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Our History


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 fashionable 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 quality education received by the pupils as evidenced by outstanding IB results, have led the school to achieve fully accreditated status by the Council of International Schools.