Discover Benelux | Profile | The British School of Brussels
The international school that puts students first TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS | PHOTOS: THE BRITISH SCHOOL OF BRUSSELS
In the green oasis of Tervuren, just a stone’s throw away from the melting pot of cultures that is the Belgian capital, you will find The British School of Brussels (BSB). For nearly half a century, this international hub has been offering an excellent education to the youngest of expats, while bringing their families closer together. “The British School of Brussels is an institute like no other,” says school principal Melanie Warnes. “Although we don’t select our students by academic standards, our exam results are amongst the highest around. Nonetheless, we don’t solely focus on the theoretical enrichment of our children, but also on their mental and emotional growth.” And what better place to do that than amidst the century-old trees of Tervuren, the lush garden village in the outskirts of Brussels? At the BSB’s modern, 64 | Issue 67 | July 2019
spacious campus, students have access to facilities galore. A recording studio, a 340-seat theatre, gym, dance studio, fitness suite and a 25-metre swimming pool: it is all at their disposal. Yet, the institute’s most important asset is its human and progressive look at what a school can be. “We have never had uniforms, children address their teachers by their first names and asking questions and being curious is actively encouraged. This results in unique and personal relationships between our teachers and students.” To improve the student’s wellbeing and chances even more, their parents are very involved in the school’s day-to-day life as well. “Yet, this is also beneficial for themselves. Upon arrival, we make them feel as welcome as possible. Sometimes, we even pay a visit to a local hospital with them to let them familiarise themselves
with Brussels’ culture and facilities. The more they feel at home and at ease, the happier their children will be here. And that is one of our most important goals.” BSB in facts 49 years after its founding, The British School of Brussels counts 1,350 students of 70 different nationalities. From the age of one until the age of 18, they walk their personal path within the school’s walls. They can, for example, opt to follow the French/ English bilingual programme, available for ages four-14 years. When 16, they have the choice of three pre-university routes: the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, A Levels or BTEC Vocational Courses.