08 Apr St George British School in Barcelona
St George’s School is a British international private school, approved by regional authorities and certified by the British Council. It is a member of the National Association of British Schools in Spain, founded in 1978 to promote, maintain and defend British education in Spain. St George British School in Barcelona is located in the upper side of Barcelona city in the Sarriá neighbourhood. Headteacher Miss Sarah King talked to MumAbroad Life about the school.
What is the philosophy of the school?
Our philosophy is based on the belief that when children feel happy and secure then they are able to reach their fullest potential. Children need to feel valued and to know that they all have a place within the school community. This is achieved by always celebrating the individual strengths of each and every child and to encourage and support them with the things that they find difficult. We instill into our children and staff a growth mindset, where they have an attitude of “I can do it” and “I can keep on changing”. We also have a foundation of very strong values in the school, where children are rewarded not just for academic achievements but also for the attitudes they show to those around them.
What sets St. George Barcelona apart from other international schools?
We have very high standards and expectations for all our students, whether they are only with us for a few years or their whole educational lives. We have a strong family feel in our school where even new children feel like they belong and have a place in our family right from day one. We love the fact that our school has children from over 45 different countries and the children are taught that the differences between these nationalities are something to be recognized, celebrated and respected.
The main language of tuition is English – what other languages are taught at the school?
Spanish from Reception and Catalan from year 2 class upwards and French is introduced in year 7.
How can parents gauge the academic success of the school?
A parent should always gauge the academic success of a school on their own child’s achievements. We do not only accept high ability children in our school, so therefore academic results will always be varied. The most important factor is that a school is helping and supporting your child to achieve their own personal best and to help develop the self-confidence and achievement of each individual. Parents should also look at the progress their child is making each term. Parents should know the targets that their child is working towards and what their child is working on to continually improve.
What percentage of students come from the international community and what percentage are Spanish?
Around 50% of our students are Spanish and 50% are international.
What level of English do students need to apply to the school?
This depends on the year group. We know when children are young, up to the age of around 8, they can very quickly pick up a new language just by being immersed in it every day. When students are older, they take an entrance test to see what level of English they have and a decision is taken from there. If children are just below the expected level of English for their year group, then extra English language classes are offered to help them catch up.
Can you talk us through the application process?
Parents contact our admissions officer who arranges a meeting with the parents to show them around the school and to explain our system and philosophy. If children are applying to enter the school from year 3 upwards, then we also ask the children to complete a trial day. If the place is for secondary school, they will sit an entrance test on this trail day.
How do you make new students and their families feel part of the school community?
The children at the school have been taught to be very responsible and to look after new children to the school. They are paired up with another child who is asked to look after them, particularly at playtimes and lunchtimes. We also have a Parent group at the school who run a buddy system where new families are offered the chance to pair up with an existing family to help them settle in.
How integrated would you say students are in the local community?
Our students are involved in different charity events every year and raise funds for charities close to home and overseas.