FROM THE HEAD OF SENIOR
We are a vibrant, purposeful, inclusive, very friendly, multicultural community made up of students from many different nationalities. Relationships are strong and supportive. Our staff and students all work and collaborate within a caring, friendly and happy atmosphere that resonates throughout our school.
In recent years, the Senior School and our Sixth Form has grown considerably both in terms of the number of students on roll and the breadth of courses on offer. Nevertheless, with small class sizes the quality of education we offer is first class, with results at GCSE and A Level being consistently well above the UK National average.
Key Stages in Senior School
In line with the National Curriculum in England and Wales, our school is constructed in five Key Stages.
Key Stages 1 and 2 are Primary School, Key Stages 3, 4 & 5 are Senior School.
Please expand the sections below to read about Key Stages 3, 4 & 5:
Key Stage 3: Years 7, 8 & 9 (age 11-14)
Key Stage 3 is a period of progression and development, physically, socially, pastorally and academically.
In Key Stage 3, your child will learn the fundamentals to succeed in the Senior School whilst enjoying a wide range of subjects, so they are fully prepared for whichever educational pathway they wish to take as they move through the school.
Year 7, in particular, is a time of enormous transition where your child will learn to be more independent, more organized and more resourceful as they face the challenges of moving from Primary to Senior.
Year 8 is your child’s opportunity to begin to become the person they want to be. Familiar and well-settled into the Senior School, students should take the opportunities offered by the extensive extra-curricular activities programme, the wide range of school trips, as well as opportunities to gain leadership responsibilities within the school to build on their skills and develop their interests.
Year 9 students at BSM lead the way as the eldest year group and set the example for younger students of the school. They are polite, courteous, organised and diligent. Year 9 is one of the most exciting and challenging times in a student’s life, with choices of which subjects to pursue further and the opportunity to explore Oman with the International Award.
Throughout their time in Key Stage 3, we work hard to support students with all elements of their lives, not just academic but social and pastoral too. We look forward to guiding students as they grow to become independent, confident, informed young people before moving onto Key Stage 4.
Key Stage 4: Years 10 & 11 (age 14-16)
The GCSE years can be a bit of a shock to the system! It can be a rollercoaster at times, juggling coursework, controlled assessments, homework, class work, lessons, revision, mock exams all before the real exams begin during May and June.
However, it is not all work and no play. There will be many enjoyable experiences to get involved with; plays, concerts, dance shows, celebratory dinners, International Award trips, clubs, sports days, art exhibitions, trips abroad, to name but a few.
In all areas of school life, students are supported by an excellent group of professionals; teachers, form tutors, heads of year, mentors and inclusion assistants. Staff are caring and dedicated, they will guide and lead through both times of success and uncertainty. Academically, you can expect students to be challenged in all areas of the curriculum with extension or reinforcement work where appropriate.
Every student’s progress is tracked and monitored closely throughout the GCSE courses. A variety of intervention strategies will be used in order to allow students to succeed in all areas of the curriculum. A calm, purposeful and caring environment is created through mutually respectful relationships between staff and students.
Sixth Form: Years 12 & 13 (age 16-18)
Sixth form is the bridge between School and Adulthood. Our core purpose as a sixth form is to provide a wide range of opportunities for our students to develop the soft and hard skills to be successful in an ever changing and unwritten future.
Sixth Form study is a time for students to push the boundaries intellectually, to pursue new and independent studies and to refine and develop their interests. Our Sixth Form programme is set in a university-standard environment. The facilities and resources that we provide are truly first-class, matched only by the zeal of the teaching staff for delivering stimulating and intellectually challenging lessons.
Our Sixth Form is a supportive and warm community, with an open and purposeful culture of achievement, strong personalised monitoring and deep pastoral care, held together by very high expectations. Our students are proactive in grasping opportunities, taking risks, working hard, and being resilient. They should also be mindful of getting balance in their lives and developing a well-informed, clear plan for their future to drive their motivation and strive for excellence.
I very much look forward to your son or daughter thriving in our sixth form, making a huge difference to our school and the local community and thoroughly enjoying their time here.
Sixth Form Curriculum
A Levels or IB?
British education curricula are the most popular in the international market, with A levels used by 34% of schools and IB by 26% of schools in 2021 (ISC Research).
BSM offers A Levels, but you may be wondering what the key differences are between A Levels and the IB Diploma.
Which should you choose?
Both A Levels and IB are excellent. They both offer a 2 year course for students aged 16 - 19 enabling students to get to university anywhere in the world. However, some students excel in the breadth that IB offers whilst others thrive in the depth that A Levels provide. Whichever you choose, remember the quality of teaching is likely to be more important than the curriculum.
BSM offers A Levels in our Sixth Form. You can see a summary of both curricula in the table below:
|Students choose 3 or 4 subjects, in any combination, from 25 A Levels or BTECs available at BSM.
Choice of 25 subjects:
|Students must take one subject from each of six compulsory groups*:
Language and literature
|* Students may opt to study one additional science, individuals and societies or languages course, instead of a course in the arts.|
A Level Advantages:
More flexibility of what you learn: You can study any combination of subjects.
More flexibility of your time: more focus on independent study.
You can study more subjects.
Continue to study useful subjects (such as maths and foreign languages), even if they don’t directly relate to your future plans.
A Level Disadvantages:
Limited to 3 or 4 subjects
Less Flexibility: You don't have complete choice over your subjects (you will not be able to study all 3 sciences for example)
Why A Levels?
My educational philosophy is that, as educators, we should do our best to empower our students to personalise their education wherever and whenever we can.
By offering internationally recognised A levels, schools like BSM and BSS find that there is a surprising level of flexibility and room for innovation for students to personalise their curriculum for post 16 study. Whether it's offering students the opportunity to study 3 or 4 A levels, combining A levels with vocational qualifications like BTEC, or giving the chance for students to resit some GCSEs while embarking on their A level subjects, the options are many and varied.
Furthermore, the students themselves can choose their own unique combination of A level and BTEC subjects to suit their particular strengths and projected career pathway. This ability for students to personalise and design their own post 16 curriculum leads to greater student independence and motivation, crucial to success at university and beyond.
We would be very happy to discuss the variety of A Level options available for your child at BSM. Please get in touch with our Admissions Team and we will be delighted to help you.