Primary School

The British International School - Primary School

Our curriculum is broken down into core and foundation subjects:

Core Subjects: Literacy, Mathematics, Science

Foundation Subjects: Art, Computing, Design Technology (DT), Geography, History

Foundation Subjects Taught by Specialist Teachers: French or Spanish (KS2 only), Turkish, Music, Physical Education (PE)

*Personal, Health, Social, Citizenship, and Emotional Learning (PHSCE) follows a modified SEAL-GD (social, emotional aspects of learning with global dimensions) curriculum, and is embedded within all lessons. Teachers ensure they explicitly teach this area within all units of learning.

The Cambridge Curriculum at The BIS

Across the Primary School, our curriculum follows the Cambridge International Curriculum for English, Mathematics and Science.

What is an international curriculum?

Over 10,000 schools in over 160 countries follow the Cambridge international curriculum. The curriculum is international in philosophy and approach, but can be tailored to local contexts Cambridge students study for Cambridge international qualifications which are accepted and recognised around the world. Schools can also combine the Cambridge International curriculum with national curricula. Cambridge students moving between Cambridge schools can continue their studies following the same curriculum.

Cambridge Pathway

The Cambridge Pathway gives students a clear path for educational success from age 5 to 18. With a wide range of subjects, the Cambridge Pathway helps students discover new abilities and a wider world, and gives them the skills they need for life, so they can achieve at school, university and work. Its flexibility gives us the chance to shape the curriculum so that it is exciting and relevant for our students.

The stages lead seamlessly from primary to secondary and pre-university years. Each stage – Cambridge Primary, Cambridge Lower Secondary, and Cambridge Upper Secondary  – builds on the learners’ development from the previous one, but can also be offered separately. Similarly, each syllabus adopts a ‘spiral’ approach, building on previous learning to help advance students study. Our curriculum is compatible with other curricula, internationally relevant and sensitive to different needs and cultures and supports students with English as a first or second language.

Cambridge programmes combine an emphasis on mastering subjects in depth with the development skills for study and work in the future. We value deep subject knowledge as well as the conceptual understanding that helps students make links between different aspects of a subject. We also encourage students to develop higher order thinking skills - problem solving, critical thinking, independent research, collaboration and presenting arguments. These are transferable skills that will last a lifetime, preparing students for their future lives. They also make learning enjoyable and rewarding.

Cambridge Learners

The concept of a ‘Cambridge learner’ helps us communicate attributes we believe are important for learners in the modern world. We recognise that a meaningful curriculum is more than a collection of subjects. Learners need to develop a set of academic skills, life skills and attitudes to be successful. Cambridge learners are:

  • Confident in working with information and ideas – their own and those of others
  • Responsible for themselves, responsive to and respectful of others
  • Reflective as learners, developing their ability to learn
  • Innovative and equipped for new and future challenges
  • Engaged intellectually and socially, ready to make a difference

More information about the Cambridge Curriculum at The BIS can be found in the year specific Curriculum Overviews below.

For information on topics covered in each year group, please see curriculum overviews by year group: Primary Parent Page.

School Opening Hours

We welcome students to campus each morning from 8:30-8:50 am. Form time with registration starts at 08.50 and lessons begin at 09.00. Dismissal is at 3.30 pm.

ESL and Mother Tongue

We provide ESL services to all our Primary students who are in need of English learning support. Beginner ESL students have small group pull-out lessons with our qualified and experienced ESL teachers. Intermediate ESL students are supported within the classroom by our ESL teachers.

Learning Support

Our Learning Support Department works with classroom teachers and parents to support children with special needs. If your child has special needs, this process will begin immediately upon enrollment, including Individual Education Plans and meetings. 

As children progress through the Primary School, special needs may begin to become more apparent. In these cases, classroom teachers will liase with parents regarding their concerns, and then with the SEN department. 

Services available to students with special needs are: formal monitoring services and individual education plans (IEPs). 

Supporting students with gaps or with skill development

Sometimes, students may have missed key skills or find areas more challenging. To help students catch up, Class Teachers may work with the SEN department to set up booster lessons. This typically involves a small group of students being withdrawn at appropriate times.

Supporting gifted and able students

Amongst all curriculum subjects, lessons are differentiated to include provisions for gifted and able students. Class Teachers may also, working with parents, set up special tasks, projects, and/or curriculum tracks for gifted students.


All Primary classes receive regular homework. Please see our Homework Policy for more information.

Working with Parents

Believing in open communication, we have:

  • An introductory meeting in the first week of school where class teachers will run through the curriculum and class routines and expectations. This is also an excellent opportunity for parents to meet each other!
  • All children are given a Home School Communication Book; this is for the Parents and Class Teachers to send information between home and school such as school newsletters, trip permission forms and any other important messages regardıng the chıldren, as well as for homework to be recorded.
  • Our Primary Newsletter is shared with parents monthly to highlight various school-wide events and learning activities students have participated in.
  • Parents’ Evenings are held in October and April, which gives the parent and Class Teacher the opportunity to discuss their child’s progress, needs and development.
  • Reports are issued twice a year, in December and June, to inform parents about their child’s progress.
  • Due to the size of campus, Zekeriyakoy Primary classes have a Class Parent. These parents take a lead role in supporting communication between the class and the school and/or teacher. 
  • We have a very active Parents - Teacher Association (PTA), which regularly organises events to support both the school and chosen charities. The representatives liaise with existing and new parents. If you have any time to offer, they would be very glad of the help.

Student Council

To help give students a voice on campus as well as take on responsibilities around the school, we have our Student Councils. Student Council is comprised of elected students from Key Stage One and Key Stage Two and guided by a Class Teacher. Together, they help develop initiatives in the schools, help share voices from the student body, and plan and hold special events to raise money for various school charities.

School Houses

All Primary students are organised into three House teams: Cedar, Maple and Oak. Each week, House points are collected and celebrated in assemblies, with students working in houses towards winning the school House Trophy at the end of the year. School Houses are led by year 6 House Captains and Vice Captains.


There are a variety of after-school clubs offered throughout the year. Many of the teacher clubs change termly to allow for a variety of interest areas.

Safe and Sound

All campuses are guarded 24 hours a day. Parents will be given an ID card with their photograph on it. If you are not wearing your ID picture card, you will be asked to give ID in exchange for a pass when coming into the campuses. Notification will be required if there are any changes to the usual routine when picking up your child or using the bus services. The school will not be able to allow students to use alternative arrangements unless written permission is provided and in the event of forgotten notes, the secretary will contact you.

*Please ensure that your mobile telephone number is up to date with our secretaries.

Health and Safety

Health and safety plays an important part in ensuring that our Primary Department provides a safe environment for all. Each campus has a Nurse available to answer any queries you have about your child’s health.

School Lunches

We believe that children should eat a balanced diet and our lunches reflect this. All lunches include a variety of salad options. As well, all lunches have vegetarian options.

*If your child has special dietary needs, please contact our Campus Manager, Hasan Orsoy

Click here to see this month's menu;

Snack times

Primary students are provided seasonal fresh fruit in the morning break and at the end of the day. If your child has an after-school club, they may bring in an extra, healthy snack.

Drinks/Water Bottles

Water is available for all Primary students throughout the day and in support of the environment, reusable water bottles are required to be brought in by students. Plastic, disposable cups are not available at school.

School Events

Primary students are required to take part in the following special events:

  • Sports Day (KS1 and KS2)
  • Cross Country Run (KS2)
  • School Trips and Residential Visits

Primary students and families are invited to take part in the following special events:

  • Winter Bazaar
  • Winter Sing-Along
  • Fun Day

Primary Sports Teams travel nationally and internationally for competitions.


Primary children have an assembly once a week. These cover a range of themes and topics such as PSCHE, Student Council, Mother-Tongue drama, safety, and of course small class drama assemblies. Assemblies also include celebrations of birthdays, House points, and Students of the Week and specialist certificates. Parents are invited to attend Class Assemblies.

At the end of the year, KS1 and KS2 have special Awards Ceremonies where students are awarded certificates for special accomplishments, achievement, and talents. These include performances from our choirs, Year 2 and Year 6 classes. Parents are invited.

A special Leavers Assembly is held at the end of June where our Year 6 students say goodbye to Primary. Year 6 parents are invited to attend and should remember to bring tissues!

Certificates and Awards

Student of the Week certificates: Each week, students are selected by Class Teachers to receive the Student of the Week certificate to celebrate academic accomplishments as well as personal, social or emotional accomplishments.

Specialist certificates: Specialists may also choose to give Student of the Week certificates.

ESL Certificates: As students exit the ESL programme, special ESL Certificates are awarded. Parents are invited to attend this important event.

Director’s Award: One student in each Year 5 and Year 6 class is chosen to receive the Director’s Award. Considered in the nomination are academic achievement, exemplary behaviour, modelling of Guiding Statements, extra-curricular commitments and accomplishments.

Student Awards: Each student receives a Student Award at the end of the year for special accomplishments, achievement, and talents.


We have a School uniform which we feel helps give the children a sense of belonging to the School. It is practical, comfortable, and easy to see when we are out on trips in the city. The uniform is an additional cost. 

*Students are expected to have a Class uniform, a PE kit, and a House t-shirt.

EYFS & Primary students are expected to wear the school uniform unless told otherwise - for special events, free dress days, etc. The school uniform supplier is Edessa Textile - - (Maslak Atatürk oto Sanayi Sitesi, Nazmi akbacı iş merkezi no : 145, Şişli). All clothing items should be clearly marked with the student's name. We also ask all EYFS & Primary children to have a spare change of clothing to keep at school clearly marked with the student’s name.

Bus Service

For bus service we use Az-Al bus services, which can take the children from home to school. All buses are fitted with seat belts and booster seats can be requested. All buses have a hostess to help your child on and off the bus. All drivers have mobile phones. The bus is an additional cost.

Please click here to visit the bus service’s web page. 

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