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Questions & answers about BEPS International School

16:51 28/03/2019
BEPS is adding a secondary curriculum to its international school community

BEPS International School in Brussels offers exciting learning opportunities to pupils up to age 16, with the opening of a secondary school this academic year. We invite you to discover the school through a series of Q&As with Mrs Pascale Hertay, Director of BEPS and the Secondary School Team.

BEPS primary school has existed for 46 years. Why now a secondary school?
Parents looking for a secondary school for their child told us that – while they found good schools – there wasn’t one “like BEPS”. Parents value our family atmosphere, the care given to each student and the quality learning experiences, and so want a secondary school that reflects the same values. Taking these comments into consideration, we opened BEPS Secondary School. Our secondary school builds upon the renowned International Primary Curriculum (IPC) used in the Primary School with the International Baccalaureate (IB). Both of these curriculums are delivered using the latest teaching practices and innovative approaches.

Why did you choose the IB Middle Years Programme (IB-MYP) for BEPS Secondary School?
We needed a rigorous curriculum that would provide the necessary knowledge and skills to enable our students to pursue their passions, through their current studies and further studies at universities or elsewhere. It also needed to be in line with our mission, vision and values. At BEPS we want to develop the whole child. The students learn about international mindedness and are engaged in learning experiences that encourage them to take responsibility for their future and their impact on the world, to become global citizens.

We also believe in implementing the latest research into our teaching and learning approach so that it is relevant to our students and their future. Therefore, the secondary curriculum needed to maintain the continuity with the learning practices implemented in IPC in Primary. The IB-MYP and the IB-Diploma Programme (IB-DP) do just this.

How do you involve students in their own learning?
At BEPS secondary school, students are supported by their mentors. They decide how they spend their flexible learning time, planning and setting targets and deadlines for the day and the week ahead. They learn to manage their time realistically. In the early MYP years, they need a significant amount of guidance with this, but by the end of the MYP and into the DP we hope that our students will be able to self-manage their learning time independently.

Students design and carry out personal projects by setting goals and developing research plans. They learn to take their interests beyond a superficial level and dig deeper into something that really inspires or excites them. They also assess their work and that of others. Giving and receiving feedback helps them to become more competent and confident learners.

Beps building

What sets BEPS apart from other international schools?
BEPS is a family school. We want to keep our numbers to a size where we really know the students and their families, and where teachers can differentiate the learning to ensure that each child is supported or challenged at the right level. We want our students to feel at home and to feel confident about discussing anything that concerns them. Our team is composed of professionals that are committed to the student’s learning and passionate about their subjects. They work collaboratively and keep up to date with the latest research to ensure we provide the best learning experiences for our students.

And what is unique about BEPS’ new secondary?
We use the MYP framework but apply it within our own context and follow our educational visions. Key to our approach are the flexibility and individualised nature of our educational proposals. We focus on the level the child is at and adapt the learning to suit their needs. Students gradually develop greater independence and begin to identify where their learning is leading them. They “learn how to learn” and engage in authentic learning opportunities.

What does BEPS Secondary want to achieve for its students?
We want our students to become learners for life. They will be capable of learning in a variety of settings, able to take what they have learnt at school into different contexts and to bring learning from outside the classroom into school. We want to develop a sense of global awareness and understanding that encourages an appreciation of differing perspectives.