British School Bahrain
The very beginnings of the school go back to the first Gulf War in 1990-91 when many schools in Bahrain were closed on account of the conflict. Alex Welford, a British woman living in Bahrain with a young family, was worried by the lack of educational opportunities so she decided to turn her villa into an impromptu school for about twenty primary school aged children. Everything was voluntary and parents chipped in and the little 'school' community worked together, an ethos that continues in the BSB today.
After the war had ended, Alex Welford decided to set up a new school to be called the British School of Bahrain that would offer the best of British private school education but with a comprehensive system of general enrolment. She also wanted to ensure that the BSB would maintain the friendly and caring atmosphere that had existed during the Gulf War with small class sizes and the active support of parents. In short, a family school in which everyone, students, teachers and parents worked together.
The site chosen for the school in Adliya had once been a palace and had two large buildings that became the main teaching and administration blocks, which explains the sometimes-strange shapes of some of the classrooms. On one side of the building there had been a racetrack and, on the other, there were date palms and gardens, which were still there in 2000.
For a time the buildings were used by the Royal Air Force as an officers' mess and soldiers may have paraded on what later became the playground. The site still boasted one of Bahrain's first air conditioners that had been used to cool the explosives that had been stored there by the military.