British School of Barcelona (The) - BSB Sitges Campus
One of four campuses, BSB Sitges offers the English national curriculum and provides a caring, nurturing and stimulating learning environment for pre-nursery, early years and primary aged children.
- British School of Barcelona (The) - BSB Sitges Campus
Passeig Isaac Albéniz, s/n
- T +34 93 707 9598
- E [email protected]
- W www.britishsch…olbarcelona.com
- Lower School Ages: 2-10
- Lower School Sexes: Co-ed
- Lower School Numbers: 242 boys and girls
- 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: Pre nursery: €5,600 (3 full days) €6,825 (4 full days) €5,000 (5 half days) €7,250 (Full time); Nursery: €8,125 (3 full days) €10,185 (4 full days) €7,100 (5 half days) €10,900 (Full time); Reception: €10,900; Year 1 & 2: €12,230; Year 3 to 6: €14,310
- 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)
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What The Good Schools Guide International says
Since 2021, Rachael Symes BEd MEd. Rachael arrived in Barcelona after eight years at the Australian International School in Singapore, the last two as head of early years. The pull of a more laid back educational environment and country to live in was too much to ignore and Rachael has chosen a position more aligned with her core values where she can invest in the wellbeing of her staff and students.
A huge white board on the wall of her office is completely bare. Rachael explained she hadn’t had a moment to write up her schedule because she had been covering for an absent teacher. There is no additional relief pool of teachers here which means this head teacher will put her hand to anything needed including nappy changing in pre-nursery.
Her office door is always open - to the extent that when she walked in this morning she found a ‘love letter’ from some students on her desk who thought she was amazing, kind, fantastic and intelligent - she was flattered but noted that this was probably the result of lesson in adjectives! And hot chocolate with the head (students are invited when they are awarded house points) is an opportunity not to be missed.
Rachael can be seen greeting students and parents at the front gate every morning and thrives on this daily connection with families. She is also included in the lunch duty rota.
As we were leaving we passed a young boy on the floor in the middle of the corridor having a moment. The head and another teacher were supporting him. There was no embarrassment and no fuss - it was another hands-on moment for the head who was taking it all in her stride.
Students leave at the end of year 6 and 95 per cent head on to secondary at BSB Castelldefels all-through campus. The move can be overwhelming for some students and time and effort is put into students having a smooth transition from primary to the larger campus. Students from Sitges and Castelldefels go on colonias (school camp) together in year 6 which helps them to get to know each other.
Teaching and learning
Estate agents often tell you if you want to sell your house, bake a cake just before the potential buyers arrive so that when they walk in there is an instantly inviting smell. When we walked into the Sitges campus we were hit by the smell of fresh baking. Two year 4 students were baking something delicious in the food technology centre and we were instantly sold on the school!
A small school with good pastoral care and community. Striking a balance with play and allowing the students to ‘just be children’ and strong academics is evident from a young age. Parents feel the school offers the best of both worlds with no pressure to perform.
The school embraces the curiosity approach. Two early years classes share outside space with a climbing frame for motor skills, a water pump for curious minds and a sand pit for good old-fashioned fun. Break times are ‘free flow’ and for those children who don’t want to go outside there’s an indoor reading corner and story space.
Topic work based on history and books are beautifully displayed on the walls between classrooms. It’s difficult to distinguish between academics and creativity. Everything is interlinked at this school, even the stairs have the times tables colourfully printed on them. Cooking class of panellets (traditional Catalan sweet for All Saint’s Day) is taught in Catalan.
Outdoor discovery is an intrinsic part of the curriculum. The Forest School programme, a favourite with students and parents alike, was introduced in 2017 for years 5 and 6 and is now enjoyed by all students from reception up.
There’s an impressive digital learning centre complete with 3D printer and recording studio with green screen where BSB news is recorded each week by year 6 students and sent out to parents.
An all-inclusive attitude reverberates here, from reinforcement classes, given in a room with windows looking onto the STEM room so students still feel part of the larger class, to theatre productions. There’s something for everyone.
Pre-nursery was added in September 2022. The dedicated area is decorated with calm tones and warm colours which gives an instant feeling of calm when entering. Not a single piece of plastic in sight but all wooden toys and shapes. The toilets and nappy changing area are complete with a small shower for any accidents. The nurturing environment of the school is unmistakable from day one.
Pupils and Parents
BSB literally has an open-door policy: parents are invited in from 8.30 to 8.45 each morning. This is an opportunity to see the topic-based work which adorns the walls of classrooms and corridors or visit individual classes and have a quick conversation with a teacher if need be. Both parents and staff feel these few minutes in the morning are invaluable allowing students to proudly show off their work and for nipping potential problems in the bud.
The last word
When asked what stands out here parents are unanimous in their reply - the caring and nurturing environment. The morning open-door policy gets a thumbs up too. For the youngest pupils just starting school, the Sitges campus may be a less overwhelming experience than the larger campus at Castelldefels.
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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