Oporto British School

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Oporto British School
Oporto British School is located in Portugal
Oporto British School
Oporto British School
Rua da Cerca 338
Porto, 4150-201
Coordinates 41°09′10″N 8°40′27″W / 41.1527074°N 8.674045400000068°W / 41.1527074; -8.674045400000068Coordinates: 41°09′10″N 8°40′27″W / 41.1527074°N 8.674045400000068°W / 41.1527074; -8.674045400000068
Type Independent day school
International school
Established 1894
Headmaster John Regan (interim)
Gender Coeducational
Age 3 to 18
Enrolment 414 (2013[1])

Oporto British School (OBS), located in Foz do Douro, Porto, Portugal, is the oldest British school in mainland Europe, established in 1894.

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 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.


OBS received CIS Accreditation in 2005. It is a member of the European Council of International Schools, the Council of British International Schools (COBIS).[2]


OBS has three houses named after prominent royal houses.



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.[1] Pupil numbers remained small, and it was not until well after the Second World War that the roll exceeded 100.

The school, 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 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, Mrs Maria João Carrapato) and the Senior Leadership Team include: Head of Primary Section, Mr Mark Evans, Head of Secondary Section, Mr Robert Hewett, Deputy Head (IB Coordinator), Miss Claire Marsden and the Bursar Mr André Guardado. There are also two elected members of staff representing staff members at all board meetings.

The School has a Head Boy and Head Girl 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:


External links[edit]