Founded almost 40 years ago in Marbella, Swans is one of the longest-established international schools in Southern Spain.
The school has an unashamedly international outlook, with more than 600 students on the roll, representing some 30 different nationalities. Through its Primary and Secondary sections, Swans provides a comprehensive international education for children from ages 3 to 18 years. The School is accredited by both NABSS (the National Association of British Schools in Spain) and the Spanish Ministry of Education; as such, it is able to offer both an international curriculum, as well as the statutory Spanish Primary and Secondary curriculum.
Swans aims to provide a rich environment for the development of well-educated, confident and caring young people who are committed to making a significant contribution to the world in which they live, helping them to develop into considerate, principled and active members of society. The School seeks to foster a spirit of enthusiasm for learning and thereby encourage all students to become effective, life-long learners. To achieve these aims, the School strives to:
- provide a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum and a stimulating and supportive learning environment which will challenge, motivate and excite all students;
- equip students with the necessary intellectual, practical and social skills to allow them to make a valuable contribution to society and fulfil their potential in life;
- encourage students to develop open and enquiring minds and the ability to question and to argue thoughtfully and rationally;
- help students to appreciate and celebrate international and cultural diversity, having respect for the different values and moral and religious beliefs of others;
- promote the qualities of excellence, perseverance, self discipline and thoughtfulness among the whole school community; and
- nurture and develop the intellectual and creative talents of every student.
SWANS PRIMARY SCHOOL
The school offers a broad and balanced curriculum, which is delivered in English and based on the English National Curriculum. We begin with the Early Years Foundation Stage for Early Years and Reception. In Key Stages One and Two we follow the Literacy and Numeracy Strategy along with the International Primary Curriculum.
We use a combination of subject teaching and topic based study to ensure the curriculum is both skills and knowledge based. We value the traditional basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic. At Swans we place great importance on social and emotional development as well as academic achievement. We have whole school assemblies and class workshops that are based on the SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) scheme of work.
We focus on ensuring that every child fulfills his or her potential. Every child is treated as an individual and is celebrated as such. NFER testing is in use throughout Key Stage 1 and 2; this is a diagnostic form of testing which helps teachers pinpoint specific problems and also gives us a benchmark from which we can ensure our standards are maintained. Information Technology is taught throughout the Primary School by a specialist teacher.
The use of computers is incorporated into all other subjects as all classrooms have computers and interactive whiteboards and we have a number of laptops that can be used anywhere on the premises with the schools wifi system. Music is taught throughout the Primary School and in addition to this, children take part in a musical assembly every week. There are also at least two musical performances every academic year.
Children who need extra help with English are catered for in TEFL groups where lessons are planned around the individual needs of the children involved. Lessons will normally include verbal, grammatical and written skills. There is a Gifted and Talented Policy in place to ensure our gifted children, in whatever areas, are challenged.
SECONDARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM
Swans aims to provide a broad and relevant international curriculum which will allow our students to develop their intellectual skills and make progress through school and university and to achieve to their full potential. The curriculum broadly follows the UK National Curriculum up to Year 11, while students entering our Sixth Form (Year 12 and 13) follow the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
In addition, Spanish students and native Spanish speakers have the opportunity to follow relevant areas of the compulsory Spanish curriculum (Educación Primaria – ‘EP’ – and Educación Segundaria Obligatorio – ‘ESO’).
The following is a broad summary of the curriculum we offer
Years 7, 8 and 9 (‘Key Stage 3’)
All Swans students in Years 7, 8 and 9 (known as Key Stage 3 under the UK National Curriculum) study the five core academic subjects set out below, as well as Drama (in combination with English), Music, French and Physical Education:
English Maths Science Spanish (EP, ESO or Second Language Spanish) ICT First-language Spanish students in Year 7 follow the Spanish EP programme, which comprises Lengua and Conocimento del Medio; in Years 8 and 9, these students follow the Spanish ESO programme, which comprises Lengua and Sociales. Students not following the EP or ESO programmes have separately timetabled lessons in Geography and History.
Years 10 and 11 (‘Key Stage 4’)
At the end of Year 11 (and earlier, for certain subjects) all students sit I/GCSE (International/General Certificate of Secondary Education) exams. These are public exams set by independent examination boards in the UK. Therefore, before starting Year 10, all students must select the I/GCSE subjects they plan to study in Key Stage 4. In Key Stage 4, all students are required to study the five core subjects as follows: English: Most students will study for I/GCSEs in First Language English and English Literature Spanish: Students follow either the ESO programme (comprising Lengua, Literatura and Sociales) or Second Language Spanish.
All students take I/GCSEs in either First or Second Language Spanish; in addition, some students may also take an I/GCSE in Spanish Literature Maths: Students generally study Maths at either Foundation or Higher level Science: Students normally follow the so-called ‘double award’ combining Biology, Chemistry and Physics. ICT: A single examination combining both theory and practical elements. In addition, students select either two (in the case of ESO students) or three (non-ESO students) further I/GCSE options from a range which currently includes French, Business Studies, Drama, History, Geography, Music, Art and Physical Education Details of the available I/GCSE subject options are communicated to parents and students during the Spring Term of Year 9. At that time, students and parents are provided with an options booklet which details the different subject choices available and the selection procedure.
Years 12 and 13 (‘Sixth Form’)
Swans is an IB World School and offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme to all students in the Sixth Form. The Diploma Programme requires students to select and study six subjects from a range of disciplines, including first and second languages, sciences, humanities, maths and the arts. Students must also follow core studies in Theory of Knowledge and CAS (creativity, action and service) and complete an extended essay on a chosen topic.
The Diploma Programme is highly-regarded among many of the world’s universities and is an excellent platform for post-18 study. However, owing to the academically rigorous nature of the Diploma Programme, entry to the sixth form at Swans is subject to students achieving at least six passes (Grades A* to C) at I/GCSE, including English and Maths.
During Years 10 and 11, parents are invited to attend presentations which provide an introduction to the Diploma Programme and review the options available to their children. During the Spring Term of Year 11, students and parents are required to inform the School whether they plan to continue into the Sixth Form after completing their I/GCSEs and to provide a preliminary indication of the subjects they would like to study. At present, Swans offers the following IB subjects:
Swans contact details:
Swans International Primary School
Urb. El Capricho, s/n
Tel: (+34) 952 773 248
Fax: (+34) 952 776 431
Swans International Sierra Blanca (secondary school)
C/Lago de los Cisnes, s/n
Tel: (+34) 952 902 755
Fax: (+34) 952 900 914