Calcutta International School

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Calcutta International School
Kolkata, 700 107, India
Established Late 1940's
Director Dr. Anuradha Das
Gender Boys and girls
Age range 3-17
Average class size 24 students
Student to teacher ratio 10
Hours in school day 3hrs-9hrs
Houses Red , yellow, green

Calcutta International School (or CIS) is an international school, established in the late 1940s, in Kolkata, India.

History - as King's House School[edit]

The school was established in the late 1940s by Miss Mai Barth, she having taught at a British garrison in WWII. The school has been known by its current name of Calcutta International School since 1970. It was formerly called King's House School but was more popularly known as "Miss Barth's". It started as a primary school exclusively for the children of the then expatriate British community, but quickly progressed to cater for the increasing number of children of European families and a few American children. Miss Barth was awarded an MBE for her services in 1959. She was renowned for her elaborate annual pantomime productions in which every schoolchild participated, her regular use of publicly administered corporal punishment, and her Christmas present to every single child. The school was housed in a now-demolished colonial building at 18, Lee Road, Kolkata-700020. In 2011 an Alumni group was formed on Facebook (see link below) and, by the second re-union lunch in 2013, the group had 41 members worldwide and several links with non-Facebook members. In March 2014 the membership was 48, with plans for a third reunion lunch at the Oriental Club in London on Saturday 4 October 2014.

History - as Calcutta International School[edit]

In 1970, the Calcutta International School Society (CISS) was formed under the West Bengal Society's Regulation Act, 1961. Today, the school is a larger institution for the sons and daughters of expatriates, foreign passport holders, former non-resident Indians and the local community (in that order).

CIS offers IGCSE and A Level curricula for the senior classes and follows the UK National Strategy for the entire school. It is a British Council affiliated centre for London Examinations from Edexcel International (Centre No. 93058) and for Cambridge International Examinations (Centre No: IN218). CIS is exploring the possibiity of introducing the IB Diploma Programme.

All the conventional school level subjects are taught. It has laboratories for Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Computers. Extramural activities include sports, elocution, music, debating, drama, dance, extempore speech training, public speaking, personality development, taekwondo, scouts and guides. CIS has arrangements with some of the city's clubs for training sessions in squash, tennis and swimming.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Extracurricular activities include sports, elocution and debate, music, photography, rowing, drama, dance, public speaking, personality development, taekwondo, boy scouts and girl guides. CIS has arrangements for training sessions in tennis, swimming and golf. The school has exchange programmes and foreign excursions to New York and London. The Duke Of Edinburgh Award is offered to the students.


CIS moved to its premises at Anandapur, Kolkata in November 2006. It is 15 km from Kolkata airport, 15 minutes from Salt Lake, 10 minutes from Peerless Hospital and 2 minutes from Ruby General Hospital. Classes are spread over 60,000 sq ft with another 4,143 sq ft demarcated for an auditorium in a 2 acre land area. There is an integrated science laboratory for the junior classes and separate Physics, Chemistry and Biology laboratories for the seniors. There is a computer laboratory with broadband access for teachers and students, music room, art room, cafeteria with indoor and outdoor seating and a library.

Academic overview[edit]

The school's philosophy is to impart education from kindergarten up to 'A' levels. Student numbers per class are limited to an average of 24. CIS offers three academic streams: Humanities, Sciences and Business Studies. Board level examinations conducted by Edexcel (IGCSE and GCE) and CIE (GCE) are held twice a year; students have the option to take the modules on offer at each of these, depending on their own preparedness.

The methods of teaching are in keeping with international demands, with the use of audio-visual aids and K'T.


CIS offers 'O Level and 'A' Level curricula for the graduating classes and follows the UK National Strategy for the entire school. It is-a British Council-affiliated Centre for London Examinations with Edexcel International (Centre No. 93058) and for Cambridge International Examinations (Centre No. IN218).

Textbooks are provided by the school to students up to the 'O' Levels, free of charge. Reference books are available in the Library for the students.

In junior classes, the children do not have final examinations, and progression is based on their performance throughout the year. Final examinations start from Class 6 with the core subjects i.e. English Language, Literature, Mathematics and Science. For Class VII upwards, a final examination is taken in all subjects.

A more formal approach to academics begins from Class VII. Instead of the integrated science course done earlier, they are now introduced to the three separate disciplines of Science, namely Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

A foundation for the 'O' Level board examination is laid in Class VIII. Children are offered a choice of subjects at the end of that year. CIS organizes an Aptitude Test along with Career Counseling to guide students regarding their choice of subjects for the 'O' Level course.


The stock consist of books fiction and non fiction, reference books, periodicals, CD-ROMS, audio and videocassettes. The library is constantly acquiring new titles to stay up-to-date.

Classes 2 onwards have regular library classes when they are allowed to borrow one fiction for a week. Children are exposed to simplified classics ranging from Charles Dickens to Jules Verne to Rudyard Kipling.

An internet browsing facility for research and projects is available for both teachers and students. There are photocopy and scanning facilities.


External links[edit]