British International School of Chicago Lincoln Park

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British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park
British International School of Chicago Lincoln Park logo.png
814 W. Eastman Street
Chicago, Illinois 60642
United States
Coordinates 41°54′27″N 87°38′55″W / 41.9076°N 87.6487°W / 41.9076; -87.6487Coordinates: 41°54′27″N 87°38′55″W / 41.9076°N 87.6487°W / 41.9076; -87.6487
School type Preschool and Primary School
Motto Be Ambitious!
Established 2001
Principal Ed Pearce
Grades Pre-Nursery to Year 6 (5th Grade)
Age range 2 to 11
Campus type Urban
Houses 4 (Blackhawk, Dayton, Eastman, Halsted)
Accreditation IB, CIS, COBIS

British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park (BISC Lincoln Park) is a private international school for Nursery to Year 6 students (ages 2 to 11) located in the Clybourn Corridor of Cook County, Illinois.[1] In September 2001, BISC Lincoln Park was the fourth school to open in the United States by the British Schools of America and first campus to open in the Midwest. BISC Lincoln Park is now operated by Nord Anglia Education and is part of a network of 42 schools around the world. The private elementary school is divided into three learning stages: Early Years Foundation Stage (pre-nursery, nursery school and Pre-K, ages 2 to 5), Key Stage 1 (primary school, ages 5 to 7), and Key Stage 2 (primary school, ages 7 to 11).

The school takes an international approach to learning,[2] offers the merits of an urban campus type experience[3] and is also well known in the area for the British International School of Chicago Music School, which offers students and members of the community the chance to take individual and group music lessons.


British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park (originally British School of Chicago) opened its door in the Edgewater community area on the north side of the city in 2001 nearby the Manor House in Bryn Mawr Historic District for parents seeking an alternative to the public school model.[4] In 2008, the school relocated to a newly constructed building in the Lincoln Park neighborhood designed by a firm from award-winning architect Joseph Valerio. Appointed in January 2015, Principal Mel Curtis moved from the Ecole des Roches in France[5] and took over the leadership role at the Lincoln Park campus from founding headmaster Mike Horton (2001 to 2014) who now leads the South Loop campus.[6] In her new role, Curtis (2015 to 2017) led a series of renovations that took place over the summer of 2015,[7] followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Jesse White[8] and a sidewalk mural commissioned by the school designed by local Chicago artist, Nancy Pochis Bank.[9] During March 2017, Nord Anglia Education CEO Andrew Fitzmaurice announced that Head of Primary at British School of Guangzhou Ed Pearce (2017 - ) would be succeeding Principal Curtis in August, marking the third time someone has assumed this role in the school's history.


The five-story, 75,000 square foot British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park campus

The 75,000 square foot, five-story campus[10] for British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park was designed for an enrollment of up to 650 students and a 70-person staff.[11] The campus features an architectural framework of columns and beams, a curving exterior, prominently placed bay windows, and high-ceiling gym on the upper floors. The building features more than 40 learning spaces, including an indoor and outdoor physical development space, robotics and science labs, a maker space, dance studio, library, a STEAM corridor meant to bridge different areas of learning,[12] and roof deck with views of the downtown Chicago skyline. It is located in the 60642 area code and part of the 27th Ward represented by Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr.


British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park serves pre-Nursery through Year 6 students ages 2 to 11. The majority of pupils are Americans followed by UK, Indian, Chinese, and Brazilian citizens who help populate Chicago's large foreign-born population.[13] BISC Lincoln Park students follow Nord Anglia's "Be Ambitious" philosophy to develop intellectual, cultural, and emotional skills.[14] As learners at a Nord Anglia Education international school, students have access to the Juilliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Program and the Global Campus.[15] In addition, students often take field trips off campus to nearby Lincoln park destinations such as the Chicago History Museum, The Second City Theater, Lincoln Park Zoo, and North Avenue Beach.[16]

Awards, Recognition, and Special Appearances[edit]

British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park students have earned awards, recognition, and special appearances as follows:


BISC Lincoln Park students participate in school's STEAM program: Science, Technology & Design, Engineering, Arts, and Math. Photo credit: Nicholas James

British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park bases its values-based, global education learning goals on the International Primary Curriculum (IPC)[23] and the National Curriculum. The school teaches the specialized subjects of art, entrepreneurship and innovation, information and computing technology, literacy, math, modern foreign languages, music, physical and health education, and science.[24] In particular, the Chicago school emphasizes the benefits of a STEAM program,[25] collaborates with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to implement a STEAM program based on a multi-disciplinary approach pioneered by MIT,[26] is part of the Juilliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Program, operates its own music school, and participates in the Nord Anglia Education Global Campus program.

Sports, Clubs, and Traditions[edit]


British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park coaches a boys and girls basketball team, the BISC Lincoln Park Bulldogs. The school's mascot is Barkley the Bulldog, a British reference to the popular English Bulldog.

BISC Lincoln Park's mascot, Barkley the Bulldog.


BISC Lincoln Park runs an average of over 40 clubs each school year. The most popular clubs are Taekwondo, chess, and CrossFit for kids. In addition the school offers a newspaper and journalism club whose students produce the campus newspaper, The Bulldog Bugle, as well as the newscast, The Bulldog Bugle TV.


According to English private school traditions, BISC Lincoln Park introduced its own House system to help younger students to mix with older students.[27] The private school campus is divided into four houses, all based on the streets surrounding the school's perimeters:

Blackhawk house


  • Animal: Fox
  • Object: Lightning bolt
  • Motto: Amat Victoria Curam
  • Qualities: Resilience, Dedication, Integrity
  • Color: Orange
Dayton house


  • Animal: Goose
  • Object: Goose feather
  • Motto: Semper Tenax
  • Qualities: Passion, Generosity, Courage, United
  • Color: Yellow
Eastman house


  • Animal: Bear
  • Object: Ice
  • Motto: Citius Altius Fortius
  • Qualities: Compassionate, Determined, Hardworking
  • Color: Purple
Halsted house


  • Animal: Cardinal
  • Object: Wood, Wool, Compass, Telescope
  • Motto: Dum Spiro Spero
  • Qualities: Compassion, Ambition, Courage, Faith
  • Color: Red

Global Initiatives & Collaborations[edit]

Juilliard Nord-Anglia Performing Arts Program[edit]

BISC Lincoln Park student participating in the Juilliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Program. Photo credit: Todd Rosenberg.

In February 2015, Nord Anglia Education and The Juilliard School selected British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park as one of ten Nord Anglia schools to pilot the launch of the Juilliard Nord Anglia-Performing Arts Program.[28] The campus officially implemented the program in the fall term of 2015. Since then, The Juilliard School has been named the world's best university for the study of performing arts,[29] and BISC Lincoln Park and students have received visits and performed for Juilliard President Dr. Joseph W. Polisi and Juilliard faculty member and Grammy-award winning artist Itzhak Perlman.[30] Studies have shown that a performing arts program improves test scores, reading proficiency, and overall academic achievement.[31] The learning-model program is built around the key works of music, dance, and drama with special visits and workshops led by various Juilliard alumni.

The Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards festival held in October 2016 showcased a Silver Dolphin winning short film featuring Juilliard alumni the Peter and Will Anderson Trio workshopping and performing with students at BISC Lincoln Park's campus.[32]

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Collaboration[edit]

British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park collaborates with Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In early summer of 2016, British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park announced it will become one of the 13 inaugural Nord Anglia Education schools to collaborate with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to enhance science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) teaching and learning for K-12 students.[33] Launching in September 2016, the program includes the development of a series of in-school challenges for students which focus on the juncture between the five STEAM disciplines. Nord Anglia CEO Fitzmaurice believes the collaboration will ensure students are equipped with the skills to succeed in the future workplace.[34]


The vast majority of BISC Lincoln Park staff are British and are educated in the United Kingdom. They all hold mainly UK degrees as well as teaching qualifications. Some teaching staff hold master's degrees.The school actively promotes the professional development of teaching staff through an ongoing program of training called Nord Anglia University carried out in the US, UK, and Europe to promote world-class learning practices through adapting and adopting examples of best educational practice from around the world.[35] While the teaching staff are primarily British educated and teach the English curriculum, courses are designed to reflect a global perspective and the international nature of the student body.

Notable Visitors[edit]

Grammy-award winning violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman[36] meets with a few BISC Lincoln Park students participating in the Juilliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Program. Photo credit: Todd Rosenberg.

British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park has received notable visits from experts in the arts, education, entertainment, government, literary, music, political, scientific fields, and more.

Awards & Accreditation[edit]


In 2006, British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park (then British School of Chicago) won the British Consul General Award from the British American Business Council for advancing relations between the U.K. and the U.S. as well as increasing the company's international exposure.[39]

BISC Lincoln Park is Council of International Schools accredited.


British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park is accredited by the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS). In 2010, the private school was the fourth only in the world to achieve "mastering" level in all areas in delivering the IPC. As of March 2016, the school is applying for Council of British International Schools (COBIS) accreditation.

Parent Company[edit]

British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park is owned by Nord Anglia Education, the world's leading operator of premium schools.[40]

External links[edit]


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  5. ^ "People On The Move - Crain's Chicago Business". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  6. ^ "The British School of Chicago Welcomes New Principal to the Lincoln Park Campus". Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  7. ^ "Construction starts on British International School of Chicago Lincoln Park campus renovation". Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  8. ^ Park, British International School of Chicago, Lincoln. "British International School of Chicago Re-Opens Newly Remodeled Campus". Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  9. ^ Studio, NPB Art. "British International School of Chicago". Nancy Pochis Bank Art Studio. Retrieved 2016-04-01. 
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  14. ^ "Reject League Tables in Favour of Inspiration". The Huffington Post UK. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  15. ^ "Interview with Mrs. Kubach: Nord Anglia Global Campus". Brainwash. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  16. ^ "Chicago's Lincoln Park Living". Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  17. ^ Das, Maurya (2015-09-01). The Boy and the Tree: If Trees Could Talk, What Would They Say? A Boy’s Journey of Discovery. AuthorHouse. ISBN 9781504934121. 
  18. ^ "Sasha Rossof". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  19. ^ "Chicago Toy & Game Group Names Young Inventor Winner | Gifts & Dec". Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  20. ^ Swartz, Tracy. "Meet the 5 Chicago-area kids competing on 'MasterChef Junior'". Retrieved 2017-02-15. 
  21. ^ "Friday Forecaster ends weather report with ‘Go Cubs!’". WGN-TV. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  22. ^ "British International School of Chicago Rocks at WEG". 3P Learning. 2015-11-04. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  23. ^ Ltd, Fieldwork Education. "Home | The International Primary Curriculum". Retrieved 2016-03-30. 
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  27. ^ "State secondaries urged to bring back the house system". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
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  32. ^ "Cannes Awards Selects British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park Video as 2016 Festival Winner". 
  33. ^ "British International School Of Chicago, Lincoln Park Collaborates With MIT". Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  34. ^ Park, British International School of Chicago, Lincoln. "British International School Of Chicago, Lincoln Park Collaborates With MIT". Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  35. ^ "Nord Anglia Education's (NORD) CEO Andrew Fitzmaurice on Q1 2015 Results - Earnings Call Transcript". Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  36. ^ "Itzhak Perlman". The GRAMMYs. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  37. ^ "What Goes on Inside a Teen's Brain? British School Hosts Expert Talk". DNAinfo Chicago. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  38. ^ Rossis, Nicholas C. "Author Feature: Geoffrey Saign, Author of WhipEye". Nicholas C. Rossis. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  39. ^ "News — British American Business Council Chicago". Archived from the original on 15 April 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  40. ^ Magazine, Relocate. "Nord Anglia Education finalises the acquisition of six more schools | Anne Keeling | Re:locate magazine". Retrieved 2016-04-01.