Celebrating 50 Years in Education

BSB turned 50 in 2020.  Irrespective of whether you are a recent recruit to BSB, or a current student or alumni or indeed a member of staff or parent from when the school first opened, we all know that BSB is a remarkable school at the heart of a dynamic and supportive community.

‘Visitors to BSB frequently comment on the ‘tangible harmony’ evident throughout the whole school. Many speak of our sense of togetherness.  Parents, children and visitors are drawn to this and in turn contribute to our strong ethos and ongoing sense of family’. Says Melanie Warnes, BSB Principal and CEO.

‘Response to our 50th anniversary social media posts have been extraordinary”, says Kim Burgess, Marketing & Communications Director. “We’ve had an outpouring of positivity from alumni talking about having had the best time of their lives when they attended BSB, and what a fabulous school we are’.

‘The reasons for BSB’s ongoing success are many, complex and subtle’, continues Melanie. ‘I believe that what is a special feature of BSB, is our long-standing commitment to our founding principles. We have a strong sense of shared values to which we abide; these have been passed on from generation to generation. I am confident that the continuity of inclusive and liberal values will carry us forward to future success’.

BSB opened on its present site in Tervuren in 1970. The Duke of Edinburgh officially opened the school, and more than 10 years later, King Baudouin of Belgium attended a special event in 1981 to open the then new auditorium.  In the early days, student numbers were in the low hundreds, today the school has close to 1,400 children from 70 nationalities. BSB goes from strength to strength and continues to be an all-through non-selective school for children between 1 – 18 years of age.  Its bilingual French/English programme continues to flourish since its inception in 2011.

In 2016, the school opened a new sports centre and it was officially opened by Jacques Rogge, former President of the International Olympic Committee. Now it is the only international school in Belgium to have its own indoor swimming pool.  BSB also celebrates an amazing 29 years of partnership with the Belgium Special Olympics, culminating in a Swim Gala every December organised by students for both BSB athletes and Special Olympians.

A broad, balanced and holistic curriculum is central to the school.  This includes a focus on students as leaders and change makers, with student representation on a range of initiatives including a thriving School Council, student-led training for staff, primary digital ambassadors, elected student presidents and a very active group focusing on environmental issues.  Alongside this there are over 100 different enrichment activities available every week.

BSB celebrated the start of its 50th year with a whole school assembly. The Upper Primary children had written a song about BSB which reflected our Guiding Statements.  The lyrics are inspiring.

One verse read: ‘We all learn to be caring, and we all want to be kind, whatever we can do to help, it’s always worth our time, whenever anything goes wrong, my friends all stand by me, together we are stronger just because we’re BSB.’

BSB will be celebrating its 50th anniversary for the duration of 2020, organising events throughout including a memorabilia exhibition, an alumni reunion, a Summer Concert, a special Awards Ceremony and much more.  ‘It is an opportunity to thank everyone who has supported the school, and made it possible for us to be here, stronger than ever’, Melanie said.

‘Part of the reason why BSB continues to be successful is that we are always looking forward – asking ourselves questions such as what will our students need in the future? How will they learn? What will our school look like? What are the challenges and opportunities and how can we make our dreams reality for the next generations of BSB learners? We know that the environment within which we live and learn is really important. We have a wonderful campus in a beautiful environment but we know that we must continue to invest in the development of learning spaces of the highest quality in order to ensure that current and future students enjoy a great education. With this in mind we are working on creating the learning spaces of tomorrow and beyond.  In celebration of BSB’s 50th Anniversary we will be planting 50 indigenous species of trees across our campus. A joy now and an investment for future staff, students and families of BSB’, said Melanie.

About The British School of Brussels (BSB)

The British School of Brussels (BSB), founded in 1969 in Brussels and established in 1970 in Tervuren, is an all-through international school for children aged one to 18 years. There are close to over 1,350 students on roll, representing approximately 70 nationalities. There is an Early Childhood Centre for children aged 1-3 years.  Our Primary School offers a bespoke curriculum with integrated learning themes that are inquiry based and skills driven. The school offers a British Curriculum up to age 16 years, (I)GCSE followed by the choice of three pre-university routes: GCE A Levels, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and BTEC. Extensive provision for learning support and English as an Additional Language (EAL) is available, as well as a wide range of enrichment activities.  BSB has outstanding facilities including an indoor 25m swimming pool. There is also a French-English bilingual programme for ages four to 14 years. School accreditations include the IB World School, COBIS (Council of British International Schools) and the Principal is a member of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC). BSB has received an outstanding report from the Council of International Schools (CIS) and from COBIS (Council of British International Schools).  For more information, please visit www.britishschool.be.

Press Contact: Mrs Kim Burgess, Marketing & Communications Director, Tel: +32(0)2 766 0478  KBurgess@britishschool.be

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