What is the curriculum like at a British International School?
Struggling to decide which school is best for your child? You’ve come to the right place! In this article, we will discuss the curriculum at British International Schools and what makes them so special. Enjoy a comprehensive overview of the academic offerings and learn why these schools are so popular!
British International Schools offer a curriculum based on the English National Curriculum, with the aim of preparing students for success in a global society. In this type of school, children from around the world benefit from an education focused on developing individuals who are articulate, think critically, and work independently.
British International Schools also provide international programs that give students the opportunity to learn about different cultures around the world and explore new ideas. At these schools, students are encouraged to strive for academic excellence and personal growth through experiential learning.
In a British International School, students develop knowledge and skills to become inquisitive and innovative thinkers. They have access to an extensive range of activities that help them cultivate higher-order thinking abilities such as problem-solving and creative problem solving.
The curriculum in these schools goes beyond traditional core subjects such as English and Mathematics by offering additional content areas such as:
- Foreign Language Learning (with Mandarin Chinese being particularly popular)
- Computer Science
- Leadership Development Programs
- STEAM (Science, Technology Engineering Arts & Maths)
- Current Events/Global Issues Education
- Global Thinking/Understanding Automation Environments (such as robotics)
Students at British International Schools also receive specially tailored support services including Individualised Learning Pathways (ILPs) which allows them to meet their own learning goals both academically and personally.
Overview of British International Schools
British international schools offer a rigorous, well-rounded curricular framework to help students reach their academic, personal and social goals. British international schools provide an overall curriculum based on the English National Curriculum to ensure that their graduates receive credentials that will be recognized in most educational systems worldwide.
In addition to traditional subjects such as mathematics, science and English language studies, a British international school’s curriculum includes history and geography, personal social education (PSE), drama, physical education and modern foreign languages such as French or Spanish. Depending on the school or specific region where it is located, other subjects may also be included. Schools in Asia often offer Mandarin Chinese language classes for beginning through advanced speakers.
From a technological perspective, a british international school regularly incorporate computers into the classroom for learning activities across subjects that range from word processing skills to website design and multimedia presentations. Also important is outdoor learning expertise since these private schools provide extracurricular activities such as:
- Field trips
- Excursions (hiking/biking/caving)
- Field biology studies
- Camping adventures led by instructors who specialize in outdoor education.
At a British International School, the curriculum framework follows the core standards established by the UK’s National Curriculum. Depending on the school, it is common to find a mixture of elements from both the Foundation Stage and Key Stage frameworks. The Foundation Stage covers students aged 3-5 (Nursery and Reception) whilst the Key Stage identifies 4 age groups:
- Key Stage 1 (5-7)
- Key Stage 2 (7-11)
- Key Stage 3 (11-14)
- Key Stage 4 (14-16)
The National Curriculum has its roots in national testing of Years 5 and 9 with core assessment standards focusing on English, Maths and Science. For students aged 7 and above, this includes history; geography; modern foreign languages; art; design & technology; music; physical education; health & personal social education. Many British schools will supplement these core subjects with additional enrichment activities such as drama, coding or vocational study depending upon their individual setting. As such there is a great range to choose from for both parents and children when selecting a British international school for their educational journey.
At a British International School, the core subjects are taught according to the National Curriculum for England. This includes English, Mathematics, Science and Computing as well as History, Geography and Modern Foreign Languages (MFL). Alongside this core curriculum there may also be Humanities or Religious Education lessons which focus on understanding cultural beliefs, values and religious practices.
The core subjects will form the basis of a student’s education in a British International School with topics being adapted to fit the needs of international students. The main emphasis is on getting students to develop their literacy, numeracy and investigative skills – meaning that they are ready to continue their studies in higher education should they choose to do so. Core subjects are split into Key Stage 1 (ages 5-7) Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11) Key Stage 3 (ages 11-14) and Key Stage 4 (ages 14-16).
For example, in Key Stage 3 Science will cover four themes:
- Life processes
- Materials and their properties
which are then applied to various experiments or practical activities. In addition to this; pupils may have additional classes such as Music or Gardening/Outdoor activities which provide an opportunity for creativity along with physical activity/exercise breaks during the day.
In addition to the core subjects, British International Schools may also offer a range of additional subjects, depending on the school, teachers available and budget. These may include Drama, Music, Visual Arts and other Creative Arts Subjects. At some schools ICT (Information & Communication Technology) is a core subject; at others it is offered as an optional subject for those students who wish to pursue it further.
All schools take a thematic approach to teaching and learning; this means that topics are planned around themes linking different aspects of the curriculum together so children bring together ideas from different disciplines in their studies.
The requirement to offer Religious Education at state maintained schools in England is not applicable to British International Schools. However many will offer RE as part of their Humanities curricula if they feel this contributes to a rounded educational experience for their students. It would certainly be worth researching any particular school online if you were wanting proof of what additional GCSEs might be available as each school could differ considerably in terms of what they offer at any given point in time.
Sports and Physical Education are always compulsory for all students up until Key Stage 4 when it becomes optional; most schools however continue providing physical education even up until Year 11 (the final year).
Extracurricular activities form an important part of the educational experience at a British International School, providing learners with the opportunity to develop their interests and talents as part of their overall education. The variety of activities available reflect the unique cultural and linguistic context of school, enabling students to learn through practical experiences and enthusing them about learning for life.
Activities range from academic clubs such as debating and scientific research that fulfil the school’s curriculum requirements, to non-academic clubs designed to provide fun educational activities outside lesson times. Examples include sports activities such as football, dancing, martial arts and Drama performances with options for dance troupes or theatre groups. Other extra-curricular opportunities like language classes or public speaking contests help students develop confidence in communicating before an audience or handling real-life scenarios with poise.
These fun-filled activities foster a sense of community amongst learners by encouraging them to participate in group discussions and problem solving without fear of judgement. Students also learn by sharing ideas and goals which helps facilitate constructive conversations leading towards responsible decision making skills. In addition, they provide students with the foundation necessary for promoting compassion towards others whilst developing interpersonal collaborations; this is particularly pertinent in social groups where students learn how teamwork increases productivity beyond individual effort alone.
Assessment and Evaluation
At a British International School, assessment and evaluation practices are designed to promote effective management of learning. Assessments provide teachers with helpful information about students’progress and also serve to motivate them to learn. A variety of assessment techniques can be used, including formative tests which offer feedback on improvements, portfolios and essays which allow teachers to observe student engagement over time, as well as summative tests which measure cumulative attainment in a single sitting or activity. Assessments should not interfere with the teaching-learning process and therefore it is important that they are structured effectively and efficiently according to the specific learning needs of each student.
In evaluating students’ performance, international schools take into account their overall academic achievements as well as their intellectual development, self-discipline, ability for independent thought and research skills. Grading systems usually use a combination of letter (A-F) or number (1-7) grades for overall achievement in each subject area or course. Reports detailing student progress are issued during the year so parents can track academic performance regularly.
Benefits of Attending a British International School
Attending a British International School can provide students with a unique educational experience. These schools are often found in some of the most beautiful and culturally vibrant environments, allowing pupils to enjoy education in every aspect of their daily lives. Not only do these schools offer an excellent academic curriculum, but they also provide an extensive programme of extra-curricular activities that allow pupils to develop their social and athletic skills as well as gain a wider understanding of the world around them.
British International Schools typically follow the same Natinal Curriculum as found in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – all adapted for international students. This curriculum focuses on providing global students with challenging lessons that cover the core subjects alongside an expansive range of optional subjects such as foreign languages, philosophy, business studies and ICT.
These schools also promote values such as independence and teamwork so that pupils can reach their fullest potential as individuals within a collaborative environment. With access to state-of-the-art libraries, laboratories and classrooms it is not surprising why so many parents choose to send their children to a British International School when they have the opportunity.