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Great emphasis is placed on the acquisition of language skills, and we take pride in the fact that our pupils become fully proficient in both English and Portuguese. From Pre-Nursery to Reception, Language and Literacy objectives cover important aspects of language development and provide the foundations of literacy. At this level, the focus is on both English and Portuguese.

Pupils are introduced to the process of reading and writing in English and in Portuguese during Reception (age 4/5). In the Infants classes, pupils continue to develop reading and writing in English and in Portuguese.

Throughout the Upper Primary and Secondary School, English and Portuguese are taught as first languages. Portuguese is also taught as a second language from Primary to IB level for students arriving from overseas. At all levels, considerable importance is given to reading. The formal study of literature takes place throughout the Secondary School.

English language support is provided for those pupils requiring additional help throughout the Primary and up to Secondary Class 6.

Foreign Languages are introduced in the Secondary School. In Class 5 all pupils study French and in Class 6 they are also introduced to Spanish. Exposure to both languages allows them to make an informed choice for Class 7 when they start their IGCSE options. Both French and Spanish are offered up to IB level.


Pupils are introduced to simple mathematical ideas in Pre-Nursery. Practical activities provide a foundation for numeracy, enabling children to understand increasingly abstract mathematical concepts as they progress through the school.

All students follow the same mathematics curriculum but classes may be set according to ability in the Secondary School. The IB Programme provides three maths courses of different levels to suit students’ abilities and future needs.


Social Studies are introduced in the Foundation Stage together with the Sciences through the discovery of other peoples and features of the natural and man-made world.

In the Upper Primary, History and Geography are incorporated into Social Studies. The split into two distinct disciplines occurs in Class 6 and both History and Geography are mandatory courses of study until the IGCSE examinations. IB students can choose to follow one or two courses from History, Geography or Historical and Contemporary Brazilian Studies or Business and Management. Sociology and Philosophy, as well as, other humanities courses not taken at IB level, are required to be taken under the Brazilian programme.

Throughout the Social Studies programme great emphasis is put on outdoor activities and fieldwork. In the Primary School, besides a wide range of day visits, all the pupils in Classes 3 and 4 attend a residential field trip each year. Fieldwork is a major component of the Secondary School Geography and Brazilian Studies courses.


Experimentation and practical work are central to the Science programme from the Foundation Stage onwards and students are exposed to practical work in the science laboratory from the Upper Primary. Trips and fieldwork further contribute to the active learning and relevance sought by the Science curriculum.

General Science is taught up to Secondary Class 6. From Class 7 to Class 9, pupils follow the three sciences: Chemistry, Physics and Biology. During the IB years, students must take at least one science course. Other science courses not take at IB level, are required to be taken under the Brazilian programme.

Art & Design, Drama & Music

The artistic and creative development of our pupils is one of the major objectives of The British School. Through the Arts we aim to develop self-expression, self-discipline, self-esteem and a sense of personal and group achievement.

Art, Drama and Music are taught as specialist subjects from Pre-Nursery to IB level. Every opportunity is given to the pupils to participate in the many dramatic and musical productions and presentations which take place throughout the year.

For more information, please check Arts, Drama & Music.


A coherent programme of Information & Communication Technology skills is delivered throughout the school, with continuity and progression across a range of ICT areas. At each year level, pupils learn ICT skills through the context of other topics or subjects.

ICT is taught as a separate subject in the GCSE ICT course. This course is for those students who enjoy working with computers and wish to be able to develop their knowledge and interest further.

Global Citizenship

The Global Citizenship department offers students the opportunity to study our ever changing world, considering and evaluating current affairs and issues from a Global, National, Local and Personal perspective. It allows them to see Brazilian issues in terms of the wider global perspectives. In key stage 3 (Classes 6 and 7) the students have a weekly lesson of Contemporary Studies, while in key stage 4 (Classes 8 and 9) the students can choose the Global Perspectives IGCSE as one of their options.

Both courses are designed to support the students / learners in to becoming:

  • confident in working with information and ideas – their own and those of others
  • responsible for themselves, responsive to and respectful of others
  • reflective as learners, developing their ability to learn
  • innovative and equipped for new and future challenges
  • engaged intellectually and socially, ready to make a difference.

Young people globally face unprecedented challenges in an interconnected and information-heavy world, not least in how they will gain a sense of their own active place in the world and cope with changes that will impact on their life chances and life choices.

Students will have opportunities to acquire and apply a range of skills, including:

  • gathering, synthesising and communicating information
  • collaborating with others to achieve a common outcome
  • analysing and evaluating planning, processes and outcomes
  • developing and justifying a line of reasoning

Students explore stimulating topics that have global significance. They will assess information critically and explore lines of reasoning. They will learn to collaborate with others from another culture, community or country, directing much of their own learning and developing an independence of thought. The syllabus emphasises the development and application of skills rather than the acquisition of knowledge. Students will develop transferable skills that will be useful for further study and for young people as active citizens of the future.

Cambridge IGCSE Global Perspectives encourages awareness of global problems and offers opportunities to explore possible solutions through cooperation and collaboration. The course is not about getting everybody to think identically; rather it is a matter of opening minds to the great complexity of the world and of human thought, and opening hearts to the diversity of human experience and feeling.

“Global Perspectives is a broad, interesting and unique subject. It includes a wide range of topics which open your mind to different perspectives and idea…” by Mathias Hofman (Class 8)

“I think it is a very important subject because knowing what is happening around the world is essential. Us humans should not be alienated, therefore Global Perspectives allows us to be connected with other in the world.” by Gaspard de Moustier (Class 8)

“I really enjoy Global Perspectives because I love a class in which you learn about the problems and issues in the world.” by Paulo Roberto Jakurski (Class 8)

“I think that Global Perspectives is a very interesting subject because I’m able to have more knowledge about information worldwide.” by Sofia Williams (Class 8)

“I think that Global Perspectives is a wonderful subject because the students discuss about certain topics in society and more things about the world.
- we practice our vocabulary and speech skills
- we learn about what’s going on around the world
- we learn about different cultures and traditions
- it’s related to many different subjects: Science, Geography and History
- it’s also fun and exciting!”
by Luiz Ramos (Class 8)

“As Edmund Burke said: ‘Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.’ Clearly we also need to know our present to be prepared for the future! Come and discover the world with Global Perspectives.” by Mr. Jamie Bicker-Caarten

Sociology & Philosophy

Students from Class 9 to 11 are introduced to Sociology at the BEC Programme (Brazilian Extension Course), as a requirement to the Brazilian Diploma and preparation to the Brazilian university entrance exams (Vestibular and ENEM). Politics, ethics and morality studies, from Sócrates, Platão and Aristóteles, state of nature, social contract and state of society, to faith and reason relations and the human freedom are some of the approached topics.


Personal Social and Health Education – PSHE – is integrated across the Primary curriculum and topics relating to health and to personal and social development are used as themes for group assemblies. In Classes 5 and 6, when pupils are experiencing the transition into adolescence and Secondary School, a coordinated PSHE course is delivered and is designed to prepare them for the changes and challenges they are facing.A programme of PSHE tutorials is also established within the tutor periods for all Senior student.

Physical Education

Physical Education lessons are an essential and compulsory part of the curriculum throughout the school. The PE Curriculum aims to develop pupils’ ability to express themselves through natural movements, using the body as a reference point in relation to materials, space, other children and the environment. The programme includes the basic sports skills for swimming, track and field, basketball, volleyball, indoor football, football and recreational games.