To succeed in today’s world, a child must — and love to — grow in many areas. They must learn how to be articulate, understand and learn about other cultures, accept the opinions of those from different backgrounds, be well-rounded, and excel academically. It sounds daunting and near impossible, but schools around the world are fast revamping their curricula to address the needs of the 21st century.
In this aspect, international schools are leading. Many offer preparation for top universities, critical thinking, learning outside the four walls of a classroom, and a multicultural environment. Picture visits to farms and museums, playing competitive sports, and spending summer with friends from all over the world — all while striving for top grades in tough exams and having fun.
Intrigued? Check out these three schools in China that are revolutionising 21st century education for the next generation:
The Canadian International School of Beijing
Situated in a beautiful downtown campus in the north east side of the city — and within walking distance to the American, Japanese, French, Indian, Malaysian, Korean and Israeli embassies and Chaoyang Park’s north gate — The Canadian International School of Beijing is an institution like no other. The school, attended by talented students from many countries, offers unparalleled opportunities that lead to exceptional outcomes.
It is one of a handful of schools in Beijing to provide the full International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum. Here, students can enjoy a holistic learning experience from Montessori Nursery to Primary Years Programme (PYP), followed by the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP).
Offering all three IB programmes provides its students with consistent use of the IB pedagogy and ensures the school’s approaches to teaching and learning of education are philosophically aligned.
CISB teachers come from diverse backgrounds, many of whom hail from Canada and around the world have years of experience educating, according to the IBO and Canadian curriculum from New Brunswick.
Many CISB students evolve into compassionate, inquisitive, successful and balanced graduates — with stellar grades. The average IB Diploma score is 37 for the past three years. The school also boasts a 100% pass rate for students who select the IBDP. Even more impressive are the class of 2022 graduates Albert Huang, Vivian Leng and Wanda Gao, who all scored 43 out of 45 points. Their next destination? World-class universities like the University of Hong Kong and the University of Toronto. Follow the Canadian International School of Beijing on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to find out how students are being equipped with the essential knowledge, skills and personal qualities that will enable them to thrive in a constantly changing world. Ready to apply? Click here.
Tianjin International School
Highly rigorous academics, a caring community, qualified teachers, student-focused learning, numerous Advanced Placement (AP) courses, university-level opportunities — these are the features that ensure student success at Tianjin International School (TIS). TIS is where children will learn with purpose, develop holistically and evolve into globally-minded individuals. The result? Students who learn, love and lead with these qualities: purpose, curiosity, discernment, connection, compassion, courage, humility, service and persistence.
“For over thirty years, our school’s doors have been open to foreign passport holders living in this wonderful city of Tianjin, China, and inviting them to participate in a well-rounded, high-quality education programme,” says Head of School Ryan Witt. “The encouraging and diverse atmosphere of our school provides children a unique environment to gain cultural enrichment and age-appropriate development.”
Whether your child is a toddler or high school senior, new to international settings or a long-time attendee, a TIS education is set to be transformative for them. Based in a modern campus, it provides an American based education for three-years-olds through to 12th graders.
At the Early Childhood Centre, children get off to the best possible start and develop vital skills while enjoying creative and stimulating schedules, including character education, language arts, mathematics, science, and play. In Elementary school, they follow a comprehensive curriculum that emphasises language arts and mathematics, which is merged with specialised enrichment programmes in music, arts, physical education, language and technology.
College-level academic subjects are offered via 17 different AP courses. TIS is also one of the leading schools in China to offer the highly valued AP Capstone Diploma, a qualification that makes one stand out in the college admission process, earn college credit and acquire critical skills.
At TIS, students succeed in both the arts and sciences. Young artists can nurture their talents and express their passions at its music suite, auditorium and art department. There are many ways they can flourish in the sciences too — every year, the school hosts one of the premier robotics competitions for secondary students, VEX Robotics. Engaging and immersive, it’s a future-forward approach to STEM learning through the building and programming of robots.
Outside the classroom, there are over 30 different clubs and co-curricular activities to choose from, encouraging students to pursue their interests and learn new things. The Model United Nations, for example, teaches public speaking, debate, research, and writing skills in a highly-interactive simulation of the intergovernmental organisation. Graduate Priscilla Shine sums up the TIS learning experience best, “My time at TIS has shaped me into the person I am today.” To learn more about TIS and its over 30 years of world-class education with proven results, click here.
Shanghai Community School
At Shanghai Community International School (SCIS), students evolve seamlessly into critical thinkers and global citizens. Fully authorised as an International Baccalaureate (IB) Continuum World School, it offers curated programmes that allow students to develop strong academic, social and emotional characteristics — attributes that will prepare them for success in university and beyond.
As an IB Continuum World School, pupils can become holistic learners from as young as two years old with its Primary Years Programme (Nursery to Grade 5), followed by the Middle Years Programme (Grade 6 to Grade 10), and Diploma Programme (Grade 11 and Grade 12).
It starts with the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both within and beyond the classroom. What then ensues is a challenging framework that spurs students to connect what they learn in classes with the real world. The final step is the “gold standard” in school-leaving examinations, preparing students for the rigours of university, careers and life. The result? Undisrupted personal development and the fostering of artistic, athletic, and global citizenship.
Modern and forward-thinking, SCIS is amongst the best schools in Asia. The highest IB score here is 45. All students progress to university — with 12% of students accepted to Top 10 universities worldwide. Graduates head to an impressive range of universities and colleges, including University of Hong Kong, Seoul National University, Waseda University, McGill University, Imperial College London, Cambridge University, The University of Oxford and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
The school is home to 60 nationalities and 35 languages spoken by teachers, students and parents. It is spread across three campuses spanning both sides of the Huangpu river of Shanghai, including locations in Puxi and Pudong. It is also accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
“Ten consecutive years at SCIS have taught me many lifelong lessons, fostering both social and intellectual skills that are essential to my success in the years to come. But what truly sets SCIS apart is its unrivalled diversity and immersive community: the kind that creates an unforgettable high school experience,” says class of 2014 graduate Austin Chan.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International