Life in the Senior School

The Senior School runs a two week timetable (weeks A and B) with 25 lessons in each week. Attendance throughout the whole day is compulsory for all pupils including pupils in our Sixth Form who have timetabled study sessions.

The school day is designed to allow teachers and pupils a significant amount of curriculum time together and to give time for pupils to meet, work and socialise with other pupils outside of curriculum lesson time as well as participate in Extra Curricular Activities which are offered before school starts, at lunchtime and after lessons end.

The school day always starts promptly in registration forms at 8.40 and ends at 3.40. Clubs and activities continue until 5.00.

Sports and activities



The British School of Amsterdam Senior School offers a wide range of morning, lunchtime and after school clubs. Our dedicated staff lead clubs and activities which provide pupils with the opportunity to pursue and develop their own interests, to experience new ventures, and to compete as individuals or as a member of a team in various settings.

Homework Club runs most afternoons after school finishes. This can be attended as a drop-in activity. There may be some pupils who are asked to go to homework club on a more regular basis if it is felt this will be beneficial. Homework Club is monitored by teachers who can support the pupils in their study methods, not necessarily the content of the homework.

We aim to educate the whole child, and in line with this ethos, an extensive sports programme is provided. All pupils have physical education (PE) lessons each week in the Senior School.

The PE department deliver a broad curriculum of team sports, gymnastics, dance, outdoor activities, athletics and swimming. In Key Stage 3 and 4, the physical education programme aims to enable pupils to realise their full potential in a variety of physical activities and stimulate a lasting interest in physical exercise and sport. The pupils’ physical fitness, movement, co-ordination and motor skills are developed as is the ability to work with others, developing the qualities and values of leadership, respect, teamwork and fair play.

After school each day and as part of the clubs programme, the pupils have the opportunity to take part in many sports training activities. A huge breadth of sports are on offer and range from individual activities such as Karate, kayaking and dance, to the more traditional sports of football, table tennis, running, basketball and rowing. Through these activities students learn the value of being physically active and develop positive personal and social attitudes.

Our fitness suite also offers our pupils the opportunities to set goals on personal fitness plans and train during the school day.

The Sixth Form



In the Sixth Form (Year 13) at The British School of Amsterdam all pupils have the opportunity to succeed to their fullest potential. Each and every pupil will come to the Sixth Form, following their Key Stage 4 studies either with us or from a range of other countries and curricular background with the aim of being able to progress into higher education.

In our increasingly competitive and globalised world, given the challenge that is ahead of our pupils, we ensure that resilience, aspiration, leadership and well-being are nurtured in all of our Sixth Formers. A Levels remain the gold standard in education and pupils who are successful will hear university doors and career opportunities opening around the world.

As such, we have a culture of collaboration and collegiality in the Sixth Form that creates a wonderful working environment for our pupils to flourish as fully as their talent and hard work will allow. Pupils are expected to commit themselves as fully as possible to both their chosen studies as well as to the numerous opportunities for self-development, personal enrichment and community-orientated leadership.

The curriculum we offer is based around three key components. The first is the academic pathway of A Level and GCSE subjects that pupils will choose to study. This is then complemented by a compulsory core curriculum of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and electives subjects. The aim of this core curriculum is to develop independent learning, critical thinking and problem solving skills. This is then complimented by a wide range of optional extra-curricular activities which offer pupils the opportunity to further develop a wide range of skills that will help prepared then for their next step of higher education and employment.

The creative arts

The creative arts are integral part of a broad British education. The creative arts are celebrated in many areas of school life within The British School of Amsterdam Senior School. From technical challenges of leading a school production to the courage and confidence needed to perform in drama, these activities have an important role to play in your child’s education.

Whilst drama, music and art are a part of our curriculum throughout the Senior School, there are also many opportunities for our pupils to excel outside the classroom. Our popular school production club puts on an annual musical show, and pupils are encouraged to participate in stage design, costume, lighting and sound in addition to the acting and singing.

One of our school choirs is a parents, staff and pupil choir, collaborating with our pupils studying music at higher levels to perform West End style shows such as Sweeney Todd.

On a tour of the Senior School you will see the work of our talented artists displayed around the school. The Art Department houses a kiln room for the firing of superb ceramic art and work showcased in our creative arts exhibition each year. Large collaborative pieces of art from our students, inspired by known artists, have been used as backdrops for productions and have also been on display at locations in the city of Amsterdam.

Residentials



The school year starts in September with a whole school residential week within the Netherlands. This is a residential for all our pupils from years 7 to 13 and is a fantastic start to the acadcemic year in terms of setting expectations, making new friends and developing skills transferable into other areas of school life. In fact many memories shared by our school leavers put these residential weeks at the very top of the school activities they participate in. Our older pupils focus on leadership training, working with our younger pupils to plan team building activities for a day.

The residential week usually takes place in the second or third week of the term and is a compulsory part of our curriculum, the costs of which are included in our school fees.

There are many other residential opportunities offered at The British School of Amsterdam Senior School. Our annual trips include a challenging ski or snowboarding week on the slopes in either Italy or France, language weeks in Spain and France spending time with host families immersed in a foreign language, an English and drama trip to London taking in highlights such as a West End show and a Shakespeare workshop at the Globe Theatre, and a geography field trip to Cologne.

Alongside these annual opportunities some long distance residential trips are planned on a biennial cycle. These trips have included an art and English experience in New York as well as a popular residential in Tokyo with a Business Studies and computing focus.

Languages

At the Senior School we teach a range of modern foreign languages. English, Dutch, German, French and Spanish are taught within the Senior School curriculum.

Dutch is also taught at native level within the school timetable.

Pupils are able to take external examinations in other languages as part of our GCSE and A level provision. Native lessons in other languages are offered as after school clubs.

If you have questions about the teaching and learning of languages at The British School of Amsterdam Senior School please contact our Head of the English and Language Faculty, Mrs Jessica Lamberth j.lamberth@britams.nl.