Is Kingsworth International Primary School a bilingual school?
Yes, it most certainly is. Unlike some other bilingual schools, we don’t teach English and French as subjects, rather they are the languages we use to deliver our curriculum. Language acquistion in both English and French is driven by total immersion; the way we have divided the curriculum, means that all pupils meet the needs of both the English and the French curricula. This division of the curricula means that any child can easily integrate back into any other educational setting, safe in the knowledge that they have the language abilities and the skills needed to continue their education.
What if my child doesn’t speak French? What if my child doesn’t speak English?
Remembering that every child within this age range assimilates knowledge and languages with ease, Kingsworth believes that given the support, the child-centred approach and the educational environment that we offer, challenging though the new language may be, they will find themselves very much at ease in a very short space of time.
How exactly are my child’s individual needs met at Kingsworth?
The method and rhythm used to work with each child is determined by that child’s native fluency. On arrival at the school, the language ability of each child is assessed and this is used by our highly trained and experienced staff to create a clear educational plan for each individual child. This is what we use to drive our planning and teaching within our bilingual curriculum, making sure that the lessons are tailored in such a way as to encompass every child and their individual educational, emotional and social needs.
Is admission to Kingsworth based on academic merit?
Kingsworth International Primary School accepts children without discrimination of gender, race, religion or nationality. Admissions in Primary School are based on an open policy and each applicant is considered after meeting with one of the Senior Members of Staff. The objective of this meeting is to determine how the child will benefit from the school curriculum and contribute positively to the school community. Admission at Kingsworth International Primary School is not exclusivley based on academic merit.
Does Kingsworth accept children with different educational needs?
Historically in education, this has been called Special Educational Needs. We believe that every child has Special Educational Needs because every child is Special and they all have a need to be educated. We take the approach that some children’s needs are more complex and they need different learning techniques and strategies, therefore we call this DEN (Different Educational Needs).
Enrollment of DEN children is considered on a case-by-case basis. Each DEN child is considered individually and based on the specific circumstances in which the child may benefit from Kingsworth’s international curriculum and dual language immersion – so the answer is yes!
If we can not accommodate a child with DEN, we will look at alternative education providers that we work with, in the hope of finding a suitable place for your child.
What is the difference between learning a language in the traditional way and your way at Kingsworth?
In a traditional school, children learn their mother tongue as a subject, and an additional language as a second language. In our programme, however, we teach neither English nor French as a second or separate language, but use them as the language of instruction, which leads to pupils being truly bilingual. This will enable them to integrate into any English or French speaking learning environment in the future.
Does learning two languages at the same time slow my child's progress, or make them confused?
No, in fact the opposite is true. Research suggests that receiving a bilingual education from an early age improves cognitive development. Dr. Pascual-Leone, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and his team have determined that ‘at a young age, young children have time to learn through play-like activities. Language lessons can be informal and children’s minds are not yet cluttered with facts to be stored and tested. Before children become self-conscious they can try out their newly acquired languages without fear of embarrassment’.
The Kingsworth programme covers all the requirements of the British curriculum at Key Stage 2 and the French curriculum as laid out by the French Ministry of National Education. We are confident that the children will leave Kingsworth fully prepared to integrate into any type of learning environment, whether the delivery be in English or French
Why is it important to learn languages from such a young age?
When children are young they are equated to being sponges and their brains are in essence ‘ready to be filled’. By teaching them in more than one language they are able to assimilate the information far quicker and become bilingual at an earlier age.
Research suggests that if you start to learn a language at 13 years of age, it will take between 3-5 years to gain any level of proficiency as well as the methodology being very different. However, if this process is started at an early age, not only should it take only 2 years to reach a high level of competency and proficiency but it is far easier.
Will my child mix words from both languages?
Inevitably this will happen; even adults who are fluent speakers in multiple languages mix words. However, we believe that even though this is a natural process it is also something that should be celebrated. By this we mean that a child who is mixing lanaguages is obviously showing an understanding of the languages that they are using.
We do however use strategies to combat the confusion that the children may have. The teachers who deliver the classes in English will only ever speak English to the children, and this is the same for the French speaking teachers. This way, the children identify the language with the teacher and reduce any confusion or conflict in the brain.
As children age and mature, their brains will develop a preference for one language over the other, generally the language they are instructed in. However, by them being immersed in a bilingual setting, the dominance of this prefered language is far reduced and they are able to communicate, study and work in both languages to the same level.
How do I enroll my child at Kingsworth International Primary School?
Before enrolling at Kingsworth, we encourage all parents and children to visit the school. This way you get a flavour of what we have to offer and see the excellent facilities and staff we have.
The actual application process is simple. Firstly, download and fill out our application form and send it to either firstname.lastname@example.org or post it back to us. Please note we also require a copy of your child's birth certificate, photo ID and a copy of their most recent progress report, where appropriate. There is no application fee to pay.
Once we receive the application, we will review it and inform you of our decision within a few days.
How do you report on my child's progress?
Because children gain the most benefit from close and effective communication between parents and teachers, both individual and group parent-teacher meetings are organised multiple times throughout the school year.
- One-on-one meetings are set up with each family once every trimester (3 per year). These are 15-minute sessions in which the child’s two teachers provide a résumé of the year so far.
- Group meetings are organised once during each school term (Kingsworth has a 5-term year). In these meetings, one of the two teachers presents the class’ ongoing work to all of the families at once. We encourage the children to present their work as we celebrate their achievements.
Finally, report cards are prepared and distributed at the end of each term (5 per year). The report cards reflect both an English and French style of reporting. They focus on a competency-based approach alongside a more detailed analysis of attainment.
Combined, these meetings and report cards allow for parents and teachers to meet on average once every 5 - 6 weeks throughout the school year. In addition, Kingsworth with its open-door policy means that at any time during the year parents are more than welcome to drop in and discuss matters on an ad hoc basis; we see the parents as part of the Kingsworth family as much as the children.
Where would my children go after Kingsworth International Primary School?
The way that our curriculum is structured and the way that we immerse the pupils is a truly bicultural, bilingual and international education setting meaning that they can go anywhere!
We work closely with you at the end of your child's time at the school to try and find a suitable Secondary school that we believe would match the needs of your child. Alternatively, you can apply to enter the Kingsworth International Secondary School (preferance for places to the Secondary School is given to children who apply from the Primary in the first instance), and continue your child's educational journey within the Kingsworth family.
We are of the firm opinion that after seeing the way our primary works, the curriculum, the staff and the ethos we have, you will choose to stay part of the unique Kingsworth family that we have created.
So, I have read all the information, what is Kingsworth really like?
Kingsworth International School, primary and secondary, was set up to be different. Different in the sense of being unique. We hold academic rigour and success at our heart but we also hold nuturing, guidance and growth in the same esteem.
The staff are approachable, with no appointment needed to talk to someone, the Headteacher's door is always open for parents to drop in for a chat, to raise a concern or indeed to offer praise to the school. We have a fantastic Parent Association who support the school in everything we do; they offer advice on how to improve the school and they are involved in the planning of events etc.
The Kingsworth Schools offer a challenging education that is truly focused on the needs of the child and how to help them achieve their best, with a sense of accomplishment, of fun, and of belonging, which underpins everything that we do. You are more than welcome to come and see the school in action, talk to the current staff, pupils and parents, and experience what Kingsworth can offer your child.