Secondary School

British Secondary Curriculum in Romania: Key Stage 3, 4 & 5

The Secondary School at the British School of Bucharest is for children aged 11-18 and provides a comprehensive British Secondary Curriculum in Romania. The National Curriculum for England is taught as:

* the age of the child on 31st August for a September start

The Key Stage 3 to 5 programme at the British School of Bucharest provides students with rigorous and challenging academic learning complemented by a range of extra-curricular activities, including after-school co-curricular activities (CCAs), a variety of school trips and a work experience programme.

Our Secondary School bases its principles on a positive behaviour strategy that supports our strong core values and a focus on discipline, respect and manners. Teachers and staff build positive relationships with pupils and support them in fulfilling their individual potential, helping to prepare them for their futures and working closely with them on social, emotional and personal development.

Key Stage 3

  • Years 7, 8 & 9
  • For pupils aged 11-13 (the pupil’s age on 31st August for a September start)

The challenges at Key Stage 3 are both exciting and demanding. These are vitally important years for laying the foundations for lifelong learning and influencing the crucial decisions pupils will make at age 14.

Students follow the National Curriculum for England. This includes English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, World Religions, Computing, Music, Art, Drama, Design Technology, PHSCE, Physical Education, and two Modern Foreign Languages from French, German, Mandarin or Spanish, with one studied from beginner level from Year 8.

Our native English-speaking teachers engage students by using a wide range of lively activities. Lessons are interactive and challenging, extending students’ understanding and their ability to develop critical thinking. We have fully equipped rooms for Music, Art and Design Technology, a Drama Studio, Science laboratories, both indoor and outdoor sports facilities and plentiful ICT resources, including our 1:1 iPad scheme.

Assessment and target setting

We assess Key Stage 3 pupils through their written work, verbal participation, unit tests, projects, presentations and end-of-year examinations in May. Regular feedback provides indicators for both pupils and teachers of where the pupil is at a moment in time and what they need to aim for.

Rigorous target setting is linked to high-quality assessment, alongside careful attention from teachers to pupils’ individual learning styles, motivation and needs. We understand that pupils aged 11 to 14 are changing, aspirational and emergent. They are adults in the making and have a range of learning needs.

Homework

A general guideline for homework expectations per evening: Years 7-8 (up to one and a half hours) and Year 9 (up to two hours).

Key Stage 4

  • Years 10 & 11
  • For pupils aged 14-15 (the pupil’s age on 31st August for a September start)

We provide a British Secondary Curriculum in Romania at the British School of Bucharest. Through this comprehensive curriculum, we aim to give every student a well-balanced course of subjects during these two vital years. Our curriculum seeks to ensure that students keep as many options open as possible for further study and career choice.

Courses in Years 10 and 11 lead to IGCSE/GCSE qualifications. The final examinations are externally set and marked by the internationally recognised Edexcel or Cambridge Assessment International Education bodies. These examinations are the first of a two-step process towards qualifications needed for admission to universities around the world.

A minimum of eight IGCSE/GCSE subjects are followed by students in Key Stage 4, although the majority take nine or ten. All students will study the core subjects of English Language, Mathematics, Science (at least one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics) and a Modern Foreign Language (at least one from German, French, Spanish or Mandarin). Everyone will also participate in Personal Health, Social and Citizenship Education (PHSCE) and Physical Education.

We strongly encourage pupils to choose either History or Geography, as this will help to ensure breadth and falls in line with the requirements of the English Baccalaureate (a performance measure now used in the UK).

Other optional subjects include: Art & Design, Business Studies, Design Technology, Drama, Computer Science and Music.

Assessment and target setting

We assess Key Stage 4 pupils through their written work, verbal participation, unit tests, projects, presentations and examination-style questions. Regular feedback provides indicators for both pupils and teachers of where the pupil is at a moment in time and what they need to aim for.

In May of Year 10, pupils will sit end-of-year examinations and the results of these help inform teachers of individual progress in preparation for the following year. In Year 11, pupils will sit their mock examinations in January and the results of these examinations will give an indication of how they are likely to achieve in the final examinations in May/June.

Homework

Pupils should expect to complete up to two and a half hours’ homework per evening.

Key Stage 5/Sixth Form

  • Years 12 & 13
  • For pupils aged 16-17 (the pupil’s age on 31st August for a September start)

At the British School of Bucharest, we guide our Key Stage 5/Sixth Form students to an appropriate course of study, which may include a combination of A Level examination subjects, depending on their IGCSE/GCSE results at Key Stage 4, their overall level of ability and their preferences. See the Moving on to university page for details of A Level subject options.

In Years 12 and 13, students will follow A Level programmes of study set by the Edexcel or Cambridge Assessment International Education awarding bodies, with options to take additional IGCSE/GCSE subjects.

A Levels are a benchmark examination in the UK and recognised as a pre-university course throughout the world. Students with good A Level results have many opportunities after graduation to attend a university in the UK, Europe, USA and Canada, and worldwide. Our experienced teachers, along with school’s excellent resources, will prepare students for their chosen university destinations and degree courses, whether they’re looking to study Science, Mathematics, Economics, Medicine, the Arts, Design, or any other discipline. The Moving on to university page provides much more information on how we support students with university preparation.

Entry into Sixth Form

To be able to proceed to A Level studies, students must first have followed the IGCSE/GCSE courses in Key Stage 4 as their equivalent. Students will need to achieve at least five IGCSE/GCSE passes at C and above, and obtain the grades specified in their chosen A Level subjects. All A Level courses run over two years and are mostly broken down into Advanced Subsidiary (AS) and Advanced (A2) courses. Students are recommended to choose four AS subjects. At the end of Year 12, they will be assessed on what they have learned and will be awarded certificates for those subjects in which AS examinations are taken. Students must pass AS courses in order to move on to A2. This is the time when students must make their final course choices within the school.

We recommend students continue to pursue three of their original subjects (and in exceptional cases four) to A2 level. This is when they will extend their knowledge of a chosen subject in preparation for university study.

Sixth Form life

Entering Sixth Form is an exciting transition and it is very much up to the individual student to plan their programme and extra-curricular activities. We want students to enjoy their time in Sixth Form while studying a British Secondary Curriculum in Romania and to take away a wealth of academic and extra-curricular skills.

We expect our Sixth Form students to play a role in the school community, acting as important role models for younger students and contributing to the success of the whole school. We will provide opportunities, but it is what students contribute that will build a thriving and enjoyable Sixth Form community.

There will be many opportunities to organise activities, take a lead part in the House System, become Prefects, participate in helping to run House or school events, or to be involved with helping younger students through peer mentoring and taking on supervision responsibilities.

Joining the Sixth Form is an ideal opportunity to participate in the International Award scheme, to run charity events and to organise social events.

Sixth Form life is voluntary, and students can put in as much time as they feel able to. Contribution to Sixth Form life will be recognised in the application process when students move into either higher education or employment, as the information they are able to give about their developing personality and character will form the basis of their personal statements and curriculum vitae.

Assessment and target setting

Throughout Sixth Form, all students will undergo ongoing formative assessment which takes a variety of formats including essays, written and verbal tests, projects, presentations and examination-style questions. These assessments provide indicators for both students and teachers of where the student is currently at and what they need to aim for. Students will sit both internal and external examinations throughout the year. Students must pass examinations at AS level to proceed to A2.

Homework

Pupils should expect to complete up to three hours’ homework per evening

All Key Stages: Parent/teacher meetings

Several evenings are arranged over the course of the academic year where parents have the opportunity to meet teachers.

The Secondary School holds several information evenings throughout the year to give parents the opportunity to meet teachers and discuss transition, IGCSE/GCSE options and Post 16 education. There are also consultation evenings in November, February and May as well as an additional opportunity after examinations have been completed should there be specific concerns.