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Secondary education at IIL

IIL students aged 11 to 19 follow a French or English curriculum. Both programmes focus on each student’s personal development and international exposure, and support them in preparing for their future.

IIL Secondary

The IIL Secondary school welcomes students aged 11 to 19 in two sections. Our French section follows the French national curriculum, leading to the French National Brevet Diploma (diplôme national du brevet) and Baccalaureate. The English section follows the British national curriculum in preparation for the Cambridge IGCSE and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.

Secondary school is a critical time for young people, representing an important transition that can open many doors to their future. At IIL, we help prepare students for academic diplomas and guide and support them in their social and emotional development. Through various local and international initiatives, we actively engage our students in global issues and charitable projects.

During their time at IIL, secondary students take their classes in our modern B17 building. Designed with the latest pedagogical innovations in mind, the building houses multiple collaborative spaces, non-traditional classroom settings and digital learning tools to enhance their education.

In the English Secondary programme, our role is to guide and accompany students in their academic and personal development as they start imagining and shaping their future. Our student-centred learning approach is based on fostering intellectual independence and collaboration. Our teachers inspire, guide and support their students, forging strong bonds along the way.

Years 7 to 9 follow the British curriculum, with a strong focus on mathematics, sciences and languages. Students in years 10 and 11 follow the Cambridge IGCSE programme, while those in years 12 and 13 prepare the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, either in English or bilingually – in French and English. IIL is one of the few schools to award the Advanced Bilingual IB Diploma.

Our international teaching staff and university guidance team offer our students individualised support. Thanks to their commitment, our pupils can confidently follow their unique path after graduating, including admittance to the world’s most prestigious universities.


A core component of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme, the Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) programme counterbalances traditional academics, offering students the opportunity to take initiative, learn through experience and foster a sense of accomplishment. Initiated during the last 18 months of the IB programme, the CAS programme gives students an incentive to participate in individual or collaborative learning projects on three concepts:

  • Creativity – arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
  • Activity – physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the IB.
  • Service – an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has learning benefits for the student.

These projects challenge students to show initiative, demonstrate perseverance and develop skills such as teamwork, problem solving and decision-making. Through individualised journal entries, students express how their selected CAS activities match with the seven IB outcomes:

  1. Undertake new challenges, learn new skills
  2. Correctly plan and initiate their own experiences
  3. Work collaboratively with others
  4. Show perseverance and commitment within their work
  5. Engage with issues of global importance
  6. Consider ethical implications
  7. Develop themselves physically and mentally.
Creative Arts

Encouraging creativity and exploration is a core tenet of the IIL philosophy and an integral part of our English Secondary programme. Years 7 through 9 students receive two periods per week of visual arts education. In addition, S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) classes – a cross-curricular and collaborative subject that allows students to use a variety of skills to tackle group projects with an ecological or entrepreneurial focus – stimulate creative exploration.

We encourage students in Year 10 to pursue one of our creative options. This module is voluntary and comprises visual arts, film and media as well as S.T.E.A.M classes. In year 11, a visual arts option is also available, with additional guidance and support for students wishing to develop a portfolio in order to pursue fine arts, architecture, photography or film studies later on.

In the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma years, students can choose visual arts or film studies as one of the six modules necessary for certification. Additionally, as part of their personalised CAS (creativity, activity and service) programme, all IB students take on creative projects in order to balance their pre-university academic studies.

We focus our pedagogy on the acquisition of 21st century skills to prepare for the French national brevet diploma and the French general baccalaureate. Students develop oral, IT, socio-emotional, problem-solving, presentation, creativity and collaboration skills using a project-based approach. These skills inspire confidence and lay the foundation for future success.

Our students in 3ème complete the national brevet diploma with the Grenoble academy. As a member of the group of Swiss schools preparing for the French Baccalaureate (Groupement des Écoles Suisses qui préparent au Baccalauréat Français – GESBF), we are an accredited institution of the French National Education system. As such, our students take the common continuous assessment exams (E3C) at our school. Thus, as for all students in accredited schools, we secure their progress by taking into account the continuous assessment results received in première and terminale.

With our diverse and international student population, the study of modern foreign languages is a key focus. As many of our students will go beyond the requirements of the French Baccalaureate, we offer them the opportunity to validate their level by obtaining language certifications.

By personalising the support provided to each student, we aim to help them achieve their individual projects and ensure their development and well-being. The building of a future-focussed project enables students to get to know themselves before discovering their aspirations.

Yannick Jacomme
Director of French Secondary

Meet the Head of Section

Creative Arts

Learning and exposure to creative arts is essential for a balanced and fulfilling education. At IIL teaching arts and subjects promoting creativity is a major focus throughout the Secondary years. In Secondary I, our school offers arts and creative education through music and visual arts courses. These classes offer students an opening to creative expression, while allowing them to develop artistic literacy and sensitivity. 

At the Secondary II level, the creative arts programme encourages students to express their creativity through hands-on projects. Creative exploration is at the centre of our project pedagogy where students can choose fine arts or film & media studies as options. IIL also offers the Baccalaureate speciality in fine arts

The fine arts option and speciality offer students the opportunity to express themselves through the production of various works or projects in a creative workshop atmosphere. The means of expression range from the most traditional to the most modern, particularly digital.

Students in the film & media option acquire, in addition to a cultural education in film, the skills of a technician, director and editor, which they can apply thanks to the modern professional equipment we provide. The final project is their own short film.

Students can combine the fine arts specialty and the film & media option, thereby spending a total of nine periods learning the arts during their final year.

At the start of the 2020-2022 school year, IIL is opening a new study programme to prepare students for the Examen Suisse de Maturité (Swiss Maturity Certificate) to meet the expectations of many parents.

At the end of 4e, IIL students will have the choice of continuing in 3e following the Baccalaureate or to integrate the first year of the Examen Suisse de Maturité (M1).

The Examen Suisse de Maturité programme follows a 3 1/2 year school programme set up in accordance with the requirements defined by the Swiss federal authorities. As the exams take place in February, students can benefit from this time to prepare for university entrance or an internship abroad during the months following their exams. IIL has recently joined the Groupement Romand des écoles de Maturité (GREM) in order to network with other schools preparing students for this certificate.

The Examen Suisse de Maturité will give automatic access to all Swiss universities, Hautes Écoles and Écoles Polytechniques and access to foreign universities under the same conditions that of the Maturité Cantonale.

The programme is structured as follows :

Core subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, Geography, Visual Arts, French (L1), 2nd national language (German or Italian), English (L3) and Mathematics
M1: 1 compulsory option to be chosen from the following: Economics/Law, Experimental Sciences or Latin
M3: an additional compulsory option to be chosen between Biology, Sport or Philosophy
M3 and M4: Personal Project

This project work allows the student to gain more in-depth knowledge about a specific subject of their choice and at the same time develop skills such as autonomy, critical analysis and oral expression. In M4, the project will be presented in front of a jury. All of these skills are essential for future university studies.

As an international school, we place great importance in the study of foreign languages and gaining an excellent command of each language. Our students’ skills go beyond the requirements of the Examen Suisse de Maturité. Each student is offered the opportunity to validate their language level by sitting the specific certification exam.

This programme is set up according to IIL’s approach to learning geared to the 21st century.

Digital Learning

The IIL Secondary school approach to digital learning encompasses the tools and the social aspects of digital citizenship. We guide our students on how to best live with technology and how to use it sensibly and ethically. In the classroom, students learn to use appropriate digital tools to enhance and complement their studies. We provide individual iPads to all secondary students and laptops to International Baccalaureate (IB) students. 

Language policy

Languages are a priority at IIL’s Secondary school. Combining learning, practice and cultural openness, our language approach leads students to a natural, high linguistic level in both English and French. Divided into groups according to their level of progress, students are learning with native speaking teachers benefiting from differentiated teaching based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL).

The pedagogical approach to language teaching focuses on the active participation of students, enabling them to develop their oral and written skills. In addition to acquiring linguistic notions, students gain access to the cultural dimension of the language, in particular through cohesion events, outings or school trips.

In addition to French and English, we invite students to choose an additional language – German, Spanish, Chinese or Italian – depending on the section in which they are studying. IIL offers several official certifications – the DELF diploma for French, the Cambridge English diploma for English, the Goethe Institut diploma for German, the Instituto Cervantes diploma for Spanish and the Confucius Institute diploma for Chinese, representing a valuable asset for future studies.


All IIL students take part in various KiVa activities according to their age. At the Secondary level, we place special emphasis on the concept of groups. Students also learn how to recognize bullying and how to talk about such situations with an adult. 

Learn more
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

As an official partner of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, IIL encourages students to take on responsibilities and set personal challenges and goals.

A non-formal education framework, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award provides a comprehensive programme to develop transferable skills, increase fitness levels, cultivate a sense of adventure, and volunteer in the community.

It is open to students in both the English and French sections of the school, starting at age 13. Its three levels are each divided into four sections. Participants must complete the four sections at each level in order to obtain the award.

University Guidance

Our university and careers counselling programme offers students from year 7 through year 13 (6e-terminale) the tools they need to think actively about their future. Students in lower secondary focus on self-development and career exploration, while students in upper secondary investigate higher education options and work on putting together a strong university application. Focused on each individual’s strengths and interests, our devoted staff and dedicated classes offer students a holistic and inclusive approach to their reflection after graduation.

Learn more about University guidance

Meet our community

Their experience at IIL

Adrian Hirst
Adrian Hirst
Teacher STEAM
Student English Secondary
Ingrid Defretin
Ingrid Defretin
Teacher French Secondary
Student French Secondary
Saida Abouid
Saida Abouid
Parent French Secondary