Oporto British School

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Oporto British School
Established 1894
Type Independent School, International School, Day, Co-educational, Nursery School, Primary School, Secondary School,
Location Porto, Portugal
Website Oporto British Schooll

Oporto British School, in Foz do Douro, Porto, is the oldest British school in mainland Europe, established in 1894.

The current Head Master is Mr Willam Klose. Other members of the Senior Leadership Team include: Head of Primary Section, Mr Mark Evansis, Head of Secondary Section, Mr Jones, Deputy Head (IB Coordinator), Mr Jeremy Mutter and the Bursar Mrs Angela Henriques.

It is a private, day school for both boys and girls, aged 3 to 18 with approximately 425 pupils on roll. It follows a British-style curriculum until the completion of the IGCSE.

Senior pupils then study the IB Diploma Programme and many go on to Higher Education in the UK, Portugal and to many other international locations.

It received CIS Accreditation in 2005. It is a member of the European Council of International Schools, the Council of British International Schools and the current Head Master is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


As with many independent schools, Oporto British School is divided in houses. These are:

  • Braganza
  • Windsor
  • Lancaster


The Oporto British School opened on the first day of the Summer Term in 1894 with 11 boys, with the Rev WS Picken MA as the Master. The School house, located in the Porto suburb, Foz do Douro, was rented at the time but was eventually purchased in 1922 and remains part of the school’s facilities today. Non-British boys were accepted for the first time in 1902, and girls in 1914. Pupil numbers remained small, and it was not until well after the Second World War that the roll exceeded 100.

The school, originally founded as a Prep School, continued as such until the mid-1950s, when some pupils remained to take their GCE examinations. The early 1960s saw a further development in provision for Portuguese pupils, as the school ensured that, in addition to following an English curriculum, a parallel course in Portuguese was also followed.

Growing pupil numbers through the 1970s and into the 1980s meant that a significant building programme was required in order to provide the accommodation and facilities for in excess of 200 pupils. A curriculum for post-IGCSE pupils was developed in the early 1990s with the provision of courses leading to the award of the International Baccalaureate Diploma. By this time, the proportion of pupils from a Portuguese background exceeded that of all others, including British students. This trend has continued so that today there are in excess of 400 pupils in the school, 80% of whom are from Portuguese families, 10% are British and 10% from other backgrounds.

Along with recent growth in pupils numbers has been significant curriculum and campus development. These, together with the high education received by the pupils as evidenced by IB results, have led the school to achieve fully accredited status by the Council of International Schools.

Leadership and management[edit]

The school is run by an elected board of governors (Chairman of the Board, Dr Philip Brebner) and the Senior Leadership Team include: Head of Primary Section, Mr Mark Evans, Head of Secondary Section, Mrs Paula Rodrigues, Deputy Head (IB Coordinator), Mr Jeremy Mutter and the Bursar Mrs Angela Henriques. There are also two elected members of staff representing staff members at all board meetings.

The School has a Head Boy (Rishi Lakhani) and Head Girl (Rita Vaz Sousa) who represent the pupil body at public and ceremonial events.

The school has a Parent-Teacher Association (The President of the Parents Association is the Head Master and the current Chair of the PTA is Mrs Elisabeth Martorell.


The school is situated in the suburb of Foz do Douro. It is a few minutes walk to both the Atlantic Ocean and the mouth of the River Douro. Greater Porto is an urban conurbation with a population of some 1.6m.

Sports, initiatives and extra-curricular activities[edit]

Oporto British School has a range of sports. Traditionally, the main school sports have been Football and Basketball. The school's sport colours are blue and white. The school participates in school competitions annually and term-by-term.

The school received Green Flag status on 29 September 2009, for environmentally friendly practice.

The school participates in many national and international trips annually of sporting, charitable and cultural significance. These include:

  • IB Charitable and Educational rally in Tanzania in 2012 a group of IB pupils went to Nepal on an outreach program.
  • Multi-School sports festival (Basketball & Football) in Cascais, Lisbon


External links[edit]