The BES Middle School program for students in Year 6 to 8 is designed to nurture pre-adolescent growth and development. Middle School students learn to make connections across disciplines and cultures by sharing and discussing their differing voices and perspectives.
BES's integrated curriculum enables students to discover connections between different disciplines and the relationship between them and real-life experiences. By working in groups to solve problems, they also gain confidence in their own abilities, offering personal gifts and talents in return.
The school day runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. On Wednesdays, classes end at 1:20 pm. However, Middle School students have the opportunity to stay at school after lunch ('pomeriggi opzionali') and participate in guided study groups under the teachers' supervision and following the cooperative learning approach. A number of classes are held in co-teaching.
We meet the requirements set by the Ministry of Education also incorporated in the curriculum of Italian Language and Literature, History, Geography, Science and Mathematics. In secondary school, teaching is 50% in Italian and 50% in English and guarantees the necessary preparation to be admitted to the most prestigious secondary schools in Milan, Italy and internationally. The curriculum is broad and rigorous, encouraging students to make steady progress in intellectual skills and to grow, revealing themselves as self-confident, attentive to others and proactive adolescents. English language instruction takes place for a total of 15 hours a week and enables our students to consolidate and further develop the skills and competencies acquired in Primary School.
In addition to the core subjects in the curriculum, secondary school students enrich their skills and abilities through lessons in art, technical drawing, music, drama, and physical education. Through the English curriculum, students develop essential skills to think critically from a plurality of viewpoints, to communicate their ideas in different forms (written, oral, visual, multimedia) with local and non-local interlocutors, to investigate reality through issues of personal and global interest, and to act in recognition that language is a tool that improves the world. French and Spanish are introduced as a third language; families can express preference at the beginning of the secondary school cycle.
In harmony with what happens in primary school, the curriculum in secondary school is also structured to shape young citizens with an international mindset. The Learner Profile of the International Baccalaureate best expresses the characteristics we aim to develop in our students: we help them become knowledgeable, balanced, responsible, curious, courageous, open-minded, communicative, reflective and capable of structured thinking. BES prepares students to be lifelong learners and to develop refined problem-solving skills. Our pupils are spurred to develop four essential skills: analysing their surroundings; recognising and nurturing multiple perspectives; communicating their ideas effectively; and taking action to improve situations.
Innovation and empowerment of individuals
Among the cornerstones of innovation is, of course, the habitual use of IT tools. Also part of the school baggage are the ability to work in groups, to relate correctly to others and to express oneself in public. Methodological synthesis, enhancement of the individual peculiarities of children (the multiple intelligences), a staff of motivated, passionate and committed teachers in continuous training are the flagships of the Bilingual European School. Our ambition is to train the leading men and women of the 21st century: we provide them with the cognitive tools to nurture their self-esteem and critical sense.
All these characteristics have enabled us over the years to create a unique pedagogical environment in today's school landscape. Consistent with ministerial indications, our students face the study of a third community language: starting with Year 6, it is possible to choose between Spanish and French. This wide range of pathways allows Middle School students to learn about their strengths and interests and, at the same time, to acquire a solid foundation in the processes involved in thinking and learning, with a focus on personal growth and development at the intellectual, emotional and social levels.