FAQ

What age range does BSS cover?

BSS covers the age range from 2 to 18 years, split into three sections:

  • Infant School – Kindergarten and Key Stage 1 (Grades 1 & 2)
  • School – Grades 3 – 10
  • College- Grades 11 & 12

Grades 9 to 12 are university preparatory years and students work to earn the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) in Grade 10 and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma in Grade 12.

What accreditations does BSS hold?

British School of Sofia is the only accredited British School Overseas (BSO) in Bulgaria, recognised by the Department for Education of the United Kingdom, with a Unique Registration Number (URN) – 142484.

British School of Sofia is an accredited Cambridge International School with school number BG021.

British School of Sofia is accredited as an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme school (IB DP) with school number 050955.

British School of Sofia is a BSO Inspected and Accredited member of Council of British International Schools (COBIS).

British School of Sofia is a member of the European Council of International Schools (ECIS)

Which curriculum do BSS students follow?

Due to the diverse range of students’ nationalities and backgrounds, BSS has successfully implemented several educational programmes based on the British National Curriculum.

In Kindergarten, the students follow the International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC) and Jolly Phonics.

In the Primary and Lower Secondary School, the students follow the Cambridge Primary Checkpoint and International Primary Curriculum (IPC) programs from Grades 1 to 6 and the Cambridge Lower Secondary and International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) in Grades 7 & 8.

Students in Grades 9 & 10 follow the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and in Grades 11 & 12 the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.

Does BSS provide a Bulgarian diploma?

BSS does not offer a Bulgarian diploma to its students and it is not a bilingual school. It is solely a British School.

For completion of secondary education, students follow the IGCSE and IB DP programmes and the respective diplomas are issued.

Is this a problem if I want to transfer my child to a non-British school or to apply for a driver’s license?

Transferring students into different school systems is an easy process up to Grade 4.

After that, in order to transfer your child to another school, no matter which, BSS will support you by issuing a certificate, validating it at the British Embassy, Sofia and putting an Apostille into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

With this document, you may apply to any educational system having in mind that there will be exams set by the new school in certain subjects (for example, in Bulgaria these would be in Bulgarian Language and History).

For a driver’s license, the procedure is similar, with the certificate being handed to the Control of Traffic Agency (KAT)

What examinations do students sit and when?

The students sit the following exams:

Grade 6 – Cambridge Primary Checkpoint (English, Mathematics, and Science)

Grade 8 – Cambridge Lower Secondary (English, Mathematics, and Science)

Grade 10 - Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) in English, Mathematics, and Science plus three additional subjects.

Grade 12 - International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme – exams in 6 subjects plus three additional modules – Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity Activity Service (CAS) and Extended Essay.

Do the students study languages other than English?

The students from Grade 3 and above choose a Modern Foreign Language, with the choices being Spanish, French or German.

All the students study Bulgarian as a Native or as a Foreign Language.

How technologies are applied at BSS.

British School of Sofia is the first and only Apple School in Bulgaria. The school is equipped with a state-of-the-art MAC Lab, equipped with cutting-edge technology, Windows Computer Lab, Lego & Robotics room.

Students from Grade 3 and above actively use iPads provided by the school in their day-to-day education.

The school has a very strong STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) curriculum.

Does the school offer any sports and extracurricular activities?

The students of BSS Kindergarten and Key Stage 1 have Physical Education and Dancing lessons as part of their sports programme.

The students in the school and college have Physical Education lessons.

BSS offers a wide number of extracurricular activities split into the following categories:

  • Sports activities
  • Creative activities
  • Music and Dance activities
  • STEM activities
  • Language Arts

Extracurricular activities take place after school.

Is homework set?

It depends on the age of the student. The students in the Infant School generally do not have homework set.

In the Primary and Lower Secondary School, the students are set homework of between 1.5 to 3 hours per week depending on the age. There could also be homework allocated for the weekend.

Students from Grades 7 to 12 are set purposeful and focused homework on a regular basis being between 1 to 2 hours per night depending on the subject and their progress.

What is the daily schedule?

School times are 8:30 to 15:50 for all.

Kindergarten picks up time is 17:30 at the latest.

2, 3 and 4-year-old pupils have a nap time of 2 hours in the afternoon and 6 lessons a day.

5 to 18-year-old students have 8 lessons a day.

What are the class sizes?

The class sizes are between 15 and 20 students per class.

What nationalities are represented at BSS and what is the student turnover?

There are 300 students attending BSS, 60% of whom are foreign. There are 42 nationalities represented at the school.

The turnover of the students is 15 to 20% per annum which means in a class of 20 pupils 2 or 3 children may move in a 12 months period.

Who are the teachers at BSS?

The teachers of BSS are dedicated, energetic and highly professional people who love working with children.

All teachers at the school have the appropriate education and qualifications to deliver the subjects they are teaching.

More about the teaching staff can be found here

What is the official language of the school?

The official language in class and on the playground is English. We encourage the students to speak in English all the time no matter if they are having lunch or playing outside.

Does BSS offer additional services such as food and transport?

Yes, school meals and door-to-door transport services are available by parents’ choice and additional fee.

School meals are provided by one of Bulgaria’s top chefs – Chef Manchev.

The transport service covers the Sofia area and may be used one or both ways to/from the school according to the parents’ preference. The school has a modern fleet of vans and minivans equipped with seatbelts and baby chairs to use when needed.

Do the students wear uniforms at BSS?

All the students from the age of 2 to 18 are expected to wear uniforms.

Is there medical care in the school?

Yes, we have a medical service both in Kindergarten and the main school.

When is the application period; is there a deadline?

The application period for the upcoming school year starts in January and is active until the end of June. Families who relocate in summer are welcome to apply and complete the application process not later than 31 August.

Can we apply during the school year?

Yes, depending on the availability in the respective age group/class we accept students throughout the whole year.

What is the application process, how to apply?

For application, arranging a meeting and a school tour, please contact our admissions team on office@bssofia.bg or +359 886 510 510.

My child does not speak English. Can we apply and will they cope? Is there an entrance test?

Yes, you can apply no matter if a child is not fluent in English. Our community is represented by so many nationalities and we do not expect all students coming to master the language. BSS teachers have a lot of experience teaching non-native speakers and when needed they also provide additional help. There is not a fixed time period for a child to catch up and become proficient in English, as this can sometimes take between three to six months.

There are entrance tests for students applying to Grade 7 and above. These are individually arranged based on the applicant’s background and are free of charge.

How a new student adapts to the school?

BSS Community is used to welcoming new children and we believe that we are very friendly and helpful in order to allow the newcomers to feel accepted from the very first day. There are a number of events at the beginning of the school year to make sure new students feel part of the whole and adapt as soon as possible.

However, much depends on the attitude of the new student, as it is very important how willing and open they are to become involved in the new environment and make friends. 

If you have any other questions that may not have been covered here, please feel free to contact our admissions team and we will be glad to answer them for you.

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