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Welcome to Mougins British International School

A warm welcome from the Head of School

James Wellings Head of School in Mougins British International School

Welcome to Mougins School! The school is a very special place to learn and a very special place to work. I am privileged to be the Head of School here. We are located near the beautiful hilltop village of Mougins on the Côte d’Azur in the south of France. We are also part of the Sophia Antipolis technology park and surrounded by some of the leading and most innovative companies in France. This provides a setting that is beautifully balanced between the natural world and the best of human innovation.

We have just over 500 wonderful students on campus aged from 3 to 18 and are happy to serve both the local and expatriate community here in Mougins. With over 40 nationalities making up our student population we are a British inspired school with a truly international feel. This combination of our location and our community makes our school a very special place to be.

As the Head of School I believe we have a responsibility to ensure that all of our students can enrich their lives through a wide range of activities and programs that allow them to find their passions. We are values-driven with a focus on student achievement, in whatever form that takes. Education is a journey and learning is a nonlinear process so through effort, perseverance and the embracing of challenges our learners will go on to positively shape the lives of themselves, others and the world around them.

I hope you will come on that journey with us.

James Wellings,
Head of School

Thoughts from the Head

The Learning Curve
  • Thoughts from the Head
James Wellings

Welcome to the Learning Curve,

Learners understand the purpose of their learning and what success looks like.
Therefore  we will ensure learning goals and examples of success are explicit and regularly referred to. 

The second of our learning principles that I shared with you last week is about signposting. It’s long been known that we will engage with learning if we understand the purpose of it. In the classroom this means that students can “see the point” of what they're doing. This needs to be explicit and talked about. In addition, having a good model for what success looks like is incredibly helpful. This works for almost all learning. When beginning to practise how to parallel park our cars we have the very clear model of seeing what good (and bad looks) like. This model lets us see success and feel good when we achieve it. Conversely it allows us to ask the right questions when it goes wrong. All of us who have tried to parallel park know that feeling well. The same concept can be applied to almost all learning experiences. 

There are some hidden dangers here too. I’ll share an anecdote that is illustrative. In UK education about 15 years ago it became “en vogue” to make all teachers write their learning objectives up on the board at the start of each lesson. The first task for students was to write these objectives in their books. The intention was very clear. Students write this down and then they know the purpose of the lesson. This was seen as so important that it became part of the school inspection framework used to make judgements on the quality of teaching in the country. In simple terms  teachers had to do it! 

Beware the law of unintended consequences. 

A few years later I was at a school when a colleague of mine told me about an experience they had just had with their Year 8 French group. She invited them into the classroom and they all sat down, got their books out and started to copy the learning objectives from the board into their French writing books. The teacher looked utterly confused as they did so. 

The reason for this confusion was that the learning objectives on the board were from the  Year 11 maths class that had taken place in that classroom in the previous lesson before break. 

The students had just become accustomed to going through this process and it had become utterly meaningless. So our Learning Principle is not about prescribing such procedures but rather challenging teachers to consider how to do this in engaging and interesting ways. One of the big mistakes linked to the example I have provided was that it presumed that this signposting had to be front loaded at the beginning of every lesson. It doesn't. The “reveal” can be very powerful as a surprise or sometimes even at the end of a lesson. The trick is to think carefully about what will have the most impact! 

PTA Voluntary Contribution - Call for Projects 

Hopefully you will have seen the call for projects in the PTA special edition newsletter this week. We have also repeated the information here. This is an exciting opportunity for you or your children to put forward school improvement and development proposals for funding. I urge you to get involved. 

The Journey 

Following the wonderful  “Journey” trips last year we are just finalising the details for 2024. We’ll be communicating these in the next two weeks. 


I am so pleased to see our students in uniform. The campus feels great with them looking smart and part of one community. I’d like to thank all parents for helping make the start of the year successful. 

From Monday the full policy comes into place so it is now very important that your children come to school dressed appropriately. This is about high expectations and consistency. Please see the information on the uniform page on the parent room for the full list of expectations. We really do not want to interrupt your Monday morning next week! 

Have a lovely weekend everyone. 


James Wellings,

Head of School

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