The Oxford School
Monday, June 05 2006 @ 09:00 AM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
History: In 1983 The Oxford School began as a small language school in Panama City offering English as a Second Language courses to students and professionals. The creation of this institution was motivated by the country´s need to acquire the English language.
The Oxford School first opened in 1984, in the heart of Panama´s banking sector close to Via España. Later, in 1990, the school expanded to include a regular school programme opening Pre Kinder, Kinder and 1st grade in purposely-adapted premises in Punta Paitilla.
In 1992, due to popular demand, The Oxford School opened its first branch in Santiago de Veraguas. That same year, the school´s director, together with his three associates, dedicated their efforts to the research and development of a contemporary international curriculum resulting in the adoption of the National Curriculum of England.
In 1999, aware of the need to unify criteria and consolidate goals with views to expand, The Oxford School opened its new, more modern building situated in Edison Park in Via Transistmica.
The Oxford School on Via Transistmica
Today, the new school caters to more than 900 students, many of whom have shown great promise for the future in the areas of Science and Business Administration.
In 2001, The Oxford School introduced a new element of international contemporary education to its secondary school programme by means of the University of Cambridge International Examinations. The Oxford School is now a fully authorized testing center for these internationally recognized examinations.
Programmes: The National Curriculum of England is the result of study and research into contemporary curriculum design that lasted over 25 years. It was designed by a group of experts commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills of England whose objective was to compile information about the requirements of universities and public and private enterprise to develop an academic programme which offers students the tools which they really need to be efficient, effective and competitive in their future endeavours.
The National Curriculum of England
The Oxford School has adopted this academic plan and implements it under the guidance of professional English scholars who maintain our personnel permanently up-to-date in the methodology, content and goals of The National Curriculum.
Our academic programme is recognized as one of the most modern and advanced of its kind on a global level and, based on the precepts of The National Curriculum of England, it has become the most efficient and effective system of bilingual education.
Raising standards in education is the primary purpose of The Oxford School. For this reason, we have adopted the IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education), which was implemented by the University of Cambridge in England in 1988, and the AICE (Advanced International Certificate of Education) which was introduced in 1994. These are consecutive programmes in The Oxford School covering the last four years of secondary school from 9th to 12th grades. We were officially recognized as a centre for the University of Cambridge International Examinations in 2001 and have offered these examinations to our students since that time.
University of Cambridge International Examinations
The IGCSE is a programme of study that lasts two years (9th and 10th grades). Its principal goal is to prepare students for success in academic or professional ventures and it has been implemented in international and local community schools in over 100 countries worldwide. In some countries the IGCSE satisfies the entry requirements to university; in others it is used primarily as preparation for well-known programmes of advanced education such as the International A Level, the International Baccalaureate and the United States Advanced Placement Courses.
AICE is a high-quality programme in English which prepares students for university programmes around the world. To qualify for the diploma, students are required to study subjects from three academic areas: Mathematics and Science, Languages and Humanities. The AICE programme directly follows the IGCSE programme in The Oxford School and allows students to adjust their studies to suit their interests, abilities and future plans within the framework of an international curriculum.
The AICE programme is recognized in over 40 countries and is accredited in more than 140 universities in the USA and Canada. The majority of these universities offer university credits for students who complete the diploma successfully.
Pre-School Education: Our students get their first taste of the English language at the early age of 2, since the younger the children are, the easier and more effective learning becomes. Our pre-kinder students start with the development of reading, pre-writing and numbers in an entertaining and dynamic way.
From the age of 4, students undertake tasks which include basic subjects such as Mathematics, Spelling, Reading and Science. The students also develop physical, social, emotional and cognitive skills through the use of parallel programmes, workbooks and handcrafts.
Extracurricular activities, such as drama, music, folklore dancing and multicultural activities complement our academic curriculum.
The goals set for our preschool are to encourage students to make the most of their learning abilities and potential, as well as to detect and correct possible learning problems at an early age in order to obtain the best results.
Primary School: Our education emphasizes the development of abilities of analysis, communication, and critical processing of information. We also accentuate the ability to identify, analyze and solve problems using the latest technological resources.
Our students work in a cooperative environment, showing respect and understanding of individual differences.
Our programme for primary school is flexible, depending on the needs of each and every student. For this reason the school has a Department for Attention to Diversity and a group of tutors who dedicate their time in helping students in the areas that are identified as special needs. These students follow an Individual Education Plan with a modified curriculum developed especially for their needs.
All our classes are taught in English with the exception of Spanish, French and Social Studies. Our qualified staff has been meticulously selected through our Psychology Department with strict attention to adequate preparation and experience.
Secondary School: Our students begin to develop logical, formal and abstract thinking in secondary school.
Students study, reason and understand what has been taught in class in a modern, cheerful and motivating environment. Our qualified teachers take the task of explaining the content areas of their subjects to students seriously. Students' achievements are evaluated on a regular basis.
Subjects such as Biology, Chemistry and Physics are taught from 6th grade. For those students continuing in the Science area these subjects are compulsory right through until their last year.
Students in the area of Commerce take subjects like Marketing, Advertising, Psychology and Business Administration. All students graduate with a specialization in Information and Communication Technology. Due to the fact that our secondary school follows the programmes of study developed by the University of Cambridge International Examinations, successful graduating students receive an internationally recognized diploma called the Advanced International Certificate of Education. This title is recognized in over 40 countries around the world including more than 146 universities in the USA. They are also awarded one of the following nationally recognized diplomas: Science and Arts with specialization in Natural Science, Science and Arts with specialization in Creative Arts and Language or Commerce with specialization in Accounting and Computer Studies.
The School Year: The Oxford School generally conforms to the Panamanian academic calender. Classes generally start in the first week of March and end in Mid-December. The school year is divided into four terms, with a three-week mid-term break in July. For example, key dates for the 2006 academic year are as follows:
- First Term - Thursday, March 9 through Friday, May 12, 2006
- Second Term - Monday, May 15 through Friday, July 14, 2006
- Midyear Vacation - Monday, July 17 through Friday, August 4, 2006
- Third Term - Monday, August 7 through Friday, October 6, 2006
- Fourth Term - Monday, October 9 through Friday, December 15, 2006
Daily Schedule: Classes generally begin at about 8:00 am, and the school day finishes by 2:00 pm for primary school students and 2:50 pm for secondary school students. The actual daily schedule for all grades follows:
- School gates open 7:15a.m.
- Pre- Kinder 1,2, y 3 8:15a.m.-12:30p.m. or 12:30p.m.-4:30p.m.
- Kinder 7:50p.m.-12:15p.m. or 12:15p.m.-4:30p.m.
- Grades I-V Classes Begin 7:50 a.m., Classes End 2:00 p.m.
- Grades VI - XII Classes Begin 7:50 a.m., Classes End 2:50p.m.
Campus Location: The Oxford School is located in Edison Park on Via Transistmica in the middle of Panama City in the Republic of Panama. Our centrally located campus is easily accessed from any part of the city, and is close to most areas that are popular with the English speaking expatriate community such El Cangrejo, Via Argentina, Albrook, Clayton and the US Embassy, Paitilla, Marbella, and Costa del Este. Our system of private school buses contracted through the school transports students with door-to-door service from their homes to the school campus.
- Information Desk: +011 (507) 321-0659 or +011 (507) 321-0660
- Reception: +011 (507) 321-0061 or +011 (507) 321-0662
- Fax: +011 (507) 321-0013
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.oxfordpanama.com