British Primary School

At our British Primary School in Madrid, we offer a nurturing educational environment where primary students explore, discover and grow academically and personally. With a pedagogical approach focused on holistic development, our highly qualified team of educators inspires a love of learning; fostering key skills and promoting academic excellence.

At International School of Madrid, we are committed to providing our students with a solid foundation for their future, nurturing curious minds and building solid foundations for their future success. To this end, as required by law, Primary at our British school consists of six years, which can be divided into two stages.

Key Stage One

5 – 7 years of age

In Years 1 and 2 of Primary we follow the English National Curriculum. We build on the firm base that children have received in the Foundation Stage and provide pupils with a broad and balanced curriculum that allows them to become confident and enthusiastic learners. The curriculum favours a practical and creative approach and encourages children to understand how their skills can be applied to real-life situations.

Each child has a native speaking, British-trained form Teacher, who aside from being responsible for their pastoral care, teaches pupils English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Art, Design & Technology and PSHE (Personal, Social & Health Education). In addition, pupils are taught by specialist teachers for Physical Education, Music, Computing and, if chosen, Religion. All pupils also receive, as required by law, a daily lesson of Spanish (Lengua y Literatura).

Key Stage Two

7 – 11 years of age

In Years 3 to 6 we continue to follow the English National Curriculum and, from Year 5 upwards, begin teaching French. Pupils continue to be taught by a native speaking, British-trained form teacher for most subjects, including English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Art, Design & Technology and PSHE. Pupils receive lessons from specialist teachers in Physical Education, Music, Computing, French and, if chosen, Religion. As required by law, pupils receive a daily lesson in Spanish (Lengua y Literatura) and weekly lessons of Cultura Española (which explores aspects of Spanish history, geography and culture not covered by the British curriculum). Pupils who are new to the language take Spanish as a Foreign Language classes instead of Cultura.

Great emphasis is placed on the contribution of each individual to school life. This is primarily concerned with the child’s contribution in class, but in Key Stage Two the children also begin to participate in team colour events and the Student Government. All children benefit from the regular assemblies prepared by each class. In turn these offer invaluable opportunities to gain confidence in language skills in front of an audience and offer a forum for sharing ideas and experiences.

During Music lessons, all pupils are taught to read music and to play instruments, including the recorder, guitalele and keyboard. Several opportunities for public performance are provided each year, including at the annual Christmas Show and Musical Evening, both of which take place in nearby theatres.

In addition to the regular PE classes, all pupils in Key Stage Two receive swimming lessons at a nearby pool. Pupils in Years 4 to 6 are also taken to nearby pitches and tracks for sports and athletics practices. ISM is part of a group of ten local British schools which compete in regular football, basketball, cross-country and athletics competitions.

At the end of Key Stage Two, just as in England, Year 6 pupils take the National Curriculum Tests (SATs). At ISM, these are externally marked. Our pupils do exceptionally well, outperforming their UK counterparts. For example, most recently, 98% of ISM students achieved the expected level or above in Mathematics (compared to 76% in the UK), 93% of ISM students reached the expected level or above in Reading (compared to 75% in the UK) and 95% in Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (compared to 78%).

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