What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
St Nicholas School
In what town or city is this school located?
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
What grade levels are represented at this school?
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
Walking and train is unlikely!
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Facilities are OK. There are science labs, two libraries, 3 ICT labs, a basketball court (outdoor), a synthetic pitch, a yoga room, a small hall where performances take place, a sports hall, and dining area, where food is served for free.
There is also a tuckshop.
The classrooms are of excellent quality. They aren't especially very large, but they're above average.
There are projectors, computers, and all that modern technology in practically all classrooms.
What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home
country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?
We joined in the middle of the year so it's hard to say...
We came from the UK to Brazil straight away, and it's not very new in terms of what the kids learn, however, there are some differences.
There are certain things that the school has that really are of benefit. For example, students whose native languages are Spanish, Hebrew, Japanese, Portuguese, or Korean at St Nicholas can take lessons in those languages. They study that native language to IGCSE and IB Diploma level, which I think is excellent and really beneficial to students, since if they ever return to their home country they will have studied their language up to a certain level at school abroad, so they won't have forgotten their mother tongue.
That's one of the best things I can say about the school. StNich is also thinking about offering more languages at native level, such as French or German. So I think that really helps with repatriation, and it makes the school even more international.
Also, Brazilian students in the seniors follow the Brazilian Studies program, which basically teaches (in Portuguese of course) Brazilian social studies, (history and geography mostly) to prepare students for Brazilian higher education if they wish to continue their studies at university level for example, in Brazil.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
There is a PTA (Parent-teacher association) that I do not know much about.
I think they help with school events a lot though, especially at events like International Day, a day celebrating the diversity of the school and offering opportunities for students to gain an insight into another culture.
We also celebrate national events like Festa Junina, and I think the PTA plays a large role in this.
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
It's not a bad school.
To have a sort of general overview of the curriculum: at St Nicholas there is a mix of the British, international and Brazilian curriculum. We follow elements of the British National Curriculum, (Key Stage 1, 2 and 3), and elements of international curricula (International Baccalaureate) and elements of the Brazilian National Curriculum (Ensino Fundamental and Ensino Medio).
In the seniors students take internationally recognised exams, which includes the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB).
It is a small school though, which is beneficial too. Everything is a little tight, but there's still more than enough space for everything. There are separate spaces for eating, playing, studying, performing, relaxing, sport etc. no worries, but in comparison to other schools it is quite small, for example Graded, another international school in Sao Paulo, is very large.
However, I do not think that because of this Graded is a better school.
St Nicholas is very good, and I would recommend it.