Q+A: Carlsbad International School
Carlsbad International School (CIS) in the Czech Republic is a university-preparatory school offering the IB Diploma. Here the school answers our questions and gives Winter's readers a virtual tour…
What do you do to help children settle in?
We have a Student Orientation period at the beginning of school to get students settled, and acquainted with their surroundings and expectations.
How old is the school?
CIS was opened in 2014.
How many students do you have?
We have 75 students.
What accreditations do you have?
We are accredited as an IB World School.
What assessments are required to enrol?
We have a student application with essay questions, and we ask for transcripts and teacher recommendations before an interview.
What facilities do you offer? E.g. sports, music, arts
We have a 5-acre campus and our sports facilities are in the surrounding area within a short drive. The closest facility we have is a 14-clay-court tennis club, which is 100 yards from campus.
Why should I send my child to your school?
You should send your child to CIS so they can experience challenging academics while in a fantastically diverse, tight-knit community, situated in beautiful surroundings in the heart of Europe.
What curriculum do you follow?
We follow the IB Diploma curriculum.
How have you adapted the curriculum to suit your location/country?
Our curriculum includes using the surrounding Czech countryside as inspiration in the themes of science, social studies, literature and art.
How large are the classes in your school?
On average there are 10 students per class.
What is the background of your teaching staff?
Our teaching staff have varied international backgrounds from several countries.
What is your teaching philosophy?
We believe every student has a large part to play in his or her education. We do not just give our students facts and figures ‘on a plate’. Our students learn how to learn through problem solving, active contemplation and practical activity. We teach them to think, reason, debate, investigate and inquire.
Do you offer a wide range of trips?
We have week-long Cultural Trips twice a year where students get to know another city somewhere in Europe.
We also offer trips every weekend.
Do you do much work in the community?
Our students get involved in local events such as the local triathlon and marathon. Students can also teach English to local children.
How can you ensure continuity if my child moves between countries?
A number of our students and faculty staff have moved quite far to come to CIS. All students have to adjust to a new environment when they arrive, but with all of the shared experience, there's a collective understanding that we are all here because we want to grow.
How do you support pupils who are struggling, and how do you challenge the more able?
We provide extra help during evening Study Hall, and extra tutoring for those who are struggling. Those who need more of a challenge are provided with extra project prompts. For instance, in our Technology class, one student was prompted to create promotional films for the school to test his film abilities.
How are pupils with English as an additional language supported?
Students are enrolled in EAL classes and can receive additional tutoring as well.
What languages do you offer?
We offer Spanish, German and Czech.
Do you have a mother tongue programme?
We have a mother tongue programme through the IB Diploma.
How do you actively support students in maintaining their mother tongue?
Students have a tutor to support them through the programme.
How often do parents receive written reports?
Parents receive bi-annual reports.
What opportunities exist for parents to speak to their child's teachers should they have any worries or concerns?
Parents meet teachers during Student Orientation at the beginning of the year but are also welcome to request to meet with a teacher during the school year as well. This has to be arranged directly with the teacher.
What extra-curricular activities do you offer?
We offer over 30 activities per season, including theatre activity, team and individual sports, horse riding and skiing.
What musical instruments can children learn at your school?
Students with musical pursuits are encouraged to select music lessons as an after-school activity, so they can continue to practise with a music teacher.
Do you offer the Duke of Edinburgh Award?
We offer the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award.
Do students have the opportunity to participate in Model United Nations?
We offer MUN as an activity, and students have the opportunity to attend conferences in neighbouring countries such as Germany and Poland.
Do you have a cafeteria?
We have a dining hall called Friendship Hall, named in homage to the 19th century riverside café that used to stand on campus.
Do you have a wide range of food options?
We have a wide range of options for students, including vegetarian options and a varied salad bar. We are able to cater for students with dietary requirements, such as gluten-free. Students are provided with snacks in the mornings, afternoons and evenings.
Do you have a ‘House’ system?
We have Family groups where about ten students are grouped with two to three faculty 'parents'. Families are intended to be groups made so kids get to know other students they might not get to know otherwise, and provide a safe environment to discuss issues that students may wish to share with an adult.
How do you tackle bullying?
Our Dorm Heads are the first point of contact for dealing with disciplinary issues. They would discuss the matter with the victim and approach the bully before overseeing a joint discussion to stamp it out.
What leisure opportunities are available for students who are boarding?
Students are able to relax in recreation rooms in their corresponding dorm. There they have videogames and can watch movies. We also have space to play ping pong and table football. During weeknights, they can go to the gym before Study Hall. At the weekends, there are opportunities to attend social trips to a variety of places and events, such as sporting events, concerts, city centres and historical sites.
What are your medical facilities like for students who are boarding?
We have a nurse's office with a quarantine room with beds to sleep in should a student fall ill. Our nurses are always available to our students.
How often can boarders come home for the weekend each term?
Boarders are encouraged to go home on the two extended four-day weekends after Cultural Trips in the autumn and spring.
All images: Carlsbad International School
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