Jeddah International School: Creating Global Citizens through American, French Baccalaureate, and International Curriculum-based Education
Jeddah International School (JIS)
Jeddah International School (JIS)

Our quest for presenting The 10 Best International Schools in Saudi Arabia, 2020, took us to the city Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. There we found the Jeddah International School (JIS). Established in 1999, the School holds various accreditations. Some of these include the Middle States Accreditation of colleges and Schools and Cognia accreditation (earlier AdvancEd).

Mr. Tarek Alharazy, a visionary personality, founded the school and steered it towards prosperity. Commenced with merely 13 students at the time, the school now guides 1800 students.

At JIS, students come from 45 countries whilst the staff stand for more than 30 nationalities. The school serves both the Anglo and francophone communities in Jeddah. It runs a complete French Baccalaureate program from Maternelle to Terminale. It also runs a complete USA Diploma program from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

The Commencement

Mr. Alharazy conceptualized the idea of the school, realized it, and nurtured it to the present stage. All of this is the direct result of his commitment and perseverance. He also cites his ability to assemble a capable team, readiness from professionals, clear direction, resourcefulness, devotion, and passion to bring the school into its current position.

Further, Mr. Alharazy solicited and established a good working relationship with stakeholders. The school-parent and stakeholder partnerships make relationships supportive. Herein, the staff and stakeholders work together to improve student learning. Alongside this, the partnership encourages the right and workable types of parental involvement in JIS. Hence, a healthy relationship and mutual understanding exist between both the parties.

Mr. Alharazy is indefatigable and exudes a dynamism that baffles those who interact with him. He is also a personality who gives impetus to an institution that works.

Student Life at JIS

JIS’s students experience the right school experience which is free of discrimination and harassment. They all receive the same opportunities, experiences, and privileges, without prejudice to one’s: race or cultural background, country of origin, skin color, religion, gender, age, mental, or physical disability.

JIS imparts quality and a well-balanced education that propels the whole student. Students select from an array of activities from, students’ organizations, clubs, and whole school events to be a part of. In class, students have a variety of choices in the programs to suit their skills and interests.

Apart from the selection of USA type education versus a French type education, students get to do more. Besides the curriculum, the choice of courses in high school makes a JIS student ready for any career. Students can opt for any of the ten Advanced Placement (AP) courses and 100 University of Nebraska online courses. They can also select for the French Baccalaureate program course.

A Detailed Curriculum

Let’s look at the school’s programs in detail:

English High School

A four-year grouping where all grades and classes are subject-based with one specialist teacher. The teacher guides in Language, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, P.E., Computer, Arabic and Islamic Studies, and French. The coursework helps students to receive credits for each completed year of study. They can carry it forward to the award for JIS High School Diploma accredited by MSA and AdvancED.

English Middle School

A three-year grouping where classes are subject-based with one specialist teacher per subject. The teachers instruct in Language, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, P.E., Computer, Arabic and Islamic Studies, and French.

English Elementary School

The Elementary section (ages 6 to 11) builds on the work and activities already introduced and developed. Herein, a solid foundation in speaking, writing, reading, and mathematics prepares students for academic success. Hands-on activities including learning experiences help students to understand concepts and ideas before the introduction of abstract symbols. It also develops an elevated level of confidence and competence in all curriculum areas for all children.

All classes are home-based with one main teacher instructing in Language, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. The academic program uses an integrated day, thematic approach to cover the subjects. Specialist lessons are also taught in P.E., and Computer, Art, Arabic and Islamic Studies, and French. The school takes full advantage of the tradition, history, and culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through regular educational and social excursions.

English Kindergarten School

This is a thematically organized structured play program. Here, students get the opportunity to socialize, play, and grow with other children. The program is flexible, and a favorable environment caters to learning and personal growth. Students are motivated to develop skills, attitudes, and knowledge. Later, this provides for participation in the higher total school program, under each student’s ability.

French High School

High School (Lycée): 3 years (Grade 10, 11, and 12)

Here, grade 10 students choose a progressive high school specialization. In the end, the students choose a cycle of studies. On one hand, it is the preparation of a general scientific baccalaureate ‘S’. On the other, an economic and social ‘ES’. The terminal cycle leads to a JIS High School Diploma and prepares students to take the French Baccalaureate exams. This exam is necessary for any registration in higher education in France.

French Middle School

Middle school (College): 4 years (Grade 6, 7, 8, and 9)

A four-year program, where students learn special subjects. The aim is to prepare students to pass the French National ‘Brevet’ exam.

French Elementary School

Elementary (Primaire): 5 years (CP-CE1- CE2- CM1- CM2)

It involves reading, writing, learning of the French language, and the main elements of mathematics. All courses contribute to the acquisition of the common foundation of knowledge and skills. The training awakens the personality of the children, stimulates their development, and self-esteem. It also caters to the esteem of others and contributes to their emotional development.

French Kindergarten School

Here, the training develops curiosity, desire, and the pleasure of learning and prepares the kids for the basic learning of the elementary school.

Further, there is an After School Care Program. It allows students to interact among themselves and school teachers in a relaxed atmosphere. Students, here, get opportunities to increase their academic achievement by one-to-one re-teaching and/or homework assistance.

A Diversified Culture

The school program includes social studies as a mandatory curriculum area for all students. In addition, most items on the school’s activities calendar promote global awareness and a focus on international contemporary issues. These relate to health, nutrition, culture, international organizations, sport and games, the environment and scientific and technological achievements.

Some of the calendared opportunities that promote global awareness and understanding of diverse cultures and lifestyles include:

  • International Week
  • Francophone Week
  • Model United Nations (MUN) Week
  • Diabetes Week
  • World Peace Week, etc.

Diversified Career Opportunities

The students use Career Awareness/Exploration inventories and tools such as;, Career Cruising, Strong Interest Inventory, Focus, and Myers Briggs Type Indicator. These are self-paced, online, interactive career guidance systems and help students to assess their interests, skills, personality, and values, and explore majors and careers.

Word of Mouth

Here’s what the graduates of JIS have to say about the school:

“JIS made a doctor of me”– Dinnah Alharazy, Medical doctor, KAU

“I went to NYU, thanks to the foundation I received at JIS” – Ward Hejazi, NYU

“As a current Miss Africa Utah, I can never take for granted the formation I received at JIS” – Fatoumattah Barrow, Miss Africa Utah 2019

“The confidence received in some of my JIS clubs propelled me through my first auditions” – Racha Yessouf, Digital marketer, Hilton UK

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