how we teach

Our teachers combine their wealth of international experience with their passion for seeing your child succeed. With this combination, we'll inspire your child to achieve more than they ever imagined possible.


The British International School of Washington attracts fantastic teachers from around the globe who are excited to live and teach in Washington, DC. Many of our teachers are from British or Commonwealth nations, and 90% already have experience in British heritage education.

We support our teachers through continued professional development so that they’re always growing and staying up to date on the latest educational tools and resources. This keeps them motivated to deliver the very best private-school education in Washington, DC.

  • Senior Leadership Team


Ian Piper

Ian joined BISW as the Head of School in August 2016. Prior to Washington, Ian was the Director of Danube International School Vienna since August 2009. Prior to that, he was the Head of Secondary at the International School of Paris for eight years.

Ian Piper, Principal

Ian Piper has taught a range of subjects – including Economics, Mathematics, Business Management, ICT, and PE – in both British and international schools. He has worked at schools in Austria, France, Switzerland, Turkey, Zambia, and the UK. 

He has studied at several different British universities for his undergraduate and post-graduate education, including BSc (Hons) from the University of Essex; PGCE from Exeter University; MSc from Southampton University; and most recently, a MEd from Bath University.

He is passionate about educating young people and he believes in engaging learners to think both critically and creatively, as well as developing as a whole person. Ian believes that success is most consistently achieved through developing effective teams and enhancing the individual qualities and talents of each team member.

Ian is British, originally from the rural southwest of England, and he maintains a strong connection to this area. His French wife and two children joined him in Washington. Outside of work, he enjoys sports – most recently completing the Vienna half-marathon – and he likes to explore his creative side by painting abstract art. He is also known to have a British sense of humour.
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Katie Benson
Head of Primary

Katie is an experienced school leader who is passionate about children and learning. She strives to create vibrant learning environments where both children and staff can flourish. Prior to joining BISW in August 2014, Katie worked at the British International School of Budapest, another member of the Nord Anglia family.

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Katie Benson, Head of Primary
After graduating with a degree in history and politics from Keele University, Katie Benson decided to follow in the family business and train as a teacher. Following the completion of her PGCE at Leeds University, she subsequently taught in the city for the next two years. Her first overseas post from the UK was in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, followed by another position in North Carolina. Prior to joining BISW in August 2014, she worked at the British International School of Budapest – another member of the Nord Anglia family.

During her career, Katie has held numerous leadership positions with both academic and pastoral responsibilities. She has obtained a leadership qualification from the National College of Teaching and Leadership and has completed the Nord Anglia Senior Leadership programme. She also facilitates leadership training for teachers across the Americas who are looking at developing their own careers.

Developing strong relationships with the families that we serve is crucial to Katie, with the goals that children should be happy and successful. Therefore, Katie strives to work in close partnership to achieve this. She is so proud to be the Head of such a wonderful school and lead a team of exceptionally talented and committed teachers. Katie believes our students are so well-motivated, respectful, interesting, and genuinely a pleasure to work with. Having such a diverse student body makes our children understand, appreciate, and celebrate different cultures, which makes BISW a truly special place.

Outside of school, Katie loves to travel and explore new places, and she spends most holidays doing so. Having visited around 60 countries so far, she still has many more on her bucket list! Katie also enjoys all aspects of theatre: acting, directing, and being an audience member.
Our staff & How We Teach | BIS Washington - Feature Quote
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Lower Secondary is a place where students can find joy in learning and ask questions to explore concepts and ideas from multiple perspectives. Using "ways of being", "ways of doing" and "ways of thinking" we encourage students to think outside the box, embrace their international community and celebrate their own wonderful uniqueness as a person.
Rachel White-Hunt
Assistant Head of Lower Secondary and Performing Arts Specialist


At BISW, we’ll unlock your child’s potential within a classroom ready to support their needs and interests. Our first-rate technology supports purposeful leaning – using interactive smartboards, iPads, Macbooks, and 3D printers – and we’ll adapt our usage to our goals.

Our students apply what they’ve learned from different lessons in innovative ways. On our Nord Anglia Education learning platform, Global Campus, for example, our students connect and collaborate with other NAE students worldwide through common global challenges to challenge them to think big.


Outstanding schools are made up of outstanding teachers, which is why BISW hires the world's best. Our teachers are highly experienced, with 90% specifically experienced in British heritage education.

A new teacher will step into a warm culture of self-improvement, open-mindedness, and international engagement – and this encourages our teachers to never stop learning.

  • At Nord Anglia University, our teachers learn and collaborate with over 10,000 other Nord Anglia teachers worldwide, sharing insights and best-in-class resources.
  • We also provide training and resources with world-leading institutions like MIT and Julliard.
  • BISW offers exciting leadership pathways – like our management training courses and Executive Master’s in International Education from King's College London.


We know that children learn best when they're happy. With our personalized approach to learning in our small classes, our teachers get to know your child and know how they’re feeling. Because of our careful and dedicated attention, 96% of our parents go on to say that their child has a good relationship with their teachers.

We’re always working hard to maintain very high standards for teaching and learning, and to make this all possible, we strive to attract the world's best teachers. We evaluate all our teachers against the highest benchmarks of excellence, and our Nord Anglia Global Education Team works closely with us and checks for our success across academics, accreditation, and safeguarding.



Our Admissions team would love to hear from you. Why not schedule a Virtual Discovery Meeting with our Director of Admissions to learn more about our program and what makes us special.

Inquire Today
Our staff & How We Teach | BIS Washington - 06 Promo With Collage