A British Curriculum

5 July 2022

Over 3500 schools outside the UK offer a British curriculum but what is meant by the term ‘British Education’? There are three main elements to the traditional British education system.

• Content taught formally in the classroom
• Content and skills taught informally, outside the classroom
• General principles, expectations and standards

Increasing numbers of schools, offering the British curriculum and partnering with longstanding UK schools are becoming the choice for families in the Middle East region. Downe House Riyadh stands alone in being the first girls only school offering a British curriculum alongside the Ministry of Education approved Arabic and Islamic studies from Preschool to Year 13.

The British curriculum is often chosen by schools in other countries because it provides a holistic education delivered by highly qualified teachers. There is equal emphasis on cutting edge subjects such as technology, science or politics as there is on providing an environment which respects tradition, values and local customs. British independent schools can tailor the curriculum to the country where it is being taught.

Our curriculum also includes Personal and Social Education (PSE) lessons which help prepare pupils for the wider world. These lessons cover a range of topics in an age-appropriate and culturally sensitive way.

In a British curriculum school, pupils learn to be active learners: to ask questions, be curious and engage fully in their own learning. Parents also find that their input and engagement is welcome and actively encouraged. Children learn best when school and parents work together supporting them as they learn and grow. Schools are the ideal place for children to experience activities that build life skills such as leadership, perseverance and collaboration. This is why the British curriculum contains many creative subjects such as music, drama and physical education. It is also why all British curriculum schools offer CoCurricular Activities (CCAs)  in addition to lessons. Through playing team sports, debating, learning new skills and participating in mixed age House competitions, children learn how to work with other people, how to lead and be led as well as learning a lot about their own strengths.

British qualifications (GCSEs, IGCSEs and A Levels) are known across the world. Holding these qualifications will ensure access to the very best universities in Europe, the UK, America, Canada and other countries. These universities know that if a pupil has received qualifications from a British university, they will be ready to study for their Bachelors or Masters degree.

In short, a British education prepares pupils not only to demonstrate knowledge in various academic areas but also to develop enviable personal skills and qualities required for the 21st century workplace.

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