More than just a school.jpg

More than just a school


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THE ESCOLA International de São Lourenço (EISL) in Almancil has seen its fair share of change since being established more than 15 years ago.

It was originally set up to teach some of the displaced children from Prince Henry International School after it closed down at the beginning of the 90s.

Today, the school is booming and there are plans to move to new, spacious premises in the next two years.

The Resident went to the school to discuss the latest developments with teachers and sixth form students.

EISL has changed. Where it was once dominated by British children, it is now has children from many countries around the world. The sixth form, year 12 and 13, has 23 students studying for their A-levels, a course which was not taught at EISL until 1999. Pupils now have 16 A-level subjects to choose from.

Each sixth-former has an individually designed timetable and is given a number of free periods in which to study or complete coursework, as well as help younger members of the school community with their work.

Both student and teacher benefit from individual attention – teachers get to know the students and pupils are not afraid to ask for help or share their fears on a scholastic as well as personal level.

Strong friendship bonds are forged even after the students leave and it is common occurrence for former pupils to come back and visit EISL.

The school can never be described as isolated. Many international schools around the world can struggle with creating a balance between being international and being part of the country where it is based.

Community outreach programmes and charity events are constantly being held at EISL, many of which are organised by the pupils themselves. Recent activities included a weekend spent with a group of orphans from Olhão at an adventure park.

Students are encouraged to join the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme where students complete community services among other tasks. Many students at EISL have completed their bronze and silver awards.

Last year, every member of the sixth form was accepted into the course or university of their choice so, there are high hopes for this year’s graduating class.

The naturally kind and encouraging environment of the school instils a sense of respect and generosity in the children.