The School

The school is composed of 16 year groups from Pre-Nursery to Secondary Class 11. This table shows a comparison of The British School year groups with the British, American and Brazilian systems.The school has a very favourable overall teacher-pupil ratio of 1:10. Class sizes are from 10 to 24 pupils with ceilings defined according to each year group. Small classes permit greater individual attention and enable our teachers to create a caring and well-disciplined learning environment.Teaching groups throughout the school are of mixed ability with the exception of Mathematics, currently from Class 8. Portuguese classes are differentiated to take account of the needs of first language students and beginners.

The academic year runs from February to December. It consists of two terms with a break during July. The main dates for the following academic year are published during the first term and a detailed school calendar is published at the beginning of each term.

The school day is from 07:20 to 15:15 hrs with staggered entrance and dismissal times for different year groups. For Pre-Nursery, there is also a half-day option in the morning. All pupils have a morning and lunch break. Hot lunch is provided every day on all sites. Snacks for breaks are provided from Pre-Nursery to Class 5.

Uniform & Transportation

All pupils wear school uniform from Pre-Nursery to and including Secondary Class 9. In Classes 10 and 11 uniform is not required, but students are expected to be appropriately dressed. Parents must provide the regulation clothing and shoes and are directly responsible for the dress and appearance of their children. For details, please click here.The school does not provide transportation services to and from school. These services are contracted directly by parents with third parties.

Teaching Staff

The British School is highly respected for the quality and professionalism of its staff and benefits from considerable stability in its teaching body. Some 30% of the staff are recruited from overseas. Locally contracted staff are appropriately qualified professionals with the highest possible standards of English.A comprehensive Staff Development programme, managed by the Staff Development Coordinator, keeps our teachers abreast of latest educational developments. The school has established relationships with higher education institutions that provide both regular in-service training and distance-learning opportunities.

Celebrations & Events

Throughout the year, each department in the Primary School holds a variety of special events. There are Sports Days, Music Evenings, Talent Shows, exhibitions and drama performances for all year groups. Assemblies are held weekly and pupils are given many opportunities to both organise assemblies and perform.

Trips and Fieldtrips

Primary pupils go on educational outings a few times per term. These trips are related to the theme or topic the children are studying in their current Learning Unit.

Class 3 pupils have a 3-day residential trip to Petrópolis, a historic town having strong connections with the Portuguese Royal Family, set in the beautiful hills behind Rio. Class 4 has a special 4-day field trip to Paraty, a former colonial port and World Heritage site about 300 kilometres south of Rio and rich in historical buildings, folklore and culture.

A number of day and residential fieldtrips are held each year to support the Secondary educational programme and provide special topics for IGCSE and IB coursework.

Residential fieldtrips are usually interdisciplinary and are organised by various departments to provide cross-curricular links. Class 5 students go on a week-long trip to the national park of Itatiaia in the mountains near Rio and Class 6 has a trip to the Pantanal.

IB Geography and Biology students have a requirement to do fieldwork as part of the courses. Those who take the Historical and Contemporary Brazilian Studies course also visit the historical cities of Minas Gerais.

International trips are organised by specific departments and have recently included Art & Drama trips to London or New York, cultural trips to London, New York, Bariloche, Quebec, Russia and Poland. These trips are optional and usually occur during school holidays.

Parental Involvement

PTA - Parental and Teachers AssociationParents are encouraged to participate in school life in a variety of capacities and, indeed, the greater part of the governing body is composed of parents.

Parental involvement takes many forms: from ensuring that each child is properly prepared for classes each day and demonstrating an active interest in their education, to being involved in the various events and activities that are organised each year. Joining the Parent and Teacher Association – PTA is one way of actively participating in school life. The PTA supports the school in many ways and organises two major events every year – Founder’s Day Fête and International Festival. The PTA is also responsible for inviting guest speakers to regular parents’ breakfast meetings as well as for arranging many of the after school activities.


TBS Barra Unit – Opening of new Building (30-Jun-2017)