Congratulations Class of 2022!
Latest results confirm BFIS amongst the best international schools worldwide.
On July 6th, 2022, thousands of International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP) students across the world received their results from the May 2022 examination session. This year, our tenth year of IBDP graduates, we had 55 diploma candidates and 2 course candidates. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive school and the percentage of students taking the full IB Diploma Program (96.5%). Thanks to the unfailing support, encouragement and tenacity of teachers and parents, many of our graduates reached their full potential. 96% of BFIS graduates taking the full IB Diploma Program passed, a number far above the provisional worldwide average of 85,6% pass rate.
BFIS’s average score reached 35 points and 71% of BFIS IBDP candidates scored at or above provisional worldwide average (32 points). BFIS’s highest score was 44 points, and 11 students (20%) obtained 40 points or more. It is also worth mentioning that 33 BFIS IB candidates (60%) were awarded the bilingual diploma and that 15 (27%) students scored an A on Theory of Knowledge or their Extended Essay, which needs critical thinking and higher order thinking skills.
BFIS students from the Class 2022 have succeeded in securing places at an impressive range of colleges and universities across the world, including University of Oxford, London School of Economics, University of St. Andrews, Durham University, University of Bath, King's College London, UCL, Georgetown University, New York University, Northwestern, University of Toronto, ESSEC Business school and ESADE among many others. Nearly 90% of our students received offers of acceptance from their first choice of college/university in 2022 (this percentage may increase when Spanish public universities acceptances are published).
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. We wish our Class of 2022 every success as they enter a new and exciting phase of their lives and education.
BFIS is happy to announce that Early Morning Drop-off will again be offered in the coming school year after a hiatus during the pandemic. The BFIS school day is a long one for students already and we do not recommend that parents extend children's day at school longer than necessary. Therefore Early morning care is exclusively for working parents who, to travel to their place of work on time, must drop their children off early. We are happy to provide this service for families who really need it.
The service will be offered with drop-off starting at 8:00 AM each morning, Monday through Friday for Early Childhood and Elementary students (grades Nursery through 5th Grade). Students will be supervised by monitoring staff until the start of the school day and will be taken to their classrooms. More details will be released right before the start of the school year, including drop off locations.
Please note that the structure and purpose of After School Care is now as follows. Parents wishing to pick up their children after the school dismissal time are requested to pick an activity of their choice each evening of the week, Monday through Thursday, from our Extracurricular Programs. We will be offering new co-curricular activities in addition to our extracurricular program to give students and families more options. More information about both of these programs will be coming over the summer and in September.
Due to an increase in interest among BFIS student-athletes, known as recruits, to compete at US colleges and universities, BFIS College Counselor, Rhonda Leshman, has compiled this tip sheet to help you understand the process and to share resources.
Advice below is from a knowledgeable source about US college soccer with deep ties to Stanford University (this advice would relate to other sports and Division I teams as well).
General things to know:
- Recruiting for the elite programs is a long and time consuming process. Since girls mature faster than boys, coaches usually know who they want by Grade 11 year, and have been tracking the elite players for years. The really good players have been good for a long time!
- The coaches are looking for fits into their program: fit the system, culture, style, etc. They don’t just get the best available player. Team chemistry is hugely important in sports, and arguably even more for women’s sports. Women seem to strongly want to like the people they play with. Men, not as necessary.
- For Stanford, the coach has to be very judicious in who he recruits. The coach has only limited spots, lots of players want to play there, and he has to make sure any application to the admissions dept is very solid. The coach loses credibility if he submits weak candidates to admissions, so he would at this point in his stellar career NEVER do that.
- At Stanford, there are plenty of examples of athletes where the coach says, hey, ‘go get admitted on your own merits. Once you get in, I can put you on the team’ (this is called being a ‘walk-on’). But the coach can’t use a team spot to help sway admissions. So then that forces the academics to be very strong, as that is the only way the person can get admitted.
The information above is for highly competitive universities like Stanford.
Steps to follow
- Step One: If you are serious about being recruited to play sports at a university in the US, have a conversation with Ms. Leshman. If your coach in Spain is knowledgeable about US university athletics, the coach should also be able to suggest particular summer camps and showcases worth attending to get noticed by college coaches.The best advice about a summer camp to attend is to ask the coach(es) at the universities you are considering what summer camps they will be attending. See more detailed information below about summer recruiting camps.
- Step Two: Decide which Division (D1, D2, D3) is appropriate for your talent level. You should research the particulars of each level on the NCAA website: www.ncaa.org. Note: not all divisions give athletic scholarships. Even if a student earns a scholarship, it is unlikely to cover the full costs of attendance which are substantial in the US.
NCAA - Is the National Collegiate Athletics Association is a nonprofit organization in the US that regulates student athletics at over 1,100 colleges and universities
NCAA Eligibility Guide
Here is a helpful website from the NCAA specifically for international students: Webinar on preparing as a student-athlete (not specifically for international students)
- Step Three: Create an account with the NCAA Eligibility Clearinghouse and request your transcript through NCAA portal: https://web3.ncaa.org/ecwr3/??links.ncaa-play-college-sports_en_US
Information about Eligibility for International students
- Step Four: Record and catalogue video of you playing in competitive games. Edit these clips together into a 2-minute (or shorter) highlight reel to post on YouTube (a link you will share with coaches).
- Step Five: Research college athletic programs. Note their NCAA Division, team record, conference, team roster (who plays your position and when does that person graduate), coaching staff. Research each college’s academic programs to see if the college will serve you well. College is school, after all.
- Step Six: Send introductory emails to college coaches. Coaches receive hundreds—if not thousands—of emails from recruits. Simply sending an email isn’t enough to get a coach’s attention. You need to create clear, concise emails with attention-grabbing subject lines to give yourself a chance at the coach opening your email, reading it, and responding.
- Subject line: grad year, position, unique athletic information (re: a good number or stat)
- Be professional. Some good opening lines to consider:
- I wanted to connect with you after speaking with…
- I’ve been following your program for a while, and…
- In researching your program, I noticed...
- Body of the email should include:
- General info: Name, graduation year, high school/club team
- Academics: GPA, test scores
- Athletics: sports specific stats, relevant, measurable, your position
- Major: what academic programs/majors interest you
- Contact info: phone number, email, address, contact of current coaches
- Attach a pre-read unofficial transcript (talk to your counselor to get this)
- Include YouTube link to your highlight reel
- Step Seven: Follow up with interested coaches. It is your responsibility to maintain a line of communication. If a coach goes dark, it signals he/she is not interested. If a coach is non-committal when the application deadline nears, it signals the coach is not interested.
If a D1 or D2 coach wishes to recruit you, he/she will invite you to sign a National Letter of Intent
If a D3 coach wishes to endorse your application, he/she will often ask you to apply binding Early Decision in the fall of Grade 12.
Here are some local sports agencies in Barcelona who have some contacts in US university athletics. They charge a fee so be sure to ask questions and make sure they can be of great assistance to you before committing to the agency. The listing of these agencies is not an endorsement of them from BFIS:
Information and Advice about US Summer Athletic Recruiting camps/programs
- I strongly recommend to hopeful recruited athletes to reach out to the college coaches to ask them what camps, tournaments, showcases, and events they will be attending over the summer so the student-athletes can use your time and money and the coaches' time efficiently.
- University coaches appreciate it when recruits ask them where they will be
- Most D1 universities offer both generic “summer camps“ and “ID” camps for older, more serious athletes.
- Students might consider some D1 schools and locations that are of interest. For instance, at Santa Clara University, here are their options: https://www.santaclarabroncos.com/camps/index
- Definitely check on the credentials of the camp directors and staff.
This weekend students from G11 and G10 participated in the International Schools Mathematics Teachers Foundation (ISMTF) Senior Mathematics competition. There are two other competitions, the Junior competition (26th of May) and the Middle Competition (30th of April) coming up.
Schools around the world participate in ISMTF. Before COVID the competitions were hosted by different international schools every year and each competition took place in the organising school. Previous teams went to Bremen, Vienna, Rome and Prague to compete. We hope that next year we will return to this exciting face to face challenge. These competitions are in online versions this year. The participating students and their sponsor Isabel Vives competed from our BFIS Library.
Pau Tong Lin Xu (G11) has been the one taking the initiative to lead the BFIS team. He has recruited students from G8 to G12 to be part of the team and he has been running a Math club since the beginning of the year where these students prepare for the competition.
“We have been meeting every week since September to prepare for the ISMTF. It has been a great experience for all the members as we have not only learned a lot about maths, but also developed teamwork skills. On Saturday, during the actual team competition, we encountered countless challenges, most of which we were able to overcome. The results will be released in the coming days, so stay tuned. ” - Pau
By Rachel Hovington
Head of School
This week twenty-four of our teachers embarked on eight weeks of Project Zero (PZ) online workshops in their own free time. They are working in small school teams to learn about visible thinking routines. Planning a lesson that involves understanding what students are thinking, how that thinking is evolving throughout the lesson and ensuring that the lesson structure is deepening and transforming student thinking is, at its heart, the essence of teaching.
In my career I have seen no more impactful teacher learning that has transformed how our teachers plan instruction and execute meaningful, structured and engaging lessons that result in deeper learning. During my time in Atlanta International School we hosted the first Project Zero in school workshops as a new model for Harvard Graduate School of Education that aimed to impact learning on the ground with practicing teachers. Professors and researchers ran conferences biannually and, in off years they were hosted by Washington International School. The experience transformed the quality of teaching and learning to new levels on both campuses and continues to do so. The International School of Amsterdam later hosted a Harvard PZ Conference and Harvard PZ conferences have now been hosted in several places annually around the World and online. More recently staff have had access to collaborative online workshops where the power lies in having HGSE PZ workshop leaders working with small teams in multiple schools resulting in deep thought partnership about classroom implementation practices. In this model teachers learn, implement their ideas, reflect together and repeat and upgrade what they are doing something a one-off conference cannot achieve. The learning is job embedded and contextualized.
In the 1960’s, Project Zero laid the conceptual groundwork for better understanding the nature of learning in and through the arts. In the 1970’s, co-directors David Perkins and Howard Gardner shifted focus to cognitive and developmental psychology. That pioneering research broke with decades of psychological tradition and gave birth to the idea that not only are intelligences multiple, they are also learnable.
“If we all had exactly the same kind of mind and there was only one kind of intelligence, then we could teach everybody the same thing in the same way and assess them in the same way and that would be fair,” Gardner has said. “But once we realize that people have very different kinds of minds, different kinds of strengths … then education, which treats everybody the same way, is actually the most unfair education.”
Over the past sixteen years, the Visible Thinking Team at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education have been developing, refining, and implementing thinking routines using an educational design-research paradigm. Project Zero thinking routines ground a teachers work with thinking routines in a model that scaffolds and deepens what students know and can do in a classroom environment as opposed to what the teacher knows and can impart.
Visible thinking views thinking, and more specifically the disposition toward thinking, as something that must be nurtured in students over time (Tishman, Perkins, & Jay, 1993). Back in most of our educational experience we were student consumers of teacher’s knowledge. Classrooms had very little by way of thinking routines. Instead there were classroom routines that kept order, teacher routines that lent stability and the student was passive albeit for a good question and answer session. We thought about what the teacher was telling us, we wrote it down, we tried to understand it in the moment or studied later and then we were asked to memorize it and apply it to an exam situation. This old paradigm is the one size fits all approach that many Schools keep saying that they have moved away from but have yet to realize substantive change.
These online workshops are an opportunity for our staff to gain more insight into their own most powerful teaching methodologies, learn some new ones and talk to one another about thinking in their classrooms and the learning of our students. Having seen its impact over a number of schools I am excited that our staff have the opportunity to have these opportunities for learning experiences and that our students will be recipients of them. Deepening their craft and ensuring that content coverage is no longer the defacto approach to lesson planning and instruction is the difference between students who have enduring understanding, critical and creative thinking skills. It is the difference between kids who can apply their knowledge to the increasing prevalence of questions on IB Diploma exams that use novel scenarios and information to see if students can apply their critical thinking skills to new concept and situations. This is not ´fluffy stuff´ it is the skill that makes all students reach their potential regardless of where they are on the rungs of their learning ladder. It is what leads to them reaching their highest potential on summative exams like the IB Diploma and in achieving in life.
“Why have well intentioned, skilled and hardworking educators, over the years, so often lost sight of the goals causing understanding? Why is it so easy for teachers to get side-tracked by content coverage, test prep, or engaging activities un-moored from worthier intellectual purposes.” (Wiggins and McTighe, Schooling By Design). With Project Zero training we hope to be side-tracked less often in pursuit of our mission to engage our diverse school community in the pursuit of educational excellence and success for all students.
Want to read more about Harvard Project Zero and Schooling by Design?
- A Home Base for Human Potential
- Making Thinking Visible How to Promote Engagement, Understanding and Independence for All Learners.
- Schooling by Design – Mission, Action and Achievement.
BFIS is happy to announce the launch of its new Parent Portal.
The Portal is a communications tool designed to enhance and increase parent engagement and communication between home and school. The portal provides parents/guardians with secure online access to school information in a one stop shop format.
What type of information can find parents on the Portal? Parents have access to a wide range of information such as school's online platforms, image galleries, calendars, student's handbooks, permissions and consent forms, school services information and registration, bulletin archives, staff directory and much more into a single view for secure and quick access.
Families having trouble loggin in, please contact our IT department at firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope you like the new parent portal and find it useful!
Congratulations Class of 2021!
On July 6th, 2021, more than 170,000 International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP) students across the world received their results from the May 2021 examination session. This year, our ninth year of IBDP graduates, we had 53 diploma candidates and 5 course candidates. The pass rate for our diploma candidates was 96% this year with an average of 98.2% for the past 5 years, a number far above the provisional worldwide average of 88.9% pass rate.
BFIS average score reached 36 points and 75% of BFIS IBDP candidates scored at or above worldwide average (33 points). BFIS highest score was 45 points, and 12 students (23%) obtained 40 points or more. It is also worth mentioning that 27 BFIS IB candidates (51%) were awarded the bilingual diploma and that 10 students scored an A on their Extended Essay. Our IB results since 2013 (BFIS first IBDP cohort) are specially rewarding since BFIS is an inclusive school providing high quality education and learning support to a diverse student community.
BFIS students from the Class 2021 have succeeded in securing places at an impressive range of colleges and universities across the world, including London School of Economics, University of St. Andrews, Durham University, University of Bath, King's College London, Georgetown University, New York University, Duke University, and University of California Berkeley among many others. Above 80 % of our students got accepted into their first choice of college/university in 2021 (this percentage may increase when Spanish public universities acceptances are published).
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. We wish our Class of 2021 every success as they enter a new and exciting phase of their lives and education.
At The Benjamin Franklin International School, we have an outstanding record of academic achievement and a strong history of college placement success. Our International Baccalaureate graduate students have gained entry into a range of competitive colleges and universities worldwide. The majority of college applications and final destinations are for universities in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Holland and Spain, although countries such as Switzerland, France or Italy are also always present on the list. Please, see the list below for 2021 college acceptances and also view the the historical acceptance list from 2016-2021 here: College and University Acceptance 2016-2020
If you want to read more about how to make the right choices regarding university and colleges applications, please read our article about University and College Applications.
For the past five years, the average IB pass rate at BFIS is 99,4% which places the school among the top IB schools in Europe. Such an accomplishment is a reflection of a dedicated and committed faculty team who places the student at the center of all they do, it is also evidence of how the entire school community lives our school mission.
list of College and University Acceptances 2021
University of British Columbia (1) (3)
St. Francis Xavier University
University of Alberta
University of Guelph
University of Waterloo
Tilburg University (4)
University of Amsterdam (2)
University of Groningen
University of Twente
Vrije University of Amsterdam
(Spanish Public Universities Acceptances will be published by mid-July 2021)
Blanquerna Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona
Esade, Barcelona (11)
IE, Instituto de Empresa, Madrid (5)
IQS, Institut Químic de Sarrià, Barcelona
UIC, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona
University of Navarra (2)
La Salle Campus Barcelona (2)
Sant Pablo Ceu, Valencia
Bentley University (2)
California State Univ. San Bernardino
Cleveland Institute of Music
Evergreen State University
Indiana University (Jacobs School of Music)
New York University
Northeastern University (1) (2)
Portland State University
SCAD (Savannah College orf Art and Design)
The New School (Eugene Lang)
Trinity College (CT)
University of California Berkeley (2)
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
University of Colorado
University of Missouri
University of Puget Sound
University of San Francisco
Bristol University (2)
City University London (1) (3)
De Montfort University
Durham University (2)
King's College London (3)
London School of Economics
Oxford Brookes University
Queen Mary - University of London (1) (5)
Royal Holloway - University of London (3)
University of St. Andrews (2)
University of Bath (4)
University of Birmingham (2)
University of Bristol
University of Edinburgh
University of Glasgow (1) (2)
University of Leeds (2)
University of Manchester (2)
University of Southampton
University of Stirling (1) (2)
University of Sussex (Foundation Year)
University of Warwick (3)
University of West London
American University of Paris, France
Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland
International University of Monaco
Franklin University, Switzerland
Sciences Po Le Havre, France
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
University of Tokyo, Japan
New York University Abu Dhabi, UAE
After a dedicated and committed group of parents, students, teachers and administrators passionately set a goal in 2018, not even a global pandemic could deter them.
BFIS is very proud to announce that after three years of work (2018-21), and completing a virtual visit with Eco-schools last Friday, the school officially holds the Green Flag designation. The Green Flag Award through Eco Schools is a visible indication of a school's commitment to Learning for Sustainability and an internationally recognized accreditation for excellence in sustainable education. In order to get this accreditation, we had to follow the following steps and focus on the following 10 topics:
At the end of the virtual visit, the team from Eco-Schools could not have been more positive of the work of the school and told us we have officially been granted the Green Flag.
BFIS is one of the few international schools in Spain to obtain this recognition. This is a fantastic addition to the repertoire that is BFIS and is a great sign of our commitment to a sustainable world with our actions throughout all facets of the school. This was also one of our strategic objectives in 2017. We are very proud of out Going Green Committee, made up of students, parents, teachers and administrators, for collaborating and persevering with this work throughout the pandemic, which made it much more challenging!
Being in the Going Green committee and collaborating with brilliant and committed students, teachers, staff and parents has been wonderful. Together we have been able to encourage BFIS to adopt sustainable school policies, integrate sustainability into the curriculum and raise the school community´s awareness about environmental protection and global citizenship topics. Now BFIS is a certified Green Flag Eco School and we must continue promoting a sustainable lifestyle in order to protect our children's future on this planet." Tatiana Ramirez, Going Green parent Co-Chair
For more information about the Going Green Committee or becoming a member, please visit the Going Green Committee website
One of our many goals for our students as the Covid19 situation began was to continue to maximize academic progress and to ensure our students do not fall behind in any way. We feel great about the academic progress made during this time in all grade levels, the covering of the academic standards and the readiness of children to progress to their new grade next year. To consolidate this even more, we have even offered further continued learning this summer to all BFIS children in the school at no cost which includes summer camp for Nursery to grade 2, Online math consolidation for grades 3-10, and IB Boot Camp for grade 11 students. This was a great addition for students and families that wanted to consolidate their child's learning from this unique school year.
This summer programs were a total success and we were so happy to see them back again on our campus.