Today we were off and running to the International School of Moscow. This school is located right next to the Olympic center housing two campuses. One building houses Reception to year 3. For those who need North American translation this means preschool to second grade. Year four (third grade) and older are housed in a separate building. The buildings are an easy two minute walk apart. If Munchkin One should attend this school he would take Russian and French. Both are compulsory ( translation-mandatory). Hot lunches, uniforms and golf are also compulsory. I love that we currently live in a place where a major golf tournament is played every May; golf courses surround every housing community yet we come to Moscow where they must play! A bus is provided for the students. If your child can not be assessed in person prior to enrolling, they will enter the school on a conditional basis. They have one term to prove they are capable to doing the work. This school appears to be very regimented and follows the British System to the letter.
The next school we visited was the British International School. This schol also has two campuses, not within walking distance of each other. The younger grades, Nursery (preschool)through Year 2 ( 1st grade) are housed in one building. The rooms are bright and colorful. The playground is extensive-lots of play things. The older grades ( year 3 which is2nd grade through graduates) are housed in another building. Warm lunches are provided as well as a bus. Russian language is compulsory. Each class has one main native English teacher and a bilingual assistant, speaking English and Russian. Uniforms are not required. The older children go off campus to a gym on the bus. The younger children stay in their building. Older children go to a room to eat lunch separate from their class. Younger children eat lunch in their classroom. We met with the Head Teacher, Betty Watson. I have tried to keep my personal opinions to myself with regards to the schools, trying to give only facts if someone is researching. With that being said, Betty absolutely loves her job and the children. She is Canadian and has been the Head person for both schools since 1997. She is a talker! But boy can you see a difference in her and this school compared to all others. It is evident she loves not only what she does, but the children. This school may not adhere to rules strictly (not a bad thing), but it is so nurturing! There is room for the students to grow and it is ok if they make mistakes.
For those wondering what the difference between the American system and British system...there is one main difference. American children fall behind there British counterparts. The British Schools are more advanced. For example, in both schools, the kindergarteners are enter able to read (not just sight words), but real books with real words...lol. Additionally, the children are doing double digit addition and subtraction. Year 2 children, which is what Munchkin One would be in this year, should be able to do fractions. Both schools are willing to help the children catch up. I get the impression the British School of Moscow is more flexible with this as Betty said if she needed to move the kids to different years, up or down, she would. However, I believe this is why our children would enter the International School of Moscow on a conditional basis. They need to prove themselves.
After touring schools we visited two housing locations. The first, Beregoyvaya, is located next to the Anglo American School. They are size able apartments with a children play area. A mini bus is provided to 3 metro stops. The buildings look very European on the outside with beautiful detail work. Accommodations on the inside are modern. I have included a link-not sure if it will work. This link is not the apartment we saw, but it gives you an idea. Housing options are categorized as Stalin Era, Western or Modern.
Next we went to Aliye Parusa. This is a large apartment compound with 5 tall buildings. It is right on the river with a yacht club. Very high level executives who require much security live in these buildings. We were told the companies Samsung and LG will only place their employees in these buildings. Side bit of gossip-I have also heard that many Russian men keep their mistresses here. Nice to know, huh? There is also a gym, pool and spa on premises. However, you must join this facility. It is not included in the rent price. To join the gym/pool it is 67000 rubles per adult and 34000 rubles per child. This complex is about a 10 minute walk to metro, grocery and shopping mall. A link has been
We have made a decision as to which school we would like our children to attend. Tomorrow we will tour additional housing options. We also have plans to met up for diner with Diamond Lady and her hubby for dinner.