Secondary School

British Secondary Curriculum in Romania: Key Stage 3, 4 & 5

Our Secondary School bases its principles on a positive behaviour strategy that supports our strong core values and focuses on discipline, respect and manners. Teachers and staff build positive relationships with pupils, assist them in achieving their potential, helping to prepare them for their future, and work closely with them at a social, emotional and personal development level. 

The Secondary School at the British School of Bucharest is for children aged 11-18 and provides a comprehensive British Secondary Curriculum in Romania and offers the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3, GCSE and IGCSE at Key Stage 4, and AS and A-Level programmes at Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form).

The curriculum is designed to offer the best features of a British education in terms of individualisation of choice at IGCSE and A level, the ability to specialise by choosing subjects according to preference and academic strength, and affording access to an exceptionally broad range of subjects across all disciplines. This advantageous combination year-on-year gives students the strongest opportunity possible to enter courses at top colleges and universities globally.

The National Curriculum for England is taught as:

  • Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 & 9, for pupils aged 11-13) *

  • Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11, for pupils aged 14-15) *

  • Key Stage 5/Sixth Form (Years 12 & 13, for pupils aged 16-17) *

* the age of the child on 31st August for a September start

The Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 5 programme at the British School of Bucharest provides students with rigorous and challenging academic learning, complemented by a range of extra-curricular activities, including after-school co-curricular activities (CCAs), a variety of school trips and a work experience programme.

  • Years 7, 8 & 9

  • For pupils aged 11-13 (the pupil's age on 31st August for a September start)

The challenges in Key Stage 3 are both exciting and demanding. These are vitally essential years to lay the foundations for lifelong learning and influence pupils' crucial decisions at age 14.

Students follow the National Curriculum for England. 

This includes English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, World Religions, Computing, Music, Art, Drama, Design Technology, PHSCE, Physical Education, and two Modern Foreign Languages from French, German, Mandarin or Spanish, with one studied from beginner level from Year 8.

Our native English-speaking teachers engage students by using a wide range of lively activities. Lessons are interactive and challenging, extending students' understanding and their ability to develop critical thinking. 

We have fully equipped rooms for Music, Art and Design Technology, a Drama Studio, Science laboratories, indoor and outdoor sports facilities and plentiful ICT resources.

Assessment and target setting

We assess Key Stage 3 pupils through their written work, verbal participation, unit tests, projects, presentations and end-of-year examinations in May. Regular feedback provides indicators for both pupils and teachers of where the pupil is at that moment in time and what they need to aim for.

We combine rigorous target setting with high-quality assessment and careful attention from teachers to each pupils' learning styles, motivation, and needs. We understand that pupils aged 11 to 14 are changing, aspirational and emergent. They are adults in the making and have a range of learning needs that need to be understood and catered to. 


A general guideline for homework expectations per evening: Years 7-8 (up to one and a half hours) and Year 9 (up to two hours).

  • Years 10 & 11

  • For pupils aged 14-15 (the pupil's age on 31st August for a September start)

During Years 10 & 11, our approach to learning and the British curriculum aims to give every student a well-balanced course of subjects during these two vital years. Our curriculum seeks to ensure that students keep as many options open as possible for further study and career choice.

Courses in Years 10 and 11 lead to IGCSE/GCSE qualifications. The final examinations are externally set and marked by the internationally recognised Edexcel or Cambridge Assessment International Education bodies. These examinations are the first of a two-step process towards qualifications needed for admission to universities worldwide.

A minimum of eight IGCSE/GCSE subjects are followed by students in Key Stage 4, although the majority take nine or ten. All students will study the core subjects of English Language, Mathematics, Science (at least one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics) and a Modern Foreign Language (at least one from German, French, Spanish or Mandarin). Everyone will also participate in Personal Health, Social and Citizenship Education (PHSCE) and Physical Education.

We strongly encourage pupils to choose either History or Geography, as this will help ensure breadth and fall in line with the requirements of the English Baccalaureate (a performance measure now used in the UK).

Other optional subjects include Art & Design, Business Studies, Design Technology, Drama, Computer Science and Music.

Assessment and target setting

We assess Key Stage 4 pupils through their written work, verbal participation, unit tests, projects, presentations and examination-style questions. Regular feedback provides indicators for both pupils and teachers of where the pupil is at that moment in time and what they need to aim for.

In May of Year 10, pupils will sit end-of-year examinations, and the results will help inform teachers of individual progress in preparation for the following year. In Year 11, pupils will take their mock examinations in January. The results will indicate how they are likely to perform in the final exams in May/June.


Pupils should expect to complete up to two and a half hours of homework per evening.

  • Years 12 & 13

  • For pupils aged 16-17 (the pupil's age on 31st August for a September start)

At the British School of Bucharest, we guide our Key Stage 5/Sixth Form students to an appropriate course of study. It may include a combination of A- Level examination subjects, depending on their IGCSE/GCSE results at Key Stage 4, their overall ability, and their preferences.

In Years 12 and 13, students will follow A Level programmes of study set by the Edexcel or Cambridge Assessment International Education awarding bodies, with options to take additional IGCSE/GCSE subjects.

A-Levels are a benchmark examination in the UK and are recognised as a pre-university course worldwide. Students with good A-Level results have many opportunities, after graduation, to attend a university in the UK, Europe, USA and Canada, and worldwide. 

Our experienced teachers, along with the school's excellent resources, prepare students for their chosen university destinations and degree courses, whether they're looking to study Science, Mathematics, Economics, Medicine, the Arts, Design, or any other discipline.

At BSB, we are keen to offer students opportunities to develop breadth of academic excellence, leadership opportunities and personal development. So, alongside the A-Level courses, we run the LAMDA programme, EPQ, student mentoring and sports leadership programmes, and the Duke of Edinburgh Award from Bronze to Gold level. Students are also prepared for examinations such as the BMAT, IELTS or a wide range of other university entrance tests worldwide. 

Entry into Sixth Form

To proceed to A-Level studies, students must first have followed the IGCSE/GCSE courses in Key Stage 4 as their equivalent. Students will need to achieve at least five IGCSE/GCSE passes at C and above and obtain the grades specified in their chosen A-Level subjects. All A Level courses run over two years and are split into Advanced Subsidiary (AS) and Advanced (A2) courses.

Students are recommended to choose four AS subjects. At the end of Year 12, students will be assessed on what they have learned and will be awarded certificates for those subjects in which AS examinations are taken. Students must pass AS courses to move on to A2. This is the time when students must make their final course choices within the school.

We recommend students continue to pursue three of their original subjects (and in exceptional cases four) to A2 level. It is now when they will extend their knowledge of a chosen subject in preparation for university study.

Sixth Form life

Entering Sixth Form is an exciting transition, and it is very much up to the individual student to plan their programme and extra-curricular activities. 

We expect our Sixth Form students to play a role in the school community, acting as important role models for younger students and contributing to the success of the whole school. We will provide opportunities, but it is what students contribute that will build a thriving and enjoyable Sixth Form community.

There will be many opportunities to organise activities, take a lead part in the House System, become Prefects, participate in helping run House or school events, or be involved with helping younger students through peer mentoring and taking on supervision responsibilities.

Joining the Sixth Form is an ideal opportunity to participate in the International Award scheme, run charity events, and organise social events.

Contribution to Sixth Form life will be recognised in the application process when students move into either higher education or employment. The information they can give about their developing personality and character will form the basis of their personal statements and curriculum vitae.

Assessment and target setting

Throughout Sixth Form, all students will undergo ongoing formative assessments that take various formats, including essays, written and verbal tests, projects, presentations, and examination-style questions. 

These assessments provide indicators for both students and teachers of where the student is currently at and what they need to aim for. Students will sit both internal and external examinations throughout the year. Students must pass examinations at AS level to proceed to A2.


Pupils should expect to complete up to three hours of homework per evening.

Several evenings are arranged over the academic year, where parents have the opportunity to meet teachers.

The Secondary School holds several information evenings throughout the year to allow parents to meet teachers and discuss transition, IGCSE/GCSE options and Post 16 education. There are also consultation evenings in November, February and May, as well as additional opportunities after examinations have been completed should there be specific concerns.

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