Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

  • How old is the school?
    Nord Anglia Education was founded in 1972. Our British School of Beijing (BSB) Sanlitun campus opened their doors in 2003, and our BSB Shunyi campus opened in 2009. We are part of Nord Anglia Education's global family of 77 international schools that educate more than 68,000 students across 31 countries, including major global cities in North America, Europe, the Middle East, China, and Southeast Asia.
  • Do you have qualified teaching staff?
    The British School of Beijing (BSB) hires only highly qualified, motivated, and experienced staff who develop young minds and help ensure our students become skilled and creative thinkers. The majority of our teachers are from the UK, with a few specialist teachers from other countries, as well as a strong Chinese team teaching Mandarin. 
  • What accreditations and affiliations does your school hold?
    Our school is registered with the Beijing Education Commission under the International Department. Because we are inspected successfully by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) – an inspectorate approved by the UK Government Department for Education – we are one of a very limited number of officially accredited British Schools Overseas.

    The British School of Beijing (BSB) is an IB World School approved for the International Baccalaureate© (IB) Diploma Programme (DP), and a member of IAPS, the Independent Association of Prep Schools. In addition, BSB Shunyi is a member school of FOBISIA (Federation of British International Schools in Asia) and ACAMIS (Association of China and Mongolia International Schools).

    We are an approved Cambridge International Examinations Testing Centre and Edexcel Testing Centre, which authorise BSB for Key Stage Four (Years 10–11). We are also an authorized College Board SAT and ACT Testing Centre for students wishing to take these tests to attend American universities. Additionally, for our students studying Mandarin Chinese, BSB Shunyi is an approved examination centre for the HSK Chinese Proficiency Test, as well as for the Youth Chinese Test (YCT).
  • Do you teach a broad curriculum?
    Yes, our broad and balanced curriculum soundly develops students’ skills and knowledge across ten subject areas in Primary School (Years 1–6), within International and Deutsche Grundschule Peking streams. In Secondary School, we offer a range of courses within the Key Stage Three (Years 7–9), Key Stage Four (Years 10–11), and The IB Diploma (Years 12–13) Programmes, respectively. These curricular programmes are furthermore enriched with our music, the arts, and sports programmes.
  • Do you have Teaching Assistants (TAs)?
    Yes, our TAs are all highly qualified, and many have obtained their degrees and master’s qualifications from overseas universities. We also offer a comprehensive internal training programme – tailored to the needs of our TAs, in particular – with the aim of developing a strong group of highly proficient, fully competent individuals. TAs teach ability groups under the guidance of the class teacher, and they also work with individual children who need further support or extensions from the classroom.
  • How do you ensure good behaviour and manners at BSB Shunyi?
    At BSB Shunyi, we have a long-developed culture around respect for others, good manners, and positive self-expression. We accomplish this by teaching BSG (Behaviour and Social Graces). In Primary School, our students record their academic and non-academic achievements through PAWS (P–Positive Behaviour; A–Academic Achievement; W–Working Together; and S–Sport).

    This system aims to encourage a real sense of pride and achievement when each student makes progress, and it also aims to foster a strong community spirit among the students as a group. In Secondary School, students also earn merits for respectful behaviour. Furthermore, at lunch, our teachers sit with their students, ensuring good table manners.
  • Are students set individual targets or are they differentiated into groups?
    Upon entry, we use information from students' previous schools and prior assessments, where possible, to set minimum and also aspirational targets for all subjects. These targets are regularly reviewed between students and teachers; parents also receive regular information on their children’s progress against their targets. If a student is exceeding their goals, we review this with the student and may set a new aspirational target in celebration of that excellent progress. If a student is falling short, appropriate experienced staff will work with the student, teacher, and parent to identify any changes needed to further improve the student’s academic progress. Our approach is highly personalised, so targets remain flexible as part of our educational philosophy of providing the highest quality of learning.
  • Do you accept all passport holders?
    BSB is licensed as an international school under the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China and can only accept qualified students who hold a foreign passport and have at least one parent holding a foreign passport with the appropriate visa.

    In accordance with the new requirements implemented by the Beijing Municipal Education Commission (BMEC) for applicants from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, both the student and one parent must hold foreign passports (including passports from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan). Parents from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan must also hold a travel permit (回乡证, 台胞证). If your family hold other countries’ PR or the student holds a foreign passport and travel document, please submit your family's document copies to our admissions team for consultation.
  • Why do you have entry assessments?
    Our entry assessments ensure your child goes into the right class and correct ability groups from day one. These assessments act as a simple and quick check, which enables us to meet individual needs. For example, the assessments help us spot talents or weaknesses that we will give special attention, once the student joins BSB Shunyi. We also assess the English ability of our students who are non-native speakers to ensure they are able to access our curriculum with support from our English as an Additional Language (EAL) team. 
  • How will BSB Shunyi ensure my child settles in quickly at school?
    Our transition policy allows students and their families to make a smooth start at BSB Shunyi. We provide lots of information on their class and our school prior to your arrival, and we are ready for you from day one. Your child will be placed in the ability group and class that will give them the support and challenge they need in their development. To help our new students feel secure in class, they will each have an assigned ‘buddy’ who will look out for them in the early days. We also have a Parents’ Association (PA) welcome team for the whole family and regularly scheduled events to ensure everyone quickly belongs to our BSB family. The Parents' Association regularly organises events, shared through their blog and newsletter. 
  • Do you have a pastoral care system?
    Yes, we have a superb pastoral care system at BSB Shunyi. In Primary School, the class teacher assumes this role, leading assemblies and circle-time lessons; the class teacher is on hand for all students and monitors the group’s social development. In Secondary School, each student has a form tutor, who is also responsible for delivering the citizenship and PHSE programme. Mr. Jim Hartland is our Assistant Head of Secondary – Pastoral. Additionally, our counsellors and advisors provide support to our students on their future careers and university entrances.
  • It is important for my child to feel safe and cared for. I want my child to be a risk-taker but also in a secure environment.
    BSB Shunyi provides an intimate school experience, where students and staff know each other well. Students are encouraged to participate in all school events, which helps to develop a true sense of belonging. Social graces and good behaviour at BSB Shunyi are paramount. We are watchful of inappropriate behaviour and respond swiftly and discretely should problems among students arise.
  • Do you have any support programmes or gifted and talented programmes?
    Across the school, academically strong students will be challenged in differentiated groups (called ‘sets’) within their classroom in the subjects in which they excell. In addition, we offer a fast-track Key Stage Four (Years 10–11) programme for our more advanced students.
  • Do you have an active Parents’ Association?
    Yes, we have wonderfully supportive parents at BSB Shunyi, who are active through the Parents’ Association (PA). The PA has a warm and vibrant Welcome Committee for new families, and parents also work as class representatives, helping to organise events such as celebrations of International Day, BBQs, and the annual charity ball.
  • My child loves music. Can my child learn an instrument at BSB Shunyi?
    Yes, absolutely. Our music curriculum at BSB Shunyi is enhanced through our Juilliard–Nord Anglia Performing Arts Programme, in collaboration with The Julliard School. Every student over 5 years old at our school learns how to play an instrument. In addition to our weekly class lessons, we also offer around 30 different musical courses. We also offer private tuition in all classes. Additionally, our students may compete in overseas music competitions. 
  • It would be great if my child joins an after-school club. What do you offer?
    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 activities including ones expanding on academics, language practice, robotics, martial arts, cooking, sports, and music – to name but a few.
  • How do you encourage the development of future leaders?
    Our leadership programmes in Primary School include House Captains, Student Council, and Playground Prefects, among others, which are roles that give students as young as 6 years old a voice and a sense of responsibility for their school. In Secondary School, the Student Guild, International Award, Model United Nations, and Prefect system are some opportunities for our students to develop as leaders.
  • As an international school for students from 1 to 18 years old, what opportunities are there for joint activities across the age groups?
    There are many opportunities to work with students of other ages and across the school community at BSB Shunyi. Our secondary students complete community work in our primary school by reading with the young students and taking part in joint projects (such as cooking classes, art days, or reading events). Once a student reaches Year 6, we provide a comprehensive programme of transition opportunities as they get ready for Secondary School.