Because of its excellent reputation, British International School Riyadh in Saudi Arabia is considered by many as the flagship British school within the region. Established in 1979, BISR is a not-for-profit school with 1,500 students and 122 teachers of 15 different nationalities. The school is accredited by the Council of British International Schools, the Council of International Schools, British Schools Overseas and British Schools in the Middle East. Approximately half of the students are British passport holders, with the remainder coming from over 50 different countries.
Riyadh is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, with a population of approximately five million. Among other amenities, this interesting city is host to a vast range of restaurants to suit every taste. The proximity of some wonderful weekend getaway places allow many of the BISR staff to spend their leisure time diving, kite-boarding, or engaging in other water-based activities. Riyadh is also a convenient base for visiting other countries in the region.
Compound life is a significant part of living and working in Riyadh. Members of staff live in spacious, fully-furnished apartments paid for by the school. Additionally, with the exception of phone service, all utilities are covered. Many of the compounds are relatively luxurious and include all the facilities one would expect to find in a five-star hotel: swimming pools, tennis and squash courts, large gyms, restaurants, coffee houses, retail shops, and many other features.
Embassy social events ensure that weekends are social, with parties most weekends, and on less hectic weekends, one can always enjoy a barbeque around the pool or a drive out to the sand dunes at sunset. An abundance of sporting opportunities await those interested; staff football and netball teams are always recruiting new players! The staff, with its mix of people from many nations, is very friendly.
Although BISR is essentially an English national curriculum school, its international context allows it to adapt its curriculum to include examples of best practices gleaned from other successful and highly regarded curricula. The academic programme in the primary school is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Key Stages 1 and 2 of the National Curriculum of England. In the senior section, BISR offers IGCSEs and A levels. Classes are small, with an average of 16 students and a maximum of 22, though the latter that is rare.
Teachers at BISR describe the students as a pleasure to teach, always displaying exemplary behaviour—a feature regularly pointed out by visitors. Students also achieve outstanding exam results at IGCSE and A levels. Principal Chris Mantz exclaims of the school’s highly motivated students:
“Students will lap up everything you prepare for them, and they will thank you as they leave your lesson – having asked for extra homework!”
BISR students feel proud of themselves and their school. Mr. Mantz describes the school community:
“The school is well prepared to cater to the academic and social needs of internationally mobile students and encourages all students to constantly challenge themselves. Our teachers nurture students who are intellectually curious, creative, respectful, caring and discerning young adults, conscious of their responsibility to the community and their environment. Parents are encouraged to work in partnership with the school and support its drive towards excellence.”
BISR is interested in hiring singles and teaching couples. They will also consider married couples with a non-teaching spouse, exceptional newly-certified teachers, and those certified in non-English speaking countries. Candidates must hold an academic degree in the subject they will be teaching. Certified teachers under the age of 60 may obtain a work visa. Please note that the school will not be able to obtain visas for children of single parents. The school would ideally like someone with U.K. and/or international experience but encourages others who feel qualified to apply.
In addition to furnished housing and utilities, the BISR benefits package includes a competitive salary, a moving allowance, and annual airfare. Full tuition for up to two children is covered as well as worldwide health insurance, which includes dental and long-term disability. The school invests in its staff. At any one time there are usually several teachers attending courses in locations worldwide. Teachers also receive an end-of-service benefit. Chris adds,
“Although the package is generally regarded as very generous, we . . . want staff [members] who want to come to us because of our ethos, our values and our school culture. If you join us, you will be expected to be highly committed and passionate about education, but you will be well-rewarded, and you will join a community that laughs a lot, enjoys life, and doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
To gain access to British International School Riyadh’s full profile on the Search Associates database, including a list of all open positions, candidates can apply for membership by clicking here.Candidates already registered can easily access the school profile directly through their dashboards.
Please note: The information presented about this school was valid on the date published. This information may change, and the most up-to-date information can be found on the school profile.