The Slovenia Times

International Schools In Slovenia



Little Jacques, 4, is making a car out of lego. His room will soon become a landscape of roads and obstacles the car will have to avoid to get to the finish. "I just put the wheels on", he mumbles to himself in fluent English, and installs the wheels. "Where did I put my driver" he asks himself. "He always speaks English when he plays alone, and associates English with the play, the learning of new things," explains smilingly his French mother. Jacques, who goes to the International Kindergarten, is just one of approximately 300 children of different nationalities and different ages, who attend international schools in Slovenia. After they finish their internationally and legally recognised schooling, (from kindergarten to high school) they receive certificates, with which they can enrol into most schools worldwide. The change of environment and moving to a new country can cause much stress to a growing up child, so the parents should be as much informed as possible. To help, The Slovenia Times examines an array of international schools in Slovenia. Since independence and the international recognition of Slovenia in 1991, the number of foreign diplomatic, business and other offices increased. The initiative to establish an international school came in 1991 from Gimnazija Bezigrad (High School of Bezigrad), which had already adopted the programme of international baccalaureate, in cooperation with International Schools Association, UNESCO and European Council of International Schools. Most of the schools were established by the Slovene government and offer programmes from kindergarten to the high school level. One school was established by the company Renault and one by the US Embassy. International Kindergarten The International Kindergarten is organised within the Slovene National Kindergarten Poljane. It's a state owned Kindergarten and has been offering an international programme since 1994. It offers a qualified staff and good facilities. They offer the International Baccaulaureate Organisation's Primary Years Programme to children aged from 3 to 6 years. The Primary Years Programme is an international curriculum framework that combines practice from a range of national systems with experience from international schools. The teachers in international kindergarten are well trained Slovenes, who regularly attend ECIS and IBO international workshops, Slovene seminars and workshops for kindergarten teachers and English language courses in Great Britain. Gordana Slak, teacher: 'Our children come from all over the world. They learn English quickly. We use a lot of mimicry, story-telling, slide shows... They learn the most frequent phrases within a week (e.g. lunch, wash hands...). The first couple of months are a bit tough, but then they make friends and then it's better. Some find it hard to leave as they spent most of their life here. And they often say their homeland is Slovenia. We emphasise self-identity and individuality. It's important to know who you are, and in what way you are like others and in what way you are different. We teach them to be proud of their differences and to respect the differences of others, and to be capable of empathy. These are special kids because they often move, travel, and leave their friends behind. They become more open.' The curriculum propels the process of inquiry, fosters positive attitudes (confidence, creativity), and encourages children to reflect, choose wisely and to interact responsibly with their peers, school staff and the wider community. They offer different additional activities, workshops, trips, and seasonal camps. Currently there are 25 children in the kindergarten, aged 3 to 6. Address: Strossmayerjeva 3, Ljubljana Tuition fee: 18,4% of the total fee is financed by the Ministry, monthly tuition fee is 90.000 SIT (400 Euro). The charge for food is included in the price. QSi QSi was established by US Embassy in 1995. The school was established to provide an alternative for children whose first language is English. They accept children between 5 and 13 years old. Many of these children will return to US, UK, Canada or Australia and go back into educational systems similar to the system we use in Slovenia. All teachers except for foreign language and music instructor are native English speakers. Any student whose parents want him or her to be taught in English can enrol. Children are from 10-12 different nationalities. The curriculum includes reading, grammar, math, science, cultural studies, sports, art, music, foreign languages (French, German and Slovene) and computer science. Each area is broken up into units of study and a student has to pass the present unit with a grade of 80% or better before moving on to the next unit. Students who graduate from this programme usually go to Gimanzija Bezigrad or to boarding schools in London. Address: Puharjeva 10, Ljubljana Fee: 12.400 dollars per year (children five years old can come for half a day for less) Elementary School Danila Kumar Elementary School is a state owned school that offers a Primary Years Programme (6-10 yrs) and a first three years of the Middle Years Programme (11-13 years). It has had an international programme since 1993. The Ministry of Education covers more than half of operational costs, so the tuition fees are lower. It has 108 students from 35 different countries. 'When children come from other countries, they are surprised by the greenery and the order and discipline. There are many sports and drama activities, where they mingle with Slovene children. Sometimes there are problems when children fall in love with someone and then have to leave.' laughingly says Boris Zupancic, the headmaster. It is a member of International Baccaulareate Organisation IBO that offers PYP (6-10) and Middle Years Programme for students 11-13 years. The MYP is a five year programme that is run jointly with Gimnazija Bezigrad. It advances a holistic view of knowledge and focuses on a student's intellectual and social development. The PYP focuses on the total growth of the developing child, affecting the children's hearts and minds and addressing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to academic welfare. MYP accentuates the inter-relatedness of various disciplines; students develop inter-cultural awareness with genuine understanding of their own history and traditions. They develop effective study skills, creativity, community service, health and social education, environment. Address; Godezeva 11, Ljubljana Fee: from SIT 700.000- to 820.000 (3,000 - 3,500 Euro) per year Ecole Fran‡aise The Ecole Fran‡aise is located at the Primary School Livada in Ljubljana and was founded by the company Renault-Revoz, but since 2001 it has had a contract with French government. The program is the same as in French primary schools. High School of Bezigrad The school Gimnazija Bezigrad is authorised by the IBO to run the Middle Years Programme (13-16) and International Baccaulaureate Diploma Programme (16-19). The Middle Years Programme for students from 13 to 16 has subjects in: English, German and Slovene, history and geography, biology, chemistry and physics, math, arts, sports and computers. Across the different subjects are five areas of interaction (approaches to learning, community service, health, social education, environment, developing creativity). Grades on the scale from 1-7 are given at the end of the year. The IB Diploma Programme is a rigorous pre-university course of studies for students from 16 to 19. It's designed as a two-year curriculum in English. They study six subjects they choose and have to write an extended essay, attend the Theory of knowledge and Creativity, Action, Service (the life outside the world of scholarship). Currenty, there are approx. 60 students. Address: Periceva 4, Ljubljana Fee: SIT 880.000 (3750 Euro) per year The Second Gymnasium, Maribor The program of International Baccalaureate is identical to the one at the Gymnasium of Bezigrad and all the other schools with the program. This autumn they expect first foreign students of different nationalities. Address: Trg Milosa Zidenska 1, Maribor


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