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Looking for an international English school

Question

I'm about to relocated to Brussels and looking for an English international school for my 3 children (ages going from 4 to 12).

While searching the Internet I've come across the International Montessori School (http://www.international-montessori.org/).

It looks like a very good school, but I'm not familiar with the Montessori system and the IBO MYP.

I would be grateful to hear from parents that have direct experience with this school.

Dune

British School of Brussels, Leuvensesteenweg, Tervuren, do offer both IB and A Levels (and obviously GCSEs). They now have a bi-lingual (English/French) stream which was introduced around two years ago. They also offer purely English taught lessons. The students on the English/French stream are certainly not all native French speakers, many Brits or other nationalities, just seeking a bi-lingual eduction.

Apr 21, 2013 19:14
I

In fact there are several bilingual schools in Brussels where only a minority of children speak French or English at home and therefore children often pass through these schools mastering neither!

The quality of education and the percentage of French/ English/other speakers varies enormously in the bilingual schools.

For fluency in French fast, the choice I would go for is monolingual French local school, reinforced with after school activities in French and English. The advantage is the schools are free. Your children, maybe not the eldest, could spend a couple of years in monolingual French then transfer perhaps to the lycee francais or BSB where there are quality bilingual programmes, one with French as the lingua franca of the rest of the school and one with English as lingua franca.

Know many happy families at the smaller English schools such as BJAB and BISB, but children don't really get much exposure to French there.

Apr 22, 2013 22:34
I

Sorry, pressed too soon.

Do you absolutely have to have all 3 children in the same school? In your place, with work in the centre of Brussels and options for your 12 year old going to be perhaps International Montessori or BSB or maybe only in English at ISB, as it's quite normal for children that age to go to school by bus or tram or metro with friends, could that child not go to school using independent means or you pay for the school bus? Then you send the 2 other children to a local French school for free, given you said school fees are not all funded, thus getting full immersion in French which you will not get at the international schools, except for lycee francais, you live near to the chosen local school, ideally located between work in central Brussels and the school of the oldest child. For ISB, I'd choose somewhere in Watermael or Auderghem or WSP near tram museum, in fact anywhere on the 94 tram line for school/living. For BSB, I'd choose Wezembeek/WSP along the 44/39 tram lines for school/living. For International Montessori, I'd choose somewhere in WSL along the 29 or 70 bus routes or metro line 1.

After school activities are plentiful in French especially in WSL and WSP and Wezembeek, can't think of much in French in Kraainem, other than music classes. The music academies are free in WSP / WSL / Wezembeek / Auderghem, but be careful about where you live, if you were to choose to live just outside Brussels in Wezembeek, Kraainem, Tervuren and want to access the French academies, a bit difficult as you are supposed to supply a proof French is your first language which you can get by going to a French school in Brussels or Kraainem or Wezembeek, if you were to choose Montessori or BSB, you're going to have difficulty getting that certificate as they are not French schools! Problem solved if you live in "bilingual" Brussels or send to a local French school. There are very few things in French in Tervuren and exclusively French, not mixed with Dutch or English, you really would have to travel west to the French majority areas.

Apr 22, 2013 22:58
judit.kulcsar.31

I hope you will get a chance to see my answer to you.
Our son is visiting a small international school in Waterloo and we are more than happy to share our positive experience regarding his first year at this school.
He has spent two years at the BICS in Brussels, which is far away from what they are advertising on their website.
The Evergreen International School in Waterloo (http://evergreenschool.be/) has been the best choice we have made for our son in terms of education. The staff is loving, caring and they really look after your children and most of all they learn so much more than in a big school. They are offering summer programs as well, so it could be a good opportunity to meet them and see it for yourself. Good luck! ;-)

Jutka

May 17, 2013 14:56
I

I somehow don't think Evergreen international school is going to suit a family wishing to live in Brussels! Or will it suit a 12 year old wishing to keep in a British style education system.

I'm sure Evergreen is a great school, but I'm also sure it is completely unsuitable for the family asking for advice. I'm also not surprised at something else you referred to about schools here!

May 17, 2013 20:45
Remco

Maybe you already found a school in the meantime. But I would recommend Bogaerts International School, Square d'Argenteuil, 5 in Waterloo. It offers an international curriculum for both primary and secondary school students. It is a bilingual school (English-French).

The telephone number of school director, David Bogaerts, is +32 475 51.34.51.

www.bischool.com

Jun 16, 2013 21:54
nina

The Brussels International Catholic School (BICS) is very good. It's bilingual (French/English) and not as expensive as the other International schools. Great teachers too! They follow the Cambridge system. Be very, very careful with a particular Montessori school in Waterloo.

Jun 24, 2013 16:00
nina

The Brussels International Catholic School (BICS) is very good. It's bilingual (French/English) and not as expensive as the other International schools. Great teachers too! They follow the Cambridge system. Be very, very careful with a particular Montessori school in Waterloo.

Jun 24, 2013 16:00
caroline6

Hi

I don't recommend Montessori School Waterloo!
They have a big problem with education and respect!
I recommend ISF!

Sep 10, 2014 23:04
portiarose

The British School in Tervuren offers a bilingual French English education. Our daughter is thriving there. They follow the British system and then offer GCSEs, A Level, IB, or the British BTech . I do know the school is over subscribed and there are waiting lists for entry in some year groups, so if you are interested, you will to see their admissions people quickly.

Nov 2, 2014 07:59

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