A World of Opportunities

In our multilingual setting, students attain fluency in several languages and gain official English, Latin, Spanish, German and Mandarin certifications. An invigorating bilingual education contributes immensely to young people's personal, social, academic, and professional development. It prepares them with the advanced communication skills they need to thrive as confident linguists who can expand their horizons wherever they choose.

Our language programmes are delivered by highly qualified and committed native and bilingual teachers. Each member of the teaching team is well-equipped to offer an effective pedagogical approach that prepares children for the University of Cambridge certifications and other international language diplomas. Students gain a vast vocabulary and confidence in speaking, listening and reading. They also develop idioms and cultural references to bring their conversational skills to life.

St. Peter's follows the strict guidelines issued by the Portuguese Ministry of Education by teaching the official curriculum across all divisions and stages and enriches it by expanding the study of other foreign languages. Additional activities, overseas excursions and immersive language study supplement the official Portuguese curriculum.

Primary School

During the Primary School years, St. Peter's International School strives to maintain the high standard of education achieved in Kindergarten while also ensuring consistent and systematic preparation for subsequent educational cycles.

A particular emphasis is placed on the learning of foreign languages. In this phase, we expand and enhance the curriculum for English Language and Latin, offering students the opportunity to obtain certifications in these subjects.

The main objective of the English Language subject in Primary School is to develop speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. This development is supported by the expansion of a comprehensive and varied vocabulary, as well as the consolidation of basic grammatical concepts. The English Language programme in Primary school also integrates Drama and Performance, as well as English Literature. The introduction of these subjects is designed to provide comprehensive preparation for our students to obtain external certification from the University of Cambridge.

New students who join the school from Grade 1 onwards undergo a diagnostic test to assess their proficiency level in the English language. This assessment enables teachers to determine strategies to support the development of the necessary language skills for the student's integration into the class. If the student's proficiency level does not align with the level being taught, pedagogical differentiation strategies will be applied. They will also receive a range of measures to support their integration and learning. They may receive pedagogical support through individual lessons or in small groups.

“LATIN: Initiation to Language and Culture” is offered as a mandatory Primary School course in Grade 3. By integrating this subject into the Primary School language curriculum, students gain awareness of etymology and Latin's reflection in modern languages. Teachers guide students through the first stages of the Latin course with a methodology adapted to their age group. Children discover the mysteries of the Ancient World and its perennial influence in a forty-five-minute class each week.

Junior School

Throughout the two years of Junior School, language instruction becomes increasingly significant. In this regard, we enhance the English language curriculum and introduce the study of a third language, which can be either Spanish or Mandarin.

Thanks to our native or bilingual teachers, we provide a more authentic language experience, along with insights into cultural nuances that arise both in and outside the classroom. By the end of this cycle, students have the opportunity to obtain certifications in English, Mandarin, and Spanish.

Our Junior School places great emphasis on English language development to create a bilingual profile for our students. Our dedicated teaching team provides an extensive and rigorous curriculum that aligns with the national curriculum.

Our cohesive teaching team, comprised of native or bilingual teachers, ensures a comprehensive approach to English language learning and cultural understanding both inside and outside the classroom. We believe that English Literature, Drama & Performance are vital areas of study, enabling students to explore Anglo-Saxon culture through classic and contemporary works.

For new students entering Grades 5 and 6, we administer a diagnostic test to assess their English language proficiency in reading comprehension, use of English, listening, writing, and speaking. This evaluation helps us determine the appropriate level of integration and identify strategies to support their language development. These strategies may include individualized work in small groups, increased pedagogical support sessions, and differentiated teaching methodologies.

Students can choose to study Mandarin Chinese, the world’s most widely spoken first language. Throughout the course, students will learn how to communicate in Mandarin, both orally and in writing. Students will prepare for the HSK Chinese Certification in partnership with the Confucius Institute. The course also touches on aspects of Chinese culture, including calligraphy, festivals and traditions, and is taught by our mother-tongue Chinese Mandarin teachers.

The teaching of the Spanish language begins in Junior School and continues through Middle School. It is included in the Curricular Matrix of these educational cycles as a complementary subject.

Middle School

At the end of each academic year in Middle School, students will have the qualification required to successfully take the University of Cambridge international certification exams. This culminates in Grade 9 with the F.C.E. (First Certificate in English).

In addition to English language classes, instruction continues in Spanish and Mandarin, and there is an introduction to the German language, for which we also offer certification.

The streaming method is used for the English subject in Grade 9, allowing students to be placed in groups that align with their language proficiency level. This enables them to prepare for the international certification exams in English.

The Middle School English Language course continues to play a crucial role in our curriculum. Students are encouraged to develop their multilingual skills through an extensive and rigorous curriculum, which is structured and linked to the established national curriculum.
Led by a cohesive pedagogical team, our course provides a demanding and comprehensive structure. We emphasize the development of oral skills, English Literature, and preparation for University of Cambridge certifications.

To ensure the best learning experience, we have introduced the Streaming methodology specifically for the English subject at this stage.

What is Streaming?

Streaming is a method that groups students based on their language proficiency level, rather than their cognitive abilities. By placing students with similar language needs together, we enhance their learning opportunities. This approach allows teachers to address the specific requirements of each group, such as appropriate learning materials, language complexity, feedback, and assessment criteria aligned with international frameworks.

English groups are formed based on the following criteria:

• Cambridge certification level and results
• Linguistic progression and individual needs
• Diagnostic test (Oxford Placement Test) for students without certification or those who recently enrolled
• Preparation for the University of Cambridge certifications with a focus on specific skills for each level.

By implementing Streaming, we ensure that students receive tailored instruction and support to maximize their language learning and overall progress.

The school provision “LATIN: Language and Culture” is compulsory and classes are forty-five minutes per week in the 7th and 9th grade and ninety minutes per week in the 8th grade. It is a continuation of the work started in Primary school. The students begin, during this stage of learning, to have a more enlightened knowledge of the language. During this stage, they take the University of Cambridge Latin exams, depending on level of proficiency. The students study millinery works such as the Iliad of Homer and the Aeneid of Virgil, giving them access to a very rich literary universe with a vast influence on world culture.

Due to the linguistic and cultural ties between Spanish and Portuguese and the fact that the learning of the language began in Junior School, the expected performance level in Middle School is considerably higher than that of Foreign Language II (German). For all the learning stages of Middle school, the skills have different levels of performance.

DELE Exams - Cervantes

In addition to the Spanish language classes included in the Curriculum Structure of Middle School, students can optionally attend extracurricular classes to prepare for the DELE Examinations of the Instituto Cervantes and have their language skills certified and accredited internationally, from level A2 to level C1.

To continue building multilingual skills, all students in Middle School have German in Grade 7 as a Foreign Language II course.
In addition to the German language lessons included in the curriculum, students can also attend extracurricular classes to prepare for the German Language Examinations and have their language skills accredited. The partnership between the Goethe Institut and St. Peter’s International School enables us to offer students the possibility of getting a German language certification at levels A1 and A2.

Secondary School

Given the school's emphasis on the development and acquisition of advanced foreign language proficiency, the secondary school prioritises the continuity and growth of language skills while providing a thorough and systematic preparation for higher education.

All students in Secondary School have the opportunity to enhance and certify their language skills in English, German, and Spanish. They can obtain official certificates issued by renowned institutions such as the British Council, Instituto Cervantes, Goethe-Institut, and Confucius Institute upon completion of the respective exams.

St. Peter’s International School prepares its Secondary school students for all levels of examinations of the University of Cambridge (University of Cambridge ESOL: English for Speakers of Other Languages Exams), from the First Certificate in English (level B2) until the Certificate of Proficiency in English (level C2).

In addition to English classes, our students have the possibility to attend Exam Preparation Classes for the different levels of Cambridge exams: FCE, CAE and CPE, at levels A1, A2, B1, B2 and C1. These sessions take place after the curriculum lessons and allow students to acquire a more advanced certification of their level of English.

We are proud to be recognized as a fully accredited British Council exam preparation centre, serving not only our students but also as the primary exam centre responsible for administering the majority of Cambridge exams in the Setúbal area.

“Classical Studies” begins in Grade 10 and ends in Grade 12 for all scientific areas. The programme and teaching materials have been designed and developed in collaboration with the CLENARDVS Association: Promotion and Teaching of Culture and Classical Languages, a partner of the Directorate General of Education, and the Centre of Classical Studies of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Lisbon.

This subject is compulsory, with a weekly duration of forty-five minutes. The course offers students dual certification: a diploma in the field of Classical Studies and the University of Cambridge Latin exams, which are highly regarded by international and national universities.

Over the course of these three years, students explore ancient works such as Oedipus Rex, Antigone, Oresteia, Metamorphoses, and others. Through these classes, students embark on a journey through classical culture, gaining insights into etymological roots, cultural influences, and scientific advancements that have endured for centuries and remain relevant to this day.

Committed to nurturing our students' multilingual abilities, St Peter’s provides not only Spanish classes but also offers the opportunity for students to participate in preparation classes for the Cervantes - DELE exams. These additional sessions, held outside regular class hours, enable students to attain a higher level of certification in Spanish, ranging from level A2 to level C1(*). The DELE diplomas hold international recognition and are highly esteemed in both public and private educational institutions, as well as in the business world.

(*) Based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

Through the partnership between the Goethe Institut and St. Peter's International School, we provide our students with an additional avenue to gain and strengthen essential language skills by obtaining German language certificates at levels A1 and A2. These certifications can prove invaluable in their academic and professional journeys. As a result, students have the option to participate in extracurricular classes specifically designed to prepare them for the German Language Exams. By attending these sessions, students can have their language proficiency certified and internationally recognized.

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