Academic life

“The educator in Catholic schools, must first be very competent, qualified, and at the same time full of humanity, capable of being among the young people with his pedagogical style, to promote their human and spiritual growth”.

Pope Francis
13 February 2014

General principles

The primary focus of Agnes School’s educational philosophy is the development of true freedom that will enable our pupils to live a more complete human life, as opposed to the mere attainment of some technical skills or knowledge. This is understood by a “liberal arts” education; the root of the word “liberal” is the Latin word “liber,” meaning “free.” A liberal arts education increases one’s freedom, understood as the ability to embrace the Good, wherever it is truly recognized. It imparts the freedom necessary to join with the great minds of history, rising above one’s current situation and culture, to appreciate what is deepest in our human condition. Acquiring a liberal arts education is a life-long process; Agnes School strives to form life-long learners who have what the Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman called a “habit of mind” in pursuit of intellectual excellence and the contemplative life. An education at Agnes School involves the acquisition of excellent study habits which together with an enquiring mind form the basis of a life-long love of learning.

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A liberal education teaches, among other things, a respect for the proper and responsible use of words, a sincere spirit of enquiry and the recognition and appreciation of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. The fruits of a liberal arts education – a broad understanding of reality, clarity in thought, excellence in writing, and effective speaking skills – are of great benefit in higher education and crucially important to many professions, especially positions of leadership.

A vision of the world

The Agnes School curriculum is rooted in a perspective that sees the abundant goodness of the world, of all creation, as a fundamental governing principle; a perspective that sees the nobility and heroism of individuals in struggles throughout history.

This truth naturally leads us to reflect upon all the human riches of our past and the world of today as ways to discover God in the ordinary things, to know and “serve Him in and from the ordinary, secular, and civil activities of human life.” Agnes School will thus refrain from narrowly embracing one ideology, political agenda, philosophical school or approach to the rich drama of human history and thought.

Academic life

Bilingualism by immersion

Our schools provide its pupils with a bilingual education by immersion in either French/English (français/anglais) or French/Dutch (français/néerlandais).

Bilingualism provides high level of knowledge and motivation for the target language, cultural richness, a greater listening and understanding skills, intellectual awareness, concentration, vigilance and adaptability.

According to teachers and researchers; teaching integrated subjects in a foreign language requires, both from teachers, as well as pupils, a higher concentration to understand and correctly interpret the contexts and the finer nuances of the matter at hand. School inspectors have identified that pupils from bilingual schools have a better conceptual understanding allowing them to quicker grasp and understand the essential concepts.

At Agnes School the bilingual immersion follows the (approximate) schedule indicated here below :

bilingualism by immersion

Other advantages of bilingual immersion :

Development of intelligence :
It is easier for the brain to create neurological connections when it is familiar to a wider range of sounds and intonations as can be provided through an education in bilingual immersion.

Better auditory and phonatory capabilities: A young child can assimilate a whole range of sound acquisitions and reproduction methods. In a bilingual, as opposed to a monolingual, education these two phonatory references will be kept intact.

Cognitive benefits :
Better abstraction and concept making capabilities (thanks to exposure to linguistic and cultural interactions), stronger capabilities for treatment of information (finer and wider oral perception through stronger listening, focus, and vigilance), stronger intellectual adaptability, wider approach of creativity and thought.
Gives a child better knowledge of its own mother-tongue: Also known as “positive bilingualism” (Lambert).

It is widely accepted in the French Community of Belgium that pupils attending bilingual schools achieve better results.

Bilingualism by immersion

Partnerships

Agnes School has the support of two major players in the world of education.

Cambridge University (www.cie.org.uk)

Agnes School is registred as a Cambridge School. The Cambridge School network is the largest provider of programs and qualifications of international schools in the world.

The University of Cambridge’s mission is to support excellence and learning in our schools, working in partnership with us to deliver the best education possible to our learners. It provides a framework program and assessment tools and an access to many certified training courses.

Fomento de Centros de Enseñanza (www.fomento.edu)

Fomento promotes schools where parental involvement is considered essential. Fomento kindergartens, primary, upper and universities offers support for schools (pedagogy, education…).

Educational principles
Personalised instruction for excellence in education : each student is unique. In Fomento’s schools, the person is considered the center of the educational process. Personalised education is to target the maximum development of pupil’s capabilities and resources, with the help of his parents and teachers. An education that aims to acquire not only knowledge but the whole training people who can contribute to the betterment of society.

Collaboration with parents : parents, first educators. The purpose of these schools is Fomento assist parents in their responsibility as the first educators: to provide their children with a quality education. And for this, we believe it is essential that the family and the school share educational principles and act in a coordinated manner.

Christian Identity : the atmosphere within the school is inspired by a transcendent vision of human existence, and the principle of the dignity of the person feature of the Christian spirit. Since its inception the Fomento schools asked the Prelature of Opus Dei to help maintain its vibrant Christian identity.









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Fomento de centros de ensenanza

Nursery (2 years old)

Each child has a remarkable capacity for acquiring knowledge and skills in the early years and these years have rightly been called the golden age of learning.

The school welcomes children as from the age of 20 months at September, the 1st
Agnes School adopts a holistic approach to learning and considers creativity as a key component of all children’s development. We adopt a project approach, which is a child-centred teaching strategy, enabling us to integrate different areas of learning and promote the development of independence, acquisition of knowledge and problem solving and thinking skills.

The program takes into consideration the different stages of a child’s learning abilities thereby enabling them to develop both their qualities related to the heart and the intellect.
Children are able to follow what they are particularly interested in and are regarded as competent learners who are able to take an active role in their education. We provide a playful, yet meaningful, learning environment which generates enthusiasm for learning and allows opportunities for exploration and investigation. We provide a balanced curriculum with both child initiated and adult focused activities, which are carefully planned so children can reach their academic potential.

The program is divided into 4 areas of learning :

There are four Prime Areas which focus on the earliest experiences and are the foundations for learning: ‘Personal, Social and Emotional Development’, ‘Communication and Language’, ‘logical thinking’ and ‘Physical Development’.

These four areas are worked out throughout the following daily activities :

The Neuro-motricity program :
daily exercises (25min) foster a better neurological organisation thus reducing the risks of learning disabilities.

Musical auditions :
develops the capabilities of auditive and aesthetic reasoning. This facilitates the child to assimilate languages while at the same time also expanding their known sound spectrum.
Bits of intelligence: develops the child’s attention span and stimulate the memory, improving and expanding their general knowledge.

Corner work :
develops autonomy and social skills. More individual follow up is granted.

Graphomotricity :
develops the bigger and finer motricity in order to work on flexibility of the body and to work on pre-writing.

Logical games :
puzzles, sorting,… to prepare the brain for later mathematics.
Histories, songs, daily prayer, poems,…

Religion activity (weekly 30 min) :
awakening the faith in God.

Educating Values :
learning the sense of order, generosity, effort, responsibility, autonomy, happiness and optimism! We take a step by step approach to meet these objectives!
The partnership with parents, which characterises the Agnes School ethos, is especially important during the Nursery age. Good parent-teacher communication is crucial at this stage in a child’s education and the effectiveness and joy of early learning is enhanced when home and school work together
Our Character Development programme helps children to develop the human virtues and fosters children’s sense of right and wrong.

Practical information :

Nap :
after lunch the children take a (supervised) nap. Children don’t put pyjama.

Potty training :
ensured by the school in collaboration with the parents for those children who are not yet potty trained.
The Nursery is approved by KIND & GEZIN. The corresponding fees are therefore deductible for tax purposes.

Nursery Agnès School

Pre-primary (3,4,5 years old)

Each child has a remarkable capacity for acquiring knowledge and skills in the early years and these years have rightly been called the golden age of learning.

According to the languages chosen (FR/EN or FR/NL), the child receives a fully bilingual education through immersion.

Agnes School adopts a holistic approach to learning and considers creativity as a key component of all children’s development. We adopt a project approach, which is a child-centred teaching strategy, enabling us to integrate different areas of learning and promote the development of independence, acquisition of knowledge and problem solving and thinking skills.
Our program takes into consideration the different stages of a child’s learning abilities thereby enabling them to develop both their qualities related to the heart and the intellect.

The program is divided into 4 areas of learning
There are four Prime Areas which focus on the earliest experiences and are the foundations for learning : ‘Personal, Social and Emotional Development’, ‘Communication and Language’, ‘logical thinking’ and ‘Physical Development’.

These four areas are worked out throughout the following daily activities :

The Neuro-motricity program :
daily exercises (25min) foster a better neurological organisation thus reducing the risks of learning disabilities.

Musical auditions :
develops the capabilities of auditive and aesthetic reasoning. This facilitates the child to assimilate languages while at the same time also expanding their known sound spectrum.

Bits of intelligence :
develop the child’s attention span and stimulate the memory, improving and expanding their general knowledge.

Corner work :
develops autonomy and social skills. More individual follow up is granted.

Writing Dance (Graphomotricity) :
develops the bigger and finer motricity in order to work on flexibility of the body and to work on pre-writing. Activity with music and history.

Logical games :
puzzles, sorting, reconstruction of a history, … to prepare the brain for later mathematics

Language activities :
rhyming, sounds recognition, …

Histories, songs, daily prayer, poems, …

Religion activity (weekly 30 min) :
awakening the faith in God.

The Values development program :
learning the sense of order, generosity, effort, responsibility, autonomy, happiness and optimism! We take a step by step approach to meet these objectives!
The partnership with parents, which characterises the Agnes School ethos, is very important. Good parent-teacher communication is crucial at this stage in a child’s education and the effectiveness and joy of early learning is enhanced when home and school work together
Our Character Development programme helps children to develop the human virtues and fosters children’s sense of right and wrong.

Pre-primary (3, 4, 5 years old)
Pre-primary (3,4,5 years old)

Primary (from 6 to 11 years old)

The school follows a program whose aim is to lay the foundations for a child’s learning skills by giving them both an intellectual and moral education, an indispensable skill for their development as a person.

Programs intended to enhance their knowledge :

Stimulation of autonomy/independence :
To show autonomy/independence while learning, exercising personal liberty, taking on responsibility, working in a team

Cognitive development :
To learn structured thinking
Information and Communication Technologies: A computer room is at the children’s disposal

Working areas :
Stimulates personal creativity and initiative

Learning by discovering and research :
Researching the facts, developing hypotheses, presenting the conclusions
In addition to the physical exercise classes provided within the school, the primary classes also have two sport days per year.
The teaching of values is done by means of a detailed teaching plan, which aims at strengthening the will of the child which in turn helps it make choices that support the blossoming of its personality, its integration in society and its contribution to the common good. The child receives personal coaching thereby allowing a continuous evaluation yet at the same time letting the child find its own means to achieve its goals. These goals are not only successful studies but also success in society as a whole learning about order, work well done, self-respect, the respect of others, the spirit of initiative etc.
The schools’ educational program is developed on the basis of the official schooling programme of the Country’s French and Flemish communities as well as that provided by the Cambridge University.

Primary 1 and 2 (6 to 7 years old)
In Primary 1 and 2 bilingualism is taught according to the following (approximate) schedules:
70% Dutch/English (depending on your language choice) + 30% French
In the Primary 1 and 2 Department the class teacher takes all core curriculum subjects with specialist teachers taking Religion, Art, Music and Physical Education.
Language, Maths and World have a central place in the timetable. They are given in the target language (dutch/English).

The basic subjects : reading, writing and mathematics are given in the immersion language.

Children also have classes in French for :
Religious Education
Art
Music and Drama
Physical Education
We encourage a problem-solving approach and a keen awareness of the natural world. The children go on many excursions and benefit from outside speakers and visitors. Information technology is integrated into all subjects. We are able to offer an individualised teaching programme with differentiated activities. Remediation lessons are offered inside the school for those who need to ensure that they do not fall behind. By the end of their time in Primary 1 and 2 children will have received a thorough educational grounding and be well prepared to meet the challenges of the following Department.

Primary 3 and 4 (8 to 9 years old)
In Primary 3 and 4 bilingualism is taught in according to the following (approximate) schedules:
50% Dutch/English (depending on your language choice) + 50% French
Children have classes in the target language (Dutch/English) for Language, World (History, Geography and Science) and Drama.
They have classes in French for Language, Maths, Music and Religion. Art is given in French in the FR/NL class and in English in the FR/EN class.
Children also have classes in Physical Education.

Primary 5 and 6 (10 to 11 years old)
In Primary 5 and 6 bilingualism is taught in according to the following (approximate) schedules:
30% Dutch/English (depending on your language choice) + 70% French
Children have classes in the target language (dutch/English) for Language and Drama.
They have classes in French for Language, Maths, World (history, geography and science), Art, Music and Religion.
Children also have classes in Physical Education.
The academic work inevitably becomes more demanding as the children progress to the final preparations for Scholarship and Entrance examinations to secondary school. This is a gradual process for which the children are well prepared in the studious atmosphere of their own building. Children use the facilities of a library and ICT room to carry out any research they need to do.
So far, all students of Agnes School which passed these tests were successful without difficulty and with very good results, sometimes even excellent. This is despite the fact that they follow a bilingual education, with only 30% (2nd primary) and 50% (4th primary) courses in French. These tests are designed for students who attend 100% French instruction.
Our commitment, following our close partnership with parents, is to prepare children for the challenges they will face in their secondary education.

Primary (from 6 to 11 years old)
Primary (from 6 to 11 years old)

Music & Art

Particular importance is given to music and art at Agnes School. Music and art are spiritual and have great value per se with enormous power to change emotions, to unite, to provide a medium for the expression of feelings and so on. Within education, it offers many non artistic outcomes e.g. self-discipline, increase of self confidence and sense of performance, the ability to work with others. Ensemble playing encourages respect and positive attitudes towards peers, creating friendships across year groups. Music contributes to the children’s all-round formation by fostering listening and communication skills.

One of our main aims is to keep children enjoying music and art and thus develop a love for them. Our curriculum aims to educate the ear and eye of the child.

Music & Art

PE & Sport

Sport is of major important to the boys and girls at Agnes. They are taught gym and different sports (individual and in group). Girls and boys have different sport and gym sessions. Specialists in sport and physical education are in charge of this department.
Team spirit, competition and self-control are some of the values worked on during these lessons.

PE & Sport

Extra Curricular Activities

Agnes School offers a wide variety of Extra Curricular activities during lunchtime and after school.

Sports -  Football, Psychomotor, Multi-sports
Instrumental lessons - usually from Primary 1 upwards
Piano, Flute, Violin, Guitar, Cello, Voice – please enquire for others.
Musical awakening - usually from nursery upwards
Speech & Drama - from Pre-Primary upwards
Creative workshop - from Pre-Primary upwards
German Club - usually from primary 1 upwards

Contact : extracurricular@agnesschool.be

Extra Curricular Activities