Global Be Well Day, an annual celebration of wellbeing

On Thursday, 30 September 2021, more than 58,000 Cognita students, parents and colleagues around the world will celebrate our third Global Be Well Day (GBWD). This annual event is an opportunity for all our schools in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America to have a simultaneous and unified celebration of student wellbeing and it forms just one aspect of our overall focus on wellbeing. Beth Kerr, Cognita’s Group Director of Wellbeing, tells us more:

“For the last two years, GBWD has largely focused on the physical contributors to wellbeing from our Be Well Charter, so, this year, we will be encouraging a greater emphasis on the mental contributors—connecting, doing and giving. This seems particularly relevant as we come to terms with the continuing impact of the global pandemic on our mental health.

The Covid-19 pandemic has put tremendous pressure on our ability to ‘Be Well’, and we know that our students’ mental health has been particularly impacted. For example, in its most extreme form, anxiety is a clinical disorder that impacts around 7% of children and adults worldwide, but a 2021 review suggested an increase in the prevalence of anxiety since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, with 25-40% of the child and adolescent population experiencing heightened feelings of anxiety.

However, we also understand from the evidence that connecting with yourself and with others, doing a meaningful activity, and giving to help others are all incredibly powerful ways of strengthening our mental health. Through exploring these wellbeing contributors in more detail, we hope to equip our students and colleagues around the world with the understanding about why it is important to fit in these fulfilling activities in their day to day lives.”

BSB GBWD through the lens of Empathy

At BSB this year we have incorporated GBWD into our yearly overview of half-termly wellbeing theme weeks. We will be following the suggested theme of Empathy:

“Empathy is the ability to hold and create space for someone else to express themselves as they truly are.”​

We believe that empathy is a skill. It takes practice but if we practice it well, we can better connect to someone else. We can then have a greater understanding of someone else’s thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions.​

In Primary the theme of Empathy will be introduced in our Monday assembly before GBWD and children will engage in a carousel of activities during the day.

In Secondary, the theme will also be introduced during the year group assemblies on the week of GBWD and daily tutor time will be dedicated to short activities/discussions. On GBWD students will have an extended tutor time to further develop/engage in a project with a serties of activities designed with the Wellbeing/Personal Development team.

Some of our campuses will also run charity activities to fulfill the “Doing” contributor.


BSB Parent Webinar

Based on our focus on Empathy, on 30th September we will be delivering a parent webinar on “The Power of Empathy“.

The online session is open to parents of all campuses with children in any year group, and it will cover aspects such as: what is empathy, why is it important and how can we set the stage for children to grow into kind, empathetic adults.

The webinar will be delivered by Andy Burns, Wellbeing Mentor for Secondary and Pre-University, and Carol Coleman, Director of Student Support.



Related Links:

Global Be Well Day

BSB celebrates wellbeing commitment with second Global Be Well Day

BSB Joins Global Effort For Young People’s Wellbeing Amid Covid-19

The British School of Barcelona celebrates “Global Be Well Day”

BSB Breaks Guinness World Record


New Group Chief Executive Officer of Cognita visits BSB

On Wednesday 8th September we had the pleasure to host Mr Frank Maassen, new Group Chief Executive Officer of Cognita, at The British School of Barcelona. In his first visit of BSB, he was accompanied by Stuart Rolland, Chief Executive of Cognita Europe; Germà Rigau, Managing Director of Cognita Spain; Fidelma Murphy, Director of Education; and Álvaro de Miguel Álvarez, Head of Operations and Properties.

BSB Executive Principal, Mr Jon Locke, and BSB Senior Business Manager, Mr Dominik Anke, showed Mr Maassen around all four BSB campuses, including our rugby pitch and the state-of-the-art BSB STEM Centre currently under construction.


BSB City. New campus in Barcelona

The one-day visit started off in Barcelona, at the new BSB City Foundation campus, which opened its doors on Monday 6th September for children in Early Years and Primary.

Hosted by Ms Katherine Monaghan, Headteacher of BSB City, the visitors were guided through the historic building that has been completely renovated to provide inspiring, creative spaces for children aged 3-10.

Afterwards, the group visited the new BSB City building which is currently under construction and will open for the 2023/24 school year, with 750 new places for 3-to-18-year-old students.



Proud at BSB Sitges

The second visit of the day took place in BSB Sitges, where the visitors had the opportunity to get to know first-hand the students’ exceptional work through their ‘Proud Books’ exhibition, presented by the campus’ ambassador students.

The visitors highlighted the school’s familiar and welcoming nature and the spacious and well-lit facilities, and they also had the chance to greet the teachers and talk with them, as well as getting to know the new Early Years and Primary Headteacher, Mrs Rachael Symes.



Learning Habits and Wellbeing at BSB Castelldefels

The next stop was BSB Castelldefels. Joined by Mrs Emma Overton, Early Years and Primary Headteacher, the group visited the outstanding Early Years facilities, purposely designed to promote independent learning and developing age-appropriate psychomotor skills.

Both in the Primary and Secondary facilities, they had the opportunity to learn about the way we help develop future skills by nurturing nine Learning Habits, that contribute to the development of important soft skills, such as Leadership, Imagination, Organisation, and Determination, among others.

Mr James Petrie, Headteacher of Secondary and Pre-University, showed them the new Wellbeing Centre, a new facility of this school year especially designed to work on students’ emotional wellbeing — A fine example of the importance BSB we place on this matter.



Sport Skills at the BSB Rugby Pitch

The visitors also had the chance to visit the rugby pitch adjacent to BSB Castelldefels. They were delighted with this impressive sports facility, which undoubtedly helps enrich the students’ PE curriculum and offers a number of opportunities to enjoy after-school sport activities.



Outstanding Academic Results at BSB Nexus

At BSB Nexus, Mr Jake Richardson, Director of Pre-University, had the chance of sharing the excellent academic results achieved by our students in their June 2021 examinations, the best results ever in the history of BSB.

The Scholars at BSB Nexus also took them on a guided tour of the campus, purposely designed to provide a global Pre-University experience to students aged 16 to 18.



BSB STEM Centre – Opening soon

The last stop of this guided tour took place at our new BSB STEM Centre, located just opposite BSB Nexus. The construction works are progressing fast enough to be able to open this term. The new centre will offer modern facilities that will include a large lab space and classrooms for IT, programming and for reduced focus groups.


BSB starts the school year with a new campus in Barcelona

The British School of Barcelona has starts the school year this week with the opening of a new center in the city of Barcelona. BSB City is the fourth campus of the international school, which already has three campuses, two in Castelldefels (BSB Castelldefels and BSB Nexus) and one in Sitges (BSB Sitges).

The new BSB campus is located in a modernist building in the Sarrià – Sant Gervasi district of Barcelona and has a capacity for up to 200 students from 3 to 10 years old. The school includes 500 square metres of outdoor learning areas and 750 square metres of purpose-built indoor space.



Expansion in Barcelona with the opening of BSB City

The excellent reputation of BSB added to the growing demand for places in international schools has led to the opening of the BSB City campus in the city of Barcelona, a project that is the result of an investment of 15 million euros by the international education group Cognita —of which BSB is part—, with more than 85 schools in 12 countries in Europe, South America and Asia.

This year, BSB City opens its doors at the “Foundation campus”, a historic building that has been completely renovated to provide inspiring, creative spaces for children in Early Years and Primary. For the 2023/24 school year, BSB City will expand with the opening of the main building also in Sarrià – Sant Gervasi, near John F. Kennedy Square, offering 750 new places for 3-to-18-year-old students.



A well-established international education with a student-centered approach

BSB City draws on our expertise of over 60 years in education. Our well-established, proven approach to teaching and learning as well as our academic excellence have led our school to be considered one of the most important and prestigious international schools in Spain.

Through an individualized approach to teaching and learning that goes far beyond the academic curriculum, we focus on the development of learning habits and future skills in order to prepare students to become global citizens. This personalised educational model allows students to choose their own activities and subjects throughout all educational stages, and to choose from two international Pre-University pathways: the British curriculum and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, along with the validation of the Spanish Bachillerato. An overarching student support and wellbeing programme throughout students’ school life is also a distinct feature of The British School of Barcelona.

Thanks to this framework of academic personalisation and culture of wellbeing, this year our students of Secondary and Pre-University have achieved the highest results ever in the history of BSB, with a 100% pass-rate on the IB Diploma with scores above the world average. These exceptional results have allowed our students to gain places in some of the best universities in the world, both in Spain and abroad.


Related links:

BSB will open a new campus in Barcelona city

BSB City Virtual Tour

BSB creates a Virtual Experience of BSB City

BSB and Cognita Spain staff become MIE Experts

We are proud to announce that 24 teachers of Cognita Schools in Spain have become accredited as MIE Experts. Mr Ricardo Sánchez, Digital Lead at The British School of Barcelona, is one of the newly appointed MIE Experts, who are professional learning specialists who impact teaching and learning in their role, striving to find new ways to engage their students.

All 24 MIE Experts have been selected by the regional Microsoft representative based on the level of innovation and use of Microsoft tools described in the learning activity and the level of detail in how becoming a part of the programme will impact both teaching and student learning. Resourceful and entrepreneurial, they relish the role of change agent, and work to achieve excellence in education using Microsoft technologies coupled with their innovative teaching practices.

As accredited MIE Experts, they demonstrate that they have adopted 21st century teaching and learning, take risks, and strive to improve their pedagogy to integrate technology tools that improve student outcomes. They also model that failure is an opportunity to reflect and learn as well as resiliency. And they provide coaching/mentoring to other teachers and support their growth, among other functions involved in their role.


The Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE)-Programme

MIE Expert is a premier programme created to recognise global educator visionaries like our teachers in Cognita schools. To apply for the accreditation, applicants must be self-driven educators who are passionate about teaching and learning, who inspire students with creative thinking, and work in a truly collaborative spirit to share their learning with the world.


Cognita Schools MIE Experts

Alongside BSB, colleagues from British School of Valencia, El Limonar International School Murcia, El Limonar International School Villamartín in Alicante and Colegio Europeo de Madrid have also received this accreditation.

Ms Sabrina Espasandin, Digital Learning Adviser Spain, led the accreditation process of all participating educators. She has also been certified as a MIE Expert: “I am beyond grateful to work with such an exceptional group of educators. This recognition speaks of our teachers’ commitment to continuous professional development and improving digital learning at their schools, but also of the work our digital transformations teams have done over the past two years. The results achieved this Summer have completely surpassed our expectations. Well done to all!”


Please join us in congratulating them all for this great achievement for themselves, our schools and, most of all, our students.

Source: Microsoft Educator Center


Related links:

BSB Teaching Staff Continues their training thanks to Cognita Spain Webinars

5 tips for a successful start to the school year for the youngest children

We are just about to begin the new academic year and it is important to properly plan the start of school for children, especially for those in Early Years, since these days will become such a big change for them. Parents should emotionally prepare their child accordingly for the change that joining a classroom will represent. If they are comforted and reassured, they will eventually adapt to it smoothly.

In order for this first contact with school to be a positive experience, Ms Katherine Monaghan, our headteacher at BSB City, the new campus at The British School of Barcelona which will open its doors this September in the city of Barcelona, is offering five tips for families to help them prepare for this new stage.


1. Act calm and natural

It is natural to feel a range of emotions that go from nervousness to excitement for this new stage on the first days of school, especially if it is the child’s first time. Children are quick to perceive these emotions, and so Ms Monaghan recommends to be natural at home and prepare the children progressively as if the start of school was just another daily activity. In order to do this, our expert in Early Years education at BSB City recommends talking with the children about their new school before the day, focusing on what they like and what they will be able to do in this new environment, practicing a fun, morning routine that includes getting dressed and having breakfast on time for the beginning of school. It is fundamental to make them understand, using positive language, that school is a place where they will have fun, where they will discover lots of exciting new things and make new friends. Ms Monaghan explains that: ‘When we act calm, confident and secure — our children feel that way!’


2. Join your child on their first days

When you drop your child at school, plan some time to join them on their way to their classroom and explore the new space together. It is a great opportunity to get in touch with the other children and discover the educational resources and games at their disposal together. When it’s time to say goodbye, organise a short parting routine that is special for both of you—a kiss, a gesture, a song— that the child can recognise as positive and comforting. Above all, trust your child’s teacher. As BSB City’s headteacher puts it: ‘Trust your child’s new teacher. Our teachers are appointed not just because of their academic excellence, but also because of their pastoral skills and emotional intelligence. They will care for your child as if she is their own. In a great school like ours – we are all family.’



3. Remember this is a natural process that takes some time

A lot of children adapt to school quickly, while others need a bit more time. Do not be surprised if you notice any change in their behaviour at home: it is simply the natural adaptation process to their new routine. Our experts at BSB recommend allowing the child to rest once they get home, giving them healthy food and beverages to recharge and tone down the level of activity during the first few weekends. The headteacher of Early Years and Primary at BSB City explains the importance of being patience: ‘Give it time. It’s normal for children (and adults!) to feel a little unsettled for the first few days of a new adventure. Solid, genuine peer-friendships take time to develop.’


4. Get to know your child’s teacher

The teacher will be your best ally when it comes to making your child happy at school and eager to learn. That is why it is very important to regularly communicate with their teacher, mention any concern or change, and asking for advice about what to do in certain situations. Ms Monaghan highlights the importance of meeting the class teacher: ‘Get to know your child’s teacher.  Whether it’s face-to-face meeting, or interactions online, developing a relationship with your child’s teacher is paramount. Children thrive educationally and emotionally when they know that school and home are working in partnership with one shared aim: their social, emotional and academic growth.’



5. Enjoy this new experience

Trust in our professional staff’s years of teaching experience to help your child adapt to this new adventure in a progressive and pleasant way. Enjoy your child’s daily progress and encourage them to share every new achievement with you. ‘Have down-time. Let us do the hard work at school. If your choose a good school with expert teachers, copious amounts of homework or additional tutoring are entirely unnecessary (and indeed counterproductive). Make time to unwind and have fun and family-time with your child.’


School-home partnership: the key to make a child happy while learning

Beyond the child’s initial adaptation process in school, BSB experts agree that building a strong and fruitful partnership with families is the basis for children to grow up happy and, therefore, be more open to learning opportunities. ‘At BSB City we are building a nurturing, exciting and diverse new family to make your child feel at home from day one.’


Related links: 

Why Children Benefit from Early Years Education (3 to 5 years)?

The importance of starting school at an early age

BSB will open a new campus in Barcelona city

BSB City campus

BSB City Virtual Tour

Record Examination Results for BSB Students

For a third year running, the students of The British School of Barcelona have demonstrated superb resilience and have achieved record examination results at A Level, IB and GCSE. Through a combination of hard work from the students, expert guidance from their teachers and great support from their families, our students have achieved the highest results ever in the history of BSB!

Obviously this has been another exceptionally challenging year with students being assessed with a combination of terminal examinations and in school assessments. Despite this, students have responded brilliantly gaining results that have sent the vast majority to their University destinations of choice.

As an inclusive school we pride ourselves on offering an equal chance of success for all of our students, regardless of their starting points. Our value added analysis demonstrates that our students are genuinely exceeding expectations by gaining, on average, a whole grade higher than forecast across all of their subjects. This performance places BSB amongst the top 1% of schools in terms of added value.

Examination results highlights at GCSE:

  • 28% of grades were awarded at 9
  • 64% of grades were awarded 7 to 9 (A*-A)
  • 99% of students obtained five or more 4 to 9 grades (A*-C)

Examination results highlights at A Level: 

  • 63% of grades were awarded at A*-A
  • 82% of grades were awarded A*-B

At IB:

  • 100% success for our largest ever IB contingent
  • Average Point Score 33.5 (29.9 World Average)  – Setting a new school record
  • 3 students scoring 40+ points across all their subjects


Well done to everyone who has worked so hard to obtain such excellent grades. Many congratulations to all the students and best of luck for their exciting futures.


Related links:

100% success in IB results and new BSB IB record

Academic Results & University Destinations

BSB Career and Futures Guidance

The importance of starting school at an early age

This week Mr Steve Rochester, one of our highly qualified, experienced and passionate Early Years teacher at The British School of Barcelona, has been interviewed both on COPE radio and (Libertad Digital) to share his views about the benefits of following an Early Years curriculum in a purpose-built school setting for a child’s physical, emotional, social and intellectual development.

The podcasts can be listened in full following the links below, but we have selected some highlights of his interviews:

  • One of the most important benefits of sending children to an educational centre is socialisation: it is an environment where children spend a lot of time with others of the same age, which helps both on social, emotional and personal as well as linguistic aspects of their development.


  • One of the advantages of sending children to school from an early age is that it helps them develop their communication skills with other children, they learn how to play well, and they count with the assistance of adults that join their games and helps them develop new ideas.


  • English is the formative language at BSB. Most young children can’t speak it at home before joining us, but we count with body and facial language, bilingual resources, and use English exclusively in order to help them acquire new vocabulary, which they do very quickly, and they are capable to start using the language in their next educational stage.


  • Children are like sponges, especially when it comes to language: if they learn a language when they’re very young, they will be able to acquire it quickly and they will grow to use it on a bilingual level that will be a very useful advantage for the rest of their life.


  • At BSB we offer the English Curriculum, created specifically for younger children and, as well as teaching Maths or Phonetics, it focuses on the child’s personal, social and emotional development, how to manage their emotions, and how to communicate both in their native language and English.


  • Although ours is an English school, we offer an international education thanks to the large number of children from different countries and cultures, which also helps children communicate and socialise with different people before starting their mandatory education at age six.


  • Learning a new language from an early age can help children be more confident; if they start at a later age, they might feel afraid of making mistakes.


[Click image above to listen to COPE podcast]


[Click image above to listen to (Libertad Digital) podcast]


Related Links:

Full programme on COPE radio

Full programme on (Libertad Digital)


Why Children Benefit from Early Years Education (3 to 5 years)?

Spain is one of the European countries with the highest rates of early schooling, despite it not being mandatory till age six. Although Early Years education is voluntary, it is actually the most influential educational stage in a child’s physical, emotional, social and intellectual development.

However, according to the 2021 data from the Ministry of Education, Early Years schools have had an average of 23.763 enrolled children aged 3 to 6 less in the 2020/2021 academic year compared to the previous one. This contrasts with the recommendations from psychologists, educators and paediatricians, who all agree that contact with other children and teachers is essential for the child’s development during this stage.


The benefits of early schooling in the learning process

Several studies have proved that educational programmes in Early Years have real academic and cognitive benefits: according to research published on Science, children aged 3 to 5 who attend Early Years before starting their Primary education achieve better grades in the long-term and socialise with others better than those who don’t. This is due to the fact that this is one of the most critical stages in a child’s brain development, in which early intervention and stimulation in a learning environment play a crucial part and has a cognitive and physical effect in later stages.

During Early Years, a child’s emotional development is progressively addressed; a child who feels safe and happy at school is a child who’s open to learning opportunities. During this stage, children work on basic co-existing norms and social relationships. They also develop the needed skills to work independently and collaboratively through their own exploration, with teachers supporting them and extending their learning. Early mastery of literacy and maths are promoted in a fun, age-appropriate way, developing the key skills they will need later in their school life.

Ms Katherine Monaghan, Headteacher of the new BSB City campus in The British School of Barcelona, explains that: ‘The importance of Early Childhood Education in healthy child development cannot be overstated. Our Nursery and Reception classes provide the crucial, firm foundation upon which children’s future social, emotional and academic successes are built.

‘Each of our Early Childhood teachers is a highly qualified, experienced and passionate specialist in early childhood development and pedagogy. They work tirelessly to create a magical, caring learning environment which promotes curiosity, independence, and socialisation at every turn.

‘At BSB, our small classes —and highly personalized approach— allow our Early Years teachers to develop genuine, caring familial relationships with each of our families. This ensures that learning and personal care is tailored to the specific needs and interests of our young learners.

‘The result? Happy, thoughtful children with a thirst for knowledge, and the skills and confidence to seek it out for themselves.’



Key aspects to consider when choosing an Early Years school

Our specialists at BSB explain that one of the most important aspects when choosing a school is the possibility of attending all educational stages at the same centre in order to benefit from the same learning model. Providing a familiar, caring environment so that children feel at home from the very first day is also important. Children should see school as a place where they can unleash their curiosity and express themselves creatively; therefore, the school should be able to provide educational resources adapted for different age groups to facilitate this.

Parents should also consider the possibility that the child learns a second language to achieve bilingual fluency. This is specially recommended in Early Years, as this is a stage in the child’s development when they are already prepared to learn new skills and are more receptive to some forms of knowledge, so that language is acquired naturally.


New international Early Years campus in the capital of Catalonia

Due to the growing demand for places in international schools in the city of Barcelona, we have announced the opening of a new campus in Barcelona for the 2021/2022 academic year. The new BSB City Campus will open next September at the Foundation Campus, a modernist building located in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district, with a capacity for up to 200 students aged 3 to 10 (Early Years and Primary).

Later, for the 2023/2024 academic year, BSB City will expand with the opening of its main building in the same area of Barcelona, where we will continue to offer our all-through, first-class education from Early Years to Pre-University.

This campus will join our three existing campuses: BSB Sitges, BSB Castelldefels and BSB Nexus. We offer Early Years education (for 3-to-5-year-old children) both at Sitges and Castelldefels, and now also in Barcelona.



Related links:

5 key factors when choosing an international school

BSB will open a new campus in Barcelona city

BSB City Virtual Tour

BSB creates a Virtual Experience of BSB City

Onsite and Virtual Visits of BSB City campus in Barcelona


Summer family events at BSB City

At BSB City, the fourth campus of The British School of Barcelona opening in September 2021, we are already creating the sense of a BSB Community, one of foremost priorities that lies at the heart of our school.

As a caring, learning community we take every opportunity to meet with our families and spend some quality time engaging with children and listening to parents in order to understand better about their home, customs, and needs.



In readiness for a smooth start in September, we are currently hosting Playdates with parents and children in the park with Ms Monaghan, BSB City Headteacher, and Miss George, our Head of Early Years and Year 1 in Barcelona. We believe that Playdates are a fantastic opportunity for children to meet their teacher and some of their new classmates in a relaxed, familiar environment.

It has been great to see how well families connect with each other, creating this positive, welcoming atmosphere that truly enhances the value of a BSB Community.

Playdates are also available for prospective families who would like to learn more about us and engage with our Founding Families starting in September 2021. Parents can register by sending an email at Why don’t you join us?

  • Wednesday 21st July, at 18.00 h
  • Wednesday 28th July, at 18.00 h



Forest Fun!

We are also looking forward to our “Forest Fun” session with our Founding Families and prospective parents of children in Years 2 to 5 on Monday 26th July, at 18.00h.

Forest School is an immersive learning experience that encourages hands-on, environmentally friendly creativity and problem solving. On our “Forest Fun” session, we will build tripod shelters and decorate them, do some art activity with clay or hand printing, read a story or play a nature connection game.

Join us for some urban Forest School nature fun! Book your place by sending an email at



Related Links:

BSB will open a new campus in Barcelona city

BSB City Virtual Tour 

BSB creates a Virtual Experience of BSB City

Onsite and Virtual Visits of BSB City campus in Barcelona



100% success in IB results and new BSB IB record

Many congratulations to all our Year 13 IB students, who received an outstanding set of results yesterday. Our largest ever IB contingent succeeded in setting a new school record of 33.5 for the average IB points score.

Three of our students managed the exceptional achievement of a score of 40 or higher, across all their subjects and, on average, every student secured 3 more points than they were predicted to do at the start of the two-year course.

Consequently, all our students have succeeded in securing places at a hugely impressive range of universities across the world.

A big thank you to all the Pre-University staff involved in teaching and advising our IB cohort in the last 2 years at BSB Nexus and, once again, many congratulations to those students and best of luck for their exciting futures.


Related links:

International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) at BSB

Academic Results & University Destinations