British School of Barcelona (The) - BSB Nexus Campus
BSB Nexus is a purpose-built pre-university campus for students aged 16 to 18 offering A levels, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and validation of Spanish Bachillerato.
- British School of Barcelona (The) - BSB Nexus Campus
Carrer de la Ginesta, 2-10
- T +34 93 707 9598
- E [email protected]
- W www.britishsch…olbarcelona.com
- Senior School Ages: 16-18
- Senior School Sexes: Co-ed
- Senior School Numbers: 263 boys and girls
- Teaching Language: English
- SEN: SEN considered case by case
- Boarding: Not available
- Uniform: No
- School Year: September - June: 3 terms
- School Hours: Monday-Thursday: 8.00-18.00 / Friday: 8.00-17.00
- Fee Currency: EURO
- Fee Details: Year 12 A levels €16,225; Year 12 IB €16,725; Year 13 €16,225
- Fee Extras: Matriculation €3,000, Lunch, Trips, Bus service, After-school activities, External exam fees
- Religion: Non-denominational
- Memberships: NABSS, COBIS, HMC, BISA
- State/Independent: Independent: privately owned (individual/corporation)
- A levels
- International Baccalaureate (Diploma)
- Spanish Baccalaureate
- BSO (British Schools Overseas inspection programme)
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What The Good Schools Guide International says
Head of secondary and pre-university
Since 2017, James Petrie. Arrived in Spain in January 2015 with his wife and three children. Previously at Hereford Cathedral School in the UK for eight years. Open, affable and fluent in Spanish. James is conscious of the fact that many Spanish parents are sending their children to school in a system they didn’t experience themselves and so clarity in communication is key. By speaking Spanish he is able to help Spanish families integrate in the BSB community. ‘Parents place a huge amount of trust in the school and are aware of the advantages the school offers over the system they went through.’
He reiterates that school has high expectations - his own high achieving son (achieved the highest mark in Europe for Pearson Edexcel A Level Politics), reluctant to move away from his then school in the UK, now recognises the benefits the international environment has to offer. He is currently at Cambridge. James' two other children attend BSB.
Of 180 students in total almost 40 joined new in year 12. The other 140 came directly from BSB Castelldefels. Current sixth formers give presentations to year 11 ahead of the move. Parents and students speak highly of the transition week at the end of year 11 which gives students a flavour of sixth form life. Taster classes help them make subject choices; a sample timetable of lessons and expectations of working independently are laid out. Taster sessions of CAS (creativity, action, service; a core component of the IB Diploma) too.
Pre-university candidates applying from outside of the school are required to achieve five A*-C (9-4) GCSE’s, or their equivalent, in their previous school.
The appointed ‘futures lead’ works with students and their families to find the right post-secondary options for them. Her passion is infectious and her priority is year 13 students leaving the school ‘happy, healthy and well.’ Ultimately she is ‘motivated to help young people find a way to create meaning in their lives.’ Some parents feel, however, that there are not so many opportunities for those less academic students who don’t want to go down the traditional university route.
Internships are encouraged, students must be proactive in finding opportunities whether that be working with an NGO or shadowing a fashion designer. Internships with large organisations in Barcelona are readily available (the school relies on parent contacts) but for anything outside of the box it will need to be independently arranged.
Students secure places at a range of (UK) Russell Group universities including Cambridge, York, Warwick, Imperial College London, King’s College London, Bristol, Exeter and UCL. The picture for Spain is equally strong with students gaining places at ESADE, University of Navarra, University of Barcelona (UB), IE University and La Salle, amongst others. International destinations continue to grow and (with a drop in numbers applying to UK universities since Brexit) the Netherlands is a very popular choice as well.
The school prides itself on academic excellence and BSB exam results reflect this, being consistently above the national average. Students scored an average of 35 points in the IBDP in 2022 (world average was 32) 33.5 in 2021 and 33 in 2020. Fifty per cent of grades were awarded at A*-A at A level. In 2021 63 percent of grades were awarded A*-A at A level.
Teaching and learning
Choice of IBDP or A levels - whichever is best suited to the learner. There are limitations to the combination of subjects but perhaps these will become more varied with the increased uptake in the IBDP since Brexit (a knock on effect of EU students staying in Europe to study rather than pay foreign student fees in the UK). About 60 per cent take the IBDP and 40 per cent A levels. For those taking A levels, they start with four subjects, one of which is Spanish. A level students are also required to undertake the Extended Project Qualification - a 6,000 word referenced dissertation - not dissimilar to the Extended Essay of the IBDP.
Validation of the Spanish Bachillerato by the Spanish Ministry of Education and the Catalan department of Education.
Maximum 16 students in a class.
2021 saw the opening of a new science centre (shared with the nearby main school campus). The science team drives the STEM facility which facilitates innovative and flexible teaching methods. Multiple opportunities for collaborative practical work, with independent learning spaces, lots of natural light and a scientific vegetable garden for experiential, hands-on learning.
The move from the main Castelldefels campus to Nexus is viewed as an exciting change by students: no uniform, cool study booths, university style environment, great facilities, cafe style food, freedom to go out for lunch and a positive atmosphere. All give it a thumbs up.
Parents like the ‘controlled’ freedom and independence and feel it eases the transition to university, teaching the students to be independent but with background support, and useful extras such as automatic places for all year 12 and 13 students on the late bus - for students enjoying extracurricular activities.
About the only gripe we heard was that there are no text books at this campus as everything is online, but the general consensus from parents was that it is still early days (Nexus saw its first intake of students in 2018) and school should be applauded.
Pastoral care, inclusivity and discipline
‘Overall the school gives off a slightly corporate vibe from the outside, but the actual day to day is really quite warm and caring.’ To achieve this there’s a whole team working together at Nexus - head of secondary and pre-university, director of pre-university, academic deputy head, two assistant head teachers, IB coordinator, head of year 12, head of year 13 and the futures lead. ‘The heads and care for student wellbeing is outstanding!’
The last word
The expansion of BSB over additional campuses has been successful largely due to the head’s ability to bring the best-fit staff into his leadership team. This is no more evident than at BSB Nexus where academic and pastoral staff all play a role in preparing students for university and/or their future careers. This is a great pre-university experience for families looking for 'controlled independence'.
To read our remarks and broader observations on the school as a whole, please click here to read the full BSB review.
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