Admissions overview

Colegio Hispano Británico Lanzarote

Why choose a British School

The majority of parents, who send their children to British schools, do so in order that their children can learn the English language which is essential to succeed today both in Spain and the rest of the world. Many do not realize that the British system, in addition to immersing the children in the British language and culture, brings a host of other benefits that are not at all obvious at first sight.

The British system has eleven years of compulsory schooling and has more teaching days than they have in Spain. The curriculum, although well regulated, is far more flexible than the Spanish counterpart. In the year’s equivalent to 4º of ESO and 2º Bachiller, all students have independent reviews, independent of both the School or College and the Government. This allows accurate and reliable assessment of the skills and knowledge of all the students in the country. At university level there is no country in Europe that can compare with Britain. While there are 48 state universities in Spain, in Britain there are some 350. Where there are few universities in Spain that are good enough to fit into the ranking of the top 200 in the world, there are 3 British universities among the top 10 in the world and many within the top 200.

However, the British schools in Spain offer much more than just the British system. Most of the British schools also add both the Spanish language and social sciences of Spain to the British system.

Colegio Hispano Británico Lanzarote

How does the British system work

Compulsory education:

In general, the British educational system is quite different from other countries. British children start once they have reached five years of age. Compulsory education in the British system consists of four stages in eleven years of schooling.

  • Key Stage 1 covers “Year 1” and “Year 2” (children of 5-6 and 6-7 years).
  • Key Stage 2 covers “Year 3” to “Year 6” (pupils aged 7 to 11 years).
  • Key Stage 3 covers “Year 7” to “Year 9” (students aged 11 to 14 years).
  • Key Stage 4 covers “Year 10” and “Year 11” (students aged 14 to 16 years).

Students undergo independent examination at the end of Key stage 4, known as General Certificates of Secondary Education (GCSE) or International General Certificates of Secondary Education (IGCSE) these exams are set by independent examination boards connected to the leading Universities in the United Kingdon. These exams do not differ much between each board of examiners, but the most renowned one is CIE (Cambridge International Examinations). Another board widely used in Spain is EDEXCEL, which is based in London and sponsored by the Universities in Southern England. 

Key Stage 4 is the most important of all stages as it is the two-year period ending with the first independent exams. GCSE exams were originally graded with the letters A* to G, with A being the highest grade and G being the lowest grade that awarded points to allow students to join 6th form courses. In 2017 this grading system was changed to a numeric system of 9 through to 1 with 9 being the highest grade and 1 being the lowest. IGCSE’s, however, continue to use the old grading system. To obtain the Spanish certificate of secondary education a minimum of 4 GCSE´s at grade 4 or C or above are required.


After the end of compulsory education students will normally start their 6th form, a two-year course where they study for their independent Advanced Level (A level) exams. Typically, students will do between 3 and five subjects, which are normally related to the course they would like to study at university. These fewer subjects are studied at a much deeper level than in other countries. This allows the university studies to be shorter and for students to graduate and begin working at an earlier age.

The two-year A level course is divided into two parts with exams at the end of each year, AS (Advanced Subsidiary) Level* at the end of the first year and A2 (Advanced Level) at the end of the second year. These are graded from A* to E for the A2 exams and A to E for AS exams. The results of both tests are given points (called “tariff points”). An A* grade in the A2 advanced exam is worth 56 points, whilst an A is 48 points, a B grade is 40 points, a C grade is 32 points, D is 24 points and E is 16. for AS exams are given half the points of the advanced level. Unlike GCSE, all grades obtained from A to E are considered a pass.

The “tariff points” are indispensable when applying for a university place. For example, to get into Cambridge or Oxford, a student must pass three subjects with grades A, or a total of 144 points. The universities that are less demanding admit students with less “tariff points.” These points are con-validated with the Spanish educational system. Therefore, a student may also attend a Spanish university without the need to take the usual Spanish pre university access exams (EBAU).
During the second year of the advanced course, requests can be made to any university without exception. Applications via UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admission Service) allows for several different universities to be chosen. The exams done at our school allow access to any university and whilst most of our students still choose to study in the United Kingdom there is no obstacle for our students to apply for university places in Spain, where we have associated organization agreement with the UNED (Universidad National de Educación a Distancia), who also undertake the same role as UCAS in the United Kingdom, or any other country in the world. As well as the United Kingdom we have had students who have gone on to study in universities from many other countries including Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Norway, the USA, Italy, Poland and Australia.

Colegio Hispano Británico Lanzarote

What is the Hispano Británico system of education

All countries in the world have developed their own system of education, fundamentally to teach children to read and write their own language. Amongst all the languages there are some that are very difficult and others that are relatively easy.

The Latin languages are relatively easy as children have to memorise the sound of only 27 letters and these sounds never change when used in words.

The English language has easy verbs and would appear simple. However, in English the 26 letters make up 44 distinct sounds called phonemes which requires an intensive phonic program that last several years to learn properly. Added to this the fact that English also has many words that do not follow any phonic patter makes it a difficult language to learn in depth. Spanish children spend just one hour a day of 10 years of education to learn their language, whereas English children have to spend 40% of the 11 years at school to understand their own language well.

The Hispano Británico system of education amalgamates the two different systems of education so that both can be taught at the same time and with equal success. Mathematics, Science, Art and Sport are similar in both systems irrespective of the language used to teach them. It is very difficult to add the 40% English component required to the Spanish system where as a lesson a day in Spanish can be added to the English system. Children who learn under the Spanish system with the addition of one English class a day will inevitably receive too little English to fully understand the language. However, by including Spanish to the British curriculum you can cover the curriculum of both countries. This is the system that we have used so successfully since 1976 which ensures that children, no matter what background they come from, are truly fluent in both languages once they leave our school. Today, the vast majority of British schools in Spain follow this type of system.

Colegio Hispano Británico Lanzarote

Why choose the Colegio Hispano Británico

The school has had outstanding results for a school of its size. Our Sixth Form will typically only have around 30 students but is still capable of beating the results of much larger schools in Madrid and Barcelona. Year on year some of the best students in Spain come from our classrooms. This is achieved without the need for pre admission exams and with fees that are much than similar schools in the mainland. How do we achieve this?

The Colegio Hispano Británico has many differences from other schools all of which help achieve our outstanding results. A few of these are: