France has long-excelled in early education… from the continuity and stability of a national curriculum to having defined standards as early as 2 ½ years old (versus 5 years old in the US) and requiring the same level of qualifications for teachers in preschool as in 5th grade. This is why the French curriculum is at the heart of our curriculum in Early Childhood/Maternelle and Lower School, and then expanded upon in the Middle School to form one core curriculum — delivered in five different languages.
Fully accredited by the French Ministry of Education and authorized by the International Baccalaureate (IB) from preschool through 8th grade, FAIS is also accredited by the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS). This unique learning environment helps prepare our students for high school and beyond by combining the small class sizes and strong academics of a private school with the long-term benefits of the French curriculum, IB, and language immersion.
FAIS uses play-based inquiry in a nurturing French immersion learning environment as a springboard to the IB Primary Years Programme for preschool through 5th grade. Maternelle (Cycle 1 in the French curriculum) is the early childhood section of FAIS and includes Toute Petite Section (TPS: early preschool for 2 ½ year-olds), preschool, prekindergarten, and kindergarten.
FAIS uses the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme as a framework for delivering the five pillars of the French curriculum: language to think and communicate; methods and tools for learning; personal development and citizenship; natural systems and technology; and understanding the world. This serves as a foundation for the more structured, systematic learning in Middle School.
FAIS uses the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme as a framework for delivering one core curriculum in all 5 language tracks: English, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish. Building upon the foundation established by the Lower School curriculum, the Gilkey International Middle School curriculum focuses on collaborative and transdisciplinary learning to prepare our students for high school.