD visits BFIS for a week

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

During the week of November 27-December 1, as part of our health education program and ongoing commitment to prevention and wellness, we have invited prevention specialists from FCD Prevention Works to join our MSHS community. A part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, FCD is a non-profit organization that provides substance abuse prevention education for schools. Since 1976, they have taught over a million students of all ages.

FCD prevention specialists are highly trained professionals who have achieved long-term recovery from alcohol or other drug addictions. This unique perspective enhances the credibility of their message and provides students with role models for happy, healthy, drug-free living.  The FCD prevention specialist will present parent workshops to offer support and guidance in helping your children enjoy a drug-free adolescence.

Tuesday November 28th
9:00 am 
ES Cafeteria

Thursday, November 30th 
4:15 pm 
ES Cafeteria 

The content will be the same for both meetings. All parents are welcome!

Some of the topics to be addressed include:

  • Effective ways to communicate with your child about drugs and drug use
  • Up-to-date facts about current drug use and trends
  • What to say about your own experiences with alcohol and/or drug experimentation
  • How to spot early warning signs of trouble and effective ways to respond.

This program presents a perfect opportunity for discussing alcohol and other drug-related issues with your children. Parental involvement is crucial to our efforts to reduce the risks teenagers face. We want our students to hear from both school and home that we are concerned about alcohol, tobacco and other drug use by adolescents, and that we are committed to keeping our children safe.

BFIS at Harbour Space

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Harbour Space University, Europe's state of the art university for Technology, Entrepreneurship and Design, with headquarters in Barcelona, collaborated with BFIS last Tuesday, in a conference about future professions, future market opportunities and entrepreneurship. Harbour Space University professors and students from all over the world, participated in this conference talking about their experiences and their new projects and startups. They also talked about the ACM-ICPC International Collegiate Programming Contest which takes place every year with in more than 4,000 universities from both hemispheres. 

Flexible Seating in Elementary School

Friday, September 22, 2017

Outside the windows of our classroom is a dynamic, fast-paced, and ever-changing world full of choices. Our classroom environments should be conducive to open collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. This simply cannot be done when kids are sitting in rows of desks all day.  The immediate benefits of flexible seating include burning more calories, using up excess energy, improving metabolism, increased motivation and engagement, creating a better oxygen flow to the brain, and improving core strength and overall posture. It's no surprise that physical activity is linked to higher academic performance, better health, and improved behavior. 

With that conviction we have redesign classroom seating in our Elementary division and include carpets, yoga balls, hokki stools, floor pillows, standing tables, etc. We spent considerable time as teams and as a building staff talking, thinking, and planning what exactly we wanted for flexible seating, why we wanted it and its purpose. A different seating apparatus does not make for better teaching or a more engaged classroom. We actually believe that flexible and student choice seating take even more planning and classroom management than a traditional classroom but it is worth the effort. All we do is to keep kids at the end in mind with all decisions.

Last year, we piloted flexible seating in some of our classrooms and we are happy to announce that this school year 20172018 we will begin to implement it school wide.  

Excellent IB and Selectividad Results 2017

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Last week more than 159,000 International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP) students around the world received their results from the May 2017 examination session. In Spain, 2,684 students sat the IB exam, achieving a national pass rate of 84.7 percent and an average score of 31 points.

IB Results International School

BFIS is once again delighted to announce another year of excellent IBDP results. This year, we had 54 diploma candidates (100% of students did the full IB Diploma Program) and once again, we had a 100% pass rate with all 54 students receiving the IB Diploma.  This is the second year in a row all of our students in the Diploma Program successfully obtained the IB Diploma. This is well above the global and Spanish average of 80% and 84.7% respectively.  It is also worth mentioning that 36 BFIS candidates (66%) were awarded the bilingual diploma. Our average score improved, reaching 35 points, approximately 5 points above the 30 points of global average.  Our highest score also improved, reaching 44 points, and 20% of our students scored 40 points or more, a result that is only achieved by 5% of students worldwide.


Seven BFIS students also took the Fase Específica of Selectividad, Spanish university entrance exams, to improve their IB scores, with the possibility of earning up to four additional points. 27 BFIS students requested the Spanish credential and their average score (with or without taking the Fase Específica) is 9.1. The Spanish national average score is not available yet but in 2016 was 6.3. The average score for the 7 BFIS candidates who also took the Fase Específica is 10.6.

The significant accomplishments of our students in such a challenging academic program are a credit to their hard work and to the efforts of our faculty and families in supporting them over the two-year course. The students leave us with impressive results that have gained them entry into a range of competitive colleges and universities worldwide, including Kings’ College London, UCL, Imperial College, University of Edinburgh, and Durham University in the UK and University of Michigan, Carnegie Mellon and UPenn in the United States among others.

We wish our Class of 2017 every success as we continue to build on our achievements in the IBDP at BFIS.