Frequently asked Questions
Are you an academically selective school?
BISR is committed to welcoming all children who can access our curriculum. Whilst we are not academically selective, children at BISR make great progress with impressive examination results at GCSE and A Level. Challenge and support are built into lessons to ensure that we facilitate this progress.
When do BISR accept applications?
We accept in-year applications at all times. Admissions for the next academic year opens in January.
There is no deadline to submit an application, however once the waitlist is at capacity we will close the relevant year groups application.
If the applicant has dual nationality what passport must be used to apply to BISR?
The child should apply to the school using the nationality stated on the Iqama, as they are officially resident in Saudi as per the nationality stated on the Iqama.
Do you have a waitlist?
We hold an existing waitlist with a maximum of 20 children per year group with British/Dutch passport holders and siblings having priority. The status of the waitlist can change daily depending on the new applications received. If BISR is unable to offer a space to a child on the waitlist, they would automatically rollover to the next term's waitlist and be given priority over the new applicants. All waitlisted families are contacted at the end of each term to get a waitlist status update.
What is your student demographic?
The Al Hamra campus has students who identify themselves across 83 different nationalities, whilst the DQ campus is home for students of 43 different nationalities. There is generally an even split of girls and boys across both campuses
What are the age requirements?
We have students from 3-18 - please see the year group requirements here.
What if the student has previously attended BISR?
If the student is returning within 3 terms (1 academic year) then we can add the child back to the waitlist and no assessment will be required. However if more than one academic year has passed then the admissions process should be started again and the family will be required to submit a new application and the child will be required to sit another entry assessment.
What are the fees associated with applying?
All of our fees can be found here
When and how are tuition fees paid?
Tuition fees will be invoiced per term in advance (towards the end of the previous term).
As part of the onboarding process, your child will be allocated a virtual account from our finance team and the Tuition fees should be transferred into that account.
What is the application process?
The Application should be submitted via the Admissions section of the British International School Riyadh website. This will be processed within 48hrs, although this can take longer at peak times. Once the application is processed, a confirmation notification will be sent to the parents to confirm whether we are able to place the child on the waitlist. Pending availability the Admissions team will then contact the family to arrange an entry assessment. If the child successfully passes the entry assessment then an official offer will be made and the onboarding process will begin.
All applications should be submitted online via our dedicated admissions area on the school website here and you are only allowed to apply for one campus.
What is your school mission?
At BISR our vision and mission underpin all that we do, shaping the way that we approach the development of learning experiences, creation of our enrichment programmes and how we support student wellbeing. To be an outstanding British international school, providing world class learning experiences, in a nurturing environment, where students excel, flourish and develop as positive global citizens. See our full Mission and Vision here
How is the school accredited?
BISR is accredited by a number of different organizations including the Council of International Schools (CIS) and as a British School Overseas (BSO), having to meet rigorous standards as part of the accreditation processes. All of our accreditations and affiliations can be found here.
How is the school governed?
BISR is a non-profit school administered by a Board of Governors. All revenue from school fees is devoted to student learning, including the hiring of teachers and support staff, purchase of educational resources, and the development of campus facilities/learning spaces. See more about our board of governors here.
What are the school hours?
Al Hamra hours can be found here
DQ Hours can be found here
What are your class sizes?
The number of children in classes at Al Hamra is typically limited to 22 (20 in FS) The number of children in classes at the DQ and BAES schools are limited to 24 (16 in FS). This is unless there are exceptional circumstances. Only the Principal, in consultation with the Board of Governors, may decide what constitutes exceptional circumstances.
Do students wear uniform?
Students are expected to wear the school uniform. please see the uniform guide here. The School shop stocks a range of branded school clothing including shirts, jumpers, swimwear, hats, sportswear and House shirts. Uniforms are ordered and purchased online and can then be collected from the campuses your child attends. Other items must be purchased elsewhere.
How do parents stay informed about what their child is doing at school?
We report to parents termly and actively involve parents in their children’s learning. Parent Teacher Conferences/ Student Led Conferences are also held throughout the year and parents have access to a google family account to which all communication is sent.
The school's Parent Portal includes useful documents and information.
Can parents volunteer?
Yes! Volunteering is one of the many ways parents can support the school and students' learning. Others include work experience, careers fairs, specialist speakers and community events.
Do you offer after school activities?
At BISR we support learning in a wide-range of ways, through Service Learning, Leadership opportunities, Journeys and Activities. These forms of enrichment enhance classroom based learning and provide a holistic education for our students.
Do you offer after school child care?
Al Hamra currently offers an after school care facility for Primary students. Parents can register for this upon enrolment. The fee is 40 SR per session and campuses also have a full range of Activities as part of our Enrichment programme, which you can read more about here - there are 2 sessions each school day. (3pm-4pm and 4pm-5pm).
Do you offer bus transportation?
All school buses are organized and run by the compounds across the city. Families are advised to register for school transportation at their Compound management office. We would advise families to ensure their chosen compound has school transport facilities when choosing their place of residence, if this is an important factor for them.
Can you transfer between campuses?
Transferring between campuses is possible, however the student will only be eligible to transfer after completion of 3 full terms in the original campus.
Does the school have a canteen where my child can buy lunch, or are children expected to bring their own lunch?
At Al Hamra, Primary students will need to bring their own lunch. In Senior school there are two places students can purchase lunch. One being Paul’s (open to KS3, 4 and Sixth Form) and a pop up canteen that Year 9 upwards are able to use. Other than that, we have space for students to sit and eat their own healthy lunch. For August 2024, when we move to our new campus, a cafeteria facility will be available for all students.
At DQ students can bring their own lunch or sign up to a preordered catering option. Lunch is primarily eaten in the classes or outdoors. There is no onsite cafeteria.
What is your curriculum?
BISR allows your child to follow the pathway that suits them by offering different curriculums at different campuses. See full details on our learning pages here
Do you offer an EAL programme?
BISR has limited support for students for whom English is an additional language and who are at an early stage of acquiring English. Students wishing to enroll must have an age appropriate fluency in English.
Do you offer learning support?
We are careful to ensure that we can provide appropriate support for all our students. We take the time to consider whether our team can offer support for new students whilst maintaining support for our existing students. As such, we have limited places in the Student Services programme at each year level.
We are able to support students with a range of additional needs including dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADHD and autism. However, we are only able to support students with mild to moderate needs. Further information about learning support can be found on our website.
What devices do students use?
Students are required to bring to school their own personal device, every day fully charged. In Primary (Years 3 up to 6,) this will be a BYOD iPad. In Senior (Years 7 to 13) this will be a BYOD laptop and charger.
Where are the staff from?
Our staff community is a diverse mix of professionals from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures, representative of over 40 nationalities. We have approximately 450 staff members across all 5 campuses, 50% are teachers (Data @ March 2023).
The majority of our teaching staff are either UK trained or have UK recognised teaching qualifications with strong experience in British and International Schools, and more recently International Baccalaureate curriculum experience, since the introduction of IB learning at the Diplomatic Quarter Campus.
The school rigorously applies its Safer Recruitment and Vetting Policy to ensure that all staff have the necessary safeguarding checks, skills, qualifications, and attributes to enable them to deliver on the school's vision and mission. A qualification comparison is undertaken for teachers who have qualified to teach in other countries through The UK National Agency for International Qualifications and Skills (UK NARIC: https://www.enic.org.uk/).
Where do students go to university?
Students at BISR are fully supported by their Head of Sixth Form, the Careers and Higher Education Advisor, their tutor, teachers and throughout the Futures programme in their application to university. The majority of our students go on to attend top universities in the UK and USA although we have also supported applications to Canada, Australia, The Netherlands, UAE, Lebanon, Qatar, Bahrain, Ireland and South Africa.