Why a British Curriculum?

The British International School Riyadh offers a curriculum which is based on the National Curriculum of England.

British education has achieved a worldwide reputation for quality, and is recognised and respected around the world. One of the huge benefits is how transferable it is – students can move seamlessly from country to country or back to the UK.

All children who join BISR are expected to participate in all lessons.

Key Characteristics

The National Curriculum of England (also commonly referred to as the “UK Curriculum”) is a very structured curriculum that is designed to meet the needs of all students, stretching brighter children and supporting those who need it through differentiated teaching and learning activities. The curriculum extends and excites all students, whatever their interests or ability. Through it, teachers are able to identify, celebrate and nurture the talents and intelligences of students.

British education is renowned for concerning itself with the development of the whole personality. Learning is important, but not enough in itself. Young people need to develop their potential to explore and discover the world around them, to think for themselves and form opinions, to relate to others, to develop their bodies through sport and physical education, and to gain experience in taking responsibility.

In the British education system, students are taught to learn by questioning, problem-solving and creative thinking rather than by the mere retention of facts, hence giving them analytical and creative thinking skills that they will need in the working world. A variety of teaching and assessment methods designed to develop independent thought as well as a mastery of the subject matter is used. Parents also want the wide range of extra-curricular activities that the British education system provides.

Overall Structure

The National Curriculum of England has a clearly defined series of academic and other objectives at every level. The education system is divided into Foundation Stage (ages 3 to 5), primary education (ages 5 to 11) and secondary education (ages 11 to 18) leading most typically to an A Level qualification.

At the end of Key Stage 1, 2, 3, progress is examined via individual teacher assessment against the National Curriculum Attainment Targets for all subjects.

BISR students follow the General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) programme in Key Stage 4 – most of them taking the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) Board or Edexcel Examinations Board exams. During the IGCSE programme, students typically take courses in the core subject groups of mathematics, science, English language, English literature and modern foreign language, but can choose other subjects from the options choices. They are awarded certificates from the examination boards for the subjects that they successfully complete.

Students then take the A Level exams at the end of Key Stage 5 (Years 12 and 13). Years 12 and 13 are often referred to as Lower and Upper Sixth Form respectively.

Learning For Tomorrow

We are all aware that we live in a rapidly changing world and that we are preparing our students for life in a society where they may be working in jobs that do not currently exist, employing technologies that have not yet been invented. Through the British curriculum at BISR we place significant emphasis on the development of personal learning and thinking skills that will result in young people who are flexible and able to adapt to changing circumstances without fear of inhibition, enabling and empowering them to meet the demands of 21st century life.

Personal Development

We understand that children of tomorrow are going to need very different personal qualities and skills than their former generation. For this reason, children at the British International School Riyadh learn in such a way that they develop the personal qualities of Respect, striving for excellence, accepting accountability, facing challenges and ensuring we maintain a happy environment. The efforts toward achievement of these attributes and personal goals are reflected in our REACH motto and therefore embedded in our everyday learning.

International Mindedness and Global Awareness

One of the most essential life skills is developing an understanding of, and a respect for others. We embrace this concept through nurturing and fostering this respect for one another within both m our immediate community and the world in which we live. We encourage our children to identify similarities rather than differences among cultures and to celebrate and respect other people’s beliefs, opinions, and customs.

Problem Solving and Thinking Skills

We place significant value on the development of problem solving and thinking skills. We recognise that the process of reaching an outcome is as important as the activity or content of a lesson. Our students learn to investigate and hypothesize rather than just read about scientific facts. They learn how to research, interpret and develop historical enquiry skills rather than merely learning to recite dates. Children at BISR are able to apply their mathematical skills and select strategies rather than learning by rote.

Information, Communication and Technology (ICT)

ICT covers a range of theory and practical topics which teach the children the increasing importance of technology in our lives. Children are taught these skills in a well-resourced laboratory applying these skills in their everyday learning on computers and interactive whiteboards in each classroom.