St George’s British International School is proud to announce the successful completion of the COBIS Accreditation and Compliance scheme, and the award of COBIS Accredited member, following an exhaustive inspection process undertaken in the Autumn term of 2023.
St George’s becomes just the third international school in the world to achieve Double Beacon Status as a result of the recent inspection. Beacon Status schools demonstrate excellence in a particular standard and are committed to sharing their best practice with other schools around the world.
The two areas for which St George’s has been awarded Beacon Status are Learning and Teaching, as well as Governance. St George’s is the first school globally to achieve Beacon Status in Learning and Teaching, with the inspection report stating that “the support, care, guidance and opportunities for pupils have created an exceptional group of young people. The creation of conditions in which pupils have a palpable sense of belonging, where they can be themselves in a safe and accepting environment and where learners of all ages have the opportunity to thrive, contribute and achieve individually in their own ways.”
The Board of Governors were recommended for Beacon Status for their effective and fruitful partnership with senior leaders, their dedication and commitment and the effectiveness of their strategic leadership, with commendations for the high quality, carefully thought-out structure and responsibilities and clarity of procedures of the governing body; the high-quality approach to evaluation of the work of the Board and its impact on the school, and the due diligence of the Board in record keeping and their commitment to school development.
Overall observations: “It is always revealing to ask different groups in a school community to describe it in three words. At St George’s there was a noticeable unity in the adjectives used: caring, striving, friendly, welcoming, ambitious, safe, supportive, non-pretentious, inclusive, tolerant and international.”
A number of commendations were received:
The integrated practice and safeguarding culture established in
St George’s which draws together the pastoral teams, governors and staff.
The proactive and rigorous approach to safeguarding is exemplary,
even surpassing expectations.
The thoroughness of the safer recruitment process and related policies along with the
comprehensive and well-organised Single Central Record.
The individual care provided to each pupil and the links with external agencies to ensure that complex
situations can be supported through a holistic ‘team around the child' approach.
The sense of belonging which is palpable within the school, and which is engendered by the
support and activities around new pupil induction and transition.
Warm relationships across the school community create an extremely welcoming atmosphere.
Pupils feel at home and proud of their school.
The clarity of the school’s values as guiding principles which are
drawn upon as reference points.
Exemplary behaviour observed around the school outside lessons and
conspicuous care shown by pupils to others.
The Oasis area at the La Storta campus illustrates a wonderful use of space to develop a
sense of community and belonging.
The pupils all receive a well organised and friendly welcome on to the school campuses
from the leadership team each morning.
The range of opportunities available to pupils, including the development of the learner profile
attributes and the provision of student leadership opportunities through the school’s outward-looking events and activities.
The school effectively promotes a holistic and outward-looking educational ethos, whilst equally
embracing and commending the unique characteristics and cultural attributes of the host country.
Exemplary medical input into trips which provides staff with excellent guidance on assessing and mitigating
risk together with comprehensive current information on the medical and dietary needs of all pupils.
The civilised and calm lunch breaks which also offer a range of
possibilities for pupils and staff alike.
The work of the Student Support Services team in their dedicated attention to the holistic needs of
pupils with Additional Educational Needs.
Comprehensive commitment to the
wellbeing of all pupils.
The emphasis on process and achievement as opposed to a narrow focus on grades and the
support and guidance pupils receive to follow their own individual pathways.
The learning review (school publication) is innovative and informative,
elevating research and development within the school.
Systems for monitoring student progress incorporate a variety of
data sources which form interventions.
The sheer quality of student enthusiasm, engagement, articulacy and
respect for one another in the classroom.
The bold, creative and pragmatic curriculum changes in Key Stage 4 and the proposed
widening of access and provision at post-16.
The decision to remove mobile phones from the school day
which is producing tangible benefits.
Involving staff widely in the evaluation of the former strategic plan
and the crafting of the next one.
Professional support for middle leaders.
The quality of leadership and support displayed by senior leaders, how they work together
and how they are moving forward by building trust and confidence across the school community.
The passion pupils have for taking on leadership roles within the school and
making the school better for all.
The warmth and strength of the St George’s school community.
The efficient, successful and welcoming admissions process and
induction arrangements for new families.
The breadth and quality of the co-curricular programme. The measures in place to enable trips,
expeditions and the CCA provision in sport and music to develop further.
The range of opportunities for all pupils to engage with the outside world
and enjoy rich learning experiences.
Whilst the school is naturally delighted that the outcome of the report reaffirms its commitment to its founding values of internationalism, inclusivity and excellence, and supports the school’s vision of being the best international school in Europe, St George’s holds an unwavering commitment to continuous improvement, and the recommendations and priority next steps provided by the accrediting body enable St George’s to adapt and execute priorities for the coming academic years. Among many continued areas of focus will include sharing best practice in teaching across all sections of the school, curriculum development, facilities enhancements and streamlining school communications.
COBIS (The Council of British International Schools) Compliance and Accreditation is valid for a period of five years and is one of the inspection procedures that St George’s voluntarily enters into, allowing a team of highly experienced, independent auditors to examine in minute detail every aspect of the school’s teaching, learning and operations, providing evidence and confirmation of best practices as well as raising any areas of concern or in need of review. St George’s intends to publish its next Strategic Plan later this term.
The visit took place across both campuses from 16-20 October 2023 and was led by a team that included both current and former Principals and Heads of School from around the world.