A question we often receive from visiting families is ‘where do your students go once they graduate from ICS Côte d’Azur?’ We sat down with Amanda Scott, Head of School, to find out more about the post-primary pathways for our students.
How do you prepare your PY6 students for their next steps into secondary school education?
Amanda Scott: I will answer this question in two parts:
The first way in which we prepare them focuses on the academic side of the transition to secondary school life. From Kindergarten to PY6, our French, English and Maths core courses are grounded in the French and English national curricula. We assess our PY2 to PY6 students biannually to collect learning data so that we can ensure the best learning experience for each student and adapt to their individual needs. Additionally, the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) develops metacognition skills: students ‘learn how to learn’- they are curious, self-motivated, excited to collaborate with their peers and learn from them as they conduct meaningful and authentic investigations into their world. With time to explore and communicate their own interests and passions within an academic context, students develop high levels of engagement and self-efficacy, which in a way reflects the independence required once you reach secondary education.
Equally important for a successful transition is our exceptional attention to students’ social, emotional and physical wellbeing. Children learn best and feel confident when they are happy and supported – which is at the heart of everything we do. As an international school with over 30 nationalities, our students look forward to meeting new people from different cultures and backgrounds. We encourage open-mindedness and international understanding, both tenets of the IB programmes, and we are confident that students leave our school with the willingness to introduce themselves (in English and French) with an open heart, and make new friends on their first day of secondary school.
Where do ICS Côte d’Azur students typically go for secondary school?
Amanda Scott: Some of our students will continue their education in French schools offering the French national curriculum, or in International Schools in France and across the world with instruction in French, English or both languages.
Our Globeducate Sister Schools in the region are ISN Nice and Mougins School. Both offer world-class education: one with the IB continuum (ISN Nice) and the other with the British International curriculum (Mougins School). We arrange personalised visits for our PY6 students to both schools for their first taste of secondary school life.
For those families seeking a French educational pathway, the CIV (Centre Internationale Valbonne) and Fénelon are two popular local schools with international sections. Both conduct entrance tests in French and English and our students have consistently demonstrated a high success rate. This year, we piloted coaching sessions to PY6 students during the February and April holidays. The programme included help in getting ready for entrance tests, as well as reflection activities that helped students identify their strengths, passions and strategies that will help them be successful as they start out next year in post-primary education. Fifty percent of our students signed up for the sessions and we plan to build on this initiative in the future.
Our third group of students return to their home countries to enter private or public schools. For example, this year, two of our students are re-entering the British system where they have been accepted to competitive, highly-ranked independent preparatory schools.
Where will your students be going in September 2021?
Amanda Scott: As of June 2021 we know that roughly 50% of our students have been accepted into either CIV and/or Fénelon, 25% will continue their education in Globeducate Schools, 15% are continuing in British independent schools and 5% are going to a top-ranked sports academy. We believe that independent learning habits, their ability to adapt, and the rigorous academic foundation they have built upon at ICS Côte d’Azur ensure that our students will thrive no matter which path they choose. We are always sad to see them leave, but we send them on to their next journey as confident learners and skilled communicators who are ready for their next challenge.