“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
– Helen Keller
Hollywood has ensured that most people are familiar with the inspiring struggle and eventual triumph over adversity of Helen Keller, who lost both her sight and hearing when only 19 months old. At first, Helen could only communicate with friends and family through home signs, but with the help of her teacher and later lifetime companion, Anne Sullivan, she was able to enter the wider world, learning to read and write so successfully that she went on to Harvard University, becoming the first-ever deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Helen kept her passion alive through a mixture of persistence, an unflinching grasp of her own reality, and boundless ambition.
At Thames, Helen’s example inspires to help students keep alive their personal passions and tirelessly work towards achieving their dreams, all within a globally inclusive, growth-inducive learning environment.
The Knowledge Review takes immense pride in presenting the school’s story and celebrates its decades-old legacy in setting solid benchmarks in quality international education.
Thames British School Group (TBS) is a UK-based international school chain that owns and manages a global network of British International schools delivering a full complement of high-quality education from early years to 19 years old students across Europe. Since its establishment, TBS has been renowned for its successful international school management expertise and its acquisitions and international school management agreements contracted within Europe. TBS currently operates six schools in UK, Spain, and Poland. There are new schools in new locations to be added to its portfolio of international schools in the pipeline.
Thames British School takes pride in delivering high-quality British education in an international context. The school’s mission is to create and manage British and international schools, delivering a gold-standard education based on the content of internationally recognised curricula such as the Cambridge international curriculum and International Baccalaureate (IB).
John Carrivick has lived in Spain for over 40 years and worked for the British Council in Madrid for 33 years until his recent retirement. His work included managing the relationship with the British schools in Spain, liaising with Spanish national and regional authorities and the British Department for Education on inspection, certification, the equivalence of qualifications, and child protection. John now works as a consultant on British education, and his continued work with schools has included being a governor of several schools and serving on the advisory council of an international network of British schools. John has also worked with a British examinations board on the recognition of qualifications in Spain and joined Thames British School in 2018.
John has worked with the British International Schools for over half his working life. While speaking about the long journey, he says, “I am proud to be a part of the British international education family to which Thames British School belongs.” John believes that schools should prepare their students for life, especially after school. Consequently, education must embrace the whole child and their well-being beyond the knowledge they acquire in the classroom and help them achieve their maximum human potential.
John continues, “At Thames, children learn in a safe environment that fosters respect for others and their natural counterpart, respect for oneself, and self-esteem. The child prepares for the wider world by being encouraged to develop independent research and critical thinking skills while also learning to work in teams.” According to him, being able to think outside the box will be increasingly necessary for the students in a rapidly changing world.
As most of the teaching and learning at the Thames schools is through the medium of the English language, students learn not only to speak English fluently but also to think in English, which is an invaluable asset in today’s global marketplace. Another strength is that the British education qualifications and International Baccalaureate followed at the school are internationally respected and accepted by employers and universities worldwide.
Thames is accredited by Cambridge Assessment International Education, a department of the University of Cambridge. John asserts, “In Cambridge, Thames has a critical friend who monitors our schools to ensure the highest standards are maintained and provides continuous pedagogical support to ensure that our schools are always up to date with developments in British education. We believe that our education prepares children to become fully developed and well-informed citizens with enhanced prospects for access to higher education and the best employment opportunities.”
Leading-Edge Values for Tomorrow’s World
Thames British school strives to provide a British education of the highest quality by using a stimulating, safe and positive learning environment with high expectations of achievement and behaviour. The school also provides and maintains an inclusive culture of learning where all children are challenged in their thinking to achieve the best of their abilities and strive to become lifelong learners. As John says, “We empower our pupils to become respected citizens to enable them to make valuable contributions locally, globally, and contribute to our world’s sustainable future.”
The school envisages an environment where children can build the knowledge and skills they will need in the 21st Century by encouraging them to critically evaluate their experiences within the globally respected curricula of the National Curriculum for England and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. The school’s broad and balanced learning experiences are designed to encourage children to take risks and embrace challenges. The school accelerates academic and personal growth by empowering individuals to embrace opportunities to reach their full potential as independent thinkers and team players. The multicultural family atmosphere at Thames celebrates diversity for the freedom it gives us to learn from each other. The students are encouraged to reflect and act with respect and confidence. John encapsulates this by saying, “We work toward building the whole person through a combination of academics and life skills.”
Accreditations and Associations
CAMBRIDGE ASSESSMENT INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION
Thames British School is fully accredited to deliver the Cambridge Curriculum for our Primary and Secondary schools. This allows us to teach from a rich, broad, and internationally recognised curriculum as well as for our students to gain deeper subject knowledge, conceptual understanding, and higher-level thinking skills.
IGCSE AND AS/A LEVEL ACCREDITATION
Thames British School obtained its accreditation to offer the Cambridge Upper Secondary IGCSE programme and Cambridge International AS and A Levels programme which are the world’s most popular international qualifications for 14 to 19-year-olds. They are recognized by leading universities and employers worldwide.
INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE ORGANISATION
Thames British School, Warsaw has been authorized to deliver the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP). This curriculum is meant for students aged 16 to 18 years old and is taught during the last two years of secondary school education. It is a prestigious qualification honored at over 2,000 higher education institutions in 75 countries, including leading universities around the world.
NABSS – NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BRITISH SCHOOLS IN SPAIN
Thames British School Madrid is a member of NABSS, the prestigious National Association of British Schools in Spain. Thames has been certified by the British Council for authorization as a British school by the Spanish education authorities after regular inspections by an authorized inspectorate.
SPANISH MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
The Spanish Department is subject to the Spanish Education Inspection Act, and the curriculum at Thames complies with the LOE (Ley Orgánica de Educación).
Students at Thames study ‘lengua y cultura española’ from Primary to Year 11, providing additional help in the Spanish language to those students who need it in small groups. The assessment of these subjects is carried out according to the same rules as those applicable to the rest of the subjects studied at the school. The results are recorded in the corresponding academic certificate.
Thames British School is a collaborating entity with UNEDasiss, the UNED service created to manage the access and admission of students to Spanish universities.
POLISH MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
Thames British School is an international private school registered with the National Ministry of Education. Like all other non-public schools in Poland, Thames British School respects all of the required core curricula for general education and has the right to issue school certificates that are recognized by all other schools and universities. The school’s curriculum is aimed at both foreign and Polish students who seek high-quality international education and a high standard of foreign language teaching.
Thames British School Warsaw
Thames British School sets out a bold new vision for international education in Poland. To say that the Thames British School group successfully entered the international schools market in Poland would be an understatement. The group has stormed the market of private education in Warsaw, liaising with a number of well-established and recognized schools and building a prestigious educational institution based on a unique and undeniably bold premise: to offer world-recognized international qualifications (Cambridge Primary, Lower Secondary, IGCSE, AS/A Levels, IDBP) and create standards for a stimulating, student-centred environment, where each child can fully embrace their learning opportunities.
Behind the attractive and welcoming exteriors of their two historical and three modern campuses, pupils aged 2.5 to 19 years experience a truly modern learning experience. Thames achieves its National Curriculum for England objectives through the Cambridge curriculum programme (including Cambridge Primary, Lower Secondary, IGCSE, and Cambridge International AS/A Levels) along with the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme – a world-renowned pre-university qualification honored at over 2,000 higher education institutions in 75 countries.
Furthermore, while highlighting the advanced learning pedagogy at Thames, John states, “We are fully aware that offering a stimulating learning environment takes more than classrooms infused with modern digital learning tools and iMac computer labs. It takes the human factor – the teachers. Thames British School has been striving to take on board the most creative, engaged, and qualified English-speaking teachers out there, those dedicated to making a difference in shaping young minds for the future.” In the fact that the school is consistently rated as outstanding by parents in both internal and external reviews – parents trust that teachers always offer the most supportive learning experience, and it is easy to understand why the students at Thames British School stand out so brightly.
Thames British School now has five campuses with excellent facilities operating in and around Warsaw. Two are located in the Ochota district of Warsaw, one is in the Włochy district near Warsaw’s business hub, and the other just outside of Warsaw near Piaseczno, our new campus is situated near Pole Mokotowskie.
Thames British School Madrid
Thames British School, located in Madrid, prides itself on providing pupils with the highest level of education and a wide range of opportunities for personal development. At Thames, students are prepared to face 21st-century challenges with skills, understanding, and, ultimately, universally recognised certificates that open doors to the finest universities in the world. The international community of ambitious, highly-qualified teachers ensures a friendly, culturally tolerant atmosphere within modern, spacious classrooms. As a British school, the educational provision is robust and thoughtful, in accordance with National Curriculum standards for England. It is seen as a part of mission to help students acquire confidence in developing passions, uncovering latent talents, and overcoming challenges.
Teachers at Thames, constitute a highly experienced and educated cohort, a balanced mix of native and fluent English speakers from around the world, allowing students to benefit from a rich fusion of cultural experiences. The staff at the school has, as a minimum, postgraduate studies certificates and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), the majority also having teaching experience gained in a British school, either in the UK or at international schools around the world, which follow the British curriculum. The talented and highly-educated educators at Thames are child-centered in their approach to teaching and learning.
While maintaining quality education, teachers also inspire wider development of awareness in students, helping them to believe that they might actually have a part to play in changing the world for the better. The school guarantees a safe environment for developing critical thinking, self-confidence, perseverance, and respect. Thames British School conducts classes in English and follows the British curriculum from the Early Years Foundation Stage to the Cambridge International AS/A Levels. In a spirit of openness, students are encouraged to take up new challenges in order to achieve their goals. Crucially, they are taught to analyse content in a critical way and to be ready for the challenge of new activities.
While speaking about the inclusive learning environment and the immaculate results that the school has been providing, John says, “It is the international community around the Thames British School that facilitates an open and friendly climate for learning. A multicultural, open environment together with a warm atmosphere allows us to appreciate diversity and forge mutual education. The Thames British School is a well of opportunity for all to draw from. We are very proud of it.”
The management believes that for students to become well-rounded individuals who are curious and independent learners, each student has their own goals whereby they reach and surpass their potential. Every student will have access to further their study in all parts of the world and be well informed about their next steps. Career advisors support these students at Thames who guide them to apply for the correct admission tests and assist in university applications.
Thames British School actively encourages and inculcates the following values among its students:
One of the parents: I can fully recommend this school. My child loves going to this school. There are professional teachers and great administration. The building is modern and clean. The Cambridge Programme is an excellent asset. The school organizes great activities for students, and the online teaching was conducted in a competent way. I love the individual approach the teachers have for the students. I know my child is in good hands when at school.
One of the parents: I recommend TBS with all of my heart. My daughter has been attending the school since last year, and I can tell the staff is doing everything for her comfort and education. The teachers are not only warm people with big hearts but also they treat every child individually and give appropriate attention to all pupils. Teaching programs and materials remain very interesting for kids because they let them discover the world and gain knowledge through experience and fun. My daughter goes to school every morning excited about the upcoming day. I strongly recommend TBS as it is a perfect place for children education in Warsaw.
One of the parents: I can fully recommend this school. My child loves going to this school. There are professional teachers and great administration. The building is modern and clean. The Cambridge Programme is an excellent asset. The school organizes great activities for students, and the online teaching was conducted in a competent way. I love the individual approach the teachers have to the students. I know my child is in good hands when at school.
One of the parents: Ever since my daughter joined the school, she has made huge improvements in all subjects, especially both English and Maths. Most importantly, she has made a lot of friends. The thing we like the most about the campus is that it is right in the middle of greenery. It also has a wonderful schoolyard with a lot of sports equipment. The classrooms are spacious and well equipped. Children’s favourite classroom is the ICT classroom with the very latest technology, iMAC computers, where they enjoy learning coding classes. Last but not least the teachers are very friendly and helpful. I can highly recommend the school to anyone who wants to invest in their children’s future.