We clearly live in a world which is characterised by a truly global economy which has the movement of labour across national borders as one of its main characteristics. It is easy to understand that an international workforce will demand an international education and that even local nationals will want to prepare their own children to properly live and compete on the global stage.
Recent figures have recorded the existence of more than 6,500 English-medium schools throughout the world. English remains the language of choice for the education of children in an international context and more than 3.3 million children attend these schools.
British International School
Byron College is a British International School established in Athens in 1986. The first ever British International School may well be identified as being established in London 120 years prior to Byron’s start. The London College of the International Education Society inspired by Richard Cobden (the political activist who fought for free trade) and by Charles Dickens (whose major literary works examined the real social changes of the 19th century). These historical figures had organised an essay competition with the title “The advantages of educating together children of different nationalities,” which was the first act of the first international school. This question finds its answers on a daily basis at Byron College which educates “together” children from over 45 different countries.
UK National Curriculum
Byron College was established to meet the needs of the international community and post-2000 legislation has allowed it to register children of Greek nationals.
The school organises its academic work around the UK National Curriculum leading to public examinations at IGCSE and AS and A-Level GCE.
Children can begin their education at the age of 3, move through our Primary section and complete secondary education by passing A-Levels and entering university in any country in the world.
When we say we are an all-through school (3-18) we really do mean that a child can enter Nursery and leave ready for university. An increasing number of our pupils do, in fact, spend more than 12 years with us.
The school’s total pupil roll is 250 and all of these children are educated on one site in Gerakas and the school’s extensive bus service allows us to attract pupils from all of the Athens suburbs, north-south, east-west.
Philosophy & Ethos
As a British School, Byron College expresses a philosophy of:
* Pastoral care of the individual child
* Providing opportunities to develop talents in co-curricular activities
* An ethos that actively promotes international understanding
Byron College has a common ethos which is evident in all sections of the school and primary and secondary pupils learn together in a safe and supportive environment.
Our staff are experienced in the delivery of the British curriculum but recognise their own particular role in developing “international mindedness” and every single teacher has something to “offer” beyond the delivery of the recorded curriculum.
This is often referred to as “global consciousness” which is a person’s capacity to transcend the limits of a view of the world which is informed by a single experience of nationality, creed, culture or philosophy and recognise in the richness of diversity a multiplicity of ways of engaging with the world.
There are, of course, several strands to this – one is culture and evidence that pupils are aware of the heritage of their host country (Greece) and this includes exposure to Greek drama, Greek art, Greek music, Greek architecture and especially the Greek language and literature.
When a child joins Byron College he or she will quickly become part of a school culture that cherishes academic excellence, that is welcoming, that makes every effort to discover the talents inherent in every child, that inspires creativity and encourages individuality. But, above all, we want every child to participate in all school activities and to make a contribution within Byron’s spirit which is quixotic, egalitarian, boundary challenging and adventurous.
To maximise our chances of fulfilling our mission and vision, small classes are maintained. Provision is made for gifted and talented pupils and support provided for those with other needs. Cross-curricular and extracurricular activities are sponsored and encouraged and we work with the University of Durham’s Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring to provide staff and parents with a clear record of progress being made.
The school is especially proud of the progress made that can be measured and presented as “value-added.” This measure is particularly telling when we examine children who joined us with a limited command of English. British schools also measure success by their pass rates in public examinations.
A* or A in IGCSE examinations for almost 50% of Byron College pupils in 2012.
Range of subjects in which pupils were entered in 2012 was 19 separate IGCSE subjects.
Pass rate has never been below 93% for a minimum of 5 subjects with grades between A* – C.
Almost 100% of our school leavers who complete A-Level GCEs go on to study at their first-choice university.
We are proud that in recent years a number of Byron College pupils have entered Oxford or Cambridge and the great majority enter the so-called Russell Group of UK universities. In addition, over 450 North American universities accept pupils with A-Level GCE and overall Byron pupils are excelling at universities across the world from Australia to Ukraine.
Byron College sixth-formers (Years 12-13) study a 2-year programme of A-Levels. Nearly 94% of UK undergraduates have studied GCE A-Levels at school and there are compelling reasons for this. The A-Level system allows for a proper balance between depth and choice. In the first year in this non-prescriptive system AS choices are broad and flexible and in the second year A2 choices emphasise depth and specialisation presenting a real intellectual challenge which is ideal preparation for university.
A-Levels, widely referred to as the “gold standard,” offer unrivaled possibilities to meet the needs and aptitudes of each individual. Byron College currently offers 14 subjects at AS level and 10 at A-Level.
The school offers additional learning opportunities and extension work for all of its pupils and we ensure that the academic curriculum is flexible, current, topical and challenging.
The ongoing professional and academic success of our pupils is witness to the success the school has in providing its children with the full range of 21st century skills.
7 Filolaou Street
15344 Gerakas, Greece