Sotogrande International School - IB school in the South of Spain



I was lucky to find another school in Spain with International Baccalaurate program. Every year more and more families turns to my Agency in to require about schools with program in English in Spain. Not surprising, since schools in Span are much cheaper then in Britain and most of international schools in Europe and children feel very comfortable to study there. In addition, many families often spend holidays in Spain and familiar with this country finding it safe for their children to study there. I fully support parents in choosing a secondary schools in Spain and now I want to share my interview with a representative of Sotogrande International School, which is considered as a school with great potential for our families. The school offers a full IB program cycle – from Junior to Middle Years Programme and Diploma Programme and has  developed innovative sports program, something I have not seen before, at least in Spain.


L: Where Sotogrande International School is located?

R: the School is located in the South of Spain, 1.5 hours drive from Malaga airport, 40 minutes takes you to Marbella.

L: How long the school has been teaching International Baccalaureate?

R: Since 2000 when the school received the right to teach the Diploma Programme. Now children follow IB already from 3 years of age. Foreign students come to us for boarding form the age of 11 to join Middle Years Programme (MYP). 80% of teaching conducted in English but the children are learning Spanish as well, so it is easier to adapt here. If to speak about Russian-speaking students (at the school there are about 10%), they can study Russian as a native language. For them there is a separate subject – Russian language and literature, which takes place 2 times a week. The school also has A-level program in high school for the kids who come to our sports program as it's too much to do sport program plus IB.

L: What percentage of students of other nationalities? How many foreign students study in school?

R: 30% are Spanish students, 30% are British. Less of Germans, Russians, Italians. In total we have  44 nationalities, which are 70% of all students. Our school is large – 940 students. But that's including children from 3 primary school but half of our students are in high school.


L: Many of my clients want to come on the last year of the MYP, is it possible to enter Sotogrande International School in 14-15 years?

R: Yes, but we will require a high level of English, as the program is already complicated and there is only one year left before the graduation program.Student's equivalent to IELTS English should be minimum of 5.5.

L: You said that pay a lot of attention to the study of Spanish language? Would the child still have time to learn Spanish in school if comes to study in 15?

R: I think so. Foreign students often share the room with Spaniards, therefore, can communicate in Spanish both in school and in their free time. We also have many extra-curricular activities where they can speak in both languages.

L: do you Offer Spanish as a second language in the diploma programme?

R: Yes. Children can not even study English at IB, they can take Spanish and Russian. But all subjects are taught in English anyway.

L: What other IB courses do you offer?

R: Geography, history, biology, disciplines in the arts, drama, music.

L: How are things with sports?

R: I have already mentioned, we have a new sports program that allows children from the age of 14 to continue their studies at school and play sports at a professional level with our sports partner school. The purpose of this program is to obtain an athletic scholarship and enroll in an American University. We have 3 sports to offer in this program: golf, tennis and football. Kids play sports in the afternoon and study basic disciplines in  MYP program. When they go to high school athletes take 3 subjects at A-level and continue to train sport. This is a new program we launched it last year. A-level costs 10% cheaper than IB but you have to pay sport school separately.

Now there are 11 students taking this program,doing tennis, golf and football. But the school has other sports sections. For example, there are horse stables and some of our students do horseback riding, but it is not included in our sports program.

Sotogrande International School is interesting for its established IB program. Also because of the thoughtful curriculum graduates will be proficient in Spanish and continue learning Russian which will undoubtedly be useful for a career in the future. I like their sports program. Parents have repeatedly asked me for a recommendation of a good school with develops children in sports. The opportunity professionally play sports and combine with A-level is a great advantage for those kids who focus on sports in high school.

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