Here are some of the answers and information to the questions we are most often asked. We hope you find them useful. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please do not hesitate to contact the admissions office.

All children are welcome at efim, regardless of their mother tongue. A minimum level of French is expected from cycle 2. If there is a need to consolidate the level, a compulsory complementary learning program will be offered to them to ensure proper integration within the efim.

Regarding Spanish and English, no level is prerequisite to enter the school, however a reinforcement program can be proposed to ensure the child's linguistic skills in these languages if necessary.


EFIM is a trilingual school. She follows the French program while providing the additional teaching of Spanish and English from kindergarten.

All classes are organized with a French reference teacher and 2 complementary native English and Spanish teachers.

Students who attend school for several years will be able to speak French fluently in their class as well as English and Spanish.

EFIM organizes language certifications in French, Spanish and English for students at the end of cycle 3: DELF, DELE, Cambridge.

EFIM offers immersion in French, Spanish and English from kindergarten. Trilingualism makes it possible to achieve an excellent level in the three languages. All classes are organized with a French reference teacher and 2 additional part-time native Spanish and English teachers.

The originality of the linguistic learning of efim is based on:

  • Trilingualism: French is our first language and our academic reference. Spanish is the second language because it is that of the host country. English is the third language, a language of international communication.
  • A transversal Gattegno / Montessori approach and a multimodal pedagogy: it is a question of involving the different senses of the learner to help him in the acquisition of a language
  • An innovative theoretical framework with the intercomprehension of Romance languages and integrated didactics: we use the capital that can be mobilized in each language to go to the other languages of the same linguistic family (Romance). It is about exploiting the awareness of their similarities which is present in all speakers. Thus, the experience acquired in one language is transferred to another which gives the pupil, through the ability to make links between each language, a linguistic meta-knowledge which facilitates his learning.

EFIM takes care of language certificates in French, Spanish and English for students at the end of cycle 3: DELF, DELE, Cambridge.

The French school system is organized into Cycles. Elementary school marks the beginning of the second cycle which begins in CP until CM2. To be admitted to CP, students must be 6 years old by December 31 at the latest.

Children coming from a different system, and with different age cut-off dates, will be assessed according to their grade level. This will be determined by the results of the evaluation and with the agreement of the Director of the school and the parents.

To enter the “Petite Section” of Kindergarten, students must have 3 years on December 31. Children, who are 5 years old, are accepted in the last year of kindergarten.

If the students come from a French school, the transfer is done directly, subject to available places for the level. For any other situation, the answer will be provided on a case-by-case basis.

For any entry during the year, we invite you to contact directly the admissions office.

The school is secular, no religious education is provided; the history of religions is taught as part of the history and geography programs.

The school is currently under construction to renovate and adapt the premises to the educational requirements of our vision.

Visits will be organized shortly after the work by appointment. Consult the “information request” page to express your interest.

The EFIM is an independent establishment that is part of the network of French establishments abroad (AEFE network as a partner establishment).

Good communication is an important aspect for EFIM. All information is published via dedicated communication channels (an application for teacher / class-family communication, an application for administrative management and a monthly newsletter).

Each year the school calendar for French schools is offered by all French-program schools in the area. This schedule is then submitted to the National Inspection of the Iberian Zone for approval. Usually, the school year begins at the beginning of September and ends at the end of June.

The school is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.

Classes take place Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

A range of optional extra-curricular activities is offered on weekdays from Monday to Thursday at noon and at the end of the afternoon from 4 p.m. to 6.30 p.m., as well as on Friday afternoon from 2 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.

A daycare service is provided from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

NB: These times are subject to change.

A half-board service (lunch at the school canteen) is offered as an option for all children attending our school, from Monday to Friday.

The establishment of a school transport service is currently being consulted.

Interested parents can come forward by filling out the form “information request“.

The EFIM is in the process of approval by the French National Education via the AEFE (Agency for French Education Abroad). Approval is acquired from the 2th year of operation, i.e. 2022-2023. It is not given automatically for all the cycles.

The renewal of the approval is subject to control by the National Education.

Approval gives each child the possibility of finding a place in any French school in the world: students from an approved establishment can integrate, without a control exam, in France, a public establishment, a private establishment. under an association contract with the State or abroad, another French educational institution approved abroad within the limits of its reception capacities.

Approval is a guarantee of reliability and quality for all parents who register their child for the efim.

Of course ! We are delighted to welcome non-French speaking families to EFIM. Please note that choosing our trilingual program in a non-French speaking family environment requires a commitment on their part as well as an investment of time. All parents must be prepared to expose their children to the French language and culture outside of the classroom. Thanks to our after-school programs, we offer children many opportunities to speak French after regular school hours. Such commitment gives excellent results for students and their parents alike!

Registrations take place during commissions throughout the year for a start in the following September. They are done exclusively online, from our website:

  1. SUBSCRIBE REQUEST When the registration campaign opens, create your account then submit your registration file online on the efim website.
  2. INTERVIEW WITH THE FAMILY Upon receipt, your file is submitted to the admissions committee. At the request of the latter or the parents, an interview with the family can be organized. If your child is educated in France or in an establishment approved by the French Ministry of National Education, admission is without a control exam. Otherwise, a compulsory French language placement test will take place in June 2021. Children whose level is below A1 will have to participate in the compulsory French refresher sessions during the month of July.
  3. RESULTS OF THE ADMISSION COMMITTEE You will be informed of the outcome of your application by email.
  4. CONFIRMATION OF REGISTRATION If your application is accepted, a place offer will be sent to you. Admission is confirmed when you have paid the invoice corresponding to the initial registration fee (875 euros). In the event of subsequent withdrawal, this amount is non-refundable.
  5. ADMISSION Our team in charge of registrations will send you a welcome booklet in June with essential information for the start of the school year.

If you are moving to Marbella during the school year and would like to enroll your child, please contact the admissions office which will tell you the procedure to follow.

NB: the admission procedure and the admission policy of the EFIM may change from year to year.

The EFIM takes into account the level of the pupil insofar as he must have acquired the knowledge required for a given level, according to the school programs of the National Education. But it does not take into account the excellence of the student because we do not ask for any ballot at the time of the registration request. All students therefore have exactly the same chances of being admitted to our establishment, regardless of their evaluation report or quarterly report, or even the reputation of their establishment.

A scholarship is an education grant awarded to French families whose children are educated in an establishment of the AEFE network who request it from the Consulate, under conditions of resources. It concerns all children, from kindergarten to 12th grade.

By virtue of article L452-2 of the education code, the AEFE carries out public service missions relating to education for French children living outside France. It can grant education aid to "children of French nationality attending French schools and educational establishments abroad, the list of which is fixed by joint order of the Minister responsible for education and the Minister responsible for affairs. foreign ”.

Applications for scholarships for children attending EFIM will be available as soon as the approval is obtained from our establishment.

In the meantime, we advise you to consult the website of French Consulate in Madrid to learn more about the general conditions of access to the stock exchange system.


Yes, the student community and EFIM teams will wear a school uniform.

The efim follows the French National Education program while integrating added value pedagogies.

The school curriculum is largely based on five areas of learning of the National Education, which is structured by three-year educational cycles, which gives each child time to learn at their own pace. Cycle 1 corresponds to kindergarten (3-6 years). The organization in learning cycles appears in the very structure of the school since the pupils are in multi-age classes whose benefits have been proven by numerous scientific researches.

Learning French, Spanish and English is offered from kindergarten.

The efim follows the French National Education program while integrating added value pedagogies.

The school curriculum is largely based on common base of knowledge, skills and culture of National Education, which is structured by educational cycles of three years, which gives each child time to learn at their own pace. Cycle 2 corresponds to pupils aged 6-9 (CP-CE1-CE2) and cycle 3 corresponds to pupils aged 9-11 (CM1-CM2). The organization in learning cycles appears in the very structure of the school since the pupils are in multi-age classes whose benefits have been proven by numerous scientific researches.

In elementary, language learning is accentuated and collaborative and cooperative work in project mode is generalized.

The EFIM has an infirmary and a full-time bilingual professional nurse. The school has also partnered with the services of an outside psychologist to help students who may have learning disabilities. Finally, a member of the educational team, specialized in the development of human potential, is responsible for facilitating the emotional and social balance of children by offering activities such as Yoga, non-violent communication, mindfulness, etc.

The objective of the health pole is to ensure the health of the pupils and their balance. It is a place of reception, advice, care and treatment in the event of illness or accident at school, for students and the educational community. This service cannot replace a doctor's office. It is essential to provide us with all the medical information concerning your child when registering - especially with regard to allergies -, as well as all the telephone numbers where the parents can be reached. Please remember to notify us of any change in your telephone numbers during the year.

The assessment of skills is an essential exercise that allows the child and the teacher to act on the child's development in the acquisition of skills. It is not based on simple abstract notes, but on a concrete assessment of abilities by competence. We promote immediate feedback and self-evaluation accompanied by an evaluation by the teacher: the two are compared to make adjustments if necessary. Assessments are organized regularly in order to allow everyone to find their bearings in relation to the skills of the common base of National Education. Error is not only allowed, but encouraged, because it is seen as an opportunity for learning.

For the school booklet, we rely on the skills referenced in the universal school booklet (LSU). Educational meetings are organized with the family in which it is possible to involve the children except in special circumstances justifying exchanges between adults only.

The trilingual educational team is mainly made up of three alternate teachers - one French native referent teacher and one native English complementary teacher as well as one additional native Spanish teacher per class. Our teachers are recruited on the basis of their training in the field of education as well as their teaching experience, in France and abroad. They are distinguished by their passionate commitment to pedagogies with added values (Montessori, Freinet, Gattegno, Feuerstein, etc.), adapted to all styles of learners and undergo continuous training. They participate in research work and seminars which allow them to carry out scientific monitoring.

The referent teachers are French holders of the French Ministry of National Education.

The efim is an innovative primary school that supports kindergarten (3-6 years) and elementary (6-11 years) students in acquiring knowledge of the French school program in a stimulating, fun and innovative that makes you want to learn.

We offer a secure trilingual (French, Spanish, English) and multicultural environment where children feel happy to develop their full potential. The school's project is the overall development of the child, that is to say the development not only intellectual but also physical, emotional and social of each student.

The school has chosen a holistic approach centered on the development of the child and the hybridization of several pedagogical approaches with added values such as Montessori, Freinet, Gattegno and Feuerstein to maximize positive learning experiences for students.


The efim is located right in the center of Marbella, in a quiet and residential area, a few minutes from the sea, in front of the “parque de los enamorados”. We took over the premises of the British International School of Marbella which has moved. We are transforming the school to put them at the service of our educational needs.

The school welcomes kindergarten students on the ground floor and elementary students on the 1er and at 2nd floor. We have many spaces: 2 outdoor courtyards, a dining room, a multi-sports hall / gymnasium, a media library, a Fab-Lab (artistic and manual activities), an Archéo-Lab (sciences), a Creative-Lab (design, robotics), a Nenuphar room (mindfulness, yoga, etc.), a Green-Space (gardening-vegetable garden), a Health Center.

Address : Calle Jacinto Benavente S / N - 29601 Marbella (Malaga)

Each child must master a "Common Base of Knowledge and Skills". The educational project is based on the gradual acquisition of skills. A differentiated pedagogy is offered to the student according to his needs. Throughout his schooling, he is led to develop his autonomy, his critical sense and to make his universally recognized humanist values his own through teaching respectful of freedom of conscience.

Each class has a maximum of 25 students with 3 teachers, a native French referent teacher and two additional native Spanish and English teachers in rotation. The referent teacher and at least one of the two complementary teachers are always present simultaneously in the class, so we will have two trained people capable of supporting the children from an educational point of view which amounts to an average supervision rate. very comfortable for 1 adult for about 12 to 15 children.

The class works in pairs with another class which makes it possible to constitute educational teams of 4 teachers (3 for year 1) including 1 native Spanish, 1 native English speaker and 1 or 2 who speak only in French to the children (even if teachers are bilingual).

We operate on the model of the flexible class which allows a flexible teaching and organization more adapted to an education of the 21e century. The flexible class is a class in islands from thematic spaces: mathematics, language, arts, culture, sciences, a grouping area, a guided workspace, a library corner, a rest area, etc. The teacher can offer individualized and personalized work or set up a small or large group work as needed. This also allows you to work in project mode.

The mode of operation in elementary is in continuity with that of kindergarten so as not to create a break. Unlike kindergarten, elementary education favors cooperation, collaboration and project mode.

“Why multi-age classes? "

All value-added pedagogies (Montessori, Freinet, Decroly, Democratic School, Steiner, etc.) have a long practice of multi-age classes. This is also the case with the French National Education in the context of rural classes which bring together students of various ages. We find this practice in many countries including the Scandinavian countries known for the excellence of their educational offer.

This mode of organization has since been validated by numerous scientific studies, particularly in the light of contributions from neuroscience.

“The benefits of multi-age classes? ".

In kindergarten, children from 3 to 6 years old in the same class. In elementary school, these are children aged 6 to 9 and 9 to 11. Multi-age classes are unique classes where the mixing of ages is a great asset for children. The idea is not that children always work together, but that the youngest and the oldest work side by side at their own pace, while respecting the work of others. The multi-age class is a cooperative relationship of help, mutual aid and tutoring. In the help, an expert pupil brings his help to a comrade who shows the need. In mutual aid, the pupils get together to try together to solve a problem or a difficulty that they jointly encounter. In tutoring, a student recognized as an expert (competence belt) accepts for a given time and with a specific objective, to accompany one of his comrades so that he becomes autonomous. The ability to cooperate and learn together holds a prominent place in the skills of the 21e century (Educational environments and innovative practices, OECD, 2014).

“Aren't the older children bored? "

All studies show that cooperation benefits the one who "helps" the most. By helping, they reactivate their learning, verbalize it, adapt it and transfer it. They work on metacognition, that is to say they develop an ability to distance themselves from their own way of learning (Personalized learning, Sylvain Connac, 2017). The fact that older children are in contact with younger children gives them an additional importance: that of guiding and helping the younger ones. This allows them, during these moments of exchanges with a peer, to use a precise vocabulary in order to explain a task that will have been previously carried out, understood and conceptualized. By positioning themselves as “tutors”, they reinforce their own knowledge and skills since we only really master a subject if we are able to transmit it (Céline Alvarez “The natural laws of the child”: principle 4: “ the mixture of ages you will worship ”: https://www.celinealvarez.org/plasticite-cerebrale-4-regles-dor)

In this case, the teachers propose a differentiated pedagogy. They adapt the content and methods according to the difficulties encountered. The teaching team works with a psychologist who brings a different perspective on the child. She advises families. Flexible classroom teaching allows for many half-group sessions, privileged moments to support and help students in difficulty.

The contribution of the Feuerstein approach within the educational system is made to promote and consolidate the development of cognitive skills necessary for any learning: this is one of the peculiarities of the efim.

When several brothers and sisters attend school at the same time, the family benefits from a reduction in tuition fees.

  • A 10% allowance is applied for the 3rd child registered with the EFIM
  • A reduction of 20% is applied for the 4th child registered with the EFIM
  • A reduction of 30% is applied for the 5th child registered with the EFIM

To be eligible for admission, children must be at least three years old by December 31 of the school year for which they are enrolling and fully trained in toilet training.

The table below indicates in which year group your child should be enrolled.

To register for the 2021-2022 school year, the admission process begins in mid-November 2020.

For more information on the registration process, please see the page “How to register ?“.


The efim is currently focused on opening up the school and making it sustainable. The creation of a college and / or a high school is possible in the future. To respond immediately to the need for continuity between primary school and college, the efim is currently studying several options in partnership with the Inspector of National Education.

The COVID19 health crisis has proven the need to think about additional distance learning. We are ready to deploy, if necessary, real distance learning devices which will make it possible, within the framework of educational support provided by teachers, to ensure educational continuity in the event of a crisis.

We are also ready to deploy a health protocol within the premises of the EFIM to implement the measures of distancing, stable cohabitation groups, temperature control and reinforced hygiene imposed by the health crisis.

NO, the International French School of Marbella is open to everyone, regardless of the parents' nationalities.

Children who do not speak French are welcome at the efim. They can directly enter one of the three years of kindergarten.

From cycle 2, a minimum level of French is required: children will be tested on their French skills according to their age, orally and / or in writing. If there is a need to consolidate their level, an additional learning program may be offered to them to ensure proper integration within the efim.

Applications for admission concerning the brothers and / or sisters of students already registered will be given priority consideration.