British School

English National Curriculum (ENC)

Those not familiar with a national curriculum may be wondering what their child will be learning when they enrol in the SFBS. Like many other countries now, in England, we have a national curriculum set up (since 1988) to ensure that children moving around the country are able to follow the same curriculum no matter whether they are in the North West or the South. The contents is specified but not the teaching method, leaving individual schools to decide how best to adapt the methodology to suit the needs of their students – at SFBS, for instance, our students are keen learners and our assessment scores reflect this, so we teach to a standard that matches those expectations.

The creative and physical development of the children are part of our holistic approach to learning – Art, Drama, Design Technology (DT), Physical Education (PE) and Music are as much a part of their lives as the core subjects of Literacy, Mathematics, Science and Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Because the children need to be aware of their place in the world about them, our curriculum includes Christian-based, comparative Religious Education (RE); Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE – relationships with others), Citizenship and Modern Foreign Languages (Korean in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, French in Key Stage 2 and French or Spanish in Key Stage 3). The children also need to be able to put this learning in a physical and social context so geography and history schemes of work have been adapted to reflect the international nature of our students and our location in Korea.

In terms of what they are taught through the ENC at SFBS, if they come from England or another British school overseas, there will be little difference. If your child has been in another educational system there may be differences in content from your child’s previous school/s in subjects such as history, geography, art, PE and music for example, but the skills they are taught – investigating, enquiring, using maths and literacy, using IT, collaborative and independent learning – will be similar to all their age-peer children around the world.

For more details, visit the official Department for Education websites :

Why do we use the ENC here in Seoul?

As a ‘British School’, we have opted to adopt the established and organised curriculum out of England because we believe it gives us the rigour and assessment-based curriculum that is suitable for our international students. This curriculum, and the teaching philosophy behind it, is what makes our school ‘British’.

In essence, it enables us to have an emphasis on quality, motivation and enthusiasm; expectations of the students are high and not just academically. As well as swimming, SFS’s extensive facilities enable us to offer a range of sports, both within the curriculum and in our extensive after-school activities’ programme. In the performing arts, we have drama and music productions that reflect the commitment, dedication and sheer enjoyment that the students bring to such events.

Teaching and Learning

From our teachers’ experiences of working in both the UK and around the world, we have identified three key areas to enable our students to learn in the curriculum areas:

  • Our teachers have a good subject knowledge and can make it accessible to the students.
  • Our teachers have a good knowledge of their pupils and how they learn.
  • Our teachers act as facilitators in the process of learning.

Each involves understanding and skill and each is dependent for its success on the other three.

What are Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, & Key Stage 3?

The English education system is divided up into a number of Key Stages. At SFBS, Key Stage 1 covers Reception (the academic year in which the child will turn five years old), Year 1 and Year 2 (that’s similar to JK, SK and Grade 1); Key Stage 2 is Years 3 to 6 (that’s Grades 2 to 5) while Key Stage 3 is Years 7 to 9 (Grades 6 to 8).

Year group











Age of pupils at end of year*











Key Stage




*Because of the international nature of our student’s educational background, some students may be placed in non-age peer year groups (eg because some educational systems run a January to December academic year). Such placement is carried out in consultation with the parents.

39 Yeonhui-ro 22-gil, Seodaemun-Gu
Seoul, Republic of Korea 03723

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Welcome to Seoul Foreign School, a K-12 IB World School, founded in 1912. We are widely regarded as the leading international school in Seoul. We are a non-profit school where 100% of your tuition directly impacts student learning. Of the international schools in Seoul, we offer an unrivaled 100-year+ legacy of educational excellence, international diversity and commitment to educating the leaders of the future.

About SFS

Welcome to Seoul Foreign School, a Pre K-12 IB World School, founded in 1912. We are widely regarded as the leading international school in Seoul. We offer an unrivalled 100-year+ legacy of educational excellence, international diversity and commitment to educating the leaders of the future. We are a non-profit school where 100% of your tuition directly impacts student learning. 


We welcome the opportunity to meet you and show you a firsthand look at our campus. Contact us by email or by telephone to make an appointment. We understand a visit is not always possible. The entire admissions team is ready to help you in any way we can. 


The Elementary and Middle Schools follow a US-style curriculum. The British division follows the National Curriculum of England. In the High School Gr. 9-10 students may choose to take the IGCSE Program and for Gr. 11-12 we offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. Namsan Int'l Kindergarten is a PYP candidate school.


SFS athletes develop character, responsibility, dedication, commitment, teamwork, leadership, and experience applicable in all areas of life.  While our teams enjoy winning results in competitive conferences, we measure success well beyond the win-loss column.

Fine Arts

Seoul Foreign School enjoys a long history of rich curricular and co-curricular performing and visual arts programs.  Over 90% of our students are involved in the arts each year and are showcased in our visual arts displays and over 40 annual public performances put on by our music and drama departments.  

Student Life

At SFS we care about the development of each individual student academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually. There are many choices for participation at SFS. We encourage students to not try to do them all, but to choose wisely. 


With a history of over one hundred years, SFS has provided education for extraordinary Alumni. Today, more Alumni are becoming a part of our parent community. Having ‘Legacy’ students at SFS is a compelling testament to our tradition of excellence.


The Annual Fund provides additional resources to help continue the tradition of excellence at SFS. Your support provides many needs throughout the school, further enhancing our academic and extracurricular programs – setting us apart from other international schools in the world.

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