English schools in Latin America
BIC, founded in 1981, is the only School in Barranquilla – Colombia with well established British cultural links and traditions. It is a co-educational, catholic, bilingual school (English – Spanish) with a curriculum that meets the academic rigour of both the International Baccalaureate Organisation and the Colombian National programmes. Our students have the opportunity to graduate with the double honours of the Colombian and the International Baccalaureate Diplomas.
BIC often referred to as simply The British School in the city, combines a very strong bilingual and academically demanding programme with a popular and highly successful sports / extra - curricular programme. Early Years, Primary and Secondary School teachers are recruited directly from the UK and elsewhere every year.
Within a very wide range of extra-curricular activities, perhaps the most unique is the school’s Conservatory of Music. Students from 5 years of age are able to receive classes with specialised music instructors and eventually progress toward participating in the BIC Junior Symphony Orchestra.
The British International College is a large co-educational bilingual day school, founded in 1981 and situated on the road to the Caribbean coast from Barranquilla.
The building, with its distinguishing twin towers gateway and traditional brick buildings, stands in spacious grounds and houses three distinct classroom areas for the Early Years, Primary and Secondary sections. There are laboratories, art rooms, a library, a gymnasium, computer laboratories, a small amphitheatre and several specialist rooms.
There are all weather and grass pitches within the school grounds. Many sports are offered including volleyball, basketball, softball, football (soccer), aerobics and fitness training. There is even a school pony that lives in the grounds! The school’s aims include the concern for students to grow academically, physically and personally within a caring community. Students are valued for their own talents and intelligences.
The curriculum in Years 12 and 13 follows strictly the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme while the curriculum for Nursery to Year 11 is being developed to eventually adopt the IBO Primary and Middle Years Programmes.
From the Early Years through Primary, students are taught in class bases with the introduction of specialist teachers for subjects such as music, sports and ICT. Teaching assistants work alongside the teachers until Year 2. In the secondary school specialist teachers teach their subject in specialist classrooms. Limited support is available for students with particular learning needs. The school has three full-time psychologists and a speech therapist. An adequate standard of English is needed from the first years of Primary as most of the curriculum is delivered in English.
In addition to the formal school curriculum there are many opportunities for students to partake in activities such as sports, music (including the school orchestra), debates, Model United Nations, chess, the Student Council, scouts, social and community service, House events and festivals such as Christmas and Carnival celebrations. Students have helped to design the school’s website!
BIC is a Catholic school and Mass is regularly celebrated and First Communion is a special occasion for the grade 3 students. Religious Education is taught to all classes. However students of all faiths are welcome and provision is made for those students who do not wish to participate in the mainstream religious programme.
It is expected that all students graduating from BIC will move onto university. Most attend Colombian universities but some go to universities in North America and Europe. As an IB school, we have a strong belief in developing international understanding and offer overseas travel to our students so that they can experience different cultures first hand.