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Best schools in Rio de Janeiro Brazil

A snapshot overview of schools in Rio de Janeiro that are considered (although not necessarily chosen) by English-speaking expat parents.

If there is no ribbon, pending or otherwise, it means we are aware of the school but have elected not to review it at this time. This could be for a number of reasons, but we continually update information and add or remove reviews as deemed appropriate.

Schools selected for full GSGI review would be noted with next to their names. Pending means that we are planning to review the school.

By full GSGI review, we mean the school write-ups that are completely selected, researched, visited and written by our own editors. Our final write-ups take the good with the bad, warts and all, but we look for a preponderance of good before we drill down for in-depth details descend on the school for an exhaustive visit.

The following schools have been brought to our attention, but until we have more reports from parents, we are unable to consider reviewing them.

Schools in Rio de Janeiro considered by The Good Schools Guide International

American International School (Escola americana do Rio de Janeiro)  (pending)

Adapted curriculum/ American Elementary curriculum/Brazilian ENEM/ American High School Diploma/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,050 students

The original campus (Gavéa), on the hillside with an amazing view but also close to one of the biggest slums (favelas) in the city. Hard work with the local community means fewer problems in recent years. The new unit in Barra is in an impressive building, with the capacity to also be an all-through school. Graduates leave for universities in the US and elsewhere. Only school in Rio classified ‘international’ and follows the northern hemisphere academic year. Accredited by Cognia, representing the US accreditation bodies known as NCA CASI, NWAC and SACS CASI, three of the six main US accreditation bodies.

Escola Eleva  (pending)

IPC/ Adapted curriculum/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18 ; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned 

Providing a bilingual English/Portuguese education. Opened in 2017 on two sites in Botafogo and Barra. Awaiting authorisation as a global IB school.

ICS-Rio International School (formerly International Christian School)  (pending)

School developed curriculum, American and Brazilian; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 160 students

Opened in 2000 and located alongside the non-denominational Union Church, in Barra da Tijuca. Member of the Network of International Christian Schools (NICS) and the church premises are used for drama and assemblies. The school draws on different school curricula from around the world, the programme is Biblically-based - although children of other religions are welcome. Around 35% of pupils are Brazilian. ICS runs an ESL programme. Follows the northern hemisphere academic year.

Our Lady of Mercy School Rio de Janeiro (OLM)  (pending)

School developed curriculum/ American/ Brazilian; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 580 students

Opened in 1952 and follows an accredited American curriculum, based on Roman Catholic principles. Maintained by the Society of Our Lady of Mercy, an organisation founded by British and American residents of Rio to celebrate Catholic services, delivered in English. There is a full programme of extra-curricular activities, and dedicated ESL and PSL (Portuguese as a Second Language) support. The chapel serves as the English-speaking Roman Catholic church in Rio.

The British School, Rio de Janeiro  (pending)

Adapted IPC Curriculum/ National Curriculum for England/ IGCSE/ IB Diploma/ Brazilian curriculum; ages 2-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 2,200 students

On three separate campuses; nursery to 11 (Botafago); 11-18 (Urca); 3-18 (Barra da Tijuca). The Botafago unit is in the historic part of the cityand the  Urca campus sits at the foot of the Sugar Loaf Mountain. The state of the art Barra campus boasts the best scholastic facilities and has taught students the IB Diploma curriculum since 1992. Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS).

These schools have been brought to our attention, but until we have more reports from parents, we are unable to consider reviewing them.

Escola Alema Corcovado (German School)

Adapted German curriculum/ Brazilian curriculum/ Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio (ENEM); ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,300 students

Founded in 1965, and now housed in a former American Ambassador’s residence, in Botafago, an old part of the city. The school has two streams; in one, a German curriculum is taught by German teachers (educational requirements of Brazilian law also fulfilled) in the other, a Brazilian curriculum is followed, with compulsory German lessons. Children can move from one branch to the other, providing their command of German/Portuguese is sufficient. Towards the end of their primary years, all children also learn English.

Escola Suico-Brasileira (Swiss School)

School developed curriculum/ IB Diploma/ Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio (ENEM); ages 2-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 370 students

Opened in 2000 and based in modern premises in the suburb of Barra da Tijuca. From their first year of primary, through to the end of secondary schooling, pupils must choose whether they wish to learn in Portuguese and French or Portuguese and German. English – and other language options – available later. Final exams leave pupils with the option of preparing for Brazilian higher education or Swiss university entrance.

Lycée Moliere (French School)

Adapted French National Curriculum/ Bac; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 680 students

Located in modern buildings in the historic part of the city and offering the official French curriculum adapted for the Brazilian environment. Open to all nationalities but 25 per cent of pupils are French with roughly a further 40 per cent Franco-Brazilian. Classes almost all taught in French but English taught from primary level. Accredited by the French Ministry of Education and supported Agence pour l’enseignement francais a l’étranger (AEFE).


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