Parent Student Handbook
We will be an outstanding international school, continuously striving for improvement and
engaging our whole community with the concepts of:
We provide excellent British-style education with an international perspective, within a safe environment, where
individuals feel secure, respected, valued, happy and successful.
To Achieve Our Mission:
Our community of learners from many nations works together harmoniously. In a spirit of international-mindedness, we
develop understandings of our own and others’ cultures.
Our teachers, working with parents as partners, inspire in our students a love of learning, motivating and challenging
them to become the best they can be.
Our students build personal and interpersonal knowledge, skills and values. In developing these attributes in an
innovative environment, we expect our students to flourish, becoming balanced individuals with the potential to make a
difference as principled leaders of the future.
Parents- Teacher- Student Conferences and Communications
Parents are encouraged to discuss their child’s academic progress or general welfare with Form Tutors, Subject Teachers
or the appropriate Head of Year. The school also organises formal Parent, Teacher, Student Conferences twice each year
and we expect students to attend and take notes if needed.
In addition to attending scheduled Parent, Teacher, Student Conferences, parents are encouraged to contact the school
whenever a question or concern arises about their child. The first contact should be made via the Secondary office or Head
of Year. Most concerns and questions are resolved, or prevented, by seeing your child’s teacher as early as possible. If you
and the teacher are not able to resolve the matter satisfactorily, you and the teacher are invited to pursue the issue with
the relevant Year or Subject Head. In cases where there are significant concerns about a student the school will contact
his/her parents to arrange a meeting as soon as possible
Textbooks are given out to students on a loan basis, by some but not necessarily all departments, and every care must be
taken by students to ensure that books are not lost and that they are kept in good condition. Textbooks are collected at
the end of the school year, i.e. during June, and any damage or loss of textbooks will be charged to parents.
Library books should be returned within the loan period and again any loss or damage is charged to parents.
In terms of educating the whole person, pastoral care as part of the school curriculum is vital. All members of staff are
responsible for developing a safe and non-threatening environment in which students can feel emotionally and socially
secure. The pastoral team in particular has a more specific responsibility for delivering the Triple L programme (Learning
to Live, Learn and Lead). This curriculum provides students with a unique opportunity to develop life skills in order to learn
more about themselves and others and to develop more fully on a personal, emotional and social level.
The Pastoral Team
Each year group is composed of a team of form tutors and a Head of Year. The form tutor assists and supports the students
in his/her group by helping them to settle into school and derive the greatest benefit from school life. The form tutor also
endeavours to promote unity and loyalty in the form group to ensure that no student feels isolated or insecure.
The structure of the Pastoral Team also helps to create a sense of identity in the school as it focuses on establishing a firm
and positive relationship between the form tutor and his/her form group. In addition the Head of Year monitors and aims
to enhance the overall pastoral care and guidance in the Year Group.
Each Sunday the students spend 40 minutes with their form tutor/s, during which they follow the school’s Triple L
curriculum. Students engage in a wide variety of activities that may involve debate and discussion about a variety of topical
issues such as study skills, self-esteem, respect and friendship groupings. A particular focus of our Triple L Programme is
to encourage international mindedness and respect. In particular, this means tolerance of difference irrespective of race,
religion or gender. Frequently our students engage in assemblies where they participate in presentations and activities
that celebrate the true spirit of international mindedness which exists at the British International School of Jeddah.
The Triple L Curriculum
How the curriculum is managed, its organisation and the teaching methods employed; the unique combination of factors
which create the ethos of the school, its aims, attributes, values and procedures all make an important contribution to the
life skills education programme in school.
“The education system is charged with preparing young people to take their place in a wide range of roles in adult life. It
also has a duty to educate the individuals to be able to think and act for themselves, with an acceptable set of personal
qualities and values which also meet the wide social demands of adult life. In short, the personal and social development
of pupils is a major aim of education; personal and social education being the means by which this aim is achieved.” [NCC]
1. Teaching Life Skills is the responsibility of every member of staff within our school community. The personal and
social development of each student is affected by what is happening within the school and within day-to-day
communication and relationships.
2. The Triple L curriculum content involves:
• Acquisition of knowledge
• Development of personal skills
• Exploration of attributes and values
3. There is an almost infinite number of cross curricular elements which taken together already make a major
contribution to the Life Skills of every student in the British International School but it is vital that the following
areas are included:
• Responsibility & respect for self, others and the environment
• A healthy lifestyle
• Decision making
• Developing positive attitudes towards others e.g. equal opportunities in gender, race, religion, culture,
ethnicity & disability
• Preparation for the next stage in education, development & the world outside school
• Awareness of, and the ability to express views on, the main issues of the day
The school is aware of the hazards that may exist in this city, as they do in others. The school’s leaders liaise closely with
their colleagues in other schools and also with the relevant persons in other establishments, in order to share information
and to take the necessary precautions to protect students. The school regards the taking of drugs or alcohol by any of its
students as a very serious matter and reserves the right to take whatever action is necessary to deal with any problems
that may arise. In the event that the school suspects or becomes aware of drug abuse by any of its students, those involved
should expect the consequences to involve drug testing and probable exclusion from the school. If the school is made
aware of students taking drugs outside school hours, we will inform parents of what we know.
Parents or guardians are important partners in a child’s education and therefore Parental/guardian involvement is essential in helping to ensure that a child enjoys school and grows as both a successful student and a well-rounded individual. Parent responsibilities As a parent or guardian, you are responsible for:
- Communicating positive expectations to your child
- Promoting and supporting the development of character traits described in the school values and IB learner profile
- Ensuring that your child attends school regularly. If your child is absent from school you must provide explanations for the absence in writing
- Ensuring that your child arrives at school on time.
- Informing the school when you are out of the country and providing contact details to the school
- Informing the school when you change address, telephone number or emergency contact information
- Attending parent evenings to discuss your child’s progress
- Teaching your child to resolve conflicts peacefully
- Providing a home environment conducive to study and productive academic work
- Supporting the school philosophy and its rules and procedures
- Being a good role model for your child
- Instilling in your child a sense of responsibility towards him/herself and others
- Monitoring your child’s homework planner
- Taking an active role/interest in your child’s education
- Regularly check emails for school communications and update email addresses as necessary
Should a parent or guardian be concerned about their child in a specific subject, please contact that Subject Teacher via email first, and then if your concern is not addressed, please contact the Head of Department / Faculty of that subject. Reach out to the Head of Year should you need further clarification. Should you want to raise general concerns, please reach out to the Form Tutor, who most probably will be able to answer the non-academic concerns, or forward them onto the appropriate person. A list of email addresses will be sent out to you at the start of the school year.
Attendance and Punctuality
- Guidelines on attendance
- Students attend all classes on their timetable
- If a student is absent from school, a letter or email directly from his/her parent explaining the absence must be sent to the Form Tutor or Secondary office on the day of return or as soon as possible after the absence. Without this letter / note / email, the absence will be registered as unexplained and the student considered ‘truant’
- If an absence is foreseen, a note should be brought giving dates and the reason for absence
- Medical appointments should be arranged outside of school hours. In exceptional circumstances permission to leave school during the school day may be obtained by bringing a letter (at least 24 hours in advance of the appointment) from a parent/guardian to the Head of Secondary / Deputy Head of Secondary / Head of IB, who will sign the request to leave school
- Students choosing to leave the campus without permission during the school day, or not attending classes, are considered truant and consequences follow
- When a student has an unexplained absence from school, parents will receive an automatic email informing them about this. To ensure parents receive accurate communication from the school, it is therefore essential that parent contact information is up to date. Please let the Secondary office know of any personal changes so records can be updated.
- A student with an unexplained absence or who is absent in the school day will not be allowed to participate in any extracurricular activities during that day.
- Lateness is recorded in all student reports. Persistent lateness or absence has a negative effect on a student’s progress. If a student arrives at school after 8.10am he/she must sign in at the Secondary Office and provide a note of explanation.
- Should a student fail to respond to the interventions as outlined in the Attendance Policy, the matter will be referred to the Deputy Head / Head of Secondary.
- It is important to note that any student arriving at school after 9:30am will remain recorded as absent unless there are unusual circumstances beyond the student’s control which caused his/her lateness. In this regard a valid note of explanation from a parent/guardian must be presented to the Secondary office.
- Reasons for lateness referring to driving lessons/not waking up on time are examples of unacceptable reasons. Therefore, it should be noted that frequent lateness to school would affect the student’s IB attendance requirements for progression into the IB program.
The school cafeteria provides a good service to students and is open throughout the school day including before and after
Students are not allowed to take hot food, which means food that is served to them by the Café staff, out of the cafeteria
and eating or drinking is not allowed in the school buildings. Outside the Secondary buildings there are areas where
students can sit and eat. Drinking water is provided around the school and students must bring their own water bottles to
school to avoid having to leave a lesson. Takeaway deliveries to the school are not permitted at any time. Chewing gum is
The school has nurses on hand at the school clinic at all times during the school day. If a student feels ill, he/she should
inform the class teacher who will complete a medical slip. The student will then be sent to the office with the medical slip
to sign out. On return to school the student must sign back in at the office and return to class.
If a student needs to take medication at school he/she should bring a letter from parents stating when he/she needs to
take it. All medicine must be left at the school clinic unless special arrangements have been made with the Head of
Secondary / Deputy Head and the nurses. If a student is taking medication at home it is necessary that the school is
informed in writing about the nature of the medication.
We provide the students with many different opportunities to get involved in activities outside of their daily school
responsibilities. These activities start at 3.15 pm and last for an hour. We also provide activities and coaching at 4.30 pm.
These clubs / activities help students fill in the required hours for Duke of Edinburgh and Creativity, Action and Service.
Information on clubs and how to sign up will be emailed out to parents.
Each student is assigned to a form group/tutor group. Each form group has a Form Tutor in all key stages. The Form Tutors
are responsible for the general care of students and can be the first person to contact with questions. Overseeing each
Year Group is a Head of Year who liaises with the Form Tutors, parents and the Deputy Heads or Head of IB. The Head of
Year also coordinates activities and events like assemblies related to the whole Year Group. Parents can contact the Head
of Year in the event of any issues they wish to discuss.
All students at BISJ are expected to be in the care of a parent(s) or a nominated adult guardian. The school has guidelines
if circumstances should arise that would lead to a student remaining in Jeddah without a parent or their regular guardian.
Parents / guardians are requested to inform the school as far in advance as is possible so that all formalities may be
completed in good time. It is vitally important that the school knows when a student’s parents are out of Jeddah and who
can be contacted in an emergency.
A school-wide “House System”, is in place for intra-school competitions. Students are placed within one of the four school
houses, which is listed on Engage. The house colours are: North – Red, East – Blue, South – Green and West – Yellow.
Noteworthy performance in a whole range of school activities, including academic and athletic, will result in students or
teams of students being awarded house points.
In Key Stage 3 a record is kept of the house points awarded to each student and this achievement is publicly recognised
by the presentation of certificates.
Other competitions that students can participate in to promote their house are: House matches, Swim Gala, Sports Day,
International Day Quiz, Humanities Bowl and Bottle cap collection.
Students are encouraged to use the library. Opening hours during school days are from 07:45 to 16:30 Sunday to
Wednesday and 7:45 to 15:30 on Thursday. A student may borrow a limited number of books, for up to 14 days upon
production of their student card. Loaned books are due back in the library by the date stamped inside the front cover. If
the book is still needed it can be renewed for a further 7 days, unless reserved by another user. Lost and late book
procedures are available from the library along with full information on all the services provided, including the use of
computers and printer. Each term the Librarian facilitates the purchasing of books from an external mail order Book Club.
An IT Lab / work area is available for students over lunch or non-contact time. It can be accessed through the library.
Quiet seating area
Students can use the seating area outside the library for quiet work at break and lunchtime but as mentioned, cannot eat
in that area. IB students also have the Quiet Room in the IB block for study.
Lockers can be made available for Y7& Y8, if required. Students are required to bring a padlock for their own lockers at the
beginning of the school year. Good use of lockers can mean students avoid the need to carry around a large number of
heavy books and other equipment during the school day. It is important to note that expensive valuables should be left at
home. The school cannot be held responsible for the loss of items brought to school by students.
Lost and Found
Students may enquire at the Secondary office regarding any lost items. The school cannot accept responsibility for money
or valuable items brought onto campus by students. Students must look after their own possessions and not leave them
around the campus. Any lost property remaining unclaimed is donated to charity during the year. Please ensure all
student’s items are clearly labelled.
All appointments can be made via the Secondary office. Parents will be asked about the nature of their query and directed
to the appropriate person responsible for that specific area. If parents wish to meet with the Head of Secondary, Deputy
Heads or Head of IB, it is preferable that an appointment is arranged at least 24 hours in advance through the Secondary
Messages for Students
It is sometimes difficult, and time consuming, to locate a student to pass on personal messages, however, the Secondary
office staff will do their best to pass on important messages from parents. Therefore please ensure that all reminders of
appointments and after-school arrangements are made before school. If students need to have access to a telephone,
they can go to the Secondary Office and make the call.
Students are expected to take responsibility for bringing their books, PE and Swimming Kit on the relevant day according
to their timetable. It is not the responsibility of the Parent/Office to deliver forgotten equipment.
If a student has forgotten their lunch, they can borrow money from the Secondary Office and buy lunch from the cafeteria.
Delivery of above-mentioned items to students are in cases of emergency only.
Mobile phones are an essential part of everyday life for most people. As such, they must be used responsibly by students in school to ensure they do not disrupt their learning or the learning of others. The points below should aid responsible use.
- The school cannot assume any responsibility for their loss or damage to any personal items including mobile phones
- During the school day all mobile phones must remain switched off
- IB1 and IB2 students may use their phones in the IB block only
- Parents should not call or text their child on their mobile during the school day
- Students can use mobile phones after the end of the school day at 3.10 pm. If a student needs to make a phone call during the school day he/she must do so through the Secondary office
- There are specific rules about mobile phones and examinations that students will be informed of at the appropriate time
Leaving the Campus
No student is allowed off school campus at any time without the written communication of their parents to a senior
member of staff.
Students are not allowed in the area behind the languages block or onto the adjacent staff housing area.
In general students go outside at break and lunchtime, however, they do not have to. If they remain inside they are, as
usual, expected to behave responsibly. Running is not permitted inside the school over lunch time. Students are not
permitted to enter a classroom during break unless a teacher has given permission.
The school is committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment for students, staff and visitors. Therefore, any
object used to undermine the safety of another person is prohibited. Students are not permitted to bring correction fluid,
chewing gum, skateboards, knives, tobacco, cigarette lighters, alcohol, unauthorised drugs, or any other distracting,
dangerous or valuable items to school. Items we feel are inappropriate will be taken off a student for safekeeping and
returned to the parents directly.
The Holy Month of Ramadan is a special period in Saudi Arabia and the school makes some limited arrangements for
students who want to observe this important period. All academic programmes continue during Ramadan. Students will
be given advice regarding conduct and dress during the Holy Month.
Families often find that they are required to relocate to another area or country. This might be at the end of a school year
or part way through the year. Please contact the Registrar Office who will issue you with the guidelines for requesting
necessary paperwork, including letters of recommendation. Please do not contact individual teachers directly.
Request for Documentation
School references, letters of recommendation and statements of predicted grades are confidential and therefore are not available to parents. It is school policy for all documents related to a student’s performance at this school to be sent directly to the new institution concerned.
- Requests should be received at the Secondary office by the parent
- Once the initial applications to the new school have been made, the new school should contact the Secondary Office directly, or the parent should provide the Secondary Office with a direct email address to the school in question
- Once the references/recommendations have been completed, the Secondary office will email to the school/s in question directly
- Summer school applications should be submitted in hard copy. The completed document may be submitted to the summer school by BISJ or the parent may collect the document in a sealed envelope and send it to the summer school directly
Safety and Security
Fire precautions and safety procedures are posted in each room. Emergency drills are carried out regularly to ensure that
teachers and students are familiar with the procedures. Should it be necessary to evacuate the school campus in an
emergency, any instructions given by an authorised member of staff must be followed immediately by each student.
Educational visit attendance guidelines:
- In order to ensure that school trips do not significantly affect lessons and overall school attendance the school will monitor the number of trips in which a student partakes
- Should the school feel that the benefits of a trip would be outweighed by the detrimental impacts to a student’s academic performance, it will not allow students to partake in the trip
- When granting permission for a student to go on a trip, the following will be taken into account:
- The student’s Learning Descriptor grades – an average effort grade of 5 is required for participation
- The student’s academic performance- This will be addressed on an individual basis
- The student’s attendance record
- The student’s punctuality record
- The effect the duration of absence will have on the student’s educational welfare
- The student’s behaviour record
- Y11 and IB2 students do not participate in educational visits or sports trips after January unless special permission is granted by the Head of Secondary
In order for a student to participate in an educational visit, we require parents to complete a permission form. When an educational visit is being arranged parents will be sent notification and information about the trip. Should there be any questions or concerns about the educational visit please contact the organising teacher(s). As teachers and chaperones are assuming parental responsibility on educational visits, they have a delegated authority from the Head of Secondary to take whatever actions they deem appropriate while on a trip, even when a student aged 18 or over is involved. Normal school rules and expectations apply to all trips.
Students are prohibited from smoking/vaping on the BISJ campus at all times. This includes all areas within the school
walls and the car park.
Each year, the Student Council is elected to serve a variety of roles within the Secondary community. Their responsibilities
fall into the following categories:
1. to officially represent the student body of BISJ
2. to advise the administration on areas of student concern
3. to provide a vehicle for student involvement in decision-making, as appropriate
4. to plan events and activities that engage students, staff, parents, and the community
The council works closely with the Ben Wakeford whose role is to oversee all matters pertaining to the Council and the
organisation of its activities.
Each tutor group elects two class representatives (a boy and a girl) to represent them on the council. There is also the
Student Council Executive Team who is democratically elected by the students. The Student Council Executive Team
consists of eight officers: a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Publicist, and three Class Liaison
The class representatives meet regularly with the Student Council Executive Team and they then feedback news to their
tutor group. The class representatives have an important role as they disseminate all ideas and opinions recorded from
their class discussions to the Student Council Executive Team.
The enthusiasm and effectiveness of the Student Council, as well as the degree of support it receives from the staff and
administration, has a tremendous impact on student morale and school spirit.
Spirit week takes place in Quarter 3. The main purpose of spirit week is to get students and staff to connect with each
other through activities and events that are designed to foster community spirit and support for BISJ. The week also serves
to get students involved, working cooperatively and united on a common goal of promoting the schools’ mission/vision –
Learning to Live, Learn, Lead.
Spirit Week has a central theme each day that is followed throughout the week. It is arranged by the Student Leadership
Groups under the guidance of the Pastoral Team. Break time activities are also organised where both students and
teachers participate – events such as Sponge the Teacher and Truck Pull are extremely popular!
Transport to and from School
It is expected that students being transported to school, especially those on buses, will behave quietly and responsibly. It
is recommended that students should not drive to and from school.
- To ensure that students are dressed in a way that is appropriate to the climate of the country. It is essential that clothing should not cause embarrassment or offence, and the school is required to comply with guidelines and advice received from official sources
- To simplify the uniform, and so reduce the amount of the time and attention given to monitoring student dress. It is a waste of valuable time to engage in debates about whether a garment is within the bounds of acceptability; let us keep it simple and get on with teaching and learning
- To reduce the scope for worry about being fashionable, and the problems of having to go to undue expense for the sake of style
This uniform indicates what acceptable dress code is within the confines of the school campus. Students should also be appropriately attired when arriving at or leaving school, e.g. after PE activities or Outdoor Education, or when travelling.
Clothing: All uniform items must be purchased at the Uniform Shop.
- Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4: Loose fitting light blue school polo shirt with the school badge.
- IB: Red polo shirt with the school badge.
- ALL: Plain navy blue trousers purchased from the school’s uniform shop. A navy blue sweat shirt with the school badge or IB2 sweater.
Note: In keeping with the colours of the school uniform hijabs must be plain blue or white.
- Students are encouraged to wear hats and sunglasses when they are outside the school building.
- Hats or Hoodies are not permitted inside the school buildings
Sensible, protective black shoes, which allow for the growth and healthy development of feet, are required. This does not include high heels, Crocs, flip-flops and shoes without backs or back-straps. Shoes are to be predominantly black but flexibility provided regarding logos, branding and accent colours.
The following jewellery is allowed:
- Wrist watch (max. 1)
- Bracelet (max. 1)
- Necklace (max. 1 and worn beneath uniform)
- Stud earrings (max. 2 pairs)
- Rings (max. 1)
All jewellery to be removed when requested by staff for safety reasons. Nothing of significant value should be worn and BISJ will not be responsible for any lost items
No heavy or extravagant make-up is allowed. Nail polish must be clear.
Hair should be kept clean, tidy. In the interests of hygiene and safety long hair should be tied back. Hairstyles and colours outside the normal range as judged by the Head of Secondary will not be acceptable. Hair cannot be dyed unnatural colours, no highlights and ‘dipping’ is not permitted.
Non Uniform Day
Regular non uniform days occur to raise funds for various charities. Information will be published in the Herald about when the days will happen. Before each non uniform day, students should be reminded by their tutor and parents to dress modestly and appropriately for Saudi Arabia. Shoulders and necklines should be covered and in addition trousers/pants should not be tight fitting. Lycra leggings, torn / ripped jeans, and shorts are not appropriate non uniform. Students will be asked to cover up or wear lost property clothing if they cannot follow the above. It is the responsibility of the Head of Secondary to interpret any uniform issue not explicitly addressed in this document.
Parents and visitors to the school are welcome with an appointment. Once an appointment time is confirmed all visitors,
including parents and former students, must report to the guard house on arrival. To avoid disruption, visits are normally
restricted to the lunch break. On entering the Secondary building, student guests must sign in at the office, and on leaving
the school building student guests must also sign out at the office.
Storms/Excessively Hot Weather Arrangements
If adverse weather conditions prevail during break time, students should go to their form rooms immediately, where they
will be supervised by their tutors and Heads of Year. Any students already in the cafeteria should stay there until further
notice. Students may eat their packed lunches in their form rooms.
Withdrawal from the School
The following procedure is essential to affect withdrawal from school and ensure the provision of required documentation:
- At least two weeks prior to withdrawal, inform the school in writing, specifying the last day of school. For advice about leaving documentation please contact the Registrar Office.
- The student should pick up a Book Clearance from the Registrar Office.
- The Clearance Form will need to be signed by all the departments indicated on it
- Only after the Clearance Form has been completed will a Leaving Certificate be released
When a student withdraws from Secondary, he/she will receive a Leaving Certificate. This certificate, coupled with the regularly issued progress reports, will enable the student to transfer to most schools. Please also refer to the section on Request for Documentation.
Written Communication from School to Home
The school regularly sends out important written communications to parents, which are sent home with students. It is the
responsibility of students to ensure that all written communications are handed to their parents on the day of issue.
Important information will also be communicated by email to parents.