Western Academy of Beijing

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Western Academy of Beijing
WAB logo
Western Academy of Beijing logo
10 Laiguangying East Rd.
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100102

People's Republic of China
Type International IB World School, Non-profit, Independent, Private School
Religious affiliation(s) Nonsectarian
Founded 1994
Director Dr. J. Courtney Lowe
Deputy Director John D'Arcy
Division Principals Casey Cosgray (ES), Marina Frias-Gavidia (MS), Melanie Vrba (HS)
Grades Nursery–12
Enrollment 1,500+
Student to teacher ratio 8:1
Campus type Large Private Campus
Color(s)     Red    Black    Yellow
Athletics conference ACAMIS
China Cup
Mascot Tigers
Newspaper Lianxi (official), The Inkblot (student)

The Western Academy of Beijing (WAB, simplified Chinese: 北京京西国际学校; traditional Chinese: 北京京西國際學校; pinyin: Běijīng Jīngxī Guójì Xuéxiào[1][2]) is a school located in Beijing that was founded in 1994. The school provides education from Nursery to Grade 12. WAB uses the IB PYP (IB Primary Years Program) until Grade 5, IB MYP (IB Middle Years Programme) up to and including Grade 10, and the IB DP (IB Diploma Program) for Grades 11 and 12. WAB is recognized by the IBO as one of seven IB Preferred Training Schools worldwide.

WAB was an Olympic Educational Model School for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Out of the 500 schools across China who were awarded by Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games as an Olympic Educational Model School, WAB was one of the 120 schools awarded as an Excellent Example.[citation needed]

In 2013 Mike Embley, the headmaster of the British School of Beijing (BSB), stated that WAB was, along with BSB and the International School of Beijing (ISB), one of the top three English-language international schools in Beijing, all having long waiting lists.[3] 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.[4]


WAB has an Early Childhood Center, Elementary School, Middle School and High School. Each school section has a dedicated building, and the HUB Sports, Arts & Technology Center is a shared facility in the center of the campus. The school has three libraries: the Sabina Brady Library (ES), the Red Scroll Library (MS), and the Green Sky Studio (HS). Other facilities include:

  • Three gymnasiums
  • Eight sub-gymnasiums
  • One swimming pool
  • Fitness center (known as the Adrenaline)
  • Certified outdoor field (One full-length football/soccer/rugby field, and three smaller fields)
  • Athletics track
  • Tiger L'Air, an air-supported, clean-air dome including indoor tennis courts
  • Indoor and outdoor basketball courts
  • Vertex climbing walls
  • Five theaters (Founders', Blue, OOB, Space, HS Amphitheater)
  • Three libraries
  • Computer laboratories
  • Forty science laboratories
  • Two photography and editing studios
  • Music, dance and drama studios
  • Soundproof Recording Studios
  • Live Broadcast Studio
  • Three TV/Video production studios (WABTV News)
  • Specialist classrooms, such as languages, technology, learning kitchens, arts and learning support
  • Dining courts, cafes and lounges (Lotus Lounge, Atrium, Galleri, Wild Ginger, Link)
  • Two PTA supply stores
  • Five Elevators (All accessible to students)
  • Large on-field scoreboard/monitor
  • 3 Apple Authorized Help Desks
  • Properties and Securities Building
  • WAB Wild (Camp) Office

WAB sports a FIFA approved field with a track. It is also said to be one of the best rugby fields in mainland China.[citation needed]


WAB offers a 1:1 laptop environment (for Grade 3 - 12) with wireless access across the school. Students in grade 6 and up are required by the school to own their own Apple Macbook. The school utilizes a number of IT systems for education, including but not limited to Moodle, PowerSchool, and WordPress. Drupal-powered public news sites and community portals are also integrated into regular school life.

The high school's Tiger Sports Network also provides a livestream to watch most sporting matches, performances, parent meetings and assemblies.


WABX is WAB's extra-curricular program, offer more than 400 athletic, art, service, academic and social options to students school-wide. WAB participates in multiple interscholastic sporting competitions, including the ACAMIS (Association of Chinese And Mongolian International Schools,) ISAC (International Schools Association in China), Tri-Cities (北京, 广州,上海), China Cup, EARCOS and APAC (Asian Pacific Athletic Conference). Sports consists of: Rugby, Football (Soccer), Tennis, Badminton, Cross Country, Track and Field, Volleyball, Basketball, Swimming, Baseball, Table Tennis, and Softball.

Year Team Competition Final Position
2011 Boys Soccer APAC 1st
2012 Boys Soccer APAC 1st
2013 Boys Soccer APAC 1st
2014 Boys Soccer APAC 1st
2015 Boys Soccer APAC 1st
2015 Boys Rugby APAC 2nd
2016 Boys Rugby APAC 1st
2016 Soccer APAC 1st

The Arts[edit]

WAB has an extensive arts program that engages students of all grade levels and levels of experience. WAB offers several options for chorus, band and orchestra, drama options including original and classic musicals and plays; as well as visual arts. All are available as part of the IB curriculum, electives, or as after-school activities.[citation needed]

Student Life[edit]

The school has many global citizenship projects, which are actively involved in the local, national and the international community.[citation needed] Each division (Elementary School, Middle School and High School) has its own student government, known as the "Student Council" or "StuCo" for short. The school is also involved in the world competition, "World Scholars Cup" or "WSC" for short, which both middle school and high school students have been actively involved in for many years.

WAB also has many extra-curricular clubs such as:

  • Roots & Shoots
  • Writing Lab
  • Gay Straight Alliance
  • Drama Club
  • Dutch Lessons (Not organized by WAB)
  • United Student Council
  • Yearbook Club
  • Friday Nite Lites (FNL)
  • Bands
  • Model United Nations
  • Global Issues Network
  • TEDxYouth@WAB
  • World Scholars Cup

WAB is also one of the first international schools in Beijing that has a half paper and half electronic yearbook starting from the Middle School in the 2012 - 2013 school year.[citation needed]


WAB is accredited by many associations, such as:

The Middle School Student Council was a part of the accreditation process that has taken place November 2013.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Directions to WAB." Western Academy of Beijing. Retrieved on August 17, 2015. "Western Academy of Beijing 10 Lai Guang Ying Dong Lu, Chao Yang District, Beijing 100102, P.R.C.[...]北京市朝阳区来广营东路10号 北京京西学校 邮政编码:100102"
  2. ^ "Schools Approved by the Ministry of Education For Enrolling Children of Foreign Nationals" (Archive). Ministry of Education of China. Retrieved on August 17, 2015.
  3. ^ Stefonek, Jonathan. "Passion for teaching English-style grows in Beijing suburbs" (Archive). China Daily. 7 October 2012. Retrieved on 2 October 2015.
  4. ^ Bunnell, Tristan. The Changing Landscape of International Schooling: Implications for Theory and Practice. Routledge, June 27, 2014. ISBN 1317814495, 9781317814498. p. 101.
  5. ^ "Western Academy of Beijing". International Baccalaureate®. Retrieved 2017-05-14. 
  6. ^ "Accreditation and Memberships". Western Academy of Beijing. Retrieved 2016-05-28. 

External links[edit]