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Bilingual
Primary School

Vale Verde Primary School is a happy and vibrant place where children are encouraged to become kind, respectful, independent, cooperative, confident and reflective learners and develop a positive attitude to lifelong learning. Vale Verde Primary School is proud to offer a bilingual curriculum whereby pupils follow half of their subjects in Portuguese and half in English following the UK National Curriculum. Core subjects of Literacy, Numeracy and Science are taught in English throughout the academic year. Started initially as a pilot scheme following research, culminating in a successful master’s thesis on the most effective way to promote bilingualism among younger learners, the concept of effective bilingual education has been implemented at VVIS.  From a very young age, pupils learn self-confidence by addressing and conversing with visitors, parents, teachers and classmates in many lessons in both languages.  By providing pupils with a wide range of experiences, responsibilities and skills, pupils acquire the necessary knowledge and understanding to help them to think independently and creatively in both languages.


By embracing the Estudo do Meio programme introduced by the Ministry of Education in Portugal and the Língua Portuguesa for foreign and native learners programme, bilingual teaching is divided 60/40 between English and Portuguese in Years 1 to 6. It is the only international school in the Algarve offering these proportions. Other subjects taught in Portuguese are Cozinha e Comida, Educação Física, Teatro, Cultura e Tradições, EVT, Artes, FPS/ER & Música.  We strongly believe that this bilingual approach will enrich pupils’ lives here in Portugal, and will enhance their capacity for learning additional languages later on. 


Portuguese teaching is primarily focused on the arts, culture and sports which provide progressive building blocks for non-native speakers, but also ensures that by the end of the Primary Years Programme, pupils should be well prepared for Portuguese tuition.

Please contact us for our Bilingual Overview for 2023/2024.

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Our Aims

Our aims are to provide the necessary experience and activities to help children to develop fully at the Primary phase, while helping them to become free-thinking individuals. We value independence, self-respect and self-motivation, and our curriculum provides children with the opportunities to develop these characteristics. We also promote a creative and practical approach to learning that encourages curiosity, is topic themed, stimulating and engaging with opportunities for cross curricular learning allowing children to see the ´bigger picture´.

Through our experienced and dedicated teaching team, our bilingual curriculum and innovative teaching methods, VVIS Primary aims to provide a broad and balanced curriculum developing the intellectual, emotional and physical potential of each child.

We provide quality education within a caring, supportive yet stimulating environment. We aim to develop a responsible community in which we celebrate by word and example the capability of each individual.  Through the highest teaching standards of care, encouragement and inspiration, we provide a challenging and engaging curriculum, which will develop each child’s maximum potential that will help to equip them for their lives ahead.

All pupils are valued as unique individuals and encouraged to work as a team and in turn will be encouraged to show respect to each other and to the community. Diversity is key at VVIS Primary. Everyone is included and listened to no matter what background, race or religion.

Our Goals

Our goal is that our pupils develop the following skills:

  • Ability to communicate in various social contexts and develop reading / writing skills in Portuguese and English;

  • Ability to conduct independent research and transform information into knowledge;

  • Ability to autonomously organize working methods at home and at school;

  • Ability to develop leadership skills and promote the values and attitudes of International Education;

  • Ability to cooperate with others and engage in social issues within the national and international community;

  • Ability to critically apply Scientific, Technological and Cultural knowledge to solve common issues;

  • Ability to evaluate choices and perspectives during problem solving;

  • Ability to maintain a healthy balance in life (hygiene / nutrition and physical activity);

  • Ability to stand up for human rights;

  • Ability to promote ecological awareness in daily routines and other social contexts

Secondary School

Vale Verde International School offers a wide and balanced curriculum based on the British Curriculum for our lower secondary, leading to the internationally recognised Pearson and Cambridge qualification of IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) and the ICE (International Certificate of Education), administered by the Cambridge Assessment International Exams.

The Secondary School ranges from Year 7 to Year 11 (ages 11 to 16). Intake is limited to eighteen students per class. This provides ample opportunity for students to receive individual attention, which has proved very successful and is evident in the high pass rate of students at VVIS.​

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​Pupils from Years 7 to 9 follow a common curriculum of English, Maths, General Science, which includes elements of Biology, Physics and Chemistry, French, Portuguese, Geography, History, Information and Communication Technology, Music, Drama, Art and Design, PSHE and Physical Education. From Year 10 Double Award Science – Biology, Physics and Chemistry combined – are introduced as well as optional subjects such as Business Studies, Global Perspectives, English Literature and Travel & Tourism being offered.

In Years 10 and 11 an option system is put into operation allowing pupils to “play to their strengths” while ensuring that they continue with priority subjects. Students study a selection of subjects throughout these two years and normally take a total of seven or eight subjects at examination level at the end of their studies to achieve the Pearson and/or Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) which receives worldwide recognition in over 140 countries.

Pupils following the IGCSE courses will take the following key subjects to examination level: (Optional subjects are offered subject to demand – minimum 3 students per subject).

Physical Education is a compulsory and timetabled non-examination subject for all pupils. Music is also on the timetable up to Year 9.   Many students who were unaware of their amazing talent, have discovered a love of singing or playing an instrument thanks to the availability of additional evening and weekend lessons. Vale Verde International School is an examination centre for ABRSM practical and theory examinations with an average intake of 25 students.

Increasingly throughout the school ICT/Computer Science is assuming the role of a means to learn and exercise other subjects as well as being an independent discipline in its own right.

The British curriculum with international adaptions throughout the Secondary years leads up to the Pearson / Cambridge Assessment International Examinations Advanced Subsidiary and Advanced Levels (AS & AL) examinations (Age 18) suitable for university entry.

Advanced Levels

VVIS offers a wide range of subjects at Advanced Levels.  Our aim is to ensure that all students are equipped with the motivation, self-discipline and confidence for a challenging world when they enter college or university.  From our side, we strive to give them the necessary support in applying to universities for places and offer guidance on personal statements, UCAS deadlines and subject options.

Advanced Level subjects are offered, depending on demand – a minimum of 3 students per subject is required.

  • Business Studies

  • History / Geography

  • Information Technology / Computer Science

  • Maths

  • Biology / Physics / Chemistry 

  • English Language & Literature

  • Portuguese

  • French

  • Art & Design

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Cambridge Assessment International Examinations and Edexcel/Pearson Board AS and A levels are recognised virtually everywhere in the world as a means to enter university.

In order to enter universities in England, students need to pass 3 Advanced Level (double) courses or 6 AS (Advanced Subsidiary) level subjects.  In Portugal, students have to achieve the equivalence of 12th year of the Portuguese education system, i.e. by passing the AICE diploma of Cambridge Assessment International Examinations.  This Diploma requires at least three Advanced (A2) courses or 6 AS level subjects from the three different curriculum areas: Maths/ Science, Languages, and Arts/Humanities.  Requisites differ between courses and students are advised to ascertain from their choices of universities what subjects are recommended.

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Why VVIS

Exceptional Quality

Located in the peaceful & serene Western Algarve

Full Academic Growth offering Years 1 to 13

Truly International School
with 26 Nationalities

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