British School of Barcelona (The) - BSB Castelldefels Campus
One of four campuses, BSB Castelldefels offers the English national curriculum to students from 3 to 16 years.
- British School of Barcelona (The) - BSB Castelldefels Campus
Carrer de la Ginesta, 26
- 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: 470 boys and girls
- Middle School Ages: 10-16
- Middle School Sexes: Co-ed
- Middle School Numbers: 640 boys and girls
- Teaching Language: English
- SEN: SEN considered case by case
- Boarding: Not available
- Uniform: Yes
- School Year: September to June: 3 terms
- School Hours: Monday-Thursday: 8.00-18.00 / Friday: 8.00-17.00
- Fee Currency: EURO
- Fee Details: 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; Year 7-9: €13,800; Year 10 & 11: €14,525
- Fee Extras: Matriculation €3,000, Uniform, Lunch from Year 7, Trips, Bus service, After school activities, Childcare, External exam fees
- Religion: Non-denominational
- Memberships: NABSS, COBIS, HMC, BISA
- State/Independent: Independent: privately owned (individual/corporation)
- IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education)
- National Curriculum for England
- ESO (Educación Secundaria Obligatoria)
- BSO (British Schools Overseas inspection programme)
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The Good Schools Guide International. Period.
What The Good Schools Guide International says
Since 2017, head of early years and primary is Emma Overton. In her role as head at a UK state primary school she flipped the curriculum, introduced an inquiry-based approach and was one of the first schools to introduce iPads in the UK. Despite her successes she felt like she was ‘on a hamster wheel’ and, after eight years, made the move to Spain with her two children who both attend BSB. She’s an open-door head who encourages parents to come in to visit classrooms and displays on Friday afternoons and students to be with their parents in parent/teacher meetings. Parents say she is progressive and approve of the changes she has introduced, particularly in digital learning.
Since 2017, head of secondary and pre-university is 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, he 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 (who got 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.
Most students move directly to BSB Nexus pre-university campus for years 12 and 13. Current sixth formers give presentations to year 11. Parents and students speak highly of the transition week at the end of year 11 which gives students a flavour of sixth form life. There are taster classes to help them make subject choices, a sample timetable of lessons and expectations of working independently are laid out. There are taster sessions of CAS too for those who take the IBDP.
In 2022, 60 per cent 9-7 (or A*/A) at IGCSE; 27 per cent grade 9. Several students achieved 9/8 grades across all their subjects. This is consistent with results awarded in 2021 (both years exams were actually sat) and an increase from those in 2020 (teacher-assessed due to Covid).
Teaching and learning
The primary curriculum follows the English national primary curriculum’s key stages 1 and 2 and the secondary curriculum follows key stages 3 and 4. At the end of each key stage, a child’s performance is formally assessed to measure progress. IPads are introduced from year 3, and from year 9 students are given laptops (both included in the fees).
BSB Forest School - nursery to year 6 - is a highlight that all families are enthusiastic about, providing a connection with nature through outdoor activities. Current projects spotted on the walls were impressive too, and when we visited, students were debating ‘Do we live to eat or eat to live?’
In years 10 and 11 pupils prepare for IGCSEs. Compulsory subjects: English language and literature, maths, science, Spanish, Catalan and PE. Pupils must also choose three of the following options: art, drama, French, German, geography, history, information technology, PE, business studies, computing and music. In order to successfully complete year 11 and meet the requirements needed for validation of the Spanish Certificate of Secondary Education (ESO), students must pass a minimum of four subjects of IGCSE with the qualifications between A*-C (or 9-4) and obtain a minimum grade of 5 in the Spanish, Catalan and sociales subjects in year 8, 9, 10 and 11. Completing ESO is compulsory for Spanish nationals and optional for foreigners.
Learning support and SEN
Mixed comments from parents regarding SEN, with some families feeling there is excellent communication between staff and parents, and that teachers are proactive in supporting pupils, while others said support is not sufficient and they needed to look elsewhere.
The arts and extracurricular
The usual plethora of creative, academic and language clubs. Parents comment on the extensive programme of quality after school activities. Wednesday societies, rolled out across the whole school, are particularly popular. The rolling four-week programme allows students to try different things from designing mosaic tiles to first aid.
At IGCSE (and A level – on the Nexus campus), both drama and music are available. The music department is very active: year 7 learn the ukulele and piano, year 8 are introduced to song writing and year 9 get a chance to compose music for film. Classes are staggered to the needs of the pupils. There’s a chamber choir which meets at lunchtime, ABRSM performance grades, and rock school for those who want something a little more contemporary.
Public speaking, school magazine, choir and house singing competitions popular with the older students.
Plenty of sports clubs available. Rugby, football and netball are free but other activities are fairly expensive. There’s a late bus for those attending, which parents appreciate.
Pastoral care, inclusivity and discipline
Form tutors stay with the same class from year 7-11 which means they know the students well and can spot when things are wrong. Parents appreciate the continuity which helps teachers become aware of issues eg eating disorders. Positive body image workshops given in primary as well as secondary.
There’s a wellbeing centre where students who don’t want to be outside during breaks can stay inside and play cards, board games, chess, read or just chill. It’s a device-free space. And if pupils need company, it’s a safe space too.
The personal development mentor is 'brilliant,’ we heard, focusing on equipping students with strategies to support their own wellbeing and to support each other.
The last word
This is a modern and spacious purpose built campus with three distinct areas for early years, primary and secondary each with their own age appropriate play and social spaces. The same academic standards and pastoral care offer a seamless transition between grades for students as they progress up the school. When asked what stands out here parents are unanimous that it's the teaching staff and leadership.
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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