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

Front cover of GCSE Options Guide 2019-20Key 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 2019-20.

Sixth Form (Key Stage 5)

Front cover of Sixth Form Prospectus 2019-20In 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 2019-20.

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.

A fantastic set of A Level results for Class of 2019

26 pupils took final A level examinations this year. In 2019 the students achieved a 100% pass rate in the following subjects: Art, Business Studies, Chemistry, Dutch, Economics, English, French, Geography, Global Perspectives, History, Media Studies, and Spanish. In addition, all pupils completing the EPQ this year attained an A* or A grade

The British School Sixth Formers achieved an overall 97% pass rate with 40% achieving A* or A, and 68% achieving A* to B. 87% of all A Level passes were at A* to C. Historically these are the best set of results to date and are a culmination of continued effort throughout the course from both staff and pupils.

Mrs Mulhall, Head of the Senior School, commented, “These results are a product of sustained commitment from both our pupils and our teachers. A Levels give the opportunity for pupils to go to any University around the world. Our pupils have spent hours and hours researching courses, visiting open days and drafting personal statements to support their applications to university. It is fantastic to see so many of our pupils gaining a place at their first choice university on results day."

University destinations, to date, of the Class of 2019


United Kingdom
*King’s College London, University of London (Business Management)
University of Strathclyde (International Business)
*University of Oxford (Chemistry)
*University of Edinburgh (Biochemistry)
*University of Glasgow (Economics and Politics)
*University of Stirling (Economics)
University of Bath (Aerospace Engineering)
*University of Birmingham (International relations and Economics)
*The Russell Group represent the 24 leading UK universities

The Netherlands
Erasmus University College Rotterdam (Liberal Arts and Sciences)
University of Amsterdam (International Business, Business and Economics)
University of Utrecht (Media and Culture)
TU Delft (Mechanical Engineering)

France
Gobelins, Paris (Animation)

Japan
University of Waseda, Tokyo, (Natural Sciences)

For information about previous university destinations please click here.

Another fantastic set of GCSE results for our Year 11 pupils

In 2019, 40 pupils took GCSE examinations at the end of Year 11 and have be awarded some outstanding results. With most of the subjects now being awarded grades 9 to 1, 32% of grades were 9 or 8 (A*), with over half of our pupils (53%) getting a 9, 8 or 7 (A*/A) grades across the subjects. Notably 13 of our pupils (Phillipe, Adit, Luca, Debrup, Zofia, Rachel, Rafael, Boris, Hope, Maria, Alina, Varsha and Aam) obtained the very top grades 9, 8 or 7 (A*/A) in eight or more of their GCSE subjects. 77% of pupils achieved grades 9 to 6 (A* to B) with 94% achieving 9 to 4 (A* to C).

Mrs Mulhall, Head of the Senior School said "Well done to all our Year 11 pupils and their teachers who have worked hard to achieve these results."


A LEVEL RESULTS


2019


2018


2017


2016


2015

A*

17% 19% 12% 18% 8%

A* or A

40% 36% 25% 43% 26%

A

23% 16% 12% 25% 18%

B

28% 27% 24% 20% 25%

A*, A or B

68% 63% 49% 63% 51%

A* to C

87% 82% 75% 79% 61%

Pass

97% 96% 97% 98% 94%

No. of examinations

75 72 78 87 62

IGCSE & GCSE RESULTS


2019


2018


2017


2016


2015

9 to 7 (A* or A)

53% 46%
29% 42% 32%

9 to 6 (A*, A or B)

77%

71% 64% 65% 63%

9 to 4 (A* to C)

94% 88% 88% 83% 83%

Pass

99% 99% 99% 100% 100%

No. of examinations

392 312 294.5 296

224