One of the challenges that many schools face internationally, is how to encourage their students to look outward and embrace the cultures of not only the country they live in, but also the cultures and experiences of other members of the school community.  The International British School of Bucharest (IBSB) takes a holistic approach to education, aiming to develop well-rounded global citizens who are prepared for the challenges and opportunities of our rapidly changing world. With Students from over 25 different nationalities, the school provides an ideal environment for fostering cross-cultural understanding and an appreciation for diversity both within its community, and outside.  At our heart, are our core values of Bravery, Respect, Integrity, Tolerance, Sustainability and Happiness. These values are key to the high expectations we have of our students and what we believe that an IBSB student should stand for, as they move out into the global society.

At the heart of our approach to achieve our goal, is a commitment to delivering an internationally recognised, rigorous academic curriculum that equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed at top universities worldwide. The school follows the English National Curriculum, culminating in IGCSE and A-Level qualifications that are respected by universities globally. However, IBSB goes beyond just academics, embedding key competencies throughout the curriculum that will serve students well in the 21st century workplace and society.

At IBSB, Critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, communication, and collaboration are intentionally developed through inquiry-based learning approaches and project work. Students are challenged to think independently, question assumptions, analyse information from multiple perspectives, and work effectively in teams. Our hard work towards developing these cognitive characteristics, alongside the values and attitudes described, alongside our work with High Performance Learning (HPL) have enabled us to have been recognised as a world class school.

The school’s language policy, which requires all students to study at least two languages (English and another language) in addition to their mother tongue, which is often Romanian, helps build cross-cultural communication abilities.

Romanian, being a romance language, lends itself to learning Spanish, Italian and French quite easily, with many Romanians being polyglots, being able to converse easily in several languages.

Technology is seamlessly integrated across subjects, ensuring students gain vital digital literacy skills. From coding and robotics to multimedia presentations and online research, Students learn to leverage technology in productive and responsible ways. However, there is also an emphasis on balancing screen time with hands-on activities that develop motor skills, spatial awareness, and learning through physical experiences, many of which involve visiting other countries, both in Europe and beyond to enhance the language skills of our students, and appreciation of the diverse national cultures that can be found worldwide

IBSB recognises that to be truly globally minded citizens, students must have an understanding of major world issues and a commitment to making a positive impact. The curriculum explores themes like sustainability, human rights, conflict resolution, and social justice, prompting students to consider their roles and responsibilities on a local and global scale.

Charitable initiatives and community service learning projects provide practical avenues for students to take action, with all Students across the school, and especially in the older year groups, being involved in Community Action Service projects, working with NGOs in Romania, such as Daruieste Viata, Touched Romania, Light into Europe and Punctul Nordic.

These programmes, help increase the life chances of young people who are less fortunate, as well as foster an appreciation amongst our students of what acts of service can personally bring to them.

IBSB recognises that to be truly globally minded citizens, students must have an understanding of major world issues and a commitment to making a positive impact.

Outdoor education through the Duke of Edinburgh International Award, of which we were a pioneer within Romania, being one of the first schools to offer this global programme, and an extensive extracurricular programme help to cultivate resilience, teamwork, and leadership abilities. From sports teams and performing arts to academic competitions, debate and Model United Nations, students have myriad opportunities to discover and develop their unique talents and passions outside the classroom setting.

Ultimately, IBSB aims to instil in its students a spirit of intellectual curiosity, ethical integrity, cultural awareness, and civic responsibility that will enable them to navigate an increasingly complex and interconnected world. By providing a holistic, student-centred education that blends academic rigour with the development of essential skills and global competencies, the school is empowering the next generation of leaders, innovators and engaged world citizens, within Romania, and beyond!


Matthew Tansley

Matthew is the Head of Secondary at the International British School of Bucharest. He is an experienced headteacher with 20 years of teaching experience, of which over half of this has been as a middle or senior leader in a variety of schools.  He has worked overseas for more than half of his career, including a Service Children’s Education school in Cyprus, as well as an academy school in Worcestershire, UK.  His most recent post prior to IBSB was as deputy headteacher at a large IB World school in the UAE.  He is a qualified science teacher who specialises in Chemistry and Physics at IGCSE and A Level, as well as IBDP. He has a keen interest in teaching and learning and how data can be used effectively to improve outcomes for student learning.