Curriculum Overview

Early Years and Primary

Across our campuses, our Early Years and Primary schools share a common pedagogical vision - inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to learning - which sees the child as the chief architect of his or her own learning, with teachers and assistants acting as facilitators of learning. Building on the vision of every child as a competent researcher, teaching teams foster his/her curiosity and inquisitiveness about the world around them. Learning is focused on big, universal concepts and every learner is challenged to be an inquirer, part of a research community: asking questions, proposing hypotheses, and carrying out the investigations and research to find answers.

Each of these “units of inquiry” is designed to enable transdisciplinary learning, based on the premise that the ultimate demonstration of learning is when skills can be practically applied and transferred to different situations. Core academic skills like reading, writing and numeracy are studied and are also embedded in the unit of inquiry, and students are naturally exposed to the key concepts of the arts, sciences and humanities subjects through their research.

All students in Primary benefit from Physical Education, Music and Visual and Performing Arts, often taught by specialists, and Design Thinking and Information Technology skills are seamlessly blended into the daily learning experience. As a bilingual Foundation, we ensure that all students are exposed to both English and French, at different levels depending on the campus and programme chosen. At Campus des Nations the primary language of instruction is English, although all students receive several hours of French per week, whilst at La Grande Boissière and La Châtaigneraie families can choose from either an English-dominant or French-dominant dual-language programme. Extensive support is available for learners who are new to either English, French or both.

Both Campus des Nations and La Châtaigneraie have chosen to use the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP), which is taught in over 1650 schools across more than 100 countries worldwide. La Grande Boissière's curriculum, the Universal Learning Programme, develops Character, Passion, Mastery and Collaboration. It has been developed with UNESCO's International Bureau of Education. All our Primary programmes reflect the central values and mission of the school.

Children at play photo

Middle Years

As students progress beyond Primary, the same learner-centric, inquiry-based approach applies, although there begins to be a clearer demarcation between distinct academic subjects. All students continue to study English, French, Mathematics, Science, Visual and Performing Arts, Music and Physical Education.

On all campuses, as of Year 7, students are asked to choose a third language (from Spanish or German), to complement the English and French which are compulsory for all students. The three sciences - Biology, Chemistry, Physics - are also mandatory, and are taught as part of an integrated science programme, and all students study Humanities (History and Geography,  also referred to as “Individuals and Societies”). 

At the Campus des Nations, which offers the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme from Year 7 to the end of Year 11, all students also study Design, which focuses on product and digital design through the use of the Design Cycle, and includes both computer-based and traditional designing and making techniques such as woodwork and construction. The other campuses teach Information and Computer Technology courses, which include many of the same skills, as well as digital animation and filmmaking skills, and digital literacy and citizenship.

All subjects are available in English on all three campuses, and different French language options are available per campus.

Curriculum by Campus

Different paths for Secondary

One of the main advantages of Ecolint’s scale and our three-campus set-up is our ability to offer different routes to higher education for our older learners. No matter where students start their journey at Ecolint, internal transfers between campuses make it possible for students to switch campus, and programme, based on their objectives for further study or the world of work.

La Grande Boissière

La Grande Boissière offers all high school students the possibility to study towards the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), which was invented at Ecolint in the 1960s and is now the world’s most widely recognized school-leaving certificate. In addition to the subjects offered through the Middle Years, High School students can specialize in one of the three sciences, and choose to study Philosophy, Economics, Sports Science or Dance as part of their Diploma, with most subjects available in either English or French. All students sitting the IBDP have to select six subjects, which must include two languages, maths, one science, one of the humanities, and an additional optional choice, as well as study Theory of Knowledge (TOK), participate in a Creativity, Action and Service learning programme (CAS), and submit an Extended Essay as part of their final assessment.

La Châtaigneraie

La Châtaigneraie offers students the choice of either an anglophone route through their final four years, which combines the globally recognized International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) with the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), or the francophone route of the Maturité suisse.

Students opting for the anglophone route typically study nine subjects at IGCSE level in Years 10 and 11, from a selection of English Language & Literature, French, Spanish, German, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Information and Computer Technology, History, Geography, Art, Theatre and Music. Regardless of whether they take the final exams, which are optional, all students must study English, Maths, French and Physical Education plus one science subject, one humanities subject, and one arts subject. Additional subjects from the list above can be added, subject to timetabling possibilities, based on the student’s plans for the IBDP.

In Years 12 and 13, students choosing to study in English select six subjects for the IBDP, which must include two languages, maths, one science, one of the humanities, and an additional optional choice, as well as study Theory of Knowledge (TOK), participate in a Creativity, Action and Service learning programme (CAS), and submit an Extended Essay. In addition to the subjects offered at IGCSE, which are all available at IBDP, students can also choose to study Mandarin Chinese ab initio, Business & Management, Economics, Environmental Systems & Societies, the Nature of Science and Computer Science.  

Students who are sufficiently proficient in French can opt to study for the Maturité suisse throughout Years 10 to 13. The Maturité Suisse is the national school-leaving qualification of Switzerland, with all students studying twelve subjects. Holders of the Maturité are guaranteed entry to any Swiss university, independent of grades and of subject choices, and the qualification is recognised by higher education establishments in many other countries too.

Maturité students sit Part One exams at the end of Year 12, which include Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), Humanities (Geography, History) and Visual arts. At the end of Year 13, students sit Part Two exams which include French, a second Swiss national language (Italian or German), English, Mathematics, a ‘specific’ option (Visual arts or Economics & Law or Biology & Chemistry....) and a ‘complementary’ option (History, Geography, Mathematics or Physics in French; Philosophy in English). The majority of our students opt for the ‘Maturité bilingue’- a bilingual examination in which certain subjects (History, Geography and Philosophy) are taken in English. Similarly to the IB, candidates also have to write a 4000 word extended essay on a topic of their choice known as the ‘Travail de Maturité’. They undergo a viva voce exam on this extended essay as part of their Part Two oral exams.

Campus des Nations

After their MYP in Year 11, students at Campus des Nations can opt for either the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) or International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme (IBCP) in Years 12 and 13.

The IBDP requirements are the same as for the other campuses, with students choosing two languages, maths, one science, one of the humanities, and an additional optional choice, in addition to the compulsory Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Action and Service learning programme (CAS), and Extended Essay. Subject options available are: English Language & Literature, French, Spanish, History, Geography, Economics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Nature of Science, Psychology, Theatre, Art and Film.

Students opting for the IBCP have to choose either Visual Art or Business Studies as the specialization of their course. They will study for a Business & Technology Education Council (BTEC) Level 3 professional qualification in the specialization, and choose an additional two subjects from the options offered for the IBDP (see above). IBCP students are also expected to complete a community and service component, an Approach To Learning (ATL) course, continue language development and carry out a personal reflective project which teaches them to identify, analyse, critically discuss and evaluate an ethical issue arising from their career-related studies.