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Founded in 1905 by the Congregation of Catholic Missionaries of Saint Francois de Sales, Institut Florimont is a modern international school located in Petit-Lancy, offering a balanced 21st century education for around 1500 students from 50 different nationalities.

Under secular management since 1995, the school provides a moral and spiritual education which draws inspiration from its Christian heritage and now welcomes students from many diverse cultures and religions.  

With a strong focus on language learning and a bilingual programme that starts from the age of 11, the school is accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) and Cambridge International Examinations. It is a founder member of the AGEP Geneva Association of Private Schools (the school headmaster, Sean Power, is the current President of AGEP) and is a member of the Swiss Federation of Private Schools.

Bilingual IB Diploma Programme
When knowitall.ch went to visit Florimont at the beginning of June, it came as no surprise to learn that the school is seeing a huge increase in applications from students for its bilingual IB Diploma programme. Launched back in 2014, its first cohort of students successfully exceeded the worldwide average pass rate with an 84% pass rate. By 2016 the school had fine-tuned the programme to achieve an astonishing 100% pass rate.  In 2017, the school trebled its intake for the course, with 55 students opting to study the IB Diploma - results to be announced shortly!

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Asked why he thought the IB diploma programme was proving so popular with its own pupils and new students moving into the area, IB Coordinator Rémy Lamon told us, “The IB has always been popular with universities looking for students with a rounded education, covering all aspects of the curriculum. Students know this and want to maximise their chances of getting on the best possible course available to them, not just in Switzerland or France, but all round the world including the UK and USA .  What makes our IB diploma special to students is the option to study in 2 different languages, so they come away with a bilingual diploma, which is very attractive to universities worldwide.”

He continued, “Whilst other international schools in the region do also offer the option to study for a bilingual IB diploma, this often only requires the student to study one subject at a second mother tongue level – typically French if they are naturally English-speaking.  With our strong focus on French teaching in the primary years and our bilingual immersion programme in the secondary years, we are able to offer students the option to study 2 to 4 subjects in English at IB diploma level…so students are confident to learn in both languages, and are fully equipped to apply for both English and French courses at university level!”

Other curricula
Whilst the IB diploma programme is gaining popularity at Florimont, it is important to note that the school also prepares students for the Swiss Maturité and French Baccalaureate programmes, both of which are popular with Swiss and French pupils, who make up 80% of the total student population. For the Swiss Maturité, there are 2 language tracks available: francophone and bilingual French/English.  You can find out more about these programmes by clicking here.  

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Language partnerships
When it comes to language learning, Florimont is certainly not limited to French and English. With 50 nationalities at the school, there are numerous opportunities for students to study their own mother tongue.  For example, the school has an active exchange programme which includes partnerships with some of the highest ranking schools worldwide, including the RenDa FuZhong High School, a prestigious Chinese state school that is currently ranked at the top of the school tables in China. Under this arrangement, pupils who are studying Chinese get the chance to exchange emails in Chinese, to take part in video conferences, and to participate in linguistic exchanges (going to China to discover the culture and attending the same lessons as their Chinese correspondents, who will then come to Switzerland). Teaching staff can also benefit from the partnership and spend a term in China.

Radio FLO
Another initiative which takes students out of their comfort zone linguistically and helps them to build their oral presentation skills is Radio FLO.  Run by the students, this is a 30-minute radio programme, which is broadcast mostly in French, but in English as well, on a special radio channel set up for schools in Suisse Romande, called www.radiobus.fm.  With no editing of content allowed between recording and broadcasting, students learn the importance of good preparation, how to think on their feet and, occasionally, manage a crisis should anything go wrong!

Rémy told us, “With topics ranging from politics and sport through to film celebrities and exam stress, students learn to talk and debate, effectively live, on a wide range of subjects. Everyone is involved, from around the age of 14 upwards, with each student getting the opportunity to speak for 3 to 4 minutes on their chosen topic.”

Learn More
Continuing on the theme of radio, Florimont’s Headmaster, Sean Power, currently has his own show on WRS, called Learn More. Broadcast on Mondays at 16h40, and replayed every day throughout the week, Learn More provides listeners with the opportunity to find out more about the wide variety of educational options open to children living in Switzerland. Tune in here to find out more.  

Institut Florimont
Avenue du Petit-Lancy 37
1213 Petit-Lancy
022 879 00 00
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
https://www.florimont.ch/en/

Radio FLO
Tune in 3 times per week:
Monday 0630
Wednesday 17h30
Saturday 20h30
Or download previous podcasts here:
http://www.radiobus.fm/podcast/radio-flo

Learn More, WRS
https://worldradio.ch/radio/shows/learn-more/

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