United Lisbon International School proudly opened its doors on 14 September, 2020.
International student and teacher body
Just six months into learning and students are happily settled into their new learning community. The student body for 20/21 is already at 150 for this academic year and consists of learners from 22 different nationalities. Students are taught by an experienced and truly international faculty. The top-notch educational team was recruited from other well-known international schools abroad and from locally recognised schools.
The teacher recruitment, advice to the board and the school’s opening and management have been done by the highly reputable International School Services (ISS) based in Princeton, New Jersey. United Lisbon is currently pursuing accreditation through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma Programme.
Excellent premises and facilities
Excelling in both function and form, United Lisbon is seated in a building which was previously a university building and had won an architectural prize in 1958 when it was actually the Pasteur Laboratories for its facade representing the Art Deco style of buildings in Lisbon from the 1950s. Architect Eduardo Capinha Lopes has achieved a fabulous result with the renovation project while preserving the original façade by modernist Architect Carlos Ramos. The renovation project did not spare any costs or efforts in creating large, spacious and light-filled classrooms for students while focusing on the latest network system architecture and furniture and fittings. The award-winning facade has been maintained while gutting out the inside completely for various improvements and interior architectural features, such as the “open ceiling” and other features. It has 6,500 sqm (71,000 sqft) of fabulous outdoor spaces created for sport and outdoor play for the different age groups and will have a further 2,000 sqm (22,000 sqft) of sports-related facilities in the future.
The developers have created learning spaces and collaborative learning hubs, art studios, state-of-the-art science laboratories, a maker space with innovative equipment such as a 3D printer, Beebots and a laser cutter. The faculty is using all this hardware to build an advanced learning community which allows students to grow and develop in our everchanging world and be lifelong learners.
Excellent curriculum from Kindergarten through to Grade 12
Today, United Lisbon spans from Early Childhood (3 years old) to Grade 9 (14 years old); and the school will add a grade each year until the first graduating class in 2023-2024. Grades 11 and 12 will be offered the IB diploma program. United Lisbon has also partnered with Common Ground Collaborative introduced by ISS to create and deliver a conceptual and inquiry-based curriculum with international standards of learning. The curriculum is dynamic, personalised, and develops students’ conceptual understanding, skills and character. The curriculum aims to address not only academic excellence but also to address the skills and competences that are necessary for the future – problem-solving, self-management, collaboration and a good working knowledge of technology.
United Lisbon International School – from the Founding Team
An excellent after-school Academy for sports, music, dance and coding
Furthermore, the “United Lisbon Academy” offers students access to training in a range of extra-curricular skills and fields of study that represent the best of what Lisbon has to offer. For now, the Academy already offers music, dance, fencing and tennis that United Lisbon students can pursue as extra-curricular activities. Our partnership with the Sobre Artes/ Viva Dança Academy, for example, exposes kids to world-class dance as the academy is connected to global organisations such as the Royal National Ballet. The tennis is being organised at the Lisbon Racket Club in Alvalade – an upmarket club with competition-level tennis coaches. As for football (soccer), the Sporting CP Soccer Academy ULIS was born from a partnership between Sporting Clube de Portugal and United Lisbon International School to deliver high-quality sports training through the practice of football (soccer), as well as to contribute to their health in all its aspects.
On the technology side, SHARKCODERS is the ULIS’ teaching partners with the mission is to empower children and young people through technology, developing digital skills that will allow them to actively become part of the growing evolution of new technologies and “creators” of solutions that can solve day-to-day problems.
A Microsoft School where technology is woven into the fabric of the school
Regarding technology access and integration, United Lisbon is fully operational under the Microsoft ecosystem and is a candidate for the Microsoft Showcase Programme. All staff and students have access to ultramodern equipment and facilities. In addition, the school is already delivering top-quality online education and provide support to the students and their families that are still not here with us, and we are 100% ready to go full online if the need arises.
United Lisbon is taking full advantage of its prime location in the Marvila/Parque das Nações area of Lisbon by connecting with the community and forming partnerships with prominent organisations such as the “Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa” (International Red Cross), the University of Católica School of Business and Economics and the Lisbon Oceanarium. This will contribute positively to the Ecosystem of Learning at United Lisbon, making students more well-rounded and responsible global citizens.
Part of a wider Edu Hub – making this the best international school in Portugal
Head of School and Lead Principal, Dr. José Azcue smiles with pride before saying, “We are honoured to be kickstarting such an education project in this part of Lisbon and we are working towards becoming the best international school in Portugal. We have a lot of work to do but we are completely ready for this challenge”.
“Having delivered the necessary hardware and software to build a great international school, now it is time to move our focus to building the wider Education Hub, as promised!” says Chitra Stern, owner and founder of the United Lisbon International School and the Edu Hub of Lisbon. One of the unique features of United Lisbon is that it forms part of an innovative Edu Hub that will have educational activities such as coding, dance, languages, technology, and more based right next door to the school – which will all form part of an ecosystem deriving synergies from each other. Internships, shadowing projects, listening to inspirational leaders in the tech companies next door will all be part of every child’s education at United Lisbon. As there will be 15,000sqm (165,000 sqft) of student accommodation, part of the Edu Hub will be a “hybrid campus” for older learners doing online courses together with some supervision and shared facilities.
Roman Stern, the other owner and founder, says, “We have just welcomed the Atlantic Hub’s “Atlantic Station” to our Edu Hub, which will be an important partnership for building our entrepreneurial ecosystem here. There continues to be a big movement of capital, companies and families to Lisbon in these times because Portugal is a safe and secure place located at the edge of Western Europe with a great climate and we should ensure that we have everything ready to welcome these investors here”.
The rest of the Education Hub used to be a pharmaceutical distribution centre which will continue to be rehabilitated into modern spaces for work, living, academy rooms and further classrooms for the school. The total space of 50,000 sqm of renovation and new build will all be an important anchor project for the City of Lisbon.