The curriculum

The Broad Curriculum

As well as the obvious, we have some broader developmental aims that are focussed on the whole character of our pupils:

  • To inspire all pupils in our inclusive, diverse, community, encouraging tolerance and respect for all
  • To challenge pupils to take risks in their learning which will enhance their educational journey, within and beyond the curriculum
  • To develop independent, bold 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. We currently have two- or three-form entry. 

At all levels, our 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 2021-22.

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.


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 brilliant set of A Level results for Class of 2020

It’s been a very different experience for our A Level students this year and we have been constantly impressed by their determination, ability to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances and their general resilience.  We remember the feelings of devastation when examinations were cancelled this year, and the period of time when we just did not know how, or even if, grades would be awarded.  Teachers worked incredibly hard to go through a rigorous and fair process to determine the centre assessed grades which have now been standardised by the examination boards. Whilst some of our results are still going through an appeal process, we are incredibly proud of the results our pupils have achieved.  
The Upper Sixth of The British School this year achieved an overall 98% pass rate with 47% achieving A* or A, and 62% achieving A* to B. 84% of all A Level passes were at A* to C. The average UCAS points score was an impressive 142 (approximately equivalent to AAB at A level).  We carried on our "A*/A tradition" of outstanding Extend Project Qualification (EPQ) results with one pupil being awarded an A*. Our Head Girl, Jackie has achieved a staggering five A*s and Head Boy, Tudor A*A*AA.  They have been fine ambassadors of not only the School, but also for their year group throughout these unusual times.
Ms Mitchell, Head of the Senior School, commented, “It has been an incredibly difficult year for our Year 13 pupils on so many different levels.  These grades are a result of hard work, good individual AS results last year, and the knowledge our teachers have of the pupils they teach to be able to give centre assessed grades that reflect the real effort and abilities of the pupils.  Our pupils will be starting at a range of top universities in September and October this year. Some places are yet to be confirmed but we are confident that those pupils will get the results they deserve over the coming days.”

Results as published on 13 August 2020








17% 18% 19% 12% 18%

A* or A

47% 42% 36% 25% 43%


30% 24% 17% 12% 25%


15% 27% 26% 24% 20%

A*, A or B

62% 68% 63% 49% 63%

A* to C

84% 86% 82% 75% 79%


98% 97% 96% 97% 98%

No. of examinations

127 75 72 78 87


University destinations, to date, of the Class of 2020

United Kingdom

  • *Durham University (Business Management)
  • *King’s College London, University of London (Economics)
  • *King’s College London, University of London (Music)
  • Leeds Arts University (Graphic Design)
  • *London School of Economics and Political Science (Law)
  • *University of Birmingham (Politics and Economics)
  • University of Stirling (Film and Media) 
  • University of St Andrews (Computer Science)
  • St. Martin's College (Art Foundation)
    *The Russell Group represent the 24 leading UK universities

The Netherlands

  • Amsterdam Fashion School (BA Fashion)
  • Amsterdam University College (Liberal Arts and Science)
  • Hogeschool van Amsterdam (Communication and Multimedia Design)
  • Hogeschool van Amsterdam (Creative Business)
  • Hotelschool The Hague (Business Management) 
  • Leiden University (Law)
  • Tilburg University (Global Law)
  • TU Delft (Computer Science & Engineering)
  • University of Amsterdam (Business Administration)
  • University of Amsterdam (Communication Science)
  • University of Amsterdam (Psychology)
  • University of Groningen (Psychology)
  • University of Groningen (International and European Law)
  • University of Groningen (Industrial Engineering and Management)
  • University of Groningen (Computer Science)
  • Willem de Koning Academie (Architecture)

Other destinations
Airways Aviation Academy Montpellier (ATPL Integrated Course)
Hotel institute Montreux (Hotel management and Business)

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."







9 to 7 (A* or A)

54% 46% 29% 42% 32%

9 to 6 (A*, A or B)


71% 64% 65% 63%

9 to 4 (A* to C)

94% 88% 88% 83% 83%


99% 99% 99% 100% 100%

No. of examinations

392 312 294.5 296