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We offer two complementary educational paths: the International Baccalaureate Continuum of Programmes and the English National Curriculum. Learn more about the option that may be appropriate for your child below.

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The British School Celebrates 40 Years

by Andrew Freeman, British School Principal

In the year Princess Diana became royalty and “the internet” was first being introduced to the world, the British School at Seoul Foreign School started its journey towards what it is today: a school where values build community and where learning connects students to relevance in the world around them.

Back in the Spring of 1981, members of the British Council, the British Businessmen’s Group and the British Women’s Group formed an ad-hoc committee to consider options to provide a British Style education in Korea. One possibility involved linking with an existing non-profit organisation. The committee reached out to Seoul Foreign School, and soon discussions were underway with Head of School Richard Underwood.

Things moved quickly from that point and by June 1981 an agreement was signed. On August 25 of that year the British School opened its doors for the first time with two classes, 17 children and two UK-qualified teachers in the first Headteacher Denis Suray and Victoria Sargent. Today, those same doors would lead you into a teacher’s apartment in C-block and that might be a bit of a squeeze with our current population reaching 260 students.

Seoul Foreign School British School has had several homes since 1981. Growing quickly during its first year, the school was moved to classrooms in the Gymnasium Block in 1982 and, with growth each year, one class spilled out into a prefabricated hut built where E-block parking currently is located. This hut was quickly removed after a city authority observation helicopter flight discovered it and found it had no planning permission!

In 1984, the British School had built a reputation that was strong enough for the school to be recognised as a permanent entity. With permission granted, a new school building was completed in 1986 and opened by the British Ambassador Sir Nicholas Spreckley on May 29, 1986. A stone in our reception area recognises this date.

The school continued to grow, reaching 137 students by September 1992. In that same year, the school welcomed a royal visit from Princess Diana, who married the same year the school was founded. Recently we caught up with Rosie Jon, a British School student from 1986 to 1993, who welcomed Princess Diana with a bouquet of flowers. 

Since then, the school has continued to grow and establish itself as a school of choice in Seoul, offering a British-focused education to global learners. Our alumni have settled all over the world, and currently our student body is composed of 27 different nationalities. Long-standing traditions have established themselves, such as the school uniform that has been compulsory since the second year of the school’s existence, Scottish Dancing thanks to Gavin McKay, one of the early adopters and supporters of the British School, and sending our choir around Seoul to sing at different locations and events, a fond remembrance of Rosie’s during her time as a student. We live out our core values of responsibility and respect through service learning, such as the year-long community projects our Key Stage 3 students design and participate in.

Following several years of growth through the challenging times of COVID-19, the school population is currently around 260 students. Alongside the English National Curriculum for Maths and English, we have recently introduced innovative frameworks for international learning (IEYC, IPC, IMYC) in all other subjects which add thinking, collaboration, and relevance to a strong learning environment. These are underpinned by six core values that bind the community together and give it its reputation of being ‘like a family’, where everyone puts each other first in a safe environment. That thing that people called “the world internet” in 1981, now helps support learning around global issues, connects us as a community, past and present, and shares our stories with the world. Come and join us, either as part of our physical community or out there in the world internet.

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