15 May 2016, Jo Parkes
Why is the school unique?
The school was created three years ago by Isabelle Faulkner, a Canadian lawyer, and myself, a teacher and Belgian national. It started with the primary, in Portland Place.
After two years, the school was oversubscribed and we decided to extend and add a senior school, three minutes’ walk away.
EIFA is popular with international and local families. Some couples have to move out of the area because there aren’t any nurseries for their children, so we are opening ‘Little EIFA’ on 30 August. EIFA is the first school in the UK to offer an all-through 18 months to 18 years bilingual French-English curriculum.
How have you rearranged the space?
We have reorganised the junior school building and have given one of the most spacious rooms to the nursery. We have also moved the art room to the senior school, and there we will put the dormitory/quiet room.
What kind of nursery experience will it be?
We will offer 20 places. Everything you find on the EYFS, you will find at Little EIFA. We will have a child-centred focus within a small, nurturing, enabling environment. The day will be delivered in both French and English. Children will be brought up playing, hearing music, having stories and books in French and English. We make sure that the activities are split between French and English, so there’s no repetition.
At the school we have 33 nationalities. It’s hard to say how many children will be local, English or international families living further away. We’ve had enquiries from locals and referrals.