What kind of things should I expect on the test for my children? What is the likelihood of not passing?
Children who are seeking entry into Nursery, Reception or Year 1 will work with a member of the Educational Achievement Department (sometimes known as the Special Educational Needs Department). The process includes observation of fine and gross motor ability, visual perception, language and auditory skills.
Students from Year 2 and above seeking admission to the school are required to present English and Mathematics tests, and an ELS test if English is not their first language. Students from Year 4 and above will also need to complete the CAT4 (Cognitive Ability Test).
The results will be used to track progress made by the students during their time in the school.
Do you have programs for GT, LD or Speech therapy? Do you test for these things as part of admissions?
Students with learning difficulties may be admitted if it is believed that the Educational Achievement Department can provide adequate support and that the student can be placed in the mainstream classroom.
Students referred to and serviced in this area will include, but not be limited to: those who enter CGB with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) from another school or institution; those who present speech and language difficulties; those who are suspected to have a learning disability or have already been diagnosed by an external specialist; those who are showing delay in fine or gross motor development. Service models from this department will include both pullout support in resource rooms, in-class aid, co-teaching along with the mainstream classroom teachers, curriculum modification, in-class accommodations, guidance for mainstream teachers, therapies, and the supervision of Learning Assistants (sometimes known as "shadows"), in some cases.
Do you have sports teams?
Yes we do. We belong to a group of schools called UCB (Unión de Colegios Bilingües - Union of Bilingual Schools) and we play football, basketball, rugby and volleyball. More information can be found here
All of my children will be in the same house?
The school House System was inaugurated at the Sports/Fun Day in June 2004. Pupils are allocated to Houses from Nursery. They stay in the House as allocated throughout their time at Colegio Gran Bretaña. All family members are put into the same House, i.e. parents, children, siblings, and cousins. If you don’t know what "Houses" are, just think "Harry Potter"!
Is there are a waiting list or are we likely to get in?
You are likely to get in. Certain classes might sometimes have a waiting list, but as mentioned before every year an average of 20% of our families are transferred. Therefore, a significant number of spaces usually become available at the end of the year.
Will our children get any Spanish instruction as part of their schooling?
One of our enduring goals is to offer a rich curricular experience in Spanish language and Colombian cultural studies, thus facilitating an appreciation and affinity for the host country. Spanish as a Second Language classes are scheduled in the regular timetable for non-native Spanish speakers, along with lessons in Colombian Culture. It is important to state that all students must have both Spanish and English in order to graduate with the Colombian High School Diploma in Year 13.
To what extent are current grade levels considered in placing students?
Every year an average of 20% of our families are transferred. 30% of our families are Colombians and 70% are foreigners. Therefore, a significant number of spaces usually become available at the end of the year. However, it is important to clarify that space availability must always be confirmed because spaces are held only once the Admission Process has been completed and matriculation has taken place.
Is French offered at the school, across the relevant grade levels?
French is taught to all students from Year 7 to Year 9. It is then an option for IGCSE in Years 10 and 11, and also as part of the IB Diploma Program (In Secondary). It is important to state that all students must have both Spanish and English in order to graduate with the Colombian High School Diploma in Year 13, so in this case French would have to be the Group 6 option
We will only be arriving in Bogota in the second week of August. How likely are you to have spaces available for the relevant grade levels at that point?
ODuring the first two weeks of August, we usually have many students arriving in Colombia and sitting their entry tests. However, we also have the option of sending the exams to their current school if the applicant complies with certain requirements.
What is the school’s daily schedule?
All students are expected to be in school by 7:15 a.m. in order to start the registration process at 7:25. (Nursery to Y2 classes will begin registration at 7:45 a.m.).
School departure times for all students are as follows:
Monday through Thursday 2:50 p.m. (buses depart at 2:55 p.m.)
Friday 2:00 p.m. (buses depart at 2:10 p.m.)
On the nursery quote, there is no price attached to lunch, is it optional for Nursery (which I understand is what some might call kindergarten) ?
Lunch is included in the Nursery fee.
What is the difference between the MYP - Middle Years Program (IB) offered by some schools in Secondary versus your methodology for Secondary school?
We began researching what would be the best fit for our school. We had begun implementing the International Primary Curriculum in the Primary Section - and this Curriculum had been such a success globally that there was a huge demand from IPC schools across the world for them to extend their curriculum into the Middle Years. At the time, the PYP and DP were both considered to be strong, but the MYP was often thought of as the weaker link in the chain. So after careful study, consideration and consultation, we opted for the IMYC. Why? The methodology is what makes it so wonderful - and we don’t think it is as prescriptive and "clunky" as the planning for the MYP. It allows us to use the methodology while still having the elements of the English National Curriculum that are needed to prepare our students for the International General Certificate in Secondary Education (IGCSE) and the space to be creative with our teaching and learning.
In years 10 and 11 students follow the IGCSE courses that result in the examinations being presented in the final term of Year 11. This then works as a great guide and bridge for their IB subject choices. (Ironically, we feel this is better preparation than the MYP).
Are there any international projects running in Secondary?
- We are very proud members of the Round Square organisation. You can find examples of what the Round Square does by clicking here.
- We are also part of the Latin American Heads Conference. This allows us to send student delegates to approximately two conferences a year.
- We take part in the biannual international INTERCAS projects in the Americas, and this year we were part of the organising committee for the national INTERCAS held in La Guajira.
- We have sent students to MUNs in the Bogotá area, and this year hosted our 6th MUN at CGB. You can see what they all got up to by clicking here.