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Gareth Evans, Head of the BIS Primary School

Children Learn Through Exploration

The British International School teaches pupils from the ages of three to 18, with a teaching approach based on three concepts: children develop best when they are happy, when they feel safe, and when they are confident

If parents are looking for the very best education for their child, then they should seriously consider British education – says Gareth Evans, before revealing all the advantages of an education at Belgrade’s British International School.

When do pupils start nursery school; when do they enter primary school and when do they move on to the secondary school? Is it essential for the child to speak English fluently?

Children can start school in the term when they turn three and are independent in their basic needs. The first two years of school are known as the Foundation Stage. Children enter the first year of primary education in the year they turn six.

The final year of primary education is the year they turn 11. It is not essential for the child to speak English fluently upon enrolment, as we have an excellent English as an Additional Language team. We do ask for support and motivation from the child and their family in order to promote their language development.

You base your teaching approach on three concepts: children develop best when they are happy, when they feel safe and when they are confident. Do your children really learn through exploration, play and practical activities?

Yes, children learn best when they are happy and motivated to come to school, and this is proven by much research. At the British International School, we place a great emphasis on children’s happiness and wellbeing, and ensuring that they feel part of the family.

We follow the National Curriculum for England and adapt it to our Serbian and international context

We believe and understand that children learn in a variety of ways – visually, kinaesthetically and auditory – and we use these approaches in our teaching methodology.

You work in small groups, but do the subjects learnt by your primary school pupils differ from those taught in Serbian primary schools?

We follow the National Curriculum for England and adapt it to our Serbian and international context. For example, when studying the Romans, children will learn about this era of Serbian history and much is the same for other subjects. Our three core subjects are English, maths and science, and these are supplemented by the foundation subjects of history, geography, art, design technology and personal and social education. Modern foreign languages, of which children have a choice, physical education and music are taught by specialist teachers. All other subjects are taught by the child’s class teacher.

The enrolment of first-year pupils will start soon in Serbia. What would you say to parents who don’t want their child to attend a state primary school? Why should they consider enrolling in the British International School?

If parents are looking for the best education for their child, then they should seriously consider British education. Providing children with not only knowledge, the British International School equips children with understanding and skills that they can use in later life. Class sizes are smaller, usually around sixteen, enabling the teacher and teaching assistant to develop closer relationships with the children and to know their learning style much more deeply. This is augmented with a programme of extracurricular clubs and trips and visits, which complement the taught curriculum. Our teachers are native speakers of English who are supported by an outstanding team of local staff, all of whom are fluent in English.

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