An Authentic International School?
Our establishment in 1994 by our sister school ISS International School in Singapore offered us a successful model and prototype for an international school that is not dominated by any one cultural group. Our mission and vision is one of international relationships. Students do not feel that they have to relinquish their own cultural identity for the majority culture. Our teachers come from 15 different countries and our students from 25. We offer a full International Baccalaureate curriculum to students from 2-19 years old. This programme has, at its core, the mission and core values to develop intercultural relationships and peace among the nations.
Relationships & Communication
At BISS, interpersonal relationships are of great importance. Since we are a small school, it is much easier for us to establish these relationships and respond with agility to the various constituent groups. For example, many of our parents have difficulty communicating with us in English. Thus, we established adult language classes in both English and Chinese, so that the language barriers would be diminished. We also offer numerous modes to enhance home-school communication, such as email, communication books, Study-wiz, Moodle, telephone, WeChat, Facebook, newsletters, parent-teacher meetings, seminars, and face-to-face drop-in and chat opportunities.
21st Century Learning
Students at BISS use engaging technologies in collaborative, inquiry-based learning environments with teachers who are willing and able to use technology’s power to assist in transforming knowledge and skills into products, solutions and new information. This includes using a 1:1 mobile computer and iPad model, as well as our Content Management System initiatives for virtual sharing and learning. A 21st Century Learner at BISS has the tools and the support to connect, communicate and collaborate across the school and, just as easily, across the world. In addition all learners at BISS are able to create products, often in collaboration with others not at BISS that solve problems and make a difference to the world, as we know it. At BISS, we believe that technology skills and digital literacy should be fully integrated into all curriculum areas and teaching. During the elementary school years, students will develop appropriate tech skills that they can utilize in every subject. Technology will be used as a tool in all areas of learning and a BISS student will become fluent in the use of technology to further their learning and have the appropriate skills to do this.
All teachers and students at BISS are expected to use digital technology, including computers, mobile devices, school network facilities and associated online tools in an ethical, culturally sensitive and appropriate manner for an educational community. At all times BISS community members are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which is cognizant of the rights, feeling and freedoms of others as well as themselves. Due consideration must be given at all times to the effects one's actions have on other members of the BISS community, the host country and our global community. When using digital technologies at home or at school, digital citizenship in terms of responsible, reliable and respectful use is expected.
Location & Longevity
BISS is located in the heart of one of the most dynamic, historical and culturally rich cities in the world. This prime location is favorable to families who prefer to live and work in the city and it cuts down the long, traffic-delayed travel time of children in school buses.
BISS was one of the first international schools to be established in Beijing for grades Pre-K through Grade 12, twenty years ago. It was founded by the Board of the ISS International School in Singapore, which itself has over 30 years of success educating students from numerous countries.
Authorised, Accredited & Licensed
BISS was the first school in Beijing, and one of the first in China, to be authorised to offer the three major programmes developed by the International Baccalaureate (IB).
BISS is also accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the National Centre for School Curriculum and Textbook Development (NCCT); and is licensed by the Beijing Education Commission.
Sensitivity & Services
At BISS we are sensitive to the needs of all our constituents: students, parents and educators. We understand the challenges of relocating to a new city and new country, and then to integrate oneself into a new school and a new life.
We also understand that every family and every student is different and has different needs. As we are a small school, we are able to gauge these differences quickly in order to best serve each individual. For these reasons, we have appropriate services in transition education and orientation for Third Culture Kids and their parents, special learning needs, counselling, gifted & talented, medical, university searches, cafeteria, mother tongue, adult language education, and more.
Strong Academic Programme of Studies
The International Baccalaureate (IB) progammes are considered to be amongst the best in the world, and the IB Diploma is not only accepted but preferred by top universities world-wide. BISS offers the all three IB programmes: Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and IB Diploma Programme (DP). A component of the programme includes a comprehensive Field Education programme as well as numerous After School Activities.
BISS is a small school with a big spirit and excellent academic results, typically achieving a 100% success pass rate in the IB Exams, in comparison to the typical worldwide average of 79%. Our graduates are accepted at top universities around the world, including (but not limited to: Harvard University, Columbia University, Stanford University, McGill University, and the National University of Singapore.
The BISS alumni network is comprised of students from universities all over the world. Alumni are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org for details and stay up-to-date via our Official Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/BeijingBISSInternationalSchool).
Mother Tongue Programmes
The language of instruction at BISS is English. As an international school who value language aquisition, we also offer additional languages according to the needs and levels of our students. Current offerings include Language A1 classes (Mother Tongue) in Korean, Japanese and Chinese. We also offer Chinese and Spanish as foreign languages at the beginner and intermediate levels. In addition, we have access to offical DP language offerings online for numerous languages.
Small School Advantage
Current research indicates that small schools have many advantages for individual students, their parents and teachers. At BISS, we observe these added benefits daily, to each member of the community. Small schools are able to offer a much more caring environment than larger schools, with a true sense of community and personal accountability.
In small schools, students are known by their peers, as well as by their teachers and administrators. As one of our young students said, “I never get lost at school”! Because students feel at home, they gain a great sense of trust and know that they are receiving support from all sides. They know that even if they make a mistake, they will not be embarrassed. Even the most introverted of students can develop strong communication and leadership skills. Students also know that they can participate in any activity, regardless of their skill level. For example, even if they are very short or not so skilled, they are still welcome to join the basketball team…and play!
Teachers in small schools describe a close sense of community and commitment, and feel that they are able to contribute and make a real difference. They actually see each other on a daily basis, and can therefore support each other and have greater opportunities for collaboration and collegiality.
In addition to being small in size, we also typically have small class sizes. This allows teachers greater opportunity to give personal attention to each individuals, and provide tailored assistance to help their students reach their maximum potential and achievement.
Testimonials and Memories
BISS Feels Real
"I wanted to share with you what I heard from the International Fair juice vendors on Saturday. Flo, one of the owners, said he had been at another Beijing International School festival last week, but that he felt so much more comfortable with the individuality of BISS. He has worked a lot with Cherrie, on the PTA, and has spent some time in the school. He commented that people worry about the facilities at BISS not matching those at the biggger schools, but he much prefers the "organic" and student-created feeling of our hallways and classrooms. There is nothing sterlie or overly businesslike at BISS... it is what a school should look like." -- ex-BISS teacher
School with a Human Touch
"Our daughter has been going to BISS for more than 3 years now and we have seen her develop both academically and personally in a manner with which we are more than satisfied. It is a school with a human touch where nobody gets lots. BISS impresses most with a very high standard of teaching and an emphasis on developing social skills and responsibility of their students in a warm and caring environment rather than with fancy facilities. Academic and administrative staffs are very commited and always have an open ear for students and parents alike." -- BISS parent
“BISS doesn’t just have nice kids; it cultivates kind citizens.” -- BISS parent