The Senior School

The Senior School gives the student a supportive, yet challenging learning environment. A highly qualified and professional staff supports students in acquiring life-long skills and prepares for the internationally recognised IGCSE and ‘A’ level programmes through exciting, application based class room teaching and learning.

The British School is well prepared to cater to the academic and social needs of internationally mobile students and encourages all students to constantly challenge themselves. Our teachers nurture students who are intellectually curious, creative, respectful, caring and discerning young adults, conscious of their responsibility to the community and their environment. Parents are encouraged to work in partnership with the school and support it in its mission of continual improvement.

Senior School Organisation

The Senior School Curriculum (11-18 years of age) is organised to ensure that all students receive a broad, balanced and clearly articulated learning entitlement, which is coherent within each Key Stage, as well as being progressive and continuous in nature, building upon the foundations laid during the Primary school.

The Senior School is organised through three key stages:

YearAge on 1st SeptemberStage
Year 7 11 Key Stage 3
Year 8 12
Year 9 13
Year 10 14 Key Stage 4
Year 11 15
Year 12 16 Key Stage 5 (also called the Sixth Form)
Year 13 17

The Senior School provides a progressive, student-led learning environment where each student has the opportunity to discover and develop their unique identity, talents and interests. Our committed teachers ensure that every student is given the guidance and encouragement to achieve to their very best of their ability, both inside and outside the classroom.

In the Senior School, we strive to create a culture where curiosity is nurtured and where student success is driven by a sense of genuine engagement with learning. It is important to us that our students have a sense of humility through exposure to a diversity of human experience leading them to want to make a difference, to act creatively and to think critically. We aim for every individual to live our REACH motto and to be respected, known and cared for within our community.

Key Stage 3

At BISR, we have a three-year (Year 7, 8 and 9) KS3 curriculum which is broad and balanced in offering all students the opportunity to build their skills and knowledge in all of the following subjects: Art, Drama, Design & Technology (DT), English, Geography, History, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Maths, Languages, Music, Physical Education (PE), Science and Personal Health and Social Education (through the tailor-made ALIVE course).

Students are taught in mixed-ability groupings in all subjects apart from Maths Y7-Y9 and Science Y8-Y9 which operate a setting system.

In Languages and Culture pupils study either Spanish, French or Arabic.

Number of 65 minute lessons per two week cycle in Key Stage 3:

English 6 ICT Computing 3
Maths 6 PE 4
Science 6 Geography 3
Art 2 History 3
Drama 2 Cultural Studies 1
Music 2 ALIVE 2
Design Technology 3 Assembly 1
Languages 5  Tutor time  1

Click here for an overview of the Year 7 curriculum

Click here for an overview of the Year 8 curriculum

Click here for an overview of the Year 9 curriculum

Key Stage 4

The curriculum at Key Stage 4 is a two year course of study culminating in external examinations (IGCSE set by Cambridge Examinations 9CIE, London EDEXEL and AQA) Boards.

These examinations allow for a range of achievements from either A* to G or 9-1, although we only considers grades from A* to C or 9-4 as passes. The courses are assessed by external examinations and coursework.   The core curriculum at Key Stage 4 comprises the following subjects: Mathematics, English Literature, English Language, the Sciences, Physical Education (non-examined), Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE).

Students then select four optional subjects from the following: Spanish, French, Arabic (Native and Non-Native), Art, Drama, Music, Physical Education (examined), Food Technology, Resistant Materials, Geography, History, Economics, Business Studies and ICT. We encourage all students must select a Language, a Humanities subject, and a more practical subject from the options.

The time allocation for each subject in Key Stage 4 is:

Core compulsory SubjectsOptional Subjects
English 6 Art Each optional subject is taken for five lessons per two week cycle, apart from P.E,. which is four lessons.
Maths 6 Drama
Science (students may choose one, two or three sciences) 5 of each one chosen Music
Languages 5 ICT/Computing
PE 4 P.E (if chosen as a GCSE subject)
Study Skills 2 Business Studies
Assembly 2 History

Further details of the (I) GCSE course can be found through the following links:




Website link

English Language



English Literature
















Trilogy Science 












Arabic 1stLanguage



Business Studies









Computer Science









DT Graphic Products



DT Food Technology



Art and Design



Physical Education










 Click here for an overview of the Y10 and Y11 GCSE Curriculum 2018-2020

Key Stage 5 (The Sixth Form)

Key Stage 5 offers students the opportunity to take their studies to A-level as part of a lively and enthusiastic academic community. Students who have demonstrated at GCSE that they have the potential for further study are able to choose from sixteen subjects (subject to demand, staffing, timetabling and individual GCSE targets).

In Year 12, our students study four or five subjects at A/S level, and usually three but sometime four to A-level in Year 13. The majority of our students take up places in Higher Education, usually to some of the world’s top university. Part of the PSHE programme in the Sixth Form (called Futures) is devoted to careers advice and helping students as individuals select appropriate Higher Education courses.

Student Leadership is very strong in the Sixth Form.    The Head boy and Head Girl lead a committee of eight who drive charity fund raising, mentoring and also lead assemblies.  Many Sixth Form students are actively involved in the Model United Nations and Duke of Edinburgh Award programmes.   The Sixth Form also lead the Houses, and organise International Week.

Sixth Formers benefit from the support of form tutors and the Key Stage staff experienced in guiding and assisting young people to achieve their potential. Full details about our Sixth Form, including our entry requirements, are explained in the sixth form brochure.

Currently the BISR Sixth Form offers a range of subjects at A Level, a British qualification which is internationally recognised as being highly rigorous and desirable for entry into universities all around the world. These are a natural continuation from GCSE / IGCSE exams and follow a two year programme. 

We currently offer the following subjects:

  • Arabic
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Computing
  • Economics
  • English
  • French
  • Geography
  • History
  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Spanish

Each subject taken to A level is taught for nine 65 minute lessons over a two week cycle. In addition, students have PE, Assembly time and Enrichment, each for two lessons.

Click here to access the Sixth Form A Level Options Booklet 2018-19

Click here to access the School Profile 2016-17

Further details of courses may be found through the following links:

SubjectBoardCodeWebsite link
Art and Design Edexcel 8AD01/9AD01
English Language and Literature A AQA 2720
Mathematics Edexcel 8MA0/01 / 8MA0/02

Biology AQA 7407/7402
Chemistry AQA 7404/7405
Physics  AQA 7407/7408
Economics CIE 9708
Psychology CIE 9698
Business Studies CIE 9707
History CIE 9389
Computing CIE 9691

Geography Edexcel XGE01/YGE01 

DT Product Design

Edexcel 8GR01/9GR01

Art and Design

Edexcel 8AD01/9AD01


AQA 7652


AQA 7592

Personal, Health and Social Education in the Senior School: ALIVE, Life-skills and Futures’

Staff have worked hard to prepare PHSE courses tailor made students growing up in a demanding and complex world.

These courses are called:

  • ALIVE in Key Stage 3
  • Life skills in Key Stage 4
  • Futures in Key Stage 5

KS3: ALIVE (Aspiring, Leadership, Intelligences, Values and Environment)

PSHE in KS3 is taught under the ‘ALIVE’ acronym where teachers choose one of the 5 letters and teach a 6 week programme to each class in the year on a rotational basis, so that every child in every class is taught by each teacher. This was to allow scope for PSHE to be more engaging to pupil and teacher alike, and for the two years it has run, has been extremely successful. Having a lesson of ALIVE each week also has a built-in flexibility to the programme so that if a particular message is deemed important to get across to a particular year group, such as a serious cyberbullying incident, then this will over-ride the ALIVE programme, and be taught to this year group.

These programmes alter each year depending on the teachers and their strengths and experiences. This year in Year 7, students have experienced programmes in ‘recycling’, ‘living with values’, ‘eight forms of wealth’, ‘healthy lifestyle’, ‘thinking positively’ and ‘culture’. In Year 8 it has been ‘healthy minds’, ‘working together’, ‘brainology’, ‘respecting diversity’, ‘environmental change’ and ‘diversity’. Our Year 9 students have learnt about ‘conservation’, ‘healthy relationships’, ‘more eight wealth’s’, ‘culture’, ‘points of view’ and ‘human rights’.

KS4: Life skills

This is fairly structured in Term 1 and has an emphasis on preparing students for undertaking GCSEs with lessons in learning styles and techniques, stress management, time management and organisational skills, career talks and guidance, developing CVs and study and revision skills. In Term 2 shorter courses are delivered which this year have been on cooking, first aid, racial discrimination, working together, drugs awareness and healthy relationships.

KS5: Futures

This programme is aimed to provide support for these students in preparing to apply to University and moving away from home.

Each student in Sixth Form will be assigned to a tutor who monitors their progress throughout the year. Tutor groups meet every day for registration and also once a week for Futures sessions. During these sessions students will receive invaluable advice on a wide range of issues. The current programme includes:

Year 12:

  • How to study independently
  • Time management
  • Debating – thinking and reasoning skills
  • Dealing with stress
  • Working as a team
  • Healthy Living
  • Writing a CV and letter of application
  • Higher Education planning

Year 13:

  • Careers
  • Completing University Application forms
  • Independent study skills
  • Living alone at university: First Aid and cooking.