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St. George´s British International School

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Rituals & Traditions

Rituals and traditions at St. George's

We are proud of our history at St. George’s, and we aim to celebrate our heritage with assemblies and other events. We also understand the importance of marking key dates in the year, whether that be an academic milestone, or a cultural celebration. This gives a shape to the school year and gives students events to look forward to and get involved in.

Our History

St. George's British International School was founded in 1956 by John Augustin Franks, an entrepreneur and pioneer who arrived in Bilbao from Great Britain in 1930. He spent many years teaching English at the British Institute in Vizcaya, gaining a reputation as an exceptionally gifted teacher. He then went on to found St. George's English School and was subsequently awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his services to education. The school opened on January 26th 1956 at No. 11 Zabalbide Street, with only six students. In those days, and as is still the case today, students from St. George's were renowned for their excellent manners and education.

John’s daughter, Ms Julie Franks carried on the family tradition and took over the school before retiring after 62 years at the helm. Her skill as a leader and her positive style continues to set the example for our pupils in acquiring the tools they need to lead happy, successful lives in the world beyond the school gates. In 1967, with the help of the families that were at the school at that time, St. George’s moved to a site in Leioa, and work began to create the school as we know it today.

From the beginning St. George's School expounded two fundamental ideologies: the all-round education of every student and the adoption and promotion of English language and culture as a tool for preparing students for life within the global community. That’s why we are commonly known as the "English School of Bilbao”.

The British "house" system explained

Inspiring pride, collaboration and team spirit, the benefits of the British house system are many. The student body is divided into four “houses” – with students of all ages working together to gain “house points” and win competitions in the name of their house. 
This gives students the chance to make connections outside of their year group and creates a truly cohesive environment and by that age is not a barrier to friendship and collaboration.
Each house has a Captain, appointed annually. This role allows House Captains to hone their leadership skills, managing not only their peers but also learning to "manage up" among the school staff.

The four houses at St. George’s are

  • Dragons
  • Lions
  • Unicorns
  • Phoenixes




Governance & Leadership



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Building connections between different age groups.