British School of Barcelona (The) - BSB City Campus
BSB City Campus is a co-ed, day school in the heart of Barcelona. Currently early and primary years only. From September 2023 open to all students up to 18.
- British School of Barcelona (The) - BSB City Campus
Carrer de l’Esperança, 32
- T +34 93 707 9598
- E [email protected]
- W www.britishsch…olbarcelona.com
- Lower School Ages: 3-10
- Lower School Sexes: Co-ed
- Lower School Numbers: 130
- Teaching Language: English
- SEN: SEN considered case by case
- Boarding: Not available
- Uniform: Yes
- School Year: September - June: 3 terms
- School Hours: Monday-Thursday: 8.00-18.00 / Friday: 8.00-17.00
- Fee Currency: EURO
- Fee Details: EY: €11,950; Y1-2: €13,450; Y3-6: €15,800
- Fee Extras: Matriculation €3,000, Uniform, Trips, Bus service, After school activities, Childcare
- Religion: Non-denominational
- Memberships: NABSS, COBIS, HMC, BISA
- State/Independent: Independent: privately owned (individual/corporation)
- National Curriculum for England
- BSO (British Schools Overseas inspection programme)
No school can pay to be in
The Good Schools Guide International. Period.
What The Good Schools Guide International says
Since 2021, Katherine Monaghan BA PGCE MA. Previously deputy head teacher at BSB Sitges Campus for five years. Katherine's proven track record at Sitges and familiarity with the BSB ethos made her the ideal candidate for the head position at BSB City Foundation Campus.
Katherine (known as Katie to parents) had to work hard from the off: creating very personal relationships with founding parents, based on trust as there was no school building to show them, and building a community before even opening the doors. Seems that she achieved just that as parents had nothing but praise for her: ‘Katie welcomes everyone with open arms and an open door policy.’
‘Katie combines EQ with IQ - she is clear on the experience the school needs to deliver and the added magic is that she cares about the individual.’ On the one hand friendly, talkative, open and passionate, parents also see Katie as a ‘pragmatic do-er and visionary’ who was especially insightful when choosing her team. Phase 1 leader Ruby George is equally highly thought of.
For a headteacher who has ‘created a supportive, uplifting environment’, it’s no surprise to hear that the highlights of her week are the Friday assembly and hot chocolate club with the head. The first is a celebration of learner habits and the second recognition of individual student achievements. Both give her the opportunity to interact with the students, a part of the job she is passionate about and does rather well.
Teaching and learning
BSB City is currently open in the Foundation Campus for early years and primary students. September 2023 will see the opening of BSB City Main Campus which will extend the provision in the city centre for students up to pre-university.
Flexible spaces adapted to the needs of each age group encourage collaboration amongst students from early years through to year 6. The year 6 classroom we popped into on our tour was a delight with almost every inch of wall space covered in projects and artwork.
Staff are described as ‘very dedicated’ and ‘friendly, positive and approachable’.
The school aims for a harmonious environment. A mix of cultures and different views are celebrated, understood and accepted. Students are encouraged to talk and engage, learning how to argue respectfully and respectfully disagree.
Year 6 house captains (eight in total) were invited to join the interview process for the founding head position at the soon-to-open City Main Campus. The students prepared their questions in advance. We’re told that during the panel interview with three different candidates they were astute and analytical. Their questions were sensible and also canny - candidates were asked about previous experience but also whether they had a sense of humour. Other thought-provoking questions included: ‘What have you done to prevent racism in school?’ ‘Are you a feminist?’ and ‘Tell us what you have done personally to support women and girls.’ This experience helped the students understand that their view is important.
The forest school gets a big thumbs up and one parent said hearing what his daughter does there makes him want to go back to school.
Ethos and heritage
Situated in a beautiful historic modernist building, the large windows allow natural light to flood in giving classrooms an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Once inside the building you wouldn’t know that you are in the heart of Barcelona. From the upper floors you can see treetops out the back and views of Tibidabo from the front.
Currently BSB City Foundation houses children from 3-10 years old (early years through to year 6). The campus opened with 55 students and within a year the number had risen to 130. One gets the feeling that it won’t take long for word to get around that BSB has arrived in Barcelona city centre and means business.
With the opening of BSB City Main Campus, year 2 through to year 6 will relocate from the Foundation building to the new main building (enrolment is open for new students). Nursery, reception and year 1 will remain at the Foundation Campus. The two campuses are within walking distance. The Main Campus has capacity for 650 students and includes a purposely designed hub for a pre-university experience that is modelled on the very successful BSB Nexus in Castelldefels.
Pastoral care, inclusivity and discipline
Diversity represented in terms of books and dolls. Dolls with different coloured skin, Down Syndrome dolls and dolls with neutral coloured clothes.
Pupils and Parents
The founding families felt part of the experience of creating the school from the ground up. Parents chose the school because of the strong BSB brand. It’s a small campus but within a well-established institution.
Excellent and transparent communication was established with parents from the off. The leadership team had to be good at building trust quickly online (eg personalised responses to emails) as there were still Covid restrictions in place the summer prior to school opening. Happily, parents quickly felt that the real experience mirrored the virtual experience: there were no disappointments and for many families the strongest element of the school is the sense of community, ‘creating an ecosystem in which everyone has a part in the child’s development.’
‘We love our parents, and we know them well,’ says headteacher, Katy. Parents confirmed that she’s at the gate each morning helping to build the all-important community and that she does indeed know the parents by name. Open doors (literally) from 8.45 to 9am each day sees parents coming into the school. The personalised interaction in which staff take their time to understand family dynamics and better understand the student is priceless for parents who can make the most of this opportunity.
The recent conflict in Ukraine has seen an increase in Russian and Ukrainian families who know little or no English joining mainstream classrooms. Initially parents felt concerned that this might impact the learning experience of their children. However, it is the children themselves who have been ‘nothing but collaborative and inclusive’ and one parent pointed out that it was the inclusive action of his daughter that made him realise that the experience of shared concern and inclusivity far outweighs the parental concern of complicated class dynamics.
Others told us of concerns that a particular third party extracurricular provider wasn’t upholding the same level of quality as BSB. This was broached with Katherine, who handled the situation with concern and efficiency and plan of action - everything was resolved very quickly. ‘Katie not only listens to feedback but takes action on it.’
The school has shown consideration and flexibility with families who have met with extenuating circumstances.
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. The nurturing, uplifting and familiar environment created by the founding head makes BSB City Campus, an important addition to the international school offering in the city centre.
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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