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 year-olds) up to Year 12 (12th Grade).
MISSION STATEMENT: The British School of Costa Rica is dedicated to developing globally aware, multilingual, lifelong learners with the key skills to fulfill their potential.
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) Centre CR001 for the University of Cambridge English Assessment Examinations (KET, PET, FCE, CAE, etc), vi) an authorised IELTS Testing Centre, vii) licensed by the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Scheme and viii) a Charter Member of the International Primary Curriculum programme.
The School is officially registered in the Costa Rican Public Registry as “Colegio Británico de Costa Rica, S.A.” 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 Year (Grade) 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 “International Primary Curriculum” developed by Fieldwork U.K. for the schools of Shell Oil company has been successfully incorporated into Early Years and Primary levels. In the Lower Secondary Levels (Years 6 up to 8) the school offers a skills-based programme of study which both meets the requirements of the Ministry of Public Education and also exposes students to a variety of academic subjects… among which they will make their choice for IGCSE and IB subjects later.. In Years 9 and 10, 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 Years 11 and 12, the outstanding 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) by means of the process of “equiparación” applying their IB certification of 4 subjects and passing 2 “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 22 students per teaching class (20 in Early Years) and up to Year 8 (8th Grade), the average is 19+. Above the level of Year 8, most classes are taught in small option groups (of 12 – 15 students). In Early Years levels there are Teachers’ Assistants and all classes are delivered in English; in Early Years 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 approximately 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 “Student Development Services” 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 IB and 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.