International Montessori School in Sotogrande
1. Why should I choose IMS for my child?

Maria Montessori believed that early education was crucial to the future school and employment success of students. More and more research has proven to support her beliefs. Building a strong early and elementary foundation is paramount to ensure that your child will not only be a confident student but a happy one. IMS provides support for you as parents and for your child to successfully develop into the kind of global citizen that will be highly valued in the future: capable, confident, creative, collaborative and caring.

2. How does your curriculum compare to the Spanish traditional schooling?

IMS is a progressive school whereby students participate in their own individual learning path, setting goals and having choice in how to achieve learning objectives whilst encouraging rigorous academic achievement. IMS has an ‘inquiry-based’ learning approach where students explore big questions related to their lives that encourage curiosity, creativity and collaboration. Not all students learn the same objective at the same time but may be learning under the same enquiry  area. Students are encouraged to take risks and acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses as well as celebrating differences. Their progress is evidence-based and shared with parents. They are taught  through a dual-language bilingual  approach which provides a literature-rich environment for both English and Spanish language acquisition and learning. In addition to academic subjects,  digital learning (technology), arts, music, yoga, life-skills and mindfulness are integrated into the program to educate the whole child.

3. Will my child become bilingual? 

At IMS we approach language learning from both a language acquisition and language learning perspective in a ‘dual-language bilingual’ approach. This means that teachers provide necessary vocabulary and learning activities in both English and Spanish and approach language in a more organic way than traditional schooling. A rich and balanced bilingual environment promotes the transfer of language knowledge and deepens our students’ core language skills as they progress through their early language and emergent literacy learning. This gives them a strong bilingual language ability in both their languages of learning.

4. How do students transition to further education in the future?

In a ‘learning-focused’ school such as IMS, students develop a strong ownership of their own learning targets and trust in the process of learning. These skills provide a confidence and a love of learning that is very transferable to other learning environments. International students gain valuable intercultural and language skills and have options to choose further education in Spanish or English, locally or abroad, traditional or progressive schools as they are flexible, capable, motivated and independent students. In today’s mobile world, international education best prepares our students for the future.

5. How can I be involved with my child’s education?

At IMS we encourage a ‘learning community approach’ where parents and teachers, along with the community are partners in the education of our students. Communication is encouraged and IMS frequently invites parents to participate in workshops, committees or activities related to the school programme. Parents are provided with ideas and information to engage their children in the topic of enquiry and to support their learning at home.

6. What is the class ratio?

At IMS we surpass local Spanish regulations and provide child to teacher ratios that are aligned with international school standards. This means our students get a lot of care and attention from our staff.  At IMS in the very early years we have a 1:6 staff to baby ratio; in Children´s House a 1:9 staff ratio and a 1:12 staff ratio in the Elementary school.  Each group contains a mix of ages which benefits the individualised approach and encourages students to develop as they are ready. 

7. How does a Montessori classroom work with mixed age groups?

In the Montessori classroom, children experience a consistent three-year cycle with their guides, age group & the classroom environment. This is a critical element of Montessori and allows for a stable, safe and strong community to grow. This cycle also allows a connection to develop between the guides and their students. One of the many benefits is it allows guides to clearly understand how each individual child learns best and to introduce the most appropriate learning experience at exactly the right time for the child. It also gives children the experience of being the youngest, middle, and oldest of the classroom and the responsibilities that come with those roles.

8. What types of assessment do you use?

At IMS students develop at varying speeds and levels according to their ‘readiness’. Learning is individualised and personalised wherever possible. Tracking and assessment tools, along with frequent parent-teacher or student-parent conferences open the discussion of progress through an evidence-based approach.   We use Montessori methods and then assess children against ‘The Common Core Framework’ which determines the child’s progress according to international standards.  This innovative approach means that parents can measure their child’s success in multiple ways. 

9. Do you support children with SEN?

IMS is an inclusive school. As all children work at their own pace, this enables us to support both children who are highly motivated and gifted, as well as children who may need extra guidance with learning or emotional support. Children with learning difficulties  can progress at their own pace without feeling left behind. 

10. Do you offer extra curricular activities?

We offer a breakfast club, after school care, extra-curricular specialist activities and workshops for parents.

11. What kind of meals do you provide?

At IMS our onsite kitchen prepares fresh, healthy food for breakfast, lunch and snacks and we can meet any special dietary requirements that your child may have.  Our food provision is an important part of our food literacy programme which includes growing, preparing, tasting and understanding all aspects of food. Therefore, it is compulsory as part of our school program. Additionally, health and food safety regulations require that the school is the sole provider of food to the students to limit cross contamination and issues such as allergic reactions.

12. What is the school´s Covid protocol?

During these unprecedented times, the school has put into place the following protocol:

  • Unfiltered masks must be worn by all adults and children over 6 years of age at the entrances and exits of the school.
  • On entering the school, families should line up and maintain a safe distance from each other whilst temperatures are taken before the children enter the school.
  • No guests may visit the classrooms, and parents are asked to vacate the building as soon as possible after dropping off their children.
13. What happens if my child is ill?

In the event of a life-threatening emergency, we will take the child directly to the Humanline emergency room which is located at Sotomarket. A staff member will contact the parents so that the person on the team who accompanied the child to the hospital can meet them there. We will only use this measure in a life-threatening situation because we believe that, in general, it is preferable for a parent or guardian of the child to take the child to the doctor. We will always contact the parent in the first instance if a child is feeling unwell.