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Frequently asked questions

  • What is the purpose of the application fee?
    The application fee covers the administrative cost of the assessment our teachers will undertake with your child. With almost 1,000 enquiries for school places every year, the fee also allows us to identify those parents who are most committed to sending their children to our school.
  • How long does the admissions process take?
    From the moment you first make contact with the school to the point when we consider offering your child a place at the school should take no more than two weeks. It depends on how fast parents wish to apply.
  • Is the process different if my company pays the fees?
    Our aim is to make the process as straightforward and simple as possible for you, the parents. In the event that your company will be paying school fees, our Admissions Team and Finance Team will be happy to liaise directly with your company on financial matters, allowing you to concentrate on your child’s education and well-being.
  • Is there a waiting list?
    Possibly, it depends on the year group you’re applying for. Our admissions team will inform you at time of application if there is a waitlist or not, and also the likelihood a place will become available for the start date you’re applying for.
  • Can we apply to start in the middle of the term?
    Yes absolutely, you can apply to join any time as BISS accepts new students all year round. That said, we always advise new families to try and join at the start of the school year (every August) if they can, so their child doesn’t miss any important education and has more opportunity to make new friends and meet new classmates.
  • Are children assessed as part of the admissions process?
    Yes there is an assessment process, which differs depending on the age of your child – from in-class observations in Early Learning through testing English and Maths levels in Secondary. You might also have an interview with the Head of Primary or Secondary (which can be done via video if you are not in Shanghai at the time).
  • When was BISS founded?
    The British International School Shanghai was founded in 2004 serving and educating the international community for 14 years. Our school is comprised of four divisions—Early Years, Primary School, Secondary School, IB Academy—with separate flexible learning spaces for each. Our campus has beautiful grounds and environmentally-friendly buildings, with a state-of-the-art STEAM facility.
  • Is The British International School Shanghai accredited?
    The British International School Shanghai is accredited by the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) and the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO). In addition, we are accredited by the Edexcel and Cambridge International Examinations boards.
  • Can my child learn a musical instrument at BISS?
    Our music curriculum is enhanced through the Juilliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Programme. At our school every student over five years old learns an instrument. In addition to the weekly class music lessons, we offer around 30 different musical courses. Private tuition is also available in all classes. Our students also have the opportunity to perform and also to compete in overseas music competitions.
  • What activities can my child take part in after school?
    We offer over 300 after school activities and lunch clubs each year, which ensure our students are well rounded and active. Our clubs include a variety of opportunities including academic options, native language input, Lego robotics, martial arts, cooking, sports and music to name but a few.
  • Does the school offer transportation services?
    The British International School Shanghai offers bus transportation to students in buses equipped with seatbelts and a bus monitor. Students enjoy a bus service to and from school. We also offer transportation for our after-school activities programme at 4:40pm.