Dear Parents,

I feel extremely privileged to be the Head of Seniors at The British School of Bahrain at such an exciting phase in the school’s development. The BSB is an excellent school with fantastic students, a dedicated team of staff and very supportive parents.

Since its foundation the BSB has actively established a family orientated and friendly environment for the learning and nurturing of young minds as they grow and develop.  Whilst we are proud of our past, we are firmly focused on the future and we strive to be the school of first choice, where each and every student is valued, nurtured and challenged in order to realize their potential.

Your child is our child and we will always put their needs first.  Students learn best when they feel safe and secure in their learning environment.  We know how important it is to create a ‘family feel’ in a school as large and successful as the BSB.  All of our students are closely monitored academically and pastorally by a well-qualified team of dedicated and caring staff, while enjoying the freedom to develop, build their identity and also encouraged to take increasing responsibility for their lives.

The BSB works hard to make a success of the partnership between the school, the student and the family.  As a school we understand that we can’t operate effectively in isolation and that we can achieve more by working together with others who will have a positive impact on our students’ lives.  It is crucial to ensure that our students are on the right courses at the right time.  We will give them and you appropriate information, advice and guidance so that they can access a curriculum that will meet their learning needs whilst challenging them.

All students should be properly equipped for life in the 21st Century and we aim to develop creative students who are willing to take risks, work in teams and can transfer their skills.  Using technology in all its forms is a major part of this to support the excellent teaching and learning that can be observed in all curriculum areas across the school.

The BSB is a vibrant learning community in which all students are challenged, stimulated, cared for and supported.  This is underpinned by respect: respect between groups of students, groups of staff and respect between staff and students.  Full attendance and punctuality are key elements of student respect and we set high standards in these areas.  We will always reward good behavior and will challenge poor behavior.

As the Head of Seniors, I look forward to working with you and your children. We take pride in our friendly and supportive school environment and we hope that you and your children will take a full share in enhancing the quality of the school community and the international ideals of the school.

We would enjoy the opportunity to talk to you about what we do and why and I look forward to meeting with you soon.

Khalil Ahmed
Head of the seniors

Seniors school comprises Year 7 to 13

The Seniors & Juniors have separate classrooms and specialist rooms, but share some superb facilities, including a library and multimedia centre, art, music and drama studies, a food technology workshop, a cafeteria, a large multi-purpose sport hall, an astroturf football pitch, tennis courts, basketball courts and a sparkling indoor swimming pools. Year 12 and 13 have their own attractive and well-appointed Sixth Form centre and quite private study area.

The British School Bahrain is well placed and resourced to help students make the most of these reforms. British School staff are working closely with exam boards on the introduction of new specifications and we are confident in the quality of the provision and individual advice available. We continue to work closely with universities to ensure the qualifications we offer prepare students well for higher education and meet entry requirements.

We look forward to discussing these details further with students and parents at our upcoming sixth form Options evening/ Parents Meeting  but do feel free to contact Rob Gauntlet, Assistant Head, Teaching & Learning, at if you have any questions or concerns.

The UK Department of Education and the exams regulator Ofqual are in the process of simultaneously reforming GCSE and A level.

The reforms to GCSE include updated syllabus content, reduced coursework, and a new grading structure of 1 (low) to 9 (high) which will replace the current A* – G system.

At A level, the main changes relate to the structure and timing of public exams. Currently, some  A levels are ‘modular’ with students sitting AS exams in the summer of Year 12 and A2 exams in the summer of Year 13. The results of the AS and A2 exams are then combined to give an overall A level grade. The new reformed A level will be linear with all public exams at the end of the two-year course in the summer of Year 13. Students will still be able to sit reformed AS exams but these will be stand-alone (decoupled) qualifications that will not contribute to final A Level grade.

A Level result

Both reforms are being staggered, with some subjects moving to the new reformed exam system with first teaching from September 2015, and nearly all remaining subjects following a year later in September 2016. Because of the staggered introduction of the new GCSEs and A levels there will be a transition period when old and new systems run side by side. This is explained below.

A level 2015-16

When will students sit exams?

Our current 2014-16 Year 12 will be unaffected by the A level reforms. Students will sit the usual AS exams in the summer of 2015 and A2 exams at the end of Year 13 in 2016. AS and A2 module scores will contribute in equal measure to the final grade awarded.

The current Year 11 who will enter Year 12 in September 2015 will continue to follow the existing sixth form curriculum: studying four subjects before usually dropping one (whether modular or linear) to continue with three in Year 13. When students sit public exams will depend on whether their subjects are in the first (2015) or second (2016) wave of reform.

We will deliver the 2015 reformed courses in the linear fashion intended, with public exams in Year 12 and with full A level exams in the summer of 2017. The unreformed 2015 subjects will be delivered in accordance with their design as modular courses with public exams at the end of both the Year 12 (2016) and Year 13 (2017).

The British School Bahrain has extensive experience of successfully running different course structures. Our current A Level courses have run successfully on both a modular and linear model for a number of years

Exam boards are making stand-alone AS exams available for reformed qualifications; the content of all reformed AS exams will be a subset of the new linear A level material but marks/grades achieved from these exams will not contribute to the linear two-year A level result. British School Year 12 students will be offered the opportunity to sit these papers and gain a standalone AS qualification.

The School will focus lesson time on the delivery of the linear course to ensure students gain the educational benefit intended by the reform. Students wishing to sit AS exams in reformed subjects would need to take advice from teachers before doing so and revise thoroughly in independent study. The sixth form Heads of Year and Careers and University support teams will provide personalized advice to all Year 12 students.

How will this affect university applications?

Schools are asked to give full indication of Year 12 subject progress in students’ university references, regardless of whether or not they have sat an AS qualification or whether they have dropped the subject at the start of Year 13. As such, Year 12 students will sit internal (i.e. British School) exams in all subjects, the results of which will be used as the basis for university reference statements and predicted grades. Parents will be regularly informed about their son or daughter’s progress in Year 12. GCSE grades, school references, A level predicted grades and personal statements, alongside university admissions tests where appropriate, will form the basis of admission offers as universities adjust to the absence of AS grades.

By 2016-17 nearly all sixth form subjects will have moved to a linear structure with public exams only at the end of Year 13.

GCSE / IGCSE 2015-16

As part of the UK government’s education reforms, GCSE courses will start to change from September 2015. In the first year, only English and maths GCSE will be changing. In subsequent years more subjects will be reformed.

The main principles of the reform are as follows:

‘New’ GCSEs will follow a linear structure – all exams will be taken in the summer of Year 11. Resist will not be available (apart from in November for students in Y12 or above).

Coursework will be removed from almost all subjects, including English in the first year of reform. Assessment will be conducted by external examiners as much as possible (Some subjects in later phases of reform, such as geography and the sciences will retain a fieldwork or practical element).

‘New’ GCSEs will be graded using numbers rather than letters – the diagram below shows how this is currently intended to work.

Tiered examinations (i.e. availability of foundation and higher level) will not generally be available. In the first phase of reform tiers have been removed from English, but kept in math’s (where the foundation tier will offer the opportunity for students to achieve grades 1-4, and the higher tier will access grades 5 –9).

There will also be content changes in many subjects, for example the requirement that all students study a nineteenth century novel in English, and other assessment changes such as a greater focus on spelling, punctuation and grammar in the awarding of marks. Further details of changes in individual subjects are included in our Curriculum Guide as soon as they are available.


View uniforms

Key Stage 3 (KS3)

At the British School we follow the English National Curriculum (ENC) with adaptations to allow for the international nature of our students and also the location of our school in the host nation, the Kingdom of Bahrain.

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, students study a wide variety of subjects. Up to the end of Key Stage 3 (age 14), all students follow the same core curriculum, which includes:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • ICT
  • Physical Education
  • Music
  • Drama
  • Art
  • Food Technology
  • PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education)

Students are also able to study languages and religious education on a needs basis.

  • Arabic
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Religious Education
  • Islamic Studies

During Year 9, our students are prepared and supported in making their option choices so that at the end of Key Stage 3 all of our students are well placed to progress onto Key Stage 4 (Year 10) and begin their I/GCSE courses.

Key Stage 4 (KS4) GCSE

During Years 10 and 11 (children aged 14 to 16 years old) students take two year courses leading to examinations in a range of subjects at the level of General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) or International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). This is referred to as Key Stage 4.

The GCSE was introduced in 1986 and replaced the previous O’ level and CSE systems by merging them together.  IGCSEs were introduced in 1988 and are internationally recognised qualifications.

The I/GCSE is a single subject exam which is set and marked by independent exam boards in the UK. Students at the British School usually take up to ten GCSE exams in different subjects, including mathematics and English language.  Students are given a letter grade between A* and G where A* is the top grade.  A*, A, B or C grades are regarded as equivalent to the ‘pass’ grades in the previous O’ level system.

At the British School the I/GCSE subjects on offer are very similar to those offered in schools in the UK. The compulsory I/GCSE subjects at the British School are:

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Science Double Award (2 GCSEs)
  • ICT (2 GCSEs)

Following a fully supported Option Choice selection process in Year 9 and also depending on demand, students choose a further three optional subjects and the British School offers the following I/GCSE courses:

  • Arabic
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • D&T, Food Technology
  • Drama
  • French
  • Geography
  • History
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Spanish
As part of their wider curriculum, all students also study compulsory non-examined courses at the British School.

  • Religious Education / Islamic Studies
  • PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education)
  • Study Skills
  • Physical Education

During Year 11, our students are prepared and supported in making their option choices so that at the end of Key Stage 4 all of our students are well placed to progress onto Key Stage 5 (Year 12 & 13) and begin their A level courses.

KS4 Options Bookletpdf

Options Letter & Formpdf

Sixth Form

When starting out in the Sixth Form our students are entering a new phase in their education. They may be very clear about their career and higher educational goals or they may not. Whatever the situation, it is expected that there will be changes to life at school.

Our aim at the British School’s Sixth Form is to help prepare our students to adjust to new global academic demands and the fast pace of their final years at school. We expect that most of our students will move onto study in higher education and take up places at universities and colleges worldwide.

To help our students through this process in the Sixth Form the school will: – provide a quality education – ensure full preparation for application to college/university.

Develop academic potential to the full – increase confidence and sense of independence – help develop individuals into responsible young adults

Entering post sixteen education involves a challenging transition from I/GCSE or equivalent to GCE A Level. To ensure that this transition is smooth we have an experienced and committed pastoral team who will provide support and advice to help students achieve their goals and reach the right decisions at this critical stage. With high levels of expertise in specialist subjects, our teachers faculty offer first class teaching and guidance. All of our students receive individual attention regarding the university application procedure and a network of contacts at colleges across the UK and worldwide assist in securing their futures.

We have incorporated many exciting opportunities to enable all students to take an active part in the life of the school and develop their own personal interests and pursuits. I hope this prospectus will assist you in making an informed decision about which courses you want to choose. I look forward to working with you in the future.

Sixth Form Prospectuspdf

The British School of Bahrain is a candidate school* for the Diploma Programme. This school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy—a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that The British School of Bahrain believes is important for our students. 

*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its three academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), or the Diploma Programme (and in addition the IB Career-related Certificate). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted.

For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit

Here you will find information relevant to the IB Diploma Programme. Subject-specific information will be on the relevant Google Classroom site.

Important/useful documents

The IB learner profile

General regulations

What is an IB education?

IBDP guide for students

IBDP guide for parents

BSB Creativity, Activity, Service guide

BSB Extended Essay guide

BSB Theory of knowledge guide

Subject overviews

The core

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Group 4

Group 5

Group 6

School policies pdf