09 Mar A Collaborative Education Environment in the Heart of Valencia
Neil John Barnes has been linked to British School of Valencia since 1998 when he began working as a full time Primary teacher and Headteacher of the school. Born in Liverpool, he studied Biology and Education at University. He has also taken on the role of Director since January 2020. Here he talks to MumAbroad Life about the school which offers a British education to pupils of all nationalities aged between 2 and 18.
What is the philosophy of the school?
In these 27 years, we’ve managed to create a caring and nurturing environment where we help our students become the best version of themselves, confident and motivated. We believe that helping them grow as human beings, making them develop their character is just as important as teaching them English, Maths or Science. Thanks to BSV’s trusting, enriching and pleasant atmosphere, such as the one enjoyed by our students, children can become inspired learners and lead their own education.
The main language of tuition is English, but what foreign languages are taught at the school?
They also study Spanish, French, German, Chinese and Valenciano.
What level of English do students need to apply to the school?
It depends on the year group they are applying to. If, due to the child’s age, it is deemed necessary they sit an entrance exam for English language.
How can parents gauge the academic success of the school?
They are able to do so by visiting the school’s website https://www.bsvalencia.com/en/official-exams/. Here they can download a file with a summary of the past academic results.
What percentage of students come from the international community and what percentage are Spanish?
It’s around 80% Spanish and 20% international community.
What facilities do you have at British School of Valencia?
The school has the following facilities:
- Two dining rooms. One for Foundation and Primary students (Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3) and the other dining room is for Year 4 up to the Year 13 students.
- Three science labs. They have a preparation room and specific storage area for chemical and reactive substances. The labs are fitted and equipped with all the technical resources necessary for their use.
- Four playgrounds. Two of which are used for P.E. as well as a covered gym area. Foundation students have their own independent playground with play equipment suitable for their age. There is an upstairs patio with a vertical garden aimed at the older students from Secondary and 6th Form.
- Two ICT rooms. One for the Primary students and the other one for the Secondary and 6th Form students. The classrooms also count with computers, interactive blackboards and iPad devices. BSV has incorporated the Office 365 platform and it can be accessed in and out of the school. Microsoft Teams facilitates the collaboration between teachers and students allowing a much more fluid communication between them when sharing content and resources amongst the different members of the team.
- Pre-university facilities with the latest technology. Multipurpose classrooms with movable walls all of them equipped with touch screen devices.
- Auditorium with projector and screen.
- Art room.
- Music room.
Can you talk us through the application process?
Parents interested in enrolling their child can arrange a meeting by sending an email to the school’s admissions officer firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling the form they will find on our website https://www.bsvalencia.com/en/open-enrolment/. They will be able to visit the school and will be given general and specific information about it. They will be provided with an enrolment form and a list of personal documents necessary depending on the child’s age and academic level.
During the 2 years of Higher Secondary Education students follow the British system of A Levels. Are students then eligible to apply to both Spanish and British universities?
Yes, they obtain both the Spanish and British education certificates.
After the 6th Form what percentage of students go on to Spanish universities and what percentage go abroad for further education?
The vast majority of our students decide to stay in Spain to continue their university studies. The percentage of students who choose to go to foreign universities is around 10%.
How do you make new students and their families feel part of the school community?
New children are buddied up with another student who will help them through a successful induction. Parents get to know each other through a series of events and activities organised in the school.
Describe the school in 3 words.
Education in values, family atmosphere and excellent academic development.