Last Updated on August 28, 2023
Bordeaux International School, also known as BIS, is a private (fee-paying) international school for ages 3–18 located in Bordeaux, France, established in 1988. Students are from both France and other countries.
The medium of instruction is English and French in the primary streams and mainly English in the secondary school. The school moved to new premises in rue Judaïque in August 2005.
The school educates in four stages:
- Early Learning 3–6 bilingual (English French)
- Primary 6–10 bilingual (English and French)
- Middle School 10–14 bilingual (English and French)
- Secondary 14–18 (English)
Early Learning and Primary grades are given colors instead of numbers, while higher grades have abbreviations for names, such as LMS for Lower Middle School (5th and 6th grade)
- A bilingual Early Learning
- A bilingual Primary
- A bilingual Middle School
- An international Secondary leading to IGCSEs and International Advanced Level.
In an international, multicultural, multilingual environment, BIS brings together on average 170 students from more than 25 nationalities who benefit from innovative, active, rigorous and inclusive educational programmes, taught by an international team of qualified teachers.
An international bilingual school, BIS welcomes students from both French and foreign families on the move, who wish to benefit from a continuity of teaching, as well as francophone pupils who wish to acquire or develop the English language. They all benefit from bilingual French-English teaching, requiring discipline, effort, and openness of spirit.
This mixing of nationalities, languages, and cultures makes BIS exceptional, and a genuinely international school.
From three to fourteen years, classes are guaranteed 50% in English and 50% in French. Teaching pairs and French and English-language classrooms allow pupils to move from one world to another, and to wholly immerse themselves in the languages.
Other elements of school life (cultural outings, school projects…) also benefit from this bilingualism.
In Secondary, the classes are predominantly given in English in order to prepare for international examinations, while the acquisition of linguistic skills in English, French, and Spanish (optional) remains a priority.
Since 1987, Bordeaux International School has constructed an active network of partners both in the educational world as well as economic, cultural, and social, in partnership with the key institutions who support the school.
BIS has been a cooperative institution (SCOP) since 1999. The teaching and administrative teams constitute the main associates, for whom each decision or action is exclusively dedicated to the improvement of learning conditions, the fulfillment of students, in harmony with the missions and objectives of the school.
Furthermore, frequent meetings and newsletters help to maintain active communication between all members of the school community and its representatives, who are also implicated in the key decisions and activities of the school.
the Bordeaux International School, which is a private school with a preschool, a primary / elementary school, a collège (middle school), and a lycée (high / secondary school) that opened its doors in 1987 and aims to equip their students (aged 3 years old to 18 years old) with a level of fluency in at least two languages (generally French and English) to encourage face to face interaction with pupils of different nationalities and thus promote an appreciation of diverse cultures. Luckily this international school accepts new students all throughout the academic year for those who are moving to Bordeaux at any point. BIS prepares its students for the British end of year exams and also gives the option for students to prepare for an American high school diploma and SATs, while, of course, preparing them for the French end of year exam, the baccalauréat.
Bordeaux International School welcomes children of expats hoping for the continuity of an international education, and French children wishing to acquire the English language or continue their learning. Students from 3 to 18 are encouraged to reach their full potential and become lifelong learners. A student body of over 25 different nationalities allows them to flourish in a multicultural environment. Small class sizes, innovative and differentiated teaching allow students to follow a high quality education, develop their creativity and independence of spirit, becoming global citizens! Early Learning & Primary, under contract with the French Education Nationale, follow a bilingual programme. Our bilingual Middle School follows the Cambridge International programme. In Upper Secondary, we offer internationally recognised Cambridge IGCSE & A Levels. Guidance on higher education and careers ensures that all students are accepted to the university or course of their choice.
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Each year, the number of applications for admission to Bordeaux International School exceeds the number of places available. Thus, an Admissions Committee examines all applications carefully, and welcomes foreign, binational and French students, whilst endeavouring to maintain the most balanced proportions possible.
The school reserves a number of places for international families on short and long-term missions in the Bordeaux region. In this way, we strive to maintain a balance between cultures and languages in bilingual classes (from Early Learning to Middle School/College).
No test is required for BIS registration before the age of 14.
We are particularly vigilant in welcoming students whom we believe can benefit from our bilingual international background in its values and pedagogy. We are a non-denominational institution in which « the wearing of signs or outfits by which students ostensibly demonstrate a religious affiliation is not permitted » (according to the Charter of Secularism at the School of the Ministry of National Education, adopted by BIS).
An Open Day morning is organised in February, allowing visitors to discover the organisation of the classes, the teaching team and the work carried out by the students.
For applications and enquiries please email us at [email protected].
BIS welcomes students from all over the world, regardless of their previous schooling experience or home language. Students are admitted to the Secondary section provided they give evidence (as shown in previous school reports) of a positive attitude to work, that they accept the school’s conditions of attendance and that they embrace the school’s Mission and Objectives.
For applications and enquiries please email us at [email protected].
Further Criteria for admission in Upper Secondary are as follows:
- Applicants for IGCSE and A-Level courses that lead to examinations must have sufficient command of English in order to benefit from the programme of study. However, individual support classes may be organised if necessary (at extra cost).
- To follow the full range of IGCSE subjects, students must have a minimum level of English of “B1” from Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Students with a lower level of English will require extra support lessons at cost and / or may be accepted on the condition that they may need longer than the two year programme to reach the required level.
- The applicants for International Advanced Level courses should have achieved 5 IGCSE passes (or equivalent) at grades C or above, including passes in both English, Mathematics, and a grade B in their chosen Advanced Level subjects where possible. When those certificates cannot be produced, prior assessment may be required either during the interview or by internet, in order to determine the appropriate class for the student.
- To follow the full range of Advanced Levels subjects, students must have a minimum level of English of “B2” from Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Students with a lower level of English will require extra support lessons at cost. They may also be accepted on the condition that only certain subjects are chosen and/or on the agreement that they may need longer than the two year programme to reach the required level.
- Students must have the necessary ability to cope with a mainly academic timetable.
- If it is felt the student could be successful, but is in need of special help which is beyond the capability of the school, parents must be willing to involve the child (and themselves) in this extra support.
- Students requiring host families must have sufficient social skills and self-confidence to live away from home.
BIS offers accommodation for students living away from home in carefully selected French families living close to the school. This is an ideal arrangement for students whose parents live a long way from the school and is also the most effective way to gain fluency and absorb the French language and culture.
Host families are carefully vetted by the school coordinator, who is available on a 24/7 basis. We consult the student’s parents and introduce both families before the student moves in. It is vital that the student is happy in their host family and we devote great care to their wellbeing.