Secondary School

In Secondary School, all elements of the curriculum are delivered by subject specialists. Pupils are offered increased opportunities to follow their interests and passions while maintaining a firm commitment to achieving high standards in the core subjects. The English National Curriculum still provides the basis of our academic programme but we continue to go beyond its limitations.

Our Secondary Programme is made up of three stages that are incrementally more challenging and organised to provide the best possible preparation for entry into adult life. 

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Year 7, 8 and 9
The BSF Integrated Curriculum continues into the first phase of Secondary School resulting in a seamless transition between sections. 

Our curriculum is composed of three key elements that are interrelated and ensure that every child is achieving their personal and academic potential.  

The Personal Development Programme
Our commitment to the personal development of our pupils is maintained by a set of initiatives carefully designed to promote our core values of independence, decency, courage, awareness, presence, self discipline, leadership and teamwork.
 
Secondary Pupils are presented with increased opportunities to influence their school environment and contribute positively to the school community by adopting leadership roles in our Pupil Voice and School Service programmes. Every pupil takes an active role in representing and supporting their House in regular competitions. 

The outward bounds programme grows increasingly challenging with a continued focus towards adventure and all pupils completing a major residential expedition before the end of Year 9. As part of this programme all Year 9 pupils have the opportunity to complete The Duke of Edinburgh International Bronze Award. 

The Core Curriculum 
We continue to adopt an uncompromising approach to the teaching of English, Maths, Science and Portuguese building on the strong foundations achieved in Primary school. 
Our core curriculum is based on the English National Curriculum which is enriched and adapted to our context. The objectives that it sets out are considered a minimum requirement for all of our secondary pupils. 

Progress and attainment is measured annually through standardised testing with a detailed report provided to all parents.  Standards of Portuguese are high, requiring all pupils to acquire a high level of fluency and confidence in speaking, reading and writing.  Native Portuguese Speaking pupils are fully prepared for externally administered national assessments.  This strong commitment to high academic standards in the core subjects ensures that all Year 9 pupils are well prepared for the rigour of mandatory IGCSE courses in English, Portuguese, Maths and Science. 

The Extended Curriculum 
Pupils select from a range of project based modules designed to offer a broad and rich curriculum experience.  The programme not only meets the requirements of the ENC but is designed to identify and extend the passions and interests of our student body. 

Learning is not limited to the classroom. Lessons are planned to be both engaging and challenging, expecting pupils to think critically and take increasing ownership and responsibility for their work. 

Our team of subject specialists is supplemented by professional musicians, coaches and outside expertise to ensure children thrive and enjoy an education of the highest quality.

By encouraging our Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils to spend additional time in their curriculum areas of interest, they are exceptionally well prepared for the IGCSE options of their choice. 


IGCSE - Year 10 and 11 
In Years 10 and 11, pupils at BSB will work towards obtaining IGCSE qualifications offered by the UK examination boards. 

The two-year IGCSE programme is academically rigorous, and recognised to be amongst the best in the world for this age range. Many of the subjects have specific international elements and content, making the subject matter relevant to pupils in our context. 

All BSB pupils will be expected to achieve qualifications in a minimum of eight iGCSE subjects. 


IB Diploma - Year 12 and 13 
In Year 12 and 13 our pupils will complete the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.  

This programme is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students for success at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address not only the academic needs of students but also their intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being. 

The IB Diploma is a highly desirable university entrance qualification and provides a reliable path for entry into top universities worldwide including the UK, US and regionally. 

Mentoring in Secondary School 
Our mentoring programme remains central to our ethos and continues to provide important individual guidance and support to all pupils in the secondary school. 

All of our Secondary staff take an active role and each member of the team is responsible for a small number of pupils whom they meet with on a daily basis. 

Teenagers in particular face multiple challenges as they mature. The strong positive relationships that exist between pupils and staff at BSB ensures that their well being is closely monitored and supported. 

A key focus of our mentors is to encourage all pupils to value academic and personal achievement as the reward for hard work and perseverance. A positive ‘can-do’ attitude is encouraged in every member of the community in order to achieve their aspirations. 

The mentor system is particularly helpful for new families that join our school and pupils often remark how quickly they settle into school life at BSB. 

While our pupils enjoy increasing autonomy in their educational choices, mentors maintain an active interest and provide effective guidance.  From Year 10 upwards, our pupils begin to mentor younger pupils themselves. We believe that this is a natural step as they gain greater confidence and experience. 

This results in every pupil enjoying a curriculum that is tailored to their interests promoting maximum engagement and the best possible outcomes.