how we teach

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At the British International School of Charlotte, we tailor our teaching to your child’s personal advancement. We cater to their academics, well-being, and unique interests and goals, so they can confidently move towards their vibrant future.

Following global standards of excellence, our team consists of personalized education experts, who are delighted to nurture your child’s happiness and love for learning.


Our teachers care deeply about seeing your child thrive and will thoroughly understand your child’s personal interests and motivations — making learning fun, relevant, and transformative to their life and future. As a result, 99% of BIS Charlotte parents go on to say that their child has a strong relationship with their teachers, whose high quality is confirmed by 98%. In terms of satisfaction, 96% confirm their child is happy at our school.

All our teachers are experienced in strategies and techniques that customize instruction to the child, coming from the British educational system and approach. They vary instruction to each child's goals and learning style, delivering the right amount of support.

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Our passionate team at the British International School of Charlotte will embrace your family with the warm southern welcome of North Carolina, combined with the social graces of our British-influenced learning environment.

No matter where your child is at in their learning journey, our team has the care and expertise to bring out their best. We’ll also enrich your child’s global citizenship and guide them at every opportunity for growth and transformation.

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Adam Stevens
Principal, Head Teacher
Adam Stevens has served in education for 26 years and has been a principal over 15 years, with experience in teaching and leading across different age groups, from 2-year-olds to 18-year-olds. Previously to moving to the US, he taught Early Years, Primary School, and Secondary School in the UK, in the North of England.
Adam Stevens, Principal, Head Teacher
Over the past 26 years, I’ve had the privilege of serving young people, their families, and dedicated educational professionals. My career in education began in secondary schools in the UK — known as middle and high schools, in the US — where I taught students between the ages of 11 and 18 in the North of England. During this time, I was given the opportunity to lead others as Head of Department.

Although I found the world of education exciting, I was also drawn to the real world, prompting me to take a break to travel the world twice in my late twenties. Upon my return, I pursued a teaching position in a primary school, where I developed a love for learning while exploring early years education. I quickly moved through various leadership roles, culminating in my appointment as Vice Principal and then Principal — a position I’ve held for over 15 years.

My experience in teaching and leading across different age groups, from 2-year-olds to 18-year-olds, has given me a unique perspective on the educational journey that children take toward a successful life. I’m proud to have played a role in guiding hundreds of young people through their journey.

Spending time with children and seeing the world from their perspective has always been my passion. I believe that with the right level of guidance and practice, it’s possible to learn to do most things in life, and even become proficient at them. As such, I enjoy trying new things, including my recent passion for DIY and furniture building for the home and garden. I’m also passionate about traveling and exploring new places and being in the US has provided me with an excellent platform for this.
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Jude Penson
Vice Principal, Deputy Head Teacher
Jude Penson has been teaching and leading in education for over 20 years, having joined the British Schools of America in Houston, Texas in 2000, after several years of teaching in Scotland, where she grew up and studied. Following Houston, she then moved to Charlotte to proudly open the British International School of Charlotte.
Jude Penson, Vice Principal, Deputy Head Teacher
My teaching career began in 1993, in my hometown in Scotland, after completing my undergraduate degree at Strathclyde University. Then, in the 1997–98 academic year, I was delighted to participate in a Fulbright exchange program, which had a profound impact on me, both personally and professionally. Later in 2004, I graduated from Aberdeen University in Scotland with a Master’s in Education.

Two years after completing my Fulbright exchange, I joined the British Schools of America in Houston, Texas, and I’ve been with the schools ever since. I moved to Charlotte to help open the British International School of Charlotte, where I’m grateful to work with an amazing team of dedicated educators committed to the growth of our students. Every day, I learn something new and feel privileged to work with such a talented individuals.

My husband and I, along with our growing family, live close to the school. We have two adorable shepherd mix dogs, whom we picked up as puppies from the Greenville Humane Society in August 2013. Our son, Luke, was born in 2014, and while I am proud of my Scottish roots, I am equally proud to be part of a Southern family.

What sets the British International School of Charlotte apart from other schools is our team's composition and mindset. We have a culture of open mindsets, continuous learning, and sharing expertise, which leads our students to make amazing progress.
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Nikki Charlesworth
Head of Primary
Nikki Charlesworth has been teaching and leading for 17 years, beginning her career in a variety of Primary schools across England, before moving to the US in 2017 to join Nord Anglia family at the Nord Anglia International School New York. She has since been delighted to move south to join the British International School of Charlotte.
Nikki Charlesworth, Head of Primary
I began my teaching career in 2006 after graduating from the University of Birmingham in England with a Bachelor of Honors in History. I then pursued a teaching degree in Primary Education and qualified in 2007. Over the years, I have taught in three very different schools in the UK, including an urban school, where I taught Year 2 and Year 6. This experience fueled my desire to ensure that every child receives the best possible education. I also became an Advanced Skills Teacher, teaching and supporting the development of other educators across various schools in Birmingham.

During my last five years in the UK, I served as Deputy Head Teacher for an outstanding school in Brentwood, Essex, England. I was also an educational consultant, providing school development support and training across London and Essex.

In 2017, I fulfilled my dream of living in the USA and joined Nord Anglia International School New York. Initially, I worked as a Primary Class Teacher and then progressed to the role of Deputy Head Teacher. It has been a privilege to be a part of the Nord Anglia international schools’ family, and I enjoyed experiencing everything that New York City has to offer.

Aside from teaching, I am an avid American sports fan, with a particular interest in football. I enjoy writing and have even worked as an amateur football writer, which led to a guest reporter role for the New York Jets. My husband and I love traveling to different states to watch sports and sample the local cuisine, and we aim to visit all 50 states eventually. I also enjoy running half marathons!

I’m excited to join the BISC team and community in Charlotte. Nord Anglia Education's personalized approach to teaching and learning aligns with my passion for delivering an exciting and engaging curriculum that allows every child to reach their full potential.
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Julie Tombs
Head of Upper School and IB Coordinator
Julie Tombs worked in applied science before becoming a teacher of the sciences for several years. Then, on a teaching exchange in Sydney, Australia, she discovered her love for teaching mathematics, and pursued her master’s in mathematics education and leadership. She has since brought her expertise to the British International School of Charlotte.
Julie Tombs, Head of Upper School and IB Coordinator
After graduating from college in London, England, I worked as a Product Development Technologist for Nabisco, where I gained valuable project management experience. However, my ultimate goal was always to become a teacher. I trained to teach Sciences at Southampton University in England and taught in that subject area for several years. However, when I went on a teaching exchange to Sydney, Australia, I discovered a love for teaching mathematics. I found it challenging to bring such a cerebral subject to life with purpose and understanding, which motivated me to pursue my Master's in Mathematics Education and Leadership.

While I enjoy traveling and new experiences, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to teach both mathematics and science at the British International School of Charlotte. As the leader of our highly skilled team of Middle and High School (Secondary) teachers, I focus on understanding leadership, including the link between great leadership and great learning. Our curricula, which culminate in the IB Diploma, provide global, ethical, and relevant educational experiences that engage all our teachers and students.

Our emphasis on personalization and attention to the learner's needs creates a stimulating and rewarding environment. Witnessing our students' daily progress, their growing confidence, and the development of their skills gives the school a true learning-centered ethos. Our school caters to students from the ages of 18 months to 18 years and seeing them come together for celebrations and specific learning events gives everyone a broader and more enriching experience of what it means to belong to our school.


We recruit top educators in the field, and most come from the UK's educational system. Additionally, all our International Baccalaureate (IB) teachers are certified and trained by the IBO (International Baccalaureate Organisation) in their subjects. No matter what level of learning your child is at, our highly trained and qualified teachers are very talented at using a variety of ways to make learning comfortably challenging, supportive, engaging, and meaningful. 

They’re always eager to upgrade their teaching performance, undergoing world-class training with Nord Anglia University (NAU) to regularly reflect on improvements to our practices. Through NAU, our teachers continue their professional development with world-leading resources from King's College London, MIT, and Juilliard. Juilliard, for example, boosts our performing arts teachers’ instruction with expert enhancements to our curriculum.

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To support our teachers' high standards, Nord Anglia Education's Oxford-based Global Education Team ensures that our academics, quality assurance, accreditation, and safeguarding are at the best standards in the world. Through Nord Anglia, our teachers also have unparalleled access to top NAE educators around the globe, strengthening our international teaching skills with the most up-to-date practices. With such great support from Nord Anglia, we're confident we’re leading the highest quality global education for your child.

At BIS Charlotte, we're especially proud to lead in teaching the IB Diploma Programme — highly regarded internationally as the gold standard in education by the world’s leading universities. Because our teachers thoroughly know the IB's expectations for assessment, they help our students prepare to earn outstanding results that open the doors to incredible futures.
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Our teachers integrate modern technologies throughout our curriculum to increase your child's confidence — allowing them to feel safe to take inventive risks under our teachers' guidance. 

For example, our students can enhance their learning while showcasing their knowledge to others by using our interactive white boards, iPads, and 3D printers to design and build their projects or presentations. Through these assignments, our teachers help students strengthen a variety of skills that will help them thrive in the world, like communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem solving.


Our Admissions team would love to hear from you. Schedule a tour of our campus to learn more about our dedicated teachers, outstanding learning experiences, and other aspects that make BIS Charlotte so unique.

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