About us




  • 1924

    The British School Foundation

    The British School is founded on 23 May 1924, by Sir Alexander Mackenzie at Rua Santa Clara 84 - Copacabana.

  • 1924

    Where it all started

    School's first location - Rua Santa Clara, 84 - Copacabana

  • 1927

    Miss Dorothy Rohde

    led The “Copacabana British School - Primary” since its opening. By the end of 1926, 52 students had been admitted to the school.

  • 1945

    Mrs Cashman

    The first UK contracted teacher, Mrs Cashman, is brought out from England in 1945, to lead the school.  The school was known universally as “Mrs Cashman’s School”.

  • 1949

    Moves to Botafogo

    The British School, under the leadership of Mrs. Cashman, moves to the Real Grandeza community property in Botafogo. Funds are raised to build the Cashman Building on land rented by the community to the school.

  • 1949

    School goes low key

    According to one account, the school goes low key during the war years, after the government determined that all foreign schools in Brazil were to be closed or adapted to Brazilian system. Once the war efforts are over, schools come back to normal life and funds are raised to build the Cashman Building on land leased by the community to the school.

  • 1951

    The Cashman Building is opened

    Classrooms are on the ground and second floors. Mrs Margaret Cashman and her dog Shags live in an apartment on the third floor while she leads the school.

  • 1956

    Mr Desmond Cole

    At the age of 64, Mrs Cashman decides to retire and return to UK after being the guiding light of the school for over 10 years. Mr Desmond Cole becomes the Headmaster.

  • 1957

    Mr Victor Misan

    The house that would be later known as “Ribeiro dos Santos” is used for housing purpose. Mr Victor Misan, the School Bursar, lives on the top floor with his family. 

  • 1957

    The Cashman Building is extended

    The kitchen and dining room are built on the ground floor. The school becomes a member of the Incorporated Association of Boys Preparatory Schools (IAPS) and is affiliated to the Association of Headmistresses of Preparatory Schools (AHPS).

  • 1958

    Mr Martyn Gordon

    Director Desmond Cole eventually took over as Head of the American School in Rio and he was replaced by Martyn Gordon who until then had been his deputy.

  • 1962

    HRH Prince Philip visited TBS

    On his right, Mr Martyn Gordon and on his left, the Deputy Head, Mr Othon Sylvain.

  • 1967

    The Ribeiro dos Santos House

    The house on Rua da Matriz 86 is purchased. The building is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Peter Ribeiro dos Santos, Chair of the Board 1960-1964, who was largely responsible for raising the funds.

  • 1968

    HM The Queen Elizabeth II at TBSRJ

    HM The Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip visit TBSRJ in 1968. The entire school gathered in the Hall to welcome them.

  • 1969

    Mr Bill Pannett

    Mr Pannett arrives at TBS, appointed as the first Head of Science in school, responsible for the development of the lab and the curriculum.

  • 1969

    Fully equipped Science laboratory

    The Cashman Building is extended to develop a fully equipped Science laboratory, donated in memory of Major K. H. McCrimmon, C.B.E., D.S.O., by his family.

  • 1969

    Separate Kindergarten

    A separate kindergarten is started which was incorporated to the main school in 1973.

  • 1969

    Mr Ian Robertson

    Director Mr Martyn Gordon leaves and is replaced, for a short period, by Ian Robertson.

  • 1970

    In honour to Ian McCrimmon

    In honour to Ian McCrimmon, this plaque can be seen in Cashman Building - First floor.

  • 1971

    Mr Othon Sylvain

    Director Mr Ian Robertson leaves and the school is run by Mr Othon Sylvain for about a year.

  • 1972

    Mr John Lewis

    Director Mr Othon Sylvain leaves the school and Mr John Lewis arrives.

  • 1975

    Senior School is expanded

    In response to strong parental demand, the Senior School is expanded to include older children up to age of 16.

  • 1975

    Mrs Irene Thompson

    Pupils were divided into two distinct “wings”, one for Brazilians and one for British and international pupils. To cater for expansion another larger neighbouring house was rented (house to become known as The Thompson House).

  • 1975

    The school opens a Brazilian Stream

    A separate Kindergarten is opened under the direction of Mrs Irene Thompson as a result of the afternoon Kindergarten closure at Cultura Inglesa. This part of the school now teaches English as a second language to Brazilian children.

  • 1978

    HM King Charles III (then HRH Prince Charles) at TBSRJ

  • 1978

    HRH Prince Charles meets Teachers

    Mr Bill Pannett (Head of Sciences), Mrs Mireille Pannett – Class of 1967 and HRH Prince Charles.

  • 1978

    G.C.E. O-Level Examinations

    The school begins to offer G.C.E. O-Level examinations

  • 1983

    The Ribeiro dos Santos House

    The growing Senior School occupies the whole Ribeiro dos Santos Building with a new library and resource centre and the schools first computer department with six computers donated by the PTA

  • 1983

    Sports Centre

    The sítio at Pedra Negra is purchased to be developed into a sports centre.

  • 1984

    Dona Therezinha Pientznauer

    Brazilian Direction: Dona Therezinha Pientznauer becomes the first Brazilian Director of The British School, Rio de Janeiro.

  • 1985

    Mr John Poppleton

    Director Mr John Lewis leaves the school and Mr John Poppleton becomes the Headmaster.

  • 1985

    The school's first cheerleader squad

    with Alison Gainsbury, Susan Feland, Rachel Severne, Kelly Healy Wallace e Tracy Lorenz.

  • 1986


  • 1988

    Mr James Elson

    Director Mr John Poppleton leaves school and Mr James Elson arrives.

  • 1989

    The Brazilian Stream and the British Wing are merged

    All students are changed to the February to December academic calendar.

    The school is accredited by the Brazilian Educational authorities to offer the Segundo Grau.

    The first Cambridge IGCSE examinations are taken by The British School students.

  • 1990

    Mr David Morley

    Mr James Elson leaves the school. Mr David Morley arrives and becomes the new Headmaster.

  • 1990

    TBSRJ 1st Falcons Team

    with Ms Lilian Ferber Pont, Mr Arno Fonseca and Mr Luiz Fernando Teixeira

  • 1990

    First Falcons Cheerleaders squad

    with Joana Costa, Paula Lecossois, Barbara Makant, Patricia Leal Grumach, Carolina Dias Leite, Vivien Ryan.

  • 1991

    International Baccalaureate Programme

    The International Baccalaureate programme is introduced and the Senior School is expanded to include the last two years of secondary education.

  • 1991


    Classes 8 to 10 during exams in the Jubilee Hall – Botafogo Site.

  • 1992

    The IB House

    Rua da Matriz 87 is leased and transformed into an IB Centre. The first group of IB students graduates.  Rua Real Grandeza 80, known as the White House, is rented to create space for administrative offices. 

  • 1994

    Mr Paul Wiseman

    Director Mr Paul Wiseman arrived at the TBS in 1988 as Head of Humanities. In 1990, he was Head of Seniors and Deputy Headmaster. In December 1994 he became the new Headmaster, now known as the Director.

  • 1998

    New Floor - Cashman Building

    As a result of the success of the IB programme, the growing Senior School puts pressure on space in Botafogo. A fourth floor is added to the Cashman Building over the course of two holiday periods. The new classrooms are ready for use in February 1998.

  • 1998

    The Urca Project is Launched

    Urquinha, the monkey, is the mascot of the fund-raising campaign and measures its success monthly as he climbs a palm tree towards the target of R$ 4 million.

  • 1999

    Award of Accreditation

    The school earns the prestigious Award of Accreditation from the ECIS European Council of International Schools (then to become the CIS - Council of International Schools).

  • 1999

    Reid House

    The school purchases the house on Av. Pasteur 419, named Reid House in memory of Alistair Reid, Chair of the Board from 1990 to 1995.

  • 2000

    Urca Site Complete

    Through the voluntary efforts and enormous contributions of various members of the school community, the new school site is completed in February 2000.

  • 2001

    Nursery Unit on Matriz

    The self-contained Nursery Unit on Rua da Matriz is opened.

  • 2001

    Thompson Building Refurbished

     The interior of the Thompson Building is fully refurbished to house the Lower Primary School from Reception to Infant 2.

  • 2002

    Jakurski House and Reid House

    Jakurski House, donated to the school by Mr & Mrs Jakurski, is refurbished to house an Art Centre at Urca. Reid House is totally refurbished to develop a music suite including practice rooms, a recording room and classrooms.

  • 2002

    Recreio Lower

    Primary Unit Av. Guignard 60 is leased to be developed into the Recreio Lower Primary Unit, the first stage of a British School in Barra. The unit is opened in February 2003 with a Nursery class and a pilot Pre-Nursery group.

  • 2003

    Recreio Unit

    The Recreio Unit is officially opened on the 19th March, 2003 by Her Britannic Majesty's Consul General in Rio de Janeiro, Mr Paul Yagmhourian.

  • 2004

    Cashman Extension

    The Cashman Extension is built in Botafogo.

  • 2004

    Third House in Urca

    Acquisition and refurbishment of a third house in Urca (R. Urbano Santos 16) for Foreign Languages and IB rooms.

  • 2005

    Barra Unit Development

    An area of the Santa Monica neighbourhood is bought to be developed into the new Barra Unit. Buildings are refurbished to house all children from the Recreio site and new pupils

  • 2006

    Barra Unit is Inaugurated

    Barra Unit is officially inaugurated by Her Britannic Majesty's Ambassador to Brazil, H.E. Dr Peter Collecott with Mr Adam Reid, Chairman of the Board of Governors; Mr Steve Rimmer, former Chairman of the Board of Governors and Mr Paul Wiseman, Director of The British School. Reverend David Weller gave the Blessing.

  • 2006

    Jane Robertson Library

    On December 1st is officially inaugurated as the Jane Robertson Library. Ms Jane had joined the school in 1992 and had developed into an extremely dedicated and highly effective teacher. She suddenly passed away in 2003, at the age of 41. With Jane’s passing the school community lost a wonderful example of how to be – as a teacher, a mother, a friend, a colleague. Jane will always be so much more than a memory for those who knew her; she will be a guide and a source of strength as we consider our own destinies.

  • 2006

    New House at Urca

    At Urca a new house is rented and refurbished to house offices, staff room and a centre for the IB Business Studies course. Open space for playground is made available at the back court of the house to all students.

  • 2006

    New Kitchen in Botafogo

    In Botafogo, the new kitchen is established in the Reco-Reco building and a complete refurbishment is done in the ground floor of the Cashman Building.

  • 2007

    CIS Ten-Year Team Visit

    CIS Ten-Year Team Visit (October). School is Re-accredited by CIS (December).

  • 2009

    New Building at Barra Unit

    The Barra Unit starts in February with 555 children. The new building at the Barra Unit is opened housing the Nursery, Reception and Classes 1 to 6. Pre-Nursery and Infants Classes are expanded within the Block B. The Library is extended to incorporate an area for Seniors. At Botafogo Site, the first Pre-Nursery class is open with 11 children.

  • 2010

    New Mackenzie Building

    The new building kept the façade of the Ribeiro dos Santos House and occupies the area of three houses. It was developed to include a gymnasium/auditorium, new classrooms for Classes 4 and 5, a new Upper Primary / Lower Seniors Library, two new ICT labs, a large Art Room and a new Science Lab.

  • 2010

    History House

    In February 2010, the Urca Site opens the “History House” to accommodate the History and School-Based Syllabus departments and classrooms and making space in the main building for the development of a new Science Laboratory.

  • 2011

    Adam Reid Hall

    Inauguration of the Adam Reid Hall, in the Mackenzie Building.

  • 2011

    Ribeiro dos Santos Library

    Inauguration of the Ribeiro dos Santos Library, in the Mackenzie Building.

  • 2011

    The Paul Wiseman Campus

    On the 30th November, the school honoured Mr Paul Wiseman and named Barra Unit as Paul Wiseman Campus during his Farewell party.

  • 2011

    Mr Paul Wiseman leaves

    In December, Mr Paul Wiseman leaves the school to become Headmaster of the British School of Boston (USA).

  • 2012

    Mr John Nixon - Director

    In January, Mr John Nixon is nominated the new Director of The British School.

  • 2012

    IPC Curriculum

    In August 2012, the International Primary Curriculum is implemented across the primary in Botafogo and Barra sites.

  • 2015

    New Building at Barra

    After more than 4 years of design, planning and preparation, a new building at Barra is under construction.

  • 2015

    Educational Conference: “Inspiring Learning: Taking the Initiative”

    The first TBSRJ Staff Conference!

    A 3 day “Inspiring Learning: Taking the Initiative” conference . Over 300 of our own staff attended the conference as part of their annual training and we welcomed a number of external delegates from as far afield as Peru and Mexico. 

  • 2015

    Dona Therezinha Pientznauer Retirement

    Dona Therezinha Pientznauer announced her retirement after 31 years of significant contribution to the growth and successful development of The British School.

  • 2016

    New Brazilian Directors

    From 2016 onwards, Mr Carlos Lima became the Brazilian Director for Zona Sul School (Botafogo and Urca Sites) and Ms Sonia Salgado became Brazilian Director for the Barra School.

  • 2016

    Barra Building Ready

    The new building at Barra Unit is ready. This building accommodates senior students for most of their classes, as well as providing a large learning resource centre (library) and multi-purpose hall. The students began classes in their new facilities in February 2017.

  • 2016

    TBSRJ and Team GB Partnership during Rio 2016 Olympics

    TBSRJ  worked in partnership with Team GB to organise opportunities for the British athletes to train with their coaches at the Barra Unit during the Olympic Games. It was felt important for the athletes to have a quiet, relaxing environment for them to meet friends and family, receive physiotherapy and meet with coaches and performance analysts. The Barra Unit of The British School became a very important part of Team GB-2019 strategy for winning as many medals as possible. In fact, Team GB broke a number of records with their medal haul by celebrating 67 medals in total - more than on home ground during the 2012 London Olympics.

  • 2016

    HRH Princess Anne Visit at Barra Unit

    The British School -  Barra Unit was very honoured to receive a visit from HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, on 10th August 2016. Princess Anne is President of the British Olympic Association and was here in Rio de Janeiro to support Team GB by attending various Olympic events and receptions.

  • 2016

    HRH Prince Edward Visit at Barra Unit for Awards in the Duke of Edinburgh Programme

    On September 12th a ceremony was held to give awards to students who had achieved their Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards in the Duke of Edinburgh Programme. The ceremony was very special as it was attended by HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, KG GCVO. Mr Jonathan Dunn, the British Consul in Rio, gave out the Bronze and Silver Awards and then Prince Edward gave out the Gold Award certificates. Ricardo Augusto Oliveira – Class of 2015, TBSRJ Barra Unit student, was awarded his Gold Certificate by the Prince. The ceremony was held together with the “Associação Mérito Brasil”, who brought twenty Gold Award students.

  • 2017

    CIS Ten-Year Team Visit

    School is Re-accredited by CIS

  • 2017

    Education Conference “Crossing Frontiers: Leadership & Language”

    TBSRJ hosts its 2nd Biennial Education Conference in April 2017.

  • 2017

    Botafogo Site Dining Hall

    The Botafogo Site Dining Hall is extended and fully refurbished.

  • 2019

    Education Conference: “Think, Imagine, Inspire”

    TBSRJ 3rd Biennial Education Conference in April 2019, at the Barra Unit:   “Think, Imagine, Inspire”.

    Throughout the 3-day conference, from Monday 15th to Wednesday 17th April, a Google Summit was ran concurrently; and during the prior weekend, on Saturday and Sunday 13th / 14th April, a Google “Boot Camp” was held at the Urca Site.

  • 2020

    E-learning during the COVID-19 pandemic

    The threat of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) suddenly becomes increasingly more credible for all who live in Rio de Janeiro.  Schools are physically closed following government’s definitions.  On March 17th 2020, TBSRJ moves to e-learning as children and staff develop online lessons, from their homes. 

  • 2020

    Protocols for Re-Opening due to COVID-19

    On October 5th 2020, governmental authorities authorised schools in Rio de Janeiro to re-open for on-site classes, under strict controlled conditions.

  • 2020

    Students return to partially presential classes on campus.

    Due to social distancing requirements and COVID-19 regulations, all need to wear masks, keep social distancing, and sanitize hands and furniture. Classes are taught in hybrid format, with students a week in school and a week at home doing online classes, on a rotation basis. 

  • 2020

    Developments / COVID-19 Social Distancing

    Infrastructure changes and building adaptations occur so that safety protocols are met. Extra classroom space is made available with installation of temporary classroom containers.

  • 2020

    COVID-19 Social Distancing

    Classroom tables 

  • 2021

    TBSRJ 4th Biennial Education Conference

    in March 2021, held online due to COVID-19 protocols: “Reflecting, Redefining, Reimagining.”

  • 2021

    TBSRJ 4th Biennial Education Conference

    Throughout the 3-day online conference, from 29th to 31st March 2021, the school welcomed our inspiring and creative keynote speakers as well as over 15 workshop leaders, with many opportunities for varied and high quality professional development.

  • 2021

    TBSRJ 4th Biennial Education Conference

    The conference offered reflection and inspiration for both Primary and Secondary education staff, and leaders. Workshops on content soundly backed by educational research, looking at broad themes of Teaching & Learning, Technology and Inclusion made this an exceptional professional development opportunity.

  • 2022

    Opening of The Patio House

    The Vicarage at the Botafogo Site was remodeled during the 2020/2021, with an architectural project designed by John McAslan + Partners. The house become known as the Patio House. The first floor was designed to accommodated the entry and reception area for visitors and parents, as well as the Secretaries Office and the Head of Site Office.

  • 2022

    Opening of The Patio House

    The second floor of the main house incorporated two large meeting rooms and one smaller meeting room. All historical features of the house were maintained. An annex was built to accommodate Admissions, Communications & Marketing Department and a meeting room.

  • 2022

    SLT Management Changes

    January – July 2022 Mr Jeremy Wong is appointed Interim Director of The British School.

  • 2022

    SLT Management Changes

    From March 2022 Ms Fernanda Reis becomes the new Brazilian Director for Zona Sul School (Botafogo and Urca Sites)

  • 2022

    SLT Management Changes

    From July 2022 Mr Mark Waldron is the new Director of The British School.

  • 2023

    Council of International Schools (CIS)

    TBSRJ is re-accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS). The Council visited the school for a regular re-accreditation visit in May/June 2023 and the award was re-confirmed in July 2023.

  • 2023

    Mrs Sonia Salgado

    In July 2023, Mrs Sonia Salgado announced her retirement after 40 years of significant contribution to the growth and successful development of The British School.

  • 2023

    SLT Management Changes

    From August 2023 Ms Isadora Guise becomes the new Brazilian Director for Barra Unit

  • 2023

    Urca IB Centre

    Inaugurated for both Class 10 and Class 11 lessons, centralising the IB-specific resources including the Diploma Programme coordination; Careers and University applications counselling; CAS & Theory of Knowledge coordination and dedicated quiet study spaces and social areas for students and teachers alike.

  • 2023

    SLT Management Changes

    November 2023 Mr Paul Wiseman is appointed Interim Director of The British School.

  • 2024

    Year group names

    The school changes its year group names to follow the British curriculum nomenclature and facilitate international integration.

TBS 1969 - CLASS 7

With Sr. José - the Gateman, Paul Delaney, Veronica (Tarbutt) Kraushaar, Ursula Bendixen, Jenny Byers (née Marvin), Mr. Martyn Gordon (Headmaster), Claudia Câmara, Marisol.

The Matriz Gates - We used to arrive at and leave School through these gates...