British School Muscat
British School Muscat

History of BSM

School History

Muscat English Speaking School, as BSM was first known, opened in 1971 in the house of the B.P Manager in Riyam (near Muttrah), with three children and one qualified teacher. Shortly after it moved to the renovated old Consulate Club belonging to the British Embassy in Muscat, with five pupils. In 1972 the school moved again to a new site next to Hochtief/Six Construct (the company then constructing Muttrah Port) School in Darsait, with three classrooms and 33 children on roll. Fees were raised to 75 Omani Rials. Later that year, the school received its first visit from Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools to ensure it was developing in line with best British practice.

On 30 April 1973, the Subscribers, (firms in the business community whose assistance had made the foundation of the school possible - see below for a list), formally applied to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said for a Charter. His Majesty graciously granted the School a Royal Charter on 3 May 1973, and since then the school has welcomed young people from many different countries.

In 1974 the Muscat English Speaking School had an enrolment of 60 children, increasing rapidly to 190 pupils by 1975.  In June 1975 the school was notified that its premises were required for development by the Ministry of Communication. The decision was made to build a school on the current site in Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, on land generously made available by the Government of Oman.

The new buildings in Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, including the buildings we now use as the nursery, the main hall and staffroom, were completed in 1978. One of the first projects of a newly formed Association of Parents and Friends was to assist with the coordination of movement of furniture and equipment from Darsait to the new site.

Muscat English Speaking School occupied the new site in Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos on 1 April 1978 with 257 children in 14 classes. On the morning of 3 May 1978 Mr CJ Treadwell, the British Ambassador and president of the school, officially opened the buildings and asked for the children to be given one day’s holiday to celebrate the occasion.

By the spring term of 1984, there was a total enrolment of 591 children in 21 classes at the main Primary school. In the Secondary school, then located in a separate villa, numbers had risen to 50 children in 4 classes. In August 1984, an enthusiastic cast of children and teachers from the Secondary school travelled to Edinburgh to perform in the fringe festival. So successful was this expedition that photographs and an article appeared on the front page of The Times Educational Supplement in Britain.

On 14 March 1987, following years of development discussions concerning the need for school expansion, the British Ambassador, Mr R J Alston, Iaid the foundations for new buildings, to give space for the senior school to move onto the current site. At the beginning of the spring term, there were twenty-nine class rooms, two halls, two music rooms, three science laboratories, two video rooms, an art room, library, a computer laboratory and special needs centre. The school also had a multi-purpose sports field with running track, football and rounder’s pitches, cricket practice nets and two tennis/netball/volleyball courts.

1988 was the 15th anniversary year of the charter to the school by his Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, as well as the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the school on its present site. Both anniversaries were celebrated on the morning of 20 March 1988 when his Highness Sayyid Thuwainy bin Shihab, Personal Representive of his Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, officially opened the new building at a ceremony attended by all children and many parents and friends.

Since 1988 the site has continued to grow. The original swimming pool was built in 1991 (refurbished in 2016), Senior classrooms were added in 1993, the nurse’s room and nearby offices in 1994. The original sixth form centre was converted from staff accommodation in 1998 and will be replaced with our brand new Sixth Form Centre in 2017. The sports hall was finished in 1999; our two additional sports halls & swimming pool will be complete later in 2017. To read more about our facilities, please see our campus & facilities page.

BSM's Founding Companies Still Operating in Oman:

  • British Aerospace (now BAE Systems)
  • British Airways
  • British Petroleum Ltd
  • Carillion Alawi ( was George Wimpey & Co ltd )
  • Consolidate Contractors International Co Ltd
  • Darwish-Ast Group of Companies
  • Embassy of the United State of America
  • ENHANCE (was Matrah Cold Stores)
  • Halcrow (was Sir William Halcrow & Partners)
  • HSBC (was British Bank of the Middle East)
  • Mohsin Haider Darwish
  • Oasis Trading & Equipment Co
  • Oman Refreshment Co. Ltd (Pepsi)
  • Oman United Agencies (Travel )
  • Petroleum Development (Oman) Ltd.
  • Port Services Corporation SAOG
  • Qurum Contractors W.L.L.
  • Shell Development Oman LLC
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • T T Towell & Co LLC
  • The British Embassy, Muscat
  • Trowers and Hamlin
  • Yahya Costain (Costain Civil Engineering Co Ltd)
  • Yusuf bin Ahmed Kanoo & Co (Oman)
  • Zubair Corporation/Zubair Kilpatrick