Key Stage 4 Curriculum (GCSE)

Term dates

Academic Calendar

School Timings

Detailed Timings


Meet the secondary team

Welcome Note

The Safa British School  curriculum is based upon the National Curriculum for England, but content delivery is specific to our locality and reflects the multi-national demographic of our students. With respect to this, students in Key Stage 3 follow a timetable that covers a broad range of subjects, before making option choices for GCSE during Year 9, for study through Years 10 and 11.

In addition to a solid grounding in the academics, SBS provides a wide and varied extra-curricular programme, with activities such as dance club and performing arts, opportunities to compete regionally in the F1 challenge competition, and a range of sporting options. The aim is to equip our young people with the skills and resilience to flourish in an ever-changing world.

Partners & Accreditations

British Curriculum Overview

The British Curriculum Overview

There are three key stages that allow for students to refine their subject choices over time. Our leavers will have the opportunity to study a range of GCSE, BTEC, ASDAN, and A-Level qualifications which will provide them with an ‘educational passport’ to further their studies anywhere in the world.

Core Subjects

GCSE Core Subjects

Optional Subjects

The Humanities



Creative Arts

Individual Specialisms



The development of an effective school-home partnership is essential in supporting our young people.A key part of this is ensuring there is transparency so that parents are aware of the school’s systems and processes and they have the opportunity to ask questions.

The use of technology

Digital Literacy is a vital skill for the 21st century. The use of technology and social media has huge potential in today’s society, but with this potential comes a certain degree of risk. At Safa British School, we deliver safe ICT usage around the 7 pillars of our Digital Literacy Framework.

  • Be Secure
  • Be Private
  • Be Wise
  • Be Respectful
  • Be Healthy
  • Be Brave
  • Be Inspiring

At SBS we operate a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programme that allows students to seamlessly move their work from the school environment to their homes in order to support their learning. It is expected that all students bring their own devices to school as an essential part of their ‘tool kit’.

Students have the choice of using a laptop (preferable) or a tablet. The key features of the device chosen should be a long battery life and robustness. 

  • RAM: min 4GB (8GB ideal)
  • Processor: min i3 (i5 ideal)
  • Battery life: min 8hrs (10hrs ideal)
  • Touch screen: recommended 
  • Stylus: recommended 

All students are provided with an education copy of Microsoft Office, and the school’s Virtual Learning Platform is built around the Microsoft Teams application.

We are a phone-free school:

  • Phones are not permitted to be used by students on the school site until the end of the academic day.
  • We do not view mobiles as an appropriate learning device within the classroom.

We appreciate that students may need a mobile phone to coordinate travel arrangements at the end of the day; however, it is expected that students keep their devices on silent and within their bags or lockers until 15:20. If parents need to contact their child during the school day, we require them to contact reception for any messages that need to be passed on.

Essential Information

All students are provided with class notebooks during the year, and textbooks (physical and digital) are provided where appropriate.

Students are required to bring the following every day:

  • Rucksack
  • Pencil case
  • Black, blue, red/pink, purple pens
  • Multi-coloured pencils
  • A mathematics set including protractor, compass, set square and ruler
  • A rubber
  • Pencil sharpener
  • A calculator (we advise a Casio fx-991EX or Casio fx-991ES)

Every student has their own secure locker, in which they can store their books or devices during the school day or overnight.

We strongly advise students use a thermos water bottle to keep their drinks cool during the day.

Students to have access to the canteen, although there is also the option for students to bring in a packed lunch. 

At Safa British School we believe that good behaviour is essential for an effective learning environment in which all students are given the opportunity to achieve. We seek to create a caring and inclusive environment that encourages and reinforces good behaviour.  Our standards of behaviour are underpinned by values such as honesty, respect, consideration and responsibility.

At SBS we believe that our students should influence their learning environment and help shape the systems that affect their daily experiences. Every year, students are able to run campaigns for election to our Student Council. The council is made up of a range of positions, including:

  • President
  • Prefect
  • House Captain
  • Heritage Leader
  • Well-being Ambassador

The Student Council is a key link between the staff and the student body, and they are responsible for running school events, communicating with their peers, as well as being a ‘critical friend’ to help improve the systems in the school. Read More

Research clearly shows the importance of home learning and extension within the secondary phase of education. For SBS, home learning is an opportunity to build upon class learning, support skill development, and nurture independence as well as student ownership. Home learning is set as an appropriate sequence of learning, and is communicated through Microsoft Teams, allowing students to manage their time and meet deadlines.

There is no set homework diary for the academic week – the tasks set are not a’bolt on’ but a key part of the learning sequence. The following guidelines apply to homework:

  • Homework activities are set to take 20-30min per day
  • In the event of larger project-based work being set, this is communicated to parents and students
  • Homework is set with a minimum of 2 days to complete the task

We are proud to promote a love of reading at Safa British School. It is our belief that everyone should have access to a wide range of literature and opportunities to explore a range of texts and reading styles. We work across the curriculum to support all of our students in becoming confident readers. While research highlights the strong correlation between regular reading and increased academic success, we also promote a love of reading for its holistic qualities.

At Safa British School, we use a range of methods to support all our students, whatever their ability, to develop and extend their reading skills:

  • Reading Plus, an online program, develops students’ individual reading fluency and comprehension skills.
  • Regular reading time is built into lessons across the curriculum.
  • Quiet reading spaces are available, with a wide selection of books for students to borrow and enjoy.
  • Reading time is built into our Form Time activities.
  • Bedrock Vocabulary, an online program, develops students’ language acquisition and development.
  • Throughout the school year, we celebrate reading with competitions and whole school reading days.

With our outstanding new facilities, we offer an extensive range of extra curricular clubs. Our sports offering includes basketball, netball, cross country, football, cricket, rounders, dance, gymnastics, athletics and swimming.

SBS prides itself on being a long-standing member of DASSA (Dubai Athletics and School SportsAssociation) and BSME (British Schools Middle East). Through these networks, we field teams to allow students the opportunity to represent our school in a healthy, competitive environment, striving to improve their individual and collaborative performance.

The school’s ECA programme offers opportunities before school, after school and within the Curriculum+ slots in the middle of the day. 

We expect our students to come to school neatly groomed and smartly dressed, in the correct and appropriate clothing. This sets a professional work ethic. Students need to be aware that our expectations are the same when they are wearing the Safa uniform outside of school. Parents are asked to support their child in meeting these expectations. Read More