Cognita’s educators deliver a wide range of internationally renowned curricula, including the International Baccalaureate (IB) as well as the national curricula of leading education markets like Great Britain, Australia and the USA (American Education Reaches Out – Common Core Plus). Cognita schools enable children to reach the very highest levels of academic attainment and this strong performance in key curricula examinations, from A Level to International Baccalaureate, Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank to Chile’s Prueba de Selección Universitaria (university selection test), reflects the commitment of our students and their teachers.
The vast majority of Cognita schools in the United Kingdom, as well as our schools in Spain and Thailand, offer the English National Curriculum. This is used as a basis for building their own extended and enriched syllabus. The English National Curriculum provides broadly based, age-appropriate courses of study. It is designed to build towards GCSE and A Level senior school qualifications. Compulsory subjects include English, mathematics, science, ICT, physical education, geography, history, music, arts and design, design and technology, modern foreign languages and citizenship. Our schools in Spain follow the structure and curriculum of the English National Curriculum and combine this with the obligatory elements of the Spanish curriculum. St. Andrews International Schools in Thailand offer a British International Education based on the English National Curriculum whilst St. Andrews Green Valley and St. Andrews Sukhumvit also offer the IB Diploma Programme.
Our Group includes a number of international schools that offer world-class teaching of the IB, which is recognised by leading universities around the globe for the rigour and breadth it fosters in students. The IB offers three challenging programmes for students aged 3 to 19. The Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students aged 3 to 12 focuses on the development of the whole child in the classroom and in the world outside. The Middle Years Programme (MYP) for students aged 11 to 16 provides a framework of academic challenge and life skills through embracing and transcending traditional school subjects. The Diploma Programme for students aged 16 to 19 is a demanding two-year curriculum that meets the needs of highly motivated students, and leads to a qualification that is recognised by leading universities around the world.
Wander down to the coast at Fareham in Hampshire, UK, during the week and you may well find a Meoncross School lesson in full swing – just one way many of our schools build their own extended and enriched syllabus. It might be literacy with pupils practising handwriting by drawing letters in the sand. It could be geography with a group lining up pebbles on the seashore to mark the movement of the tide. Or they could be foraging for driftwood to make model rafts. This is Beach School where children develop both practical skills and subject knowledge.
“We do the same curriculum as in the classroom but we move it to the seashore for an hour-long lesson,” says Gemma Ankouri, Head of Nursery. “We may take with us some classroom resources, such as flash cards, but mainly it is about using the environment.” It can have a powerful effect on communication and language skills, a key element of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum in England, Gemma says. Pupils from Nursery up to year 6 (10 and 11 years) visit the beach regularly and parents also join their children and teachers at a Beach Workshop during the term. “It gives parents a deeper understanding of what we’re teaching and shows them that you don’t need to go to theme parks,” says Gemma. “You can have just as much fun building dens on a beach!”
The Australian International School is the only southern-hemisphere school in Singapore that offers an Australian curriculum-based global education that incorporates the IB. From Reception (Prep) to Year 5, the International Baccalaureate Primary Years programme is mapped to the Australian National Curriculum. In Years 6, 7 and 8, the school offers the Australian National Curriculum which prepares pupils for IGCSE’s in Years 9 and 10. For the final two years of study, pupils have the option of studying for either the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme or for New South Wales Higher School Certificate (HSC).
Bilingual programmes are a common feature of Cognita’s schools in Brazil. The country’s first bilingual school, PlayPen Escola Cidade Jardim in São Paulo for children aged 1-14 years offers students a comprehensive, integrated bilingual programme (English and Portuguese) based on the Brazilian National Curriculum. Instituto GayLussac in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, offers a wide and consistent learning experience based on the Brazilian National Curriculum Guidelines and an academic programme that provides access to the best universities. For students aged 4-10 years, the School offers the optional Bilingual Forever programme, which provides a daily experience of 2.5 hours in English. In addition, with the High School Program of Texas Tech University, students aged 15-17 years have the opportunity to earn two diplomas, the Brazilian and the American, allowing a comprehensive and global view of the world. Students can also earn an international Spanish certification (Delle), of Cervantes Institute.
Cognita’s nine schools in Chile run a series of additional initiatives which, by giving young people a deeper understanding of the world, set the schools apart from other educational institutions. They include CAMPUR, a strategy for developing students’ interpersonal and work-related skills, such as leadership, project management and negotiation, with a strong emphasis on developing self-knowledge and reflection. A Formative Dimensions programme covers topics such as social responsibility and spiritual and religious values, while Vocational Orientation encourages students to start thinking about what they want to achieve in life and the skills and strategies they need to achieve their goals. This kind of approach is rare in the country, says Victor Barahona, Cognita General Director for Chile, but it produces students who are more at ease with themselves, understand the value of collaboration and, in particular, how to manage change.
“It nurtures students with clearer values and an understanding of the world,” he says. “Young people are sometimes confused about how to bring about change but this programme teaches them how to do that, whether it is change in the classroom, in people or to get a business project off the ground.