FAQ Secondary School

  1.  What does it mean if a subject is taught in French/English?

  2.  Do I need to be able to speak French to join BIS?

  3.  Do I need to be able to speak English to join BIS?

  4.  What if my child does not speak English or French?

  5.  How big are the classes?

  6How much sport is taught at BIS?

  7.  I have been educated in a variety of countries/systems – how do I know which
       class to apply for at BIS?

  8.  Are International Advanced Level exams difficult?

  9.  Do I have to take my IGCSE exams at age 16?

10.  Can I repeat any exams I don’t pass first time?

11.  Can I take exams early if I am considered able in a subject?

12.  Where is Bordeaux International School?

 

1. What does it mean if a subject is taught in French/English?
This means that the teacher is native to that language and all instruction will be given in that language. However, all teachers at BIS are bilingual and teachers provide individualised differentiation to ensure that all students can follow the lessons

2. Do I need to be able to speak French to join BIS?
No. Students are tested at the start of the year and then placed in the group according to their ability ranging from complete beginners to native French speakers

3. Do I need to be able to speak English to join BIS?
No. As with the French, students are tested at the start of the year. These tests will determine whether or not students will need extra support in English as a second language or whether they can integrate into normal lessons immediately.

4. What if my child does not speak English or French?
International students with neither French nor English as their first language are welcomed to the school. Students will be evaluated on entry and if it is deemed necessary, then extra support (at a cost) will be provided until students are able to integrate fully into normal lessons.

5. How big are the classes?
Class sizes in Secondary are between 12 - 15 and the average teacher to student ratio is 1:8.  This allows for individual support and a high level of differentiation. 

6. How much sport is taught at BIS?
Students have 2½ hours of sport per week, but they are also encouraged and helped to join local sports clubs and associations in Bordeaux.

7. I have been educated in a variety of countries/systems – how do I know which class to apply for at BIS?
Students are usually placed into classes according to age but due to the wide range of educative systems students experience prior to coming to BIS, this is not always appropriate. Level of entry will be assessed during the initial interview, after having read previous school reports and further evaluation takes place at the start of the year. A review is carried out in October to ensure that students are placed at the right level.

8. Are International Advanced Level exams difficult?
International Advanced Levels are challenging and require a high level of autonomy and motivation.  It is essential that students have the ability to achieve a minimum of a grade B at IGCSE Level in order to cope with the level required for advanced subjects. 

9. Do I have to take my IGCSE exams at age 16?
No.  IGCSE exams can be taken at any age.

10. Can I repeat any exams I don’t pass first time?
Yes. The Cambridge International Exam Board organises two exam sittings – one in June and one in November. If students do not do as well as expected, they may resit there exams in November for most subjects (this is more difficult in subjects with a literary element as the books studied tend to change from one exam session to another).With some Advanced Levels, if students do not succeed in the AS exams in June or in November, they can resit their AS exams next June at the same time as there A2 exams.

11. Can I take exams early if I am considered able in a subject?
Yes.  Most IGCSE and Advanced Level exams are two year courses and it is highly recommended that students complete the two year course before entering the exam. However, in exceptional circumstances, able motivated students may be able to sit their exams early.  Many students at BIS already have a high level of French and often take their IGCSE’s a year early.

12. Where is Bordeaux International School?
Bordeaux International School is situated in the city centre of Bordeaux, in South West France.   Bordeaux is accessible by train from Paris in three hours, and the school is less than 30 minutes from Merignac International airport.