The British Schools, Montevideo, was founded in 1908 and celebrates its founders' day on the 8th of October each year. It was born from a joint initiative of The British Cemetery Society and The Anglican Church to establish an English school in Montevideo with "the object of giving children a complete education, both intellectual and moral, based upon the ideas and principles of the best schools in The British Isles". The School is organised as a private, coeducational, non-profit and secular day school, which aims to provide an excellent bilingual education combining the Uruguayan national curriculum with a strong English language programme. The School is governed by a Board of Governors elected by The British Schools Society, whose Honorary President is the British Ambassador to Uruguay.
Located in the suburbs of Montevideo, in the residential area of Carrasco, the School site encompasses the Senior School, Junior School, Early Years Centre (EYC), Auditorium (seating capacity 420), Cafeteria, Sports House, Pavilion, Playing Fields, Hockey, Rugby, Football pitches, a synthetic Hockey pitch, outdoor Tennis Courts, Basketball Court, Gymnasium (1654m2) and Open Air Swimming Pool.
Parents are drawn to the School by its challenging bi-lingual programme and strong set of values. The School programme is academically rigorous and continues to achieve high success rates both in the national and international courses with over 90% of the students achieving a Bilingual IB Diploma. The implementation of a dual curriculum in Senior combines the benefits of an International Programme together with the content and experience of a National Programme. This unique positioning of the School in providing students with the dual curriculum experience has enriched the process of curriculum development for teachers, students and the community.
The School is well supported by its family community, who are organised in various groups through the auspices of the Parent’s Committee and Form Parents. There are many opportunities for all parents to become involved in the activities of the School. The School also has very close links with and strong support from its alumni, including The British Schools Foundation and The Old Boys and Old Girls Club.
Over the years, graduates from The British Schools have, through their achievements and contributions to society, become leaders in the community. At every level of society they have exercised their influence by applying the knowledge, skills and values they acquired during their formative years at the School.
A Brief History
Classes began on the 5th February, 1909, in a building located in Juan Blanes Street. As was customary at the time, there were two separate schools: one for boys and one for girls, and only the Kindergarten section, situated in a different part of town, was mixed. In its inaugural year the School roll had a total of 82 pupils (44 boys and 38 girls/Kindergarten).By 1917 all three sections of the School moved to new premises and in August 1925 H.R.H. the Prince of Wales laid the foundation stone for a new building in the area of Pocitos, which had been "specially designed and built to meet all the requirements of an up-to-date British school.
Dedicated by President José Serrato, in March 1926, the School had separate entrances, stairs and playgrounds for boys and girls and they were taught in separate classrooms. In 1936 marked a watershed for The British Schools: in that year it went co-educational and the official Uruguayan Liceo section was incorporated. Ten years later, the Board of Governors, with a vision of the future development of the Schools decided to buy 10 hectares of land in the outlying area of Carrasco, on which to build a new campus. In 1958, the Senior School moved to Carrasco and finally, in 1965, the Junior moved from Pocitos to its present site.
The 70's brought other major changes: The British Schools was amongst the first, worldwide, to introduce the International Baccalaureate; in 1977, two extra pre-university years (Preparatorios) were added to the Senior School, and the administrative structure was changed to include two independent Heads, one for the Senior and one for the Junior School in lieu of the overall School Headmaster. This structure was only revisited in 2007 with the introduction of the position of Principal who acts as the overall Head of the School. Remaining in the vanguard of educational practices, a pre-school class for 4 year-olds was opened in 1990. In 1993, a building across the street from the Junior building was purchased and refurbished to house this new Kindergarten.
In November 1998, a gymnasium was built which hosts a wide variety of sports and other activities. In 2002 a new Auditorium with 420 seats was built in the Senior. It is used for concerts, conferences, assemblies, international examinations and School plays. In 2005, honouring the memory of Mr. P.S. Schor, Headmaster of the School from 1929 to 1961 with the exception of the WW II years, the Auditorium was named after him. 2011 saw the inauguration of the Early Years Centre a project that brought the whole School together onto one site.
Designed with the future needs of the youngest students in mind the facilities for Kinder and Prep include classrooms with differentiated learning centres, an age-appropriate multimedia projection centre, a hall/mini-theatre with ample space for collaborative work, a psychomotricity area, an art studio and many other child-friendly “nooks” to arouse curiosity, creativity and encourage positive interaction, through play. In 2013 additional learning areas were created for Science, ICT, Art and Music. By early 2014 the final phase of the project will see the completion of the remodelling of the ground floor of Junior, and the provision of a bridge, both practical and symbolic, linking Junior with Senior.
The British Schools touches each one of us in a different way; it means something personal and quite special to every member of its ever-expanding family of students, parents, staff and alumni. And yet, there is one common thread that unites us all and creates a bond across the generations - an invisible but very tangible thread affectionately referred to as the School Spirit.
It is in this Spirit that the “Timeline” is being constructed – to show some of the building blocks that have led us to where we are and upon which to base the future. The information provided so far represents Part One of the “Timeline” and consists of brief narratives, photographs and documents covering the first six decades. The accuracy of the contents is determined by the material available and has been created using some of the most relevant events in the history of The British Schools, gathered from existing material in the History Archives up to July 2007. The “Timeline” is by no means all-encompassing and is simply intended to ‘whet’ the appetite for the more comprehensive book launched during the Schools’ Centennial, entitled: “A Photographic History of the First 100 Years - The British Schools (1908-2008)”. Part Two – the remaining decades – is still under construction.
Instructions for Using the Timeline
To learn about any given event; click on a Timeline image or year. Once the window opens, you can access documents or pictures of the events by clicking on the corresponding tabs and images. To navigate through the pages use the backward and forward buttons of your browser.