Who are

Gimnasio Moderno is a private Colombian school located in Bogota, Colombia. It is inspired in liberal philosophy and humanities. The school is developing a bilingual curriculum and consolidating an international program.

Gimnasio Moderno’s mission is to educate students in an well-rounded manner. The school prepares students to be positive leaders who will contribute to society, fostering critical thinking, promoting individual freedom, ethical values and love for Colombia. Students will also develop social and environmental awareness as well as a commitment to global challenges.

The school’s educational approach is based on an “Active Learning” model, on the fundamental role of its teachers, on Trust Discipline and on the principle of “It’s not simply teaching, it’s educating”.

The school was founded in 1914, by a group prominent visionaries and free thinkers, amongst them: José María Samper Brush, his brother Tomás Samper Brush, the distinguished educator Agustín Nieto Caballero, Tomás Rueda Vargas and Ricardo Lleras Codazzi.

At Gimnasio Moderno, we do not believe in the memorization of texts or the mere attainment of exam results. We prepare students to face the diverse experiences life will offer them.

Teachers at Gimnasio Moderno are aware of the fact that their students are not empty minds which are to be filled with information. Instead, teachers enlighten students with knowledge; therefore, showing them the path to fly.


The Gimnasio Moderno of Bogotá is a Colombian, private, liberal and humanist-inspired school, in transition towards bilingualism and in the process of consolidating its internationalization program. Its purpose is to educate children and youth comprehensively for leadership at the service of society, to promote critical thinking, individual freedoms, ethical values, love for Colombia and social and environmental awareness, as well as a commitment to the challenges of the world. Its educational model is based on the Active School, on the fundamental role of its teachers, on the Discipline of Trust and on the maxim “Educate, not only instruct”.


In 2027, the Gimnasio Moderno will be a Latin American benchmark in pedagogy, culture, leadership, Positive Education, innovation, ethical training, social vocation and care for the environment.

It’s not simply teaching; it’s educating

Agustín Nieto Caballero


The concept of implementing a discipline strategy based on trust, starts with students’ own sense of responsibility. This responsibility is not a requirement, but more a lifestyle students adopt to benefit themselves and those around them.

This particular approach of educating students will guarantee autonomy and self criticism, allowing students to be responsible for their own acts and the way to balance their behavior. Discipline based on trust is based not on power or authority, but rather on rationality.


During their time at school, students have the opportunity to participate in programs which celebrate the spirit of free thinking and independent thought. These activities are carried out in positive surroundings, which foster autonomy and leadership, and are free of censorship on behalf of the school.

In primary, students start this process by creating the content of the school magazines El Pichón and El Huevito, and with the school radio. In middle school, students acquire journalistic skills thanks to their contributions to the school radio and TV news programs. In high school students are completely responsible for the content of El Aguilucho magazine, where well-known writers and journalists began their writing career.


Students have a hallmark in their character: they love their school, they are happy in it, and they build lifelong friendships.

They create deep ties with their teachers. They have identity and a sense of belonging. They are creative and achieve the goals they set for themselves.

They are passionate and confident. They demonstrate leadership in their actions. They know how to disagree, defend freedom and have social sensitivity.

Our graduates are autonomous, critical, curious and respectful people. They profess a love of knowledge. They understand that happiness is the result of pursuing their purposes with effort and work.

They are committed to their country and to the problems of the world. They are good companions and respect the difference. They know how to work in a team and resolve their problems and conflicts in a constructive way. They work for a peaceful, just, democratic and sustainable society and world.


The school proposes contextualized learning, loaded with experiences, with the active and enthusiastic participation of students, and their connection with the community where they interact.

The teaching and learning processes in the Gimnasio aim to help the development of human capacities, competencies and qualities that a contemporary citizen requires. For this, it is essential that students understand the world in which they find themselves from a critical position and, taking into account their potentialities, contribute not only to their progress, but to the improvement of their environment and society.

The teacher no longer acts as a “transmitter of information” but as a generator of possibilities that stimulates the curiosity of the students and accompanies them in the process of developing their potential, their mind and keeping the flame of their concerns alive.

As a curricular transformation, it offers innovative electives such as Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Creative Thinking, Buddhism, Meditation, Positive Psychology, and Happiness. Additionally, he has developed a “Mindfulness” program for Primary and Baccalaureate students.

The Gimnasio Mdoerno Curriculum is made up of several transversal axes: language, research, pedagogy by projects, critical and scientific thinking, the use of new technologies and ethical training. These are reflected in all fields of knowledge and in the activities carried out by the school in four sections, according to the ages of the young people.


Preschool guides students towards an integral development of their personalities. The preschool methodology is based on the teachings of Maria Montessori, who believed that children learn

more through the stimulation of their interests, curiosities and within the context of their environment.

GRADES: Montessori I, II y III and First Decroly

AGES: 4-7


Primary school educates students in a holistic manner allowingthem to be spiritually, morally and emotionally robust. Primary methodology is based on the teachings of Ovidio Decroly, who

instilled the love of learning, developing positive attitudes and perceptions amongst students.

GRADES: Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Decroly

AGES: 8-11


Middle school offers students the potential to discover new opportunities and strengthen their academic and vocational autonomy. The school gives students the confidence to lead healthy social habits and to be morally faultless. Students in middle school have the opportunity to participate in international exchange programs.

GRADES: Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Grades

AGES: 12-16


We prepare high school students to be leaders in innovation, freedom and democracy. Students have the opportunity to select the subjects of their choice. During the last semester, students can simultaneously take courses at the top 10 universities in Bogotá, Colombia. When they graduate, students are prepared to be accepted at leading universities locally and worldwide.

GRADES: Tenth and Eleventh



When a student at Gimnasio Moderno graduates, he is certified with level B2 or even level C1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. This standard measures levels of comprehension and expression. Gimnasio Moderno has established an agreement with Cambridge University, offering international certificates for students at different grade levels.

Starting in Montessori I, at the age of four, and all the way up to Primary, 50% of the subjects are taught in English. Math, History, Arts and Science are all taught in this target language.

In Middle school, students have the opportunity to travel to Canada or the UK for four months to practice their English skills. Subjects such as Science and Social Studies are taught in English. Students also participate in bilingual activities such as United Nations models. Students who have a high proficiency in English based on examinations have the opportunity to take French and Portuguese classes.

Gimnasio Moderno is currently reviewing its curriculum to foster international objectives. The school will establish alliances with different organizations around the world to promote international experiences.


Gimnasio Moderno is located in the heart of Bogota, Colombia, and its campus offers a wide variety of learning spaces.

The school has made an enormous investment in the renovation of its centennial buildings, turning them into modern learning spaces. Specialized furnishing and technology encourage team work and project development.

Each classroom is equipped with interactive whiteboards, high definition screens, surround sound system, high speed internet connectivity, acoustics and full connectivity to the IT system and specific grade libraries.


Practicing sports is an essential part of holistic development.

The school promotes healthy competition, team work, sportsmanship and the proper use of free time. The school’s sports program includes football, basketball, track and field, swimming, chess, karate, ping pong, badminton and volleyball.


Gimnasio Moderno seeks sustainable alternatives promoting the efficient use of natural resources, such as energy saving, decreasing the environmental footprint, promoting well-being and the overall quality of life within our community. An example of this spirit includes our waste management and recycling campaign, established in 1995.

The school has an environmental project called “Flight towards Sustainability” which works on three areas: On its campus: generating green classrooms and opportunities of outdoor education. On the academics: fostering a culture of responsibility and respect for the environment. On the logistics: focusing on the strategic management of our natural resources.


Since our Foundation Monseñor Emilio De Brigard started, the school has offered support to students, alumni, parents, employees and friends, benefiting our entire community.

Another flagship project is our involvement with Gimnasio Sabio Caldas. Gimnasio Moderno has been managing the school for the past 17 years offering quality education to more than 1,200 students in Ciudad Bolívar, a deprived population in the south of Bogotá.


School trips are a fundamental part of our holistic educational program. Students have the opportunity to get to know Colombia’s reality and enrich their lives through experiential learning.

A complete educational program should offer adventure as a key component. This element allows students to learn about new surroundings, cultures and sub cultures, and helps them to overcome obstacles. School trips challenge students’ character, fosters friendship and promotes personal growth. During the last year of school students have the opportunity to travel overseas.

This post is also available in: Spanish

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