What are the best international schools in Belize – part 2. Part one is here.
International schools in Belize
International schools can be an ideal solution for expat students (heads of multinational corporations, children of diplomats, NGO staff) in Belize. There may be a local population, but the schools are designed for international students. Schools generally follow the curriculum model from the US, UK, France, Canada, or Australia / New Zealand. Initial instruction can be in any language (and is usually taught in multiple languages), but it is usually taught in English, French, Spanish, German, or Japanese.
Many schools around the world provide similar teaching standards, ensuring easy transition between schools, whether in France or Vietnam. Schools often provide internationally recognized accreditation such as the International Baccalaureate.
Admission and other procedures are different which depends on the school. Seats are often limited and preference may be given to students of nationality. Tuition is generally expensive according to local standards but offers high teaching standards, smaller class sizes, first-class facilities, and extra-curricular activities. Some schools have boarding schools, but most of them only offer daytime classes.
The Belize school system is a loose collection of educational subsystems. As a rule, based on the British curriculum, it is divided into three levels: primary education (8 years), 6 standards, 4 forms of secondary education. Education in Belize is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 14 to complete primary education. Primary education is free, but associated costs such as school uniforms, textbooks, and annual tuition fees are a financial burden on poor families. The increase in the number of international schools is a response to the relocation of a number of expatriate families to the country.
The CoIS (Council of International Schools) is a non-profit association of international schools and higher education institutions that provides educational accreditation, recruitment of teachers and service leaders, links to higher education, management assistance, and assistance in starting new schools. Quality Schools International (QSI) is a group of non-profit international schools offering instruction in English.
QSI International School of Belize
QSI International School of Belize is part of Quality Schools International, a private, global, non-profit international school system. QSI Belize opened in August 2011. It offers high-quality education in English for preschoolers, elementary and high school students. The warm and welcoming school and community create the ideal environment for quality education.
It provides an aesthetically pleasing environment, thoughtful teaching, and the best resources and technology for our classrooms. As the only international school in Belmopan, it serves the students whose families are associated with embassies, government and non-governmental organizations, international companies, foreigners, and local families.
Almost every five-year-old comes to school to study. Quality Schools International (QSI )’s mission is to support this commitment to learning from every child in QSI schools. The QSI schools are built to provide quality English-language education to students in the cities they serve. These students are children of parents of many nationalities who have come to another country, usually with a limited stay of one year or more. A number of students can be either permanent residents or citizens of the country.
The schools follow a logical educational model that measures success by the achievements and attitudes of its students. They believe that all of their students can succeed, that their successes motivate them to continue successful lifestyles, and that schools are responsible for creating the conditions for success. These conditions include:
1) developing clear and measurable statements of what the student will do in order to demonstrate mastery of the teaching,
2) providing the time and resources that each student needs to achieve mastery, and
3) ensuring that learners participate in learning at a level that is challenging but at the same time a level at which each learner has the necessary skills needed to succeed.
The school believes in creating an aesthetically pleasing physical environment under the guidance of caring staff who believe their students will succeed, and who use time with students as a resource for studying rather than an obligatory thing to determine when the learning time begins and ends. They believe in the need to provide resources such as books, teaching materials, and educational technology. In today’s world, children need to learn how to use computers and related technologies as tools for many tasks.
Finally, they believe in working with parents to encourage their students to internalize the qualities of life that lead to success long after formal schooling ends. These include generally accepted “success orientations”: reliability, kindness/courtesy, responsibility, independence, concern for others, group interaction, and aesthetic appreciation.
Peninsula International Academy in Belize
Peninsula International Academy is redefining excellence in Belize by innovating and bridging inequalities. PIA is committed to empowering students to understand the world around them and their talents so that they can become fulfilling individuals and active, compassionate citizens.
Real-world learning, student voice, and a recommendation system are part of what makes PIA an innovative student-centered school. The school combines Belize and Common Core education standards.
PIA prides itself on being part of South Stann Creek Sustainable Development by providing cheap or free tuition to 1 in every 3 of their Belize students, providing teacher training, and offering Belize education leaders the opportunity to share their student-centered practices.
PIA offers a student-centered environment with hard work of students focused on mastering core academic content, supported by project-based learning, with multiple opportunities provided for critical thinking, work, and collaboration. Personalized learning with a credible score is provided through relationship-based one-to-one learning.
As a small, multi-level, alternative school, PIA is a useful resource for improving the educational climate in their peninsula and in the wider community of South Stann Creek, Belize.
The students engage in project-based learning and receive a credible assessment with an emphasis on learning in the real world and in the real world. Moreover, effective teaching methods are associated with faster and more equitable economic growth, more inclusive and cohesive societies, and social transformations.
The shared mission is to energize the potential of learners, schools, systems and education through learner-centered learning in the real world. In short, they are activists at the individual, school and national levels.
At PIA, culture is not a means to an end, but an end in itself. There is tangible trust, respect and equality among students and adults. Students take on leadership roles in the school, and teamwork defines the culture of adults. Visitors are amazed at the ease with which students communicate with adults.
Part 3 is here.