EIFA is an international bilingual school home to around 270 children from 21 months old up to the age of 18.
EIFA, located in the desirable Marylebone district in central London, offers children a bilingual education through immersion in French and English from the earliest possible stage in their school life. From the age of 21 months, children begin exploring their world through games, sensory activities and movement. They are accompanied on this exploration by specialist early years practitioners, all of whom are either native French or English speakers and who use their mother tongue when speaking to the children.
This immersion in a bilingual world continues throughout the child’s education. Students follow a curriculum combining the best of the French and English systems. EIFA is accredited by the French Ministry of Education up to Year 7. The school is inspected regularly by both the French Ministry of Education and by OFSTED.
At the end of Year 10, students may choose to sit the French Brevet des Colleges examinations. All students prepare for IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) examinations in a range of subjects. These qualifications, which are overseen by Cambridge University, are taken at the end of Year 11. From Year 12 and in Y13, EIFA students prepare the International BaccalaureateÒ Diploma Program (IBDP).
The IBDP’s ethos correspond to the school principle: enabling young people to become articulate citizens of the world fully supported in their physical, intellectual, emotional as well as ethical development. The IB Diploma covers a wide range of disciplines, each of which contributes to foster students’ autonomy by enabling them to be involved in their learning.
EIFA is one of the very few schools to offer students the opportunity to choose between the International Baccalaureate® and the Bilingual International Baccalaureate®. Both are regarded as excellent preparation for higher education and therefore welcomed by leading universities worldwide.
The school stands out thanks to both its excellent personalised teaching, small class sizes (the adult to student ratio in the school stands at 1 to 5) and the richness of its curriculum, which includes dance, music, yoga, art and drama, as well as an extensive range of extra-curricular activities.
Less than 50 % of the students are French natives, the rest being binational or having another first language. Premium individual support is provided to the students thanks to small group classes.
The small class sizes, alongside the quality and richness of the education and the international experience of the teachers, enable students to achieve excellent results and to develop their independence and foster a love of learning.
Visitors often comment on the school’s warm welcome, combining a family atmosphere with the cultural richness that comes from the diverse nature of the student body.
Who should apply?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) welcomes all children regardless of background, nationality or languages spoken. Children may be new to French or English or even both. Being immersed in a bilingual environment allows the children to make rapid progress.
Children are accepted into the Junior School (up to Year 6) even if they are not proficient in French and/or English. EIFA puts in place personalised language support programmes with the aid of its specialist EAL (English as Additional Language) and FLE (Français Langue Etrangère) teachers. This support enables students to reach a level such as they can follow lessons in both languages.
Pupils joining at 11+ would be expected to be fluent in either English or French. Pupils joining at 13+ or 16+ need to be fluent in English but do not need to speak French to follow the IGCSE and IBDP pathway. Pupils will see their French improve thanks to the school’s dedicated Language support team and should achieve excellent results in IGCSE French as a Foreign Language.
With more than 40 nationalities represented in the student body and with teachers drawn from around the world, with an extensive experience in teaching in North America, Europe, the Far East, the Middle East, Africa and Australasia, the school is most definitely international in character and thus the IB is an ideal examination.
Due to its premium location, the school doesn’t have any outside space for the kids to relax, and this should be taken into account if you have a kid needing space to run around. However, the students spend time every day in nearby Regent’s Park at lunch time.