British Education

Why choose the British Education

British education, both school and university level, has achieved a worldwide reputation for quality. This is reflected in a report, published by the British Council in 2007 that showed education to be worth more to British exports than the financial services or the automotive industry (Global Value: The Value of UK Education and Training Exports). The reputation of the British educational tradition is due in part to the fame and academic excellence of institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge, and at school level, renowned independent schools such as Eton, Harrow and Winchester. British education is focussed on processes and outcomes - what should a child know and be able to do at any given age - as opposed to emphasising the acquisition of specific knowledge. The National Curriculum for England and Wales takes a progressive approach. From 0 to 18-plus each stage builds upon what has come before. Certain key principles, starting from the early years, run through the whole of the education system: the notion that each child is unique and that this is important; an emphasis on developing positive relationships (with teachers, parents, peers); a focus on enabling environments (learning does not happen exclusively in the classroom); and finally, learning and development - looking at outcomes and results, but only as one facet of a child's education.

The British education emphasises on the development of the student, particularly at the Primary level there is a great deal of scope for creativity and individualityin the classroom. When all of this is considered alongside the continuity and transferability offered by the British education around the world, and the fact that British institutions offer qualifications that are recognised internationally, it is little wonder that the industry of British schools abroad continues to flourish and expand.

The popularity of British education can be seen in the huge number of British schools outside of the UK. There are more than 2000 schools outside of Britain teaching elements of the UK National Curriculum. More are opening every year [statistics courtesy of ISC Research Limited]. Students from these schools account for a significant percentage of the overseas students doing undergraduate degrees at UK universities. Choosing a British International school not only gives students the benefit of a British education, but it is also eminently transferrable. The structure and consistency of the National Curriculum allows students to move easily, if necessary, between British schools in various countries including the UK, and facilitates an easy progression to university in the UK or elsewhere in the world.

Most British schools abroad follow the National Curriculum (often incorporating some variations), structured around the Key Stages, and possibly offering the National Curriculum Tests. Secondary students at many British schools abroad will take IGCSEs, the international version of the GCSE exams taken in England. These are recognised as the equivalent to GCSEs. As in the UK, these are followed by A levels. This is one progression route into university; another option offered by a number of British schools is the International Baccalaureate (IB). This qualification is equally acceptable for entrance to university in the UK and elsewhere.

British Educational Model

British School of Sofia follows the National Curriculum of England, Wales and Northern Ireland and CIE Cambridge International Curriculum.


The National Curriculum is developed by the British Government and is organised in five Key stages:
Key Stage 1: Year 1 and 2
Key Stage 2: Year 3, 4, 5, 6
Key Stage 3: Year 7, 8, 9
Key Stage 4: Year 10 and 11
Key Stage 5: Year 12 and 13

Statutory subjects

Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3:
English, Mathematics, Science, Geography, History, Information & Communication Technology (ICT)
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), Physical Education (PE)
Music, Art and Design, Design and Technology

Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3:
Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

Key Stage 3:
Citizenship

Year 10 и 11 (British School of Sofia Grades 9 and 10) constitute of a two-year cycle during which students prepare for the GCSE examinations (General Certificate of Secondary Education). Many students in international schools take IGCSEs (International GCSEs), rather than the standard British GCSEs. These are fully recognised as equal to the standard GCSEs. Following successful results in (I)GCSE examinations students wishing to further their education will need to take A Levels, or in a number of international schools, the International Baccalaureate (IB). A levels constitute of two-year cycle and is highly specialised. Students will study 3 subjects for A Level, also they may chose to study for a fourth A Level, or perhaps an additional subsidiary level course (known as AS). Those students who plan to go on to university will try to pick the perfect combination that will ensure their place on their course and that perhaps will shape their future career.

Acceptance at a British university will depend upon the results gained at A Level (and also take into account success at GCSE). International students transferring at a late stage to a British school (for example at the A Level stage, but not having taken the GCSE exams) should not be too concerned. British universities are flexible in their demands, especially with international students, and will offer places on the school's recommendation and likely results in A Level or IB examinations. Universities in other countries are normally acquainted with the British system, and will apply similar criteria to universities in the UK.

Cambridge Exams

Cambridge International Examinations

Cambridge International Examinations is the world’s largest provider of international education programmes and qualifications for children between 5 and 19 year old. 

This center is a division of Cambridge Assessment, a department of the University of Cambridge and a not-profit organisation. They invest constantly in research and development to improve their programmes and qualifications. 

Cambridge International Examinations is recognised by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) – the regulator of examinations in England – to award qualifications. This means that you can be sure the assessments and qualifications are monitored and meet appropriate standards. CIE work closely with Ofqual to maintain their recognised status.

ESOL

English For Speakers Of Other Languages

UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE ESOL EXAMINATIONS

Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) exams are the world's leading range of certificates for learners of English. Each year, they are taken by around 2 million people, in 130 countries and are recognised by thousands of educational organisations and employers throughout the world.

Cambridge ESOL is a part of the world-famous University of Cambridge. Its English language exams are linked to the Common European Framework for Modern Languages, published by the Council of Europe.

Read more about Cambridge ESOL Exams:

 - YOUNG LEARNER ENGLISH TEST (YLE)

 - GENERAL ENGLISH (MAIN SUITE)

 - TEACHING KNOWLEDGE TEST (TKT)

 

Cambridge International Examinations

Cambridge International Examinations CIE is the world’s largest provider of international education programmes and qualifications for 5 to 19 year olds, and part of the University of Cambridge. Cambridge International Examinations is recognised by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) – the regulator of examinations in England – to award qualifications. This means that the assessments and qualifications are monitored and meet appropriate standards.

Programmes and qualifications

Cambridge Primary (Ages 5 to 11)

Cambridge Primary gives clear and concise guidelines, and progressive objectives to optimise students' learning at each stage.

Curriculum: Cambridge Primary develops skills and understanding in Mathematics, English and Science so schools can assess learning and reassure parents on progress. In addition, Cambridge ICT Starters develops key skills in Information and Communication Technology.

Overview: Cambridge Primary offers a flexible curriculum with integrated assessment for 5-11 year olds. Cambridge Primary sets clear learning objectives in English, Mathematics and Science skills for each year of primary education. It focuses on learners’ development in each year and provides a natural progression throughout the years of primary education, providing international benchmarks for schools. It is also excellent preparation for the next stage of CIE, Cambridge Secondary 1 for learners aged 11-14.

Assessment: Cambridge Primary provides final exams in English, Mathematics and Science at the end of the stage: Year 6

Cambridge Secondary 1 (Ages 11 to 14)

Cambridge Checkpoint tests, together with the progress checks, give schools, teachers, parents and pupils an educational tool to monitor the educational progress of pupils in multiple subjects.

Curriculum: Cambridge Secondary 1 sets clear objectives for the first three years of secondary education in English, Mathematics and Science, providing a natural progression from Cambridge Primary. In addition, Cambridge ICT Starters develops key skills in Information and Communication Technology.

Overview: Cambridge Secondary 1, offers a flexible curriculum with integrated assessment. It builds on the foundations of Cambridge Primary but it is not essential to have completed Cambridge Primary before beginning Cambridge Secondary 1. Typically for 11-14 year olds, Cambridge Secondary 1 develops learners' skills and understanding in Mathematics, English and Science for the first three years of secondary education and provides excellent preparation for Cambridge Secondary 2 and qualifications including Cambridge IGCSE.

Assessment: Cambridge Secondary 1 provides final exams in English, Mathematics and Science at the end of the stage: Year 9.

Cambridge Secondary 2 (Ages 14 to 16)

Cambridge IGCSE is different, new, modern and motivating certificate. It is a real investment for our future in a global aspect.

Curriculum: Cambridge IGCSE is the world's most popular international curriculum for 14-16 year olds with more than 70 Cambridge IGCSE subjects available. Cambridge IGCSE is one of the most recognised and respected qualifications.

Overview: Cambridge Secondary 2 is typically for learners aged 14-16 years. It builds on the foundations of Cambridge Secondary 1, and supports schools using learner-entred and enquiry-based approaches to learning. Cambridge Secondary 2 offers Cambridge IGCSE globally recognised qualifications. Cambridge Secondary 2 provides excellent progression to the next stage of Cambridge International Education - Cambridge Advanced for 16-19 years - as well as other progression routes.

Qualifications: At the end of Cambridge Secondary 2, learners gain Cambridge IGCSE qualifications, wich are recognised by universities and employers worldwide as equivalent to the UK General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). Assessment takes place at the end of the course.

Cambridge Advanced (Ages 16 to 19)

The curriculum has an international flavour and offers an approach to learning that encourages independent research and critical thinking.

Curriculum: As part of the Cambridge Advanced stage, the Cambridge International AS and A Level curriculum offers over 60 subjects so learners can choose to specialise or retain breadth.

Overview: Cambridge Advanced, typically for 16-19 year olds, helps learners to develop deep understanding and independent learning and critical thinking skills which universities value highly. It builds on the foundations of Cambridge Secondary 2 and leads to entry to universities worldwide. Cambridge Advanced includes Cambridge International AS and A Level qualifications; focus on equipping learners with skills they need to succeed at university, and as such, are recognised by universities and employers worldwide.

Qualifications: At the end of a course learners gain Cambridge International AS and A Level qualifications. All qualifications are internationally recognised and valued by universities and employers worldwide.