General Information

General Information

The following section includes all the General Information about The British School. Here you will find a general overview, the programmes we offer as well as information on International Examinations, the academic year, extra curricular activities and our facilities.

Information on Admission

 

The British School of Costa Rica is an independent day school offering academic levels from Early Years 1 (3.5 years) up to Year 13 (12th Grade).  The School's mission is to provide an excellent, "all-round", bilingual (English/Spanish) education whereby British and International methods and programmes are employed and integrated into the Costa Rican Ministry of Education Programmes.

Founded in 1981, the school is now : i) accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC); ii) recognized and authorized by the Costa Rican Ministry of Education (during sessions 126-84 and 24-92 of the Superior Council of Education); iii) a member of the International Baccalaureate Organization (Code No.0608); iv) Centre CR002 for the University of Cambridge IGCSE Examinations; v) licensed by the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Scheme; vi) the Costa Rican Centre for "Philosophy for Children" and vii) a Charter Member of the International Primary Curriculum programme.

The School is officially registered in the Costa Rican Public Registry as a Limited Company (Colegio Británico de Costa Rica, Sociedad con Responsabilidad Limitada) and the founders, proprietors and Directors General are Mr. David Lloyd and Mrs. Liliana Lloyd.  As an independent, proprietary school, it does not receive funding from any government, religious or political organization; it does not promote any particular religious or political philosophy, but it does promote those moral and ethical values that are common to most religions.

In preparation for the demands of the IGCSE and IB courses, there is a strong emphasis throughout the whole school on experimental science, investigation and language development towards reading skills and Literature; ultimately students in Senior school can study up to 4 different Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Environmental Systems) and 3 different languages (English, Spanish and French).  The School is completely bilingual in that, throughout the whole School, the majority of classes are taught in English and the remainder in Spanish (or French).  It is one of the principal aims of the School that the students are sufficiently bilingual to work, with equal facility, in both English and Spanish before they enter Primary 3. In all levels there is a strong emphasis on learning through the experience of practical activities, many of which are realized outside of the classroom.  In the Primary School, the excellent “International Primary Curriculum” developed by Fieldwork U.K. for the schools of Shell Oil company has been incorporated in Early Years and Primary levels.  In 9th and 10th grades, we offer the curricula of the "International General Certificate of Secondary Education" (IGCSE) examinations from the University of Cambridge, England:  most of this programme is taught in English.   As the best pre-University preparation available, the School offers, in 11th and 12th Grades, the excellent curriculum of the International Baccalaureate.  The IB is a two-year English/Spanish bilingual programme.  Costa Rican students can obtain their national qualifications (Bachillerato Nacional) in a process of "equiparación" by using their IB certification of 4 subjects and passing 3 "patriotic" subjects examined by the Ministry of Education.  As an alternative, Costa Rican students can take a 1 year National Bachillerato programme and graduate at the end of 11th grade.

The teaching staff is composed mainly of experienced and qualified British and Costa Rican teachers; overall, 8 different nationalities are represented. The majority (85%) of the students are Costa Rican, but 25 different nationalities are represented.School Policy determines a maximum of 24 students per teaching class (20 in Early Years).  The average is 22 up to Senior 3 (8th Grade).  Above the level of Senior 3, most classes are taught in small option groups (of 12 – 15 students).  In Early Years 1 and 2 levels there are Teachers’ Assistants and a specialist English Teacher; in early Years 2 and Primary levels there are specialist Language (ESL & SSL), PE and Music Teachers.  In Secondary levels all subjects are taught by qualified, specialist Teachers.  The teaching staff (faculty) is a very stable population with 14% international; 23% British and 63% Costa Rican teachers.   In secondary levels, the ratio of international and national teachers is 50/50.  Native-English speaking teachers are contracted out of U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA on 2 year contracts through the “Selective Migration” programme of the “International Organisation for Migrations”. Nevertheless most extend their contracts for at least one extra year.

A “Learning Support Department" exists to help students overcome learning problems particularly in Primary School, but we do not offer a complete remedial programme for students with serious learning difficulties. For families located in remote regions of Costa Rica, week-day boarding arrangements for their children can be made with school families who live in the vicinity, but we do not offer boarding facilities per se.

Applications from international families seeking the continuity of a British or IB-oriented education are very welcome.  However, our student population is very stable, our school year is out of step with Northern Hemisphere schools and we do not offer the support required by transient students registering with us on a short-term basis.  Unless they needed the continuity of an international academic programme (such as the IGCSE), we would be cautious about accepting students on a short-term basis; we would expect them to be staying for at least 2 years.  At the same time, we are the only school in Costa Rica offering the "British" National Curriculum, the IGCSE and the IPC programme (which fulfils the requirements of both the the U.K. and the Dutch National Curricula).  Special consideration for the admission of students into these courses is incorporated into our Admission Policies.