International School of Beijing

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International School of Beijing in Shunyi
International School of Beijing (logo).png
No. 10, Anhua Street,
Shunyi District

Beijing, 101318
Type Private, Day
International school
Established 1981
Head of School Tarek Razik, Ed. D
Faculty 193 full-time, 9 part-time
Grades PK312
Enrollment 1,887
Campus size 32 acres[1]
Campus type Suburban
Color(s) Blue and White         
Mascot Dragon

The International School of Beijing (ISB, simplified Chinese: 北京顺义国际学校; traditional Chinese: 北京順義國際學校; pinyin: Běijīng Shùnyì Guójì Xuéxiào[2]) is an English-language day school, offering an international curriculum for expatriate children in China. It is located in Shunyi District, in the northeast of Beijing. ISB provides education from Pre-Kindergarten (age 3) through grade 12, in three divisions: Elementary School, Middle School, and High school. Each division has its own principal, assistant principal, and support services team. The school year runs from August to mid-June over two semesters. ISB is recognised by the Beijing Education Commission (BEC) as an independent school for expatriate children.

It is situated on a 32-acre (13 ha) property, with facilities constructed specifically for the campus.

ISB offers the full Diploma Programme of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IB). They are accredited by WASC and NEASC (in the United States), the Chinese authority NCCT, and the IS (Europe).

In 2010 Sarah Leung of the South China Morning Post wrote that ISB was "Recognised as one of the most academically rigorous international schools in Beijing".[3] In 2013 Mike Embley, the headmaster of the British School of Beijing (BSB), stated that ISB was, along with BSB and Western Academy of Beijing (WAB), one of the top three English-language international schools in Beijing, all having long waiting lists.[4] Citing Embley's definition of two lower tiers of Beijing Anglophone international schools which have vacant student spaces, Tristan Bunnell, the author of The Changing Landscape of International Schooling: Implications for Theory and Practice, stated that this was an instance of the idea of "'superior' and 'inferior' schools" shared by teachers and parents.[5]

ISB, along with SAS Puxi and HKIS, has the long-standing reputation of being among the most prominent and recognised international schools in Asia.[citation needed]


Organization: A 12-member Board of Trustees provides oversight and governance. All parents of currently enrolled ISB students are members of the Parents’ Association.


In school year 2011–2012, there were 200 full-time and 4 part-time faculty members. The vast majority of faculty members hold Master's Degrees in their respective fields.


In the 2011–2012 school year, about 95 percent of the School's income derived from tuition.[citation needed]

Student body[edit]

As of 2016 the school had 1,700 students originating from more than 50 countries.[6] 56% of ISB's students originate from the US and Canada, while 9% originate from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. ISB is not permitted to take Mainland Chinese students without foreign passports because it is a "school for foreign personnel".[3]

There is high turnover in the study body since many students have parents reassigned by their employers from Beijing to other cities in their jobs and vice versa. Each year the school has 350 new students and 160 students graduate.[3]

As of 2010 the school's Chinese language program has 1,400 students.[3]


  • 1970s a small foreign school was established in Beijing, under the auspices of the United States Liaison Office in Beijing, precursor to the US Embassy. Classes were held in a hallway in a diplomatic apartment compound in Sanlitun, with 8 students and 2 certified teachers
  • 1980 – US Embassy merged its school with those of the British and Australian embassies. The Canadian and New Zealand embassies joined in, and the five nations together formally founded the International School of Beijing. Located on the grounds of the US Embassy, the school provided education for the children of the 5 founding embassies; eventually, as space allowed, children from other embassies were permitted to enroll. Bound by the strict requirements imposed on diplomatic schools, the founding embassies worked to meet educational needs of the growing expatriate community in Beijing.
  • 1988 under new regulations, China's Ministry of Foreign affairs officially registered ISB as a "school for diplomatic children." The campus moved to the Lido complex of offices and housing units, and the school was permitted to accept applications from all expatriate residents of Beijing.
  • 1991 ISB became the first school in Beijing to offer the full Diploma Programme of the International Baccalaureate Organization.
  • 1997 ISB was accredited by WASC (in the United States),
  • 2002 – January – the Beijing Municipal Education Bureau allowed ISB to be restructured as an "independent school for foreign children."
  • 2002 – ISB school moved to a 33-acre, purpose-built facility in the Shunyi, a northeastern suburb of Beijing
  • 2003 ISB accredited by the Chinese authority NCCT
  • 2007 ISB won full accreditation from CIS, NEASC (United States), and again from NCCT (China).
  • 2013 ISB completed construction of a detached sports facility, complete with two pressurised domes with advanced air filtration. These pressurised domes providing pollution free indoor tennis courts and a playing field area.

Student life[edit]

Among the activities offered at ISB are band, orchestra, jazz band, choir, dance, forensics and drama. The high school also has its own honour choir, named "Impromptune", theatre group "Thespians". There are two theatre productions per year and a One Act Festival. In terms of the Jazz Band, this little section of the performing arts department has grown over the years and has become quite strong at the school, with great talent in each of the different jazz-related instruments[citation needed]. The AMIS Honor Jazz Festival was held at ISB in October 2010 and 8 ISB students were successful enough to be a part of the festivities.

In elementary school, there are activities such as juggling and basketball. In these activities, students learn new skills and after a few months, put on a show. In 5th grade, students write a script and perform a chapter of the Chinese novel "Journey to the West."

The International School of Beijing is also the headquarters of the Global Issues Group International Conglomeration, consisting of over 15 Chapter schools in international schools around the world. Further, the Model United Nations is another program that is widely participated in.[citation needed] Students can participate in one of three travelling trips, including THIMUN Singapore, THIMUN Qatar, and CISSMUN. The THIMUN organisation is the only Model United Nations program recognised by the United Nations, and the International School of Beijing has been a member of the organisation since its inception.[citation needed] In addition, MUN is a student run program assisted by a teacher advisor, and the ISB MUN Executive Council organises and runs the Beijing International Model United Nations (BEIMUN), the third largest high school MUN conference in Asia[citation needed], annually. This year (2017) marks the 25th Anniversary of the BEIMUN conference and it will be hosted in the school campus.


ISB competes in a variety of sports leagues including APAC (Asian Pacific Activities Conference), China Cup, ACAMIS (Association of Chinese & Mongolian International Schools), RTNC at Dulwich (Rugby, Tennis, and Netball Conference), and ISAC (International Schools Athletic Conference Beijing/Tianjin).[7][8] ISB's Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Freshman teams participate throughout the year. ISB's varsity sports include baseball and softball, swimming, volleyball, rugby, tennis, basketball, badminton, soccer, softball (girls only), table tennis, track & field, and cross country.

ISB also often participates in rival competitions with many other international schools in the Shunyi area, including the Western Academy of Beijing (WAB), Dulwich College Beijing (DCB), Beijing City International School (BCIS) and British School of Beijing (BSB).


The School is located on a 13-hectare (32-acre) campus in Shunyi District,[3] close to popular residential compounds. Highlights of the school facilities include:

  • two libraries with 80,000 volumes
  • twelve science laboratories
  • six elevators (four of which are student accessible)
  • 600-seat professional auditorium/theater
  • six-lane competition swimming pool
  • a sports stadium (including a 400m running track, a full-size soccer/football pitch, and bleachers/stands designed to fit approximately 2000 people)
  • four gymnasiums
  • six playing fields
  • PTA-run supply store
  • two cafeterias
  • detached sports facility with two pressurised domes:
    • general purpose indoor playing field and basketball courts
    • six indoor tennis courts
  • outdoor learning environment playground.

ISB uses inflatable domes for athletics events; it does this to shield students from Beijing pollution. In 2014 it constructed two domes with filtration systems.[9] The domes, which cover athletic fields and tennis courts, were completed in January of that year. It spent $5.7 million,[10] or £3 million, to build these domes.[9]

Information Technology[edit]

  • 2,500 voice and data ports
  • 1,100 laptop computers (available for student use)
  • 150 digital projectors
  • 70 networked laser printers
  • campus-wide wireless internet
  • one-to-one laptop program for students above first grade
  • website:

Philanthropic Clubs[edit]

The International School of Beijing is heavily involved with charity work as extra-curricular activities. Students, primarily beginning in high school, have a variety of philanthropic clubs that they can become members, and possibly officers, of.

  • Global Issues Group
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Roots and Shoots
  • Nightingale
  • We For She
  • Empowerment through Self Esteem Education
  • Greenkeepers
  • The Pen Club
  • Dragon King English Academy
  • Gay Straight Alliance
  • Interact Club

Philanthropic clubs at ISB are coordinated and supported by both Student Council and the ISB Service Council, composed of the heads of each organisation with support from three faculty facilitators.


ISB is a member of the East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools (EARCOS) and the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC).

School governance[edit]

ISB is governed by a Board of Trustees which consists of a 12-member group of volunteer parents, 9 elected by the ISB Association of Parents and 3 appointed to 3 year terms by current sitting board at time of appointee vacancies. The ISB board of trustees provides strategic oversight and governance. Although the board is strategic in nature, it's operational responsibilities are in hiring and evaluating the Head of School. Additionally, the ISB board is also responsible for final budget approvals, and have ultimate fiduciary responsibility for the schools financial health. The ISB Board of Trustees oversee the operation of ISB according to the Association’s Bylaws.

ISB Association of Parents[edit]

All parents with children attending ISB automatically belong to the Association as long as they have children that are in attendance.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us — Our Campus". 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e Leung, Sarah. "Beijing schools get thumbs up." South China Morning Post. Saturday 10 June 2010. Retrieved on 3 October 2015.
  4. ^ Stefonek, Jonathan. "Passion for teaching English-style grows in Beijing suburbs" (Archive). China Daily. 7 October 2012. Retrieved on 2 October 2015.
  5. ^ Bunnell, Tristan. The Changing Landscape of International Schooling: Implications for Theory and Practice. Routledge, 27 June 2014. ISBN 1317814495, 9781317814498. p. 101.
  6. ^ "International School of Beijing". International School of Beijing. Retrieved 28 May 2016. 
  7. ^ ACAMIS
  8. ^ "Co-Curricular Program — Athletics". 
  9. ^ a b Wainwright, Oliver. "Inside Beijing's airpocalypse – a city made 'almost uninhabitable' by pollution" (Archive). The Guardian. 16 December 2014. Retrieved on 19 October 2015.
  10. ^ Wong, Edward. "In China, Breathing Becomes a Childhood Risk" (Archive). The New York Times. 23 April 2013. Retrieved on 19 October 2015.
  11. ^, New England Association of Schools

External links[edit]