The curriculum


In the Senior School we aim:

  • To inspire all pupils in our inclusive, diverse community, encouraging and fostering tolerance and respect for all.
  • To challenge pupils to take risks in their learning and support them in their educational journey, within and beyond the curriculum, to unlock their full and unique potential.
  • To develop creative, independent and innovative learners.

General overview

The Senior School broadly follows the National Curriculum for schools in England. Years 7 to 9 follow the Key Stage 3 Curriculum. Years 10 and 11 study a combination of IGCSEs and GCSEs and the Sixth form follows the A Level programme. The school has pupils from 47 different nationalities; each year group has two form entry up to the Sixth form.

At all levels, the statutory curriculum is enhanced by extra-curricular activities in sport, music and drama. We ensure our pupils have opportunities for investigative and independent learning, outdoor learning educational visits, team work and leadership activities.

Our Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) programme helps pupils develop the life skills they need to lead healthy, confident and fulfilling lives as responsible citizens with a global and environmental awareness. We actively promote fundamental values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance.

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 (KS3) is comprised of three year groups, Years 7, 8 and 9.

At the beginning of their secondary education, starting in Year 7, pupils study a wide variety of subjects.
At the British School up to the end of Key Stage 3 (age 14), all pupils follow the same core curriculum, which includes: English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Computing, Physical Education, Music, Art, Drama and PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education).

Pupils also select two Modern Foreign Languages from French, Spanish, German or Dutch. For pupils whose native language is not English there is an opportunity to choose English as an Additional Language (EAL) or Drama. For our native Dutch pupils we offer a Native Dutch language course.

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 (KS4) is a two year (Years 10 and 11) programme leading to external GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education).

Pupils follow a core curriculum of English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

In addition a further four subjects are chosen by pupils. Subjects studied in Key Stage 3 are offered, alongside Business Studies and Media Studies.

Click here for the GCSE Course Guide for 2017-18.

Sixth Form

In the Sixth Form, comprising of Years 12 and 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.

There are no compulsory subjects, and, after counselling, pupils select up to 5 appropriate subjects to study in Year 12 (AS). We offer a diverse range of A Level courses from the Arts, Languages, Humanities, Sciences and Mathematics. Pupils are then required to continue into Year 13, taking at least 3 of their subjects (A2) to gain the full A-Levels. GCE Advanced Level courses are made up of a number of units. Most units are assessed by examination, though some are assessed as coursework.

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.

Click here for the Sixth Form Prospectus for 2017-18 which gives information about the courses available for 2017-18.

Examinations

The British School of Amsterdam is an accredited centre for the following awarding bodies:

This enables us to choose the most appropriate syllabus for each subject to suit our students.

Regular inspections occur during each examination period to ensure our examinations are conducted appropriately. As a non-selective school our pupils to attain excellent examination results. We hold exams once a year in May/June.

Well done to class of 2017 for a set of great A Level results!

In 2017 the students achieved a 100% pass rate in the following subjects: Art, Business Studies, Dutch, French, Geography, German, Global Perspectives, History, Music, Russian and Spanish.

The British School Sixth Formers achieved an overall 97% pass rate with 25% achieving A* or A. 75% of all A Level passes were at A* to C. 25 Upper Sixth Form students studied towards an impressive total of 73 A levels this year across a diverse and broad range of subject areas.

Mrs Mulhall, Head of the Senior School, commented, “Pupils achieved commendable grades across 20 different subjects at A Level this year, many of which have been the new style linear A level course taken for the first time in 2017. These results have enabled the vast majority of our pupils to take up their first choice of course at university or higher education."

University destinations, to date, of the Class of 2017

United Kingdom
University of Brighton (Architecture)

The Netherlands
Delft University of Technology (Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering)
Erasmus University Rotterdam (Economics and Business Economics)
Gerrit Rietveld Academie (Fine Art)
University of Amsterdam (PPLE, History, Sociology, English Studies)
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (International Business)
University of Groningen (Chemistry)

Canada
Concordia University (Mechanical Engineering)

France
Sciences Po (Politics and International Studies)

For information about previous university destinations please click here.

GCSE RESULTS

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

A*

20%

16%

13%

17%

10%

A* or A

39%

34%

32%

42%

28%

A

19%

18%

19%

26%

18%

B

20%

31%

30%

23%

35%

A*, A or B

59%

65%

62%

66%

62%

A* to C

84%

87%

83%

83%

85%

Pass (A* to G)

100%

100%

100%

100%

99%

No. of examinations

128

282

224

296

294.5


A-LEVEL RESULTS


2013


2014


2015


2016



2017

A*

8%

15%

8%

18% 12%

A* or A

32%

29%

26%

43% 25%

A

24%

15%

18%

25% 12%

B

24%

17%

25%

20% 24%

A*, A or B

56%

47%

51%

63% 48%

A* to C

68%

71%

61%

79% 75%

Pass

92%

90%

94%

98% 97%

No. of examinations

35

41

62

87 78