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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Know more about St. Nicholas School

An international school is primarily a school whose values ​​guide children to be global, internationally-minded citizens who understand that the whole world is their place and that there is a place for everyone. In this type of institution, cultural diversity is celebrated and with it, values ​​of respect, citizenship, curiosity, and caring are developed. 

As an international school, St. Nicholas students connect their learning with their school and local, national, and global communities. Learning is led through inquiry, generating questions, and activating creative and critical thinking skills, developing their passion for learning. Students discover and use their voices, engage in their communities, and take purposeful action to make an impact.

A true international school is not just bilingual, rather, it is multilingual. At St. Nicholas, most of our lessons are given in  English, with the exception of Brazilian Studies, Portuguese, and other languages, and we use all of the advantages of our linguistic diversity to enrich learning. With over 20 nationalities together each day, we learn from each other, building our appreciation for the languages and backgrounds represented on campus.

Students are provided with opportunities to nurture their mother tongue while developing in multiple languages. When they arrive at the Diploma Program, at the age of 16, they can choose to study a range of languages, including their mother tongue.

The values ​​of St. Nicholas are in tune with the values ​​of the International Baccalaureate (IB), and we adopted its Primary Years Program (PYP) in our Pinheiros and Alphaville campi, Middle Years Program (MYP) in Alphaville, and Diploma Program in Pinheiros and, soon, in Alphaville, precisely so that our students have the world as an option for the future. The IB Diploma is not just a program; it’s a transformative journey preparing students for the dynamic global stage.

Some of the advantages of being an IB World School that are truly embedded in our practice are:

  • We encourage students of all ages to think critically and challenge assumptions;
  • We encourage students of all ages to consider both local and global contexts;
  • We celebrate and develop multilingual students;
  • Our students learn how to ask challenging questions;
  • Our students learn across disciplines;
  • Our students develop research skills proven to help them in higher education;
  • Our students are encouraged to be active in their communities and to take their learning beyond academic study.
  • The best educational practices are developed beyond governments and national systems, incorporating quality practice from research and our global community of schools, but skilfully aligned with the local requirements and expectations;

St. Nicholas has had a long commitment with the International Baccalaureate (IB), graduating students from the Diploma Programme since 2000. The values ​​of St. Nicholas align with the values ​​of the IB, and we implement the full continuum of IB programs. These are the Primary Years Programme (Pinheiros and Alphaville), the Middle Years Programme (Pinheiros and Alphaville), and the Diploma Programme (Pinheiros). Each of these programs is developed so that our students have the world as an option for the future. Learning at an IB World School is not just an education,  it’s a transformative journey preparing students for the dynamic global stage.

An IB Education:

  • Inspires creative and critical thinking in students of all ages;
  • Develops independently of government and national systems, incorporating quality practice from research and a global community of schools;
  • Encourages students of all ages to consider both local and global contexts;
  • Develops multilingualism and global citizenship
  • Equips students in how to ask the right questions, and how to discover the answers;
  • Extends and develops skills and knowledge across traditional disciplinary lines;
  • Equips students with the research and communication skills necessary for higher education;
  • Encourages students to be active in their communities and to take their learning beyond academic study.

Transdisciplinary education aims to prepare students to face real-world challenges that require a broad perspective while promoting more meaningful and contextualised learning.

Unlike traditional education, which compartmentalises knowledge into isolated subjects, transdisciplinary education emphasises interdisciplinary connections and the pursuit of a more integrated understanding of the topics studied.

In transdisciplinary education, teachers encourage students to explore complex problems, analyse diverse perspectives, seek solutions that integrate multiple viewpoints, and promote the practical application of learned concepts.

Transdisciplinary Adaptation is a process that depends a lot from child to child and from family to family, so at St Nicholas, we respect the time of each family and each child. We welcome all children with respect and affection and help them to know our facilities, get to know their teachers and colleagues, and feel happy at school. We establish bonds of affection so they can feel safe away from their parents and enjoy their learning at school. The teachers will establish close contact with the family as to best support students in their first weeks at school.

Arriving at a new school is a challenge for every child and each child’s experience is unique. Our approach is to start by equipping the newcomer and their family with the right amount of information and support well in advance of the first day of school. In anticipation of that first day, every level of the school has a plan in place to assist with the first days, weeks and months. Underpinning all of this planning is our commitment to knowing the child, welcoming them to the community, and participating in their adjustment by providing support and building their sense of belonging.  No matter what the time of the year, teachers and students all remember what it was like to be new themselves!

At St. Nicholas we value the skills and knowledge of students across subject areas and how they connect with the ability to understand the whole. We used authentic, contextualised evaluation strategies that serve as feedback for the students to understand how their journey at school is going. The assessments go beyond giving a grade, and empower students to take ownership of their learning.

Developed within the IB framework, students are led along a progression of learning following the school’s curriculum. Assessment takes place at every step of the way in a developmentally appropriate manner and always with student engagement in their learning process as a priority.  Assessment can take many shapes and forms, including self-assessments, peer-assessments, project-based learning, reports, essays, quizzes, tests, and examinations. By the time students reach the Middle Years Programme, they are ready to engage with criteria-related assessments that result in the awarding of grades. Finally, with the arrival of the Diploma Programme, students are prepared to demonstrate their skills, knowledge, and understanding through the external IB examinations. Throughout the learning journey, parents are informed of their child’s progress at regular parent-teacher conferences and through progress reports.

Due to our diverse, cosmopolitan community, the language that includes children from all parts of the world is English, and hence, this is the main language of instruction at the school in which the curriculum is delivered for most of the school day. Portuguese is the mother language of many members of our community, and is valued as part of their roots and their cultural and linguistic identity. Other languages such as Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish, and many others are also present in our community as part of our students’ heritage, and while they are valued and celebrated, but not explicitly taught. Our learning environments are led by teachers with a rich language background, who always possess a strong proficiency in English and the understanding that we are all language teachers. 

Many of our teachers are bilingual or trilingual, and use this to assist with the transition of newcomers to the school. All in all, the teaching team represents over 20 different language communities, so language assistance is never too far away. Our goal for all students is to build their skills in two or more languages, to develop English and Portuguese as their academic languages, and to equip them for every success in any global university where English is the language of instruction, as well as for local university, where Portuguese will be the expectation, should this be their choice.

The curriculum for literacy in Portuguese is developed throughout the units of inquiry just like how the “English program”. Teachers develop, support, and implement the IB PYP curriculum through authentic and meaningful learning experiences. The school creates opportunities for students to explore different types of texts, expand their linguistic repertoire, understand how reading and writing works in Portuguese, and increasingly learn the rules of the writing system through real communication experiences.

No, international schools are for those families who want their children to live in an environment of rich cultural diversity, where they learn about respect, other languages ​​and important values ​​for any citizen of the world, such as critical thinking, responsibility, agency and soft skills.

Graduates of an international school have almost unlimited opportunities to continue their learning after Grade 12. Graduates of St Nicholas School may choose to study internationally or in Brazil, in fact our graduates can be found on every continent with nearly every type of degree you can imagine. As an international school, St Nicholas is the choice of families who value global citizenship, multilingualism, diversity, and the 21st century skills that equip students for future learning and every career pathway.

All our students are enrolled with the Ministry of Education (MEC). Portuguese language and literature are taught along with History and Geography. Students must meet MEC requirements in order to graduate with a Brazilian Certificate, offering them access to local alongside international universities.

Nowadays, well-recognized Brazilian institutions like ESPM, Insper, FGV, and FAAP recognize the IB advantage, making it a pathway to university that many St. Nicholas students have followed. We believe that the number of universities that accept the IB Diploma as part of their entry process will increase more and more in Brazil, as they realise the benefits of having students with skills that are so important for a world in constant change.

Here is a list of Brazilian universities where our students enrolled:

  • Centro Universitário Belas Artes 
  • Escola Britânica de Artes Criativas (EBAC)
  • Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing (ESPM)
  • Faculdade Santa Marcelina
  • FEI*
  • Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (FAAP)*
  • Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV)*
  • IBMEC*
  • Instituto Mauá de Tecnologia*
  • Instituto Singularidades
  • Link Business School**
  • INSPER**
  • Universidade Cidade de São Paulo (UNICID)
  • Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)
  • Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie*
  • Universidade de Santo Amaro (UNISA)
  • Universidade de São Camilo
  • Universidade de São Paulo (USP)*

70% of our learners choose to study in International Universities, and we have alumni in all continents. Some of the most prestigious universities in different countries have accepted our students in their courses.

Check out the full list of Recent University Matriculations (2019-2023) by clicking here!

In both campi we hold a very diverse, cosmopolitan community. St Nicholas Pinheiros is proud to have students from 21 nationalities, and staff members from 20 nationalities. St Nicholas Alphaville hosts 20 nationalities in the students’ body, and has staff members from 12 nationalities, making us a true international community.

Yes, students have a range of extracurricular and after-school activities available. These are organised during lunchtime and after school and are offered by teachers, coaches, and outside providers covering a wide variety of sports and non-sporting activities. Students are welcome to participate in St. Nicholas team sports involving competitions and tournaments with neighbouring schools. All told, over 40 different activities are offered every term, including sports, the creative arts, cooking, dance, games, and more – something for everyone!

At St. Nicholas, we take our students’ nutrition seriously. Our meals are prepared with care, using fresh, natural, and high-quality ingredients. We value cultural diversity in our menus, offering special options for vegetarians and vegans.

We adhere to strict food safety standards to ensure a healthy and delicious experience for everyone, which has earned our kitchens the “Green Kitchen” seal. Our dedicated team of nutritionists and staff work tirelessly to provide balanced and flavourful meals, paying attention to every detail of the process. Each ingredient is carefully selected, and our dishes are prepared with love and dedication.


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