In past months, my blog has focused on the grown-up pleasures offered by sunny Sotogrande; the grand Golf tournaments, tantalising Tapas bars, beautiful beaches and buzzing social scene. However, as the children shoulder their satchels and sharpen the pencils on their return to school after the half-term holiday, it seems only right that our focus turn to the younger generation.
Mention the word ‚Äėschool‚Äô and immediately my thoughts turn to the Sotogrande International School (SIS), standing proudly on the corner of the Sotogrande Alto and La Reserva urbanisations. Parents I‚Äôve spoken with have candidly told me that the award-winning institute was one of the key reasons they chose to settle here. Others have actually relocated primarily for the International School and have then been thrilled to find out just how wonderful living in Sotogrande is, after they made the move.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† The thing is‚Ä¶ when it comes to our children‚Äôs education, the choices we make are extremely important. Especially if you are moving your family from a settled environment into a new one in a foreign country. Making the transition as painless as possible is most parent‚Äôs priority. Luckily the Sotogrande International scheme offers not only first class teachers, but a truly welcoming multi-cultural atmosphere where every child is welcomed.
Founded in 1978, SIS moved to a purpose built fully-equipped architect-designed campus in 2001, situated in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. There, students from 3 to 18 years of age can study the International Baccalaureate Programme or the American High School Diploma. Over the years, SIS has built up on outstanding record of IB Diploma successes that in turn have led to university places for majority of students. Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC), the Spanish Ministerio de Educaci√≥n y Cultura and a full member of the European Council of International School (ECIS), SIS is one of the top ranked International schools in Europe.
SIS was originally founded as a British school for the Cadiz province but is also recognised as an American School by the Spanish Ministry of Education and prides itself on its international character, with over forty-six nationalities represented in the student body and teaching faculty. Although the majority of lessons are conducted in English, SIS recognises that their multi-national children need additional language support and this is provided in all areas. Technology is also important to SIS. As one of Spain‚Äôs two authorised Apple Mac schools, development of IT skills is paramount; which is particularly important in today‚Äôs increasingly tech-savy society.
Following a not-for profit ethic, SIS reinvests it‚Äôs profits into the development of curriculum support, non-academic activities and facilities. As a result, the school now has four campuses: the main teaching campus, a nursery school, a Boarding House for over one hundred students and an extensive sports area, supported by their own transport network. Entry is based on availability and with its growing popularity, SIS has recognised the need to expand and have invested funds accordingly to meet demand.
It is easy to lyricise about the beauty of Sotogrande‚Äôs rolling hillsides and wild beaches, the verdant green of the polo fields and the vibrancy of the bustling port. But really, when I truly consider the gems of our luxury town, I have realised that the real jewel in the crown is Sotogrande‚Äôs school.