The Victor Hugo School – Pioneering Bilingual Education in France
The Victor Hugo School

A holistic approach towards education is of paramount importance in today’s era. The modern lifestyle and technological advancements have made young minds more agile. The young generation has adapted to technology quite well and it’s evident that the future generation will be innately be born with the similar qualities.

Hence, in order to be better equipped to cater to the educational needs of these children, the educational institutes need to become resourcefully able. They need to be proficient in imparting knowledge in a dynamic way. Staying up on its toes with a similar notion mentioned above, The Victor Hugo School is setting a benchmark in facilitating multilingual education in Paris, France.

The Victor Hugo School, initially known as EIB Ecole Internationale Bilingue (Active Bilingual School) was established in 1954. EIB then, as a group focused on the early learning of English for the children from the age of three. After 1987, EIB as The Victor Hugo School has been offering its students the opportunity to learn English in full immersion while benefiting from one hour of French-language instruction per day. “Our goal is to nurture 21st century, globalized learners who are prepared to face the challenges of the 21st century,” says the staff of the Victor Hugo School.

School’s Approach

EIB has been celebrated for its academic excellence (100% success rate at the French Baccalaureate, including 94% with honors). Its active learning approach and teaching methods are based on benevolence and high standard requirements. With exclusive teaching methods that have been approved and acclaimed for more than 60 years, EIB private bilingual school welcomes about 3,000 students with more than 70 nationalities, from Preschool to High School.

The project of EIB – The Victor Hugo School is based upon three key points:

  1. As mentioned before, the school has a focus on early learning of English from the age of three. This approach is derived from three landmark pre-requirements:
  • Groups of skill tuition
  • Qualified native language speaking teachers
  • Small class policy to support the learning process of the students
  1. Providing students with a multilingual and international environment. As a partner of UNESCO, EIB’s multicultural, plurilingual dimension is continuously promoted in its teams and students, thanks to a unique teaching trait. This trait includes Small-size Immersion Classes and Spanish or Chinese classes in small groups for the school’s students who wish to start learning these languages from Primary school.
  2. Placing the child at the heart of knowledge. Its all thanks to the tailored teaching methods designed for the needs of every child. That’s why, from the middle school itself, maths is taught in various groups to enhance the skills of students.

EIB-The Victor Hugo School welcomes students from Nursery to Grade 12. Students enjoy daily language lessons and have the opportunity to enrich their learning with music, art, drama, and technology know-how. “Our students come to us from 6 continents and over 70 countries,” states the staff of EIB. Students speak English among themselves, but also meet other students who share their mother tongue.

Diversity & Curriculum

“Our Pre-School and Primary students follow an International Cambridge curriculum focused on thematic units that engage our children’s curiosity and help them discover the world around them,” shares the staff of EIB. This can be best described as an example where, a unit on Egypt could have students learning about irrigation, seasons, and agriculture in science, while the pyramids become the base for learning volumes in math. The junior high school students follow the MYP curriculum of the International Baccalaureate (IB), (where EIB is a candidate school), while it’s Grade 11 and 12 students follow the IB diploma program. These two programs are rigorous and prepare students to enter prestigious universities worldwide. The IB curriculum as a whole encourages critical thinking and allows students to make connections between the curriculum and their own lives.

All of the students learning at EIB are from international backgrounds. They have all lived abroad or arrived from bilingual/bicultural households and have parents who are foreigners. This innately refers to the notion that the school has an incredibly warm and welcoming community as the students get to experience differences that makes the school’s contribution visible from the early stages itself.

“We constantly celebrate this diversity by integrating students’ home countries into class projects, asking them to make connections between what we study and how things are at home,” explains the staff of the Victor Hugo School. One such example is when studying ancient Greece, each student is asked to present the mythology of their home country. Additionally, the school holds an annual international day when students can wear traditional dress and share food from their home countries.

With Globeducate

They all form close relationships with teachers and classmates due to the small class sizes, and through the orientation trip that begins in September every year. They are also involved in student council and Model UN activities long with traveling the world during the school’s famous Globeducate events. The Globeducate network of schools has announced its partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. Through this partnership, EIB will be able to lead different projects to help its students become motivated about recycling, climate change, and science.

Additionally, through Globeducate-sponsored events, the school wishes to motivate students in the idea of learning and performing orchestra, choir, and Model UN practices. As students travel internationally to attend Globeducate events, it proves beneficial for them because they get to meet children from other international schools.

What’s More from EIB?

We are currently expanding our after-school activity program, but students can currently join English and French language workshops, coding, and violin classes, and tennis and golf lessons,” describes the staff of the Victor Hugo School. Annually, it celebrates International Book and Copyright Day, the school’s International Day, and Colors of Autumn Festival.

Students from Primary also get the chance to participate in student councils which hold monthly assemblies to award students of the month and make other announcements through skits and PSAs. Moreover, the school has divided its students into four houses and often hold house competitions, in order for them to gain points and be recognized as the winning house at the end of the year. “Our students benefit from having two university counselors who help prepare them for life after EIB,” informs the staff of the school.

These counselors, also teachers at school, know each of the IB students and are better able to orient them as they explore their options for higher education. The school often invites speaker parents to school for presenting students with various career options and give them insight into what to expect from, and how to enter into certain fields.

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