Student Life

The use of English and other languages at school

The BSB’s primary focus is to provide a high quality education with English as the language of instruction. At the same time, our school promotes and celebrates a school climate that values and appreciates cultural and linguistic diversity. We encourage everyone to be sensitive to the ways in which the use of different languages affects others. Our goal is for everyone in our school community to feel included and appreciated. To this end, in mixed-language groups both outside and inside the classroom, students are encouraged to use a language common to everyone in the group.

Safe use of the Internet

We require all students using school computers and their parents to read, sign and return to school, annually, a form agreeing to the conditions stipulated in our “Acceptable Use of Technology” policy document. Students not signing and returning the completed form will not be permitted to connect to the school network. Furthermore, we encourage parents to have regular discussions with their children about the safe and responsible use of digital technology, both at home and at school.

Laptop use at school

For the time being, we have decided not to allow students up to Year 9 to bring their personal laptops into school as we are not yet able to safely and securely support the use of a large number of personal student laptops. We are working on being able to support much wider laptop use in the future. Students in Year 10 11 12 and 13 may bring their laptops to school and may use them in class, at the discretion of the class teacher. However, any inappropriate use of these computers, such as attempting to download films or music for personal use, will result in the immediate withdrawal of the privilege. We have also decided not to allow students to connect to our network using other media-rich devices like internet-enabled mobile phones.

Cameras, mobile phones and other media-rich digital devices

In order to avoid the disruptive and inappropriate use of students’ personal cameras, mobile phones and other digital devices, students are not permitted to be in possession of cameras, mobile phones or digital audio players, like mp3 players or iPods, at school between 8:00 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. If students bring these devices to school at all, they are to be kept switched off and locked away in their lockers during the school day. Any devices that are found in students’ possession during the school day will be confiscated and only returned to their parents directly at school. Should any of these devices be required for educational purposes, they will be provided to students and used under close teacher supervision. Sixth form students do have the privilege of being able to use their mobile devices in the designated area of their common area only. Use of the devices outside of this area will lead to confiscation.

Forbidden items

Students are not permitted to bring any of the following items onto the school premises: controlled or illegal substances like alcohol, tobacco products or drugs; pornographic or racist material and weapons or weapon replicas. If a student is found to be in possession of any of these forbidden items they will be confiscated and there will be very serious disciplinary consequences. If a student is taking prescription medication under medical supervision, it must be handed in to the school nurse on arrival at school for safe keeping, with written notification and explanation from a parent or guardian.

Personal possessions

All students in the Infants and Juniors have storage facilities for their school bags, either in the classrooms or in the adjacent corridors. Students in the Juniors and Seniors have their own lockers. These provide ample space for storing school equipment, including PE kit.

While we take precautions to ensure the safety of our students’ personal possessions, each individual student is responsible for his or her personal belongings and equipment. We cannot accept responsibility in the event of loss of personal possessions or money and we discourage students from bringing large sums of money or unnecessary valuable and expensive items to school. This includes such items as mobile phones, personal stereos, portable computer games and mp3 players. If it is unavoidable that a student brings a substantial sum of money to school, then it should be handed to the form tutor for safe-keeping during the school day

Student Council

Our Student Council is a very important part of the fabric of the school. It gives our students an opportunity to develop management and leadership skills and to participate in the development of student facilities. Each Form Group from Year 3 upwards has two representatives and the council has an executive committee, which steers the work of the group. All positions are filled by direct elections from the student body.

Prefect System

We expect our senior students to be good role models for our younger students. We are proud of the contribution they make to the leadership of our school. We offer our senior students the opportunity to contribute to school life through the Prefect System. These positions are filled by a joint process of selection and direct election by the staff and students.

The standard of behaviour amongst our students is very high and we have a strong tradition of teachers and parents working together to promote good behaviour.

We aim to teach, enable and encourage our students to develop positive attitudes, good manners, care and respect for others, self-control and the ability and willingness to be accountable for their actions. We make our expectations clear to students and we expect them to take responsibility for their behaviour. Students have a responsibility to choose the appropriate behaviour. Failure to do so will have consequences.

No bullying

We are committed to a school environment that is free from any form of harassment, intimidation or bullying. We believe that every member of our community has the basic entitlement to enjoy life at school free from the kind of behaviour that is classified as bullying. Any member of our community who fails to respect this basic right can expect action to be taken. We define bullying as willful and/or persistent behaviour that results in someone being physically or emotionally hurt, intimidated, frightened or humiliated. This includes all incidents of cyber bullying, using mobile phones or the internet.

The ethos of our school is one of care, respect and consideration towards others. Aggressive and threatening behaviour does not foster consideration for others and will not be tolerated. We address the issue of bullying in the curriculum, in class, tutor groups and in assemblies and the message is reinforced whenever such behaviour becomes apparent.

We expect our students to report any incidents of disruption, bullying or any other form of harassment to a member of staff. Being a bystander to incidents of bullying is to be complicit in the bullying behaviour. If you suspect that your child is being bullied or is bullying other children please contact their form tutor who will work with you to resolve the matter quickly and effectively. We deal with such issues with sensitivity and confidentiality. All reported cases of bullying will be taken seriously and dealt with in an appropriate manner.

Rewards

The school’s ethos of encouragement is central to the promotion of good behaviour. Rewards are one means of achieving this. They have a motivational role in helping pupils to realise that good behaviour is valued. Integral to the system of rewards is an emphasis on praise, both informal and formal, to individuals and groups. We promote good behaviour and celebrate success through our:

  • Display of Student Work
  • Our House system
  • Certificates of Achievement
  • Recognition of achievement in assemblies and newsletters
  • The annual Prize-Giving Event to which parents are invited

Sanctions

We have clear policies and procedures to respond to inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour.

  • A range of sanctions is available to staff and includes: loss of free time (usually breaks and lunchtime); setting extra work; after-school detentions for Senior students; isolation from peers; exclusion from school
  • Our procedures make a clear distinction between the sanctions applied for minor and major offences
  • For serious offences, strong sanctions will be imposed. We will not tolerate students endangering the welfare or safety of staff or other students by thoughtless or dangerous activity. In very serious cases, students will be permanently excluded from the school.

Internal Assessments and Reports

We assess our students’ progress regularly throughout the year and issue reports to parents. We also invite parents to attend parent conferences with their children’s teacher. The details of the relevant schedules of reports and parents’ evenings are published under the Infants’, Juniors’ and Seniors’ sections of the website.

External Assessments and Examinations

National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) tests
We also use NFER tests to assess our students’ cognitive ability in Reasoning (Maths) and Reading. These tests give us an age-related score which is used for the tracking and recording of students’ performance over time.  The reason for doing this is to obtain accurate data to be able to make judgements about the maintenance of our standards against a national U.K. norm.  To achieve this end and monitor changes in performance, students have to be tested regularly and systematically over time.

Student assessment data
Student assessment data is collected at Key Stages 1 and 2 through Teacher Assessments and National Curriculum Tests, known as SATs or Standard Assessment Tasks and at Key Stage 3 through the Cambridge Checkpoint tests.  This assists us in assessing and comparing our educational programme and our students’ achievements against standardised benchmarks.

Key Stage 1
During Year 2, teacher assessment is carried out in the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science.  In English, teachers are required to record a level in the three strands of Reading, Writing, and Speaking & Listening.  To assist teachers in arriving at an assessed level, tests and tasks are completed in reading, writing and mathematics.  These are normally taken during May.

Key Stage 2
During May in the final year of Key Stage 2, Year 6 students undertake National Curriculum Tests in the two core subjects of English and Mathematics, which provide records of attainment in the subjects, including separate levels for reading and writing as part of the overall English grade. In addition, teachers provide teacher assessments in the same subjects. Students in Key stage 2 also take the Edinburgh Reading Test in October which provides a standardised score and reading age, as well as results in four subtests: vocabulary, syntax, sequencing and comprehension.

Key Stage 3
Students in Year 7 will take a cognitive ability test to help benchmark and set predictive data. We use this information to set minimum expected levels (MEL) a student should achieve as a minimum by the end of Year 9. Throughout Years 7, 8 and 9, students are given a National Curriculum Level and Sub level. End of Year Exams are sat in all subjects throughout Key Stage 3 at the end of the academic year..

Key Stage 4
General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)

Students in Year 10 will take a cognitive ability test to help benchmark and set predictive data. We use this information to set minimum expected grades (MEG) a student should achieve as a minimum by the end of Year 11 in each of their I/GCSE subjects. I/GCSEs are the main examinations taken by students at the end the two years of Key Stage 4.  The assessment of these subjects is by means of exams that are externally marked and graded and continuous assessment during the two-year course, such as coursework assignments and practical experiments.  Once students have passed at least five subjects at GCSE with a C grade or higher, they can proceed to study at Advanced Level in Years 12 and 13. Please note that students are required to achieve at least a B grade in the subjects they wish to study at A Level.

Sixth Form
General Certificate of Education, Advanced Level (GCE A Level)
Students in Year 12 will take a cognitive ability test to help benchmark and set predictive data. We use this information to set minimum expected grades (MEG) a student should achieve as a minimum by the end of Year 13 in each of their A level subjects. A’ levels are studied typically between the ages of 16-18 and are the most usual route into UK and most international universities.  To gain entry to a top UK university students need 3 good A Level grades, although exceptionally talented students can take 5 subjects. Each full A Level consists of 4 units which are studied in two stages:

  • Stage 1 – Advanced Subsidiary (AS) level: 2 modules are studied for the award of an AS Level.
  • Stage 2 – A2 level: a second set of 2 units is studied to take an AS level to a full A Level. (Some subjects have 3 modules.)

Students also have the opportunity to study BTEC Business Studies which is a fully coursework based subject that is the equivalent of two full A levels if studies across Years 12 & 13. BTEC is a globally recognised alternative to A levels for University entrance.

All Students in the Sixth Form also follow an enrichment programme (TEP) that includes study skills, physical exercise and a general studies course that can lead to another A’ level qualification.

Introduction

We aim to provide a rich programme of extra-curricular activities to enhance our students’ learning and personal development. Information about clubs and other extra-curricular activities will be distributed to students by their form tutors and will sometimes be published in the weekly newsletters as well.  Places are offered on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis. Educational visits play a large part in some school courses.  These include: theatre visits, fieldwork and a variety of other enrichment opportunities.

After School Activities

We offer a wide variety of after-school activities and clubs to children of all ages.  Details of after-school activities and clubs are circulated to parents at the start of each term and we make a charge for most clubs, approximately 20 Bahraini Dinars for a course of eight sessions. Some clubs, like the Sailing Club, charge higher fees.

World Challenge

World Challenge organise life-changing expeditions around the world for young people. What sets this apart from other school trips is that the students will have the opportunity to help plan and lead their own expedition. As a school we are very excited about the unique opportunity this will give to our students. The expedition experience will provide them with a wealth of new skills which they will find invaluable in school, at university and in the world of work. Following successful expeditions to Nepal and Ethiopia in previous years, expeditions are open to all students in Years 12 and 13 during the school year. The expeditions consist of three phases: a project, a trek and a few days of rest and relaxation.

Find out more about the World Challenge at: http://www.world-challenge.co.uk/

Model United Nations

Model United Nations (also Model UN or MUN) is an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate participants about civics, current events, effective communication, globalisation and multilateral diplomacy. Students take on roles as diplomats and participate in a simulated session of an intergovernmental organization.  Participants research a country, take on roles as diplomats, investigate international issues, debate, deliberate, consult, and then develop solutions to world problems.  We have a very active and successful MUN group at the BSB who take part in local and regional MUN events. Reasons for why you should join the MUN include:

  • It’s an excellent way of learning about the world. In this era of globalization, being globally aware is more important than ever.
  • It develops leadership skills. MUN is an exercise in research, public speaking, and teamwork. These are skills that you will need throughout your career, and MUN gives you a chance to practice them while you’re a student.
  • You can leverage your MUN experience and network to help get into University.  Admissions officers and job interviewers look for examples of leadership, and your experiences as a delegate or conference organiser will be good examples. You will also develop a network of alumni from your MUN club and others you’ve met at conferences.

International Award

The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme (DofE), which is usually called the International Award when offered overseas, was started in 1956, with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh as chairman.  The DofE aims to further the personal and social development of young people and has gained steadily in popularity and prestige internationally since its inception.  We offer the Bronze, Silver and Gold level at the BSB.

Students above the age of 14 can follow the (DofE) programme at one of three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

There are four sections at Bronze and Silver level.  With assistance from adult Leaders, participants select and set objectives in each of the following areas:

  • Volunteering

Undertaking service to individuals or the community

  • Physical

Improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities

  • Skills

Developing practical and social skills and personal interests

  • Expedition

Planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey in Bahrain and Cyprus

Each section must be done for a minimum period of time.  It must be monitored and then assessed by someone with knowledge of that particular activity to achieve an Award. Each progressive level demands more time and commitment from participants.

First Class Business and Enterprise Education

We aim to enhance learning by:

  • Developing economic and business understanding of our students.
  • Enrich and extend the curriculum through the provision of enterprise activities.
  • Provide opportunities for students to follow a wide range of work related learning pathways.
  • Provide young people with the skills needed to progress successfully into employment and higher education according to their individual abilities, aptitudes and ambitions.
  • Work in partnership with the wider community, including business and industry, to enhance opportunities for lifelong learning in the context of business and enterprise.
  • Provide a core Business and Enterprise curriculum that suits the needs of all our students.

We were the first school in Bahrain to be become a BTEC Approved Centre and also the first to become an ASDAN Education partner. We believe that Enterprise education is the key to a successful future for all our students.

Our approach is to:

  • Enhance learning by developing economic and business understanding.
  • Enrich and extend the curriculum through the provision of enterprise activities.
  • Provide opportunities for students to follow a wide range of work related learning pathways.
  • Provide young people with the skills needed to progress successfully into employment and higher education according to their individual abilities, aptitudes and ambitions. Students have the opportunity to gain qualifications in Leadership, Enterprise and Team building skills through the ASDAN Short courses.
  • Work in partnership with the wider community, including business and industry, to enhance opportunities for lifelong learning in the context of business and enterprise. Students have the opportunity to join the annual Trade Quest competition held at the Bahrain Bourse.
  • Provide a core Business and Enterprise curriculum that suits the needs of all our students’ future lives by offering IGCSE Business Studies, BTEC Diploma in Business Studies, A Level Economics, Accounting and Business Studies.
  • Enterprise skills are essential to success in all areas of life helping young people to prepare for many aspects of their future lives. Students in Year 11 and 12 have the opportunity to setup and run a company through the INJAZ/YE Company Programme. The British School has also launched the first Entrepreneurship incubator and launched its first innovative business called ‘Paddy’s’ Bites’ with the support of six Year 10 students.