Our british Secondary pathway follows the best of the English National Curriculum, whilst giving us the flexibility to allow students to complete the Spanish ESO qualification by the time they come to the end of Year 11.
All teaching is in English, with the exception of Spanish and Catalan lessons, which are designed for all student levels from absolute beginner to native expert, and we also offer French and German throughout the school. Students sit exams in 9 or 10 GCSE subjects at the end of Year 11 and then have the choice of doing the IB diploma or A levels in our Nexus building for their final 2 years at school.
YEARS 7, 8 & 9 (AGES 11-14)
A Mastery Approach
In Years 7, 8 and 9 students work predominantly in mixed ability groups, with the exception of Spanish and Catalan, and follow the “Mastery” approach to ensure depth of knowledge and understanding.
In Years 7 and 8, certain subjects are combined to develop project-based learning skills and at the end of Year 8 we offer students the chance to choose six of their subjects from eleven options available, alongside the obligatory core curriculum.
YEARS 10 & 11 (AGES 14-16)
Preparing for GCSEs
We offer a really broad range of subjects and try to fit our offer around the choices of the students, rather than giving them a very rigid set of subject combinations, which students are obliged to follow.
Our students generally choose to study for either 9 or 10 GCSE qualifications, depending on whether they opt to study all three sciences (Chemistry, Biology, Physics) individually or as Co-ordinated Science, which is worth two GCSE grades.
The vast majority of students sit Spanish GCSE early in Year 10, and the top Maths set will also sit GCSE Maths in Year 10 before going on to study Further Maths in Year 11.
Even if the subject is not taught in school, BSB will attempt to facilitate students undertaking exams in other subjects such as Russian and Chinese, for example.
We support and challenge our students to thrive in an ever-changing world
Secondary is about more than simply academic excellence. Whether encouraging curiosity, developing empathy, celebrating individuality or building resilience, all school activities are about enhancing character development in the widest possible sense.
One key element of this is the Philosophy for Children (P4C) programme, which runs through our daily tutor periods. Within P4C, students are encouraged to form a point of view on a given topic, required to listen to and acknowledge alternative stand points and, where necessary, reflect on and alter their initial point of view.
Our BSB Learning Habits are designed to ensure learning goes a long way beyond course content. From Organisation to Socialising and Leadership to Determination, Lessons, Assemblies, Societies and After-School Activities are all planned to promote these and other dispositions and life skills, which are applicable within school and beyond.
The value we place on metacognition, our fostering of creativity and our encouragement of resilience help students see school as a place where they can choose to take control of their learning and develop a genuine passion for their subjects and activities.
All students are provided with a digital device. In Years 7 and 8 this is an iPad and in Year 9 and above, a laptop. As a school we use Microsoft Teams and Office 365 to enhance our provision and to ensure students are increasingly digitally literate as they progress through the school.
Significant time is spent reinforcing messages about online safety and highlighting the importance of responsible use of these devices, whilst staff are constantly looking at how new applications and software and be used to further improve student learning.
Societies & Extracurriculars
Every Wednesday afternoon we run a very comprehensive programme of Societies. These include everything from House Sports to the school Musical and from debating to a beginner's course in Psychology.
As well as our Societies programme, every lunchtime students have opportunities to take part in a broad range of clubs and activities and after-school there is further sport, drama and music taking place. Students can opt to have instrumental music lessons before or during the school day and all Year 10 students have the option to undertake the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze International Award.
Rates of attainment and progress are above national averages at every stage in the school and GCSE figures are particularly strong. The 2022 results demonstrate that, on average, students achieved over half a grade higher in every subject than they were initially targeted following baseline testing at the start of Year 10.
Every year a group of BSB students receive awards for achieving the highest GCSE marks in Spain, Europe or, on occasion, the World, in certain subjects.