A constant and underpinning feature of The British School of Gran Canaria, since its establishment in 1966, is the use and high levels of English within the school.
Although many families of the school are first language Spanish speakers the structured support, systematic teaching and high expectations enable our students to flourish and become confident, articulate and fluent users of English. A recent independent inspection of the school (Independent Schools Inspectorate, March 2012) evaluated the school against standards and criteria established by the British Government, and included comments in their final report which commended the pupils’ level of achievement and their dexterity in the use of English.
[The pupils] ‘succeed particularly in developing speaking and listening skills, a strong achievement as the vast majority of pupils have English as an additional language. They are eager to articulate opinions and contribute freely and valuably to discussions. They listen well to each other, and are able to develop and challenge ideas.’
The school's curriculum is predominantly delivered in English, ranging from 85-95% of lessons depending on the age of the child. Specific English lessons build the necessary skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking. The highest levels of competence, confidence and understanding instilled within the English classroom are further developed across the whole school curriculum as the majority of subjects are taught through the medium of English.
The students within The British School work towards the I.G.C.S.E. and A Level examinations which are taken by first language English speakers around the world and cover all subjects within the curriculum. Our students perform outstandingly well in these externally and independently moderated examinations, with a pass rate of 89% in I.G.C.S.E., 92% in AS and 87% at A Level. Not only are these averages important and impressive but are also strong indicators of the level of English attained by our students.
English within the school is not only systematically taught within the curriculum but is a fundamental part of daily life. Teachers hold high expectations about the correct use of English within the classroom and also in less formal surroundings, correcting and supporting development at all times. The fact that the majority of our teachers are native English speakers’ and recruited from the UK is an important driver in the development and use of English within the school. This fact, along with a clear understanding of the importance of English within our school, helps to establish the use of English as a constant, daily and normal means of communication within our school.