The British School of Brussels is proud to announce that the school’s BSB Futures programme has won the Future Pathways category award at the ISC International School Awards 2023.
The panel of judges at ISC Research chose to honour our BSB Futures programme for all the amazing work it does to prepare our students with the skills and values to support their future pathways as they take their first steps into further education or their chosen careers.
BSB Futures, a whole-school initiative that enriches learning by building connections with the professional world, was chosen for the ISC International School Awards 2023 for the way it inspires and supports the careers aspirations of our students throughout their academic journey, engaging students, teachers, and external partners alike.
The programme is supported by the range of pathways open to students in Year 12 and 13 through the IB, A-level and BTEC programmes available at BSB as pre-university qualifications. This helps students choose the course and approach that best suits them to set them up for success.
The BSB Futures programme builds on this by introducing students to relatable people, professionals and often alumni who speak honestly about the challenges they may have faced as they built their careers, the programme reassures students that there are many pathways to success, while broadening their knowledge of what is available and what best suits them.
The result is that BSB students have made a wider range of Higher Education choices and have had the confidence to pursue subjects that they are passionate about; sustainability, arts, and even work-based routes such as apprenticeships.
“We are truly grateful to have been part of this process alongside so many exceptional initiatives from around the world,” said Amanda Nocera, Employer Engagement and Alumni Admin Coordinator, one of the architects of BSB’s programme. “The award represents a heartfelt commitment to supporting students as they discover their unique strengths, which underlies all of our learning at BSB.”
“The BSB Futures programme builds upon this by broadening students’ access to the world of work, enabling them to explore interests, make connections and ideally make better-informed decisions about their next steps.”
The judges were particularly impressed by the programme’s record of helping students to develop skills and competencies valuable for life, the guidance it has provided in developing the students’ future learning aspirations and choices, and its inclusion of the student voice and student action in every part of the initiative.
“The student voice is at the heart of BSB Futures programming, as something powerful to be developed and amplified,” added Amanda. “Accessibility really is key – our lunchtime career talks are open to every one of our 850+ Secondary students and 1:1 meetings with industry experts are available by request to all students in Years 10-13.”
“With over 85 round table speakers giving lunchtime talks in the last two years from a wide variety of backgrounds this helps students see the range of options open to them and to be reassured that careers sometimes come with bumps and twists in the road and that you don’t need to know at the age of 18 exactly what you want to do age 38,” said John Knight, Vice Principal and Head of Secondary at BSB. “Where a student does not find a round table talk, they relate to the team have made one-to-one connections to provide a mentor in the desired career to guide them on how best to follow their dream.”
Equally decisive in the ISC’s judgement was the way BSB Futures has been developed as a long-lasting initiative for the school; one that can be improved and developed over time and could be sustainable through successive staff changes.
“BSB Futures has been integrated into the spirit of the school; by asking alumni to speak about their careers and studies, we show current students that their experiences are valued, and we hope to inspire them to share their own stories in future,” said John. “By having the programme led by expert staff in the school this network will continue to grow and nourish itself.”
“The impact has been significant and continues to grow in exciting ways as we develop new links with campus partners such as PSHE and Higher Education,” concluded Amanda. “Careers and Futures education is becoming embedded at BSB, and ISC’s recognition has offered a welcome moment to pause and reflect on our own path as a programme.”
For more information on our Futures programme, please visit this section of our website.