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  • Authentically International

    "International" is more than a label here. It is at the very core of everything we do and how we do it.

    Students coming to school in the morning

  • Transferable Curriculum

    A curriculum handpicked for its international focus and global recognition, culminating in the IB Program.

    Students at the British International School of Washington

  • Inspiring Each Other

    Our students will embrace your child with open arms. Our students inspire each other to succeed.

    IPC Curriculum- Walk in the woods

  • Dedicated and Inspiring

    Our teachers are recruited for their ability to nurture lifelong learners and inspire excellence.

    Teacher and student at the British International School Washington

  • Your New Community

    We welcome you to our inclusive community. From day one you and your child will feel at home with us.

    excited students at the British International School of Washington

  • Every Day is Different

    Your child will experience something new every day. Find out what's happening and connect with each other.

    Build a plane launch

  • Ask Anything

    Speaking directly with us is the best way to get your questions answered quickly. We look forward to hearing from you.

    A girl raises hand  for questions

Secondary School

Our approach puts the student at the heart of the learning process. Our engaging curriculum challenges students to make connections across subjects and deepen their personal understanding of how themes relate to the wider world.

  • BISW Private British International School of Washington in DC Happy High School students in science lab
  • BISW Private British International School of Washington in DC Secondary students performing community service
  • BISW Private British International School of Washington in DC Happy High School Girls Eating Lunch
  • BISW Private British International School of Washington in DC Creative Secondary student doing experiments in science lab
  • BISW Private British International School of Washington in DC Engaged IB student discusses Model UN

Lower Secondary (Years 7, 8, and 9)


The lower secondary school's curriculum uses the thematic approach of the International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) to deliver content from the Key Stage 3 English National Curriculum. Subjects include English; mathematics; science; geography; history; visual arts; Information, Technology and Computing (ICT); design technology; physical education; performing arts such as dance, drama and music; Spanish; and social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL). Specialist teachers lead each subject, and students look at most subjects as discrete topics. However, the IMYC provides the opportunity to connect and blend subjects holistically by linking lessons to a Big Idea.


How will my child learn?


Each term, students look at a new Big Idea, introduced through an engaging Entry Point activity that encourages students to assess their understanding of the topic. Throughout the term, students continue to explore, evaluate, refine and deepen their knowledge through journaling about and interacting with the Big Idea in each subject. At the end of the term, students display their understanding of the Big Idea through an exit point project.


How will my child be assessed?


Teachers can assess students using the Mastery Approach, which helps instructors plan an appropriately challenging curriculum for each student. Gone are the days where students are "taught" content with the hope that some of the information endures as knowledge; at BISW, each learner has to learn challenging, non-negotiable information based on their current ability in a subject. In this way, it is possible to extend the learning of ALL students, not just the ablest. At BISW, we believe in having a growth mindset. As a result, there is no limit to what students can achieve with resilience and hard work and with skilled instruction from teachers.


Learn more about the lower secondary school here, and see further external reading about the English National Curriculum here.


Secondary School Years 10–11


The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)


This two-year programme leads to externally set, marked and certificated examinations from the University of Cambridge. The IGCSE is a qualification recognised globally, and it is an ideal foundation for higher-level courses, such as the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. The programme is similar to the UK's General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), though an international theme carries through much of the information in the IGCSE programme.


Learn more about the IGCSE here.


Secondary School Years 12–13


The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)


This is a rigorous two-year programme that top universities worldwide value highly. It prepares students to solve future challenges and encourages them to achieve goals through interdisciplinary subjects that provide a holistic education. The IBDP involves choosing three subjects to study at Higher Level (HL) and three to study at Standard Level (SL). Students must select six subjects from Studies in Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, and the Arts. In addition, IB students have extended essays, service projects, and chances to obtain knowledge and reflect on the nature of knowledge itself.


Learn more about the IBDP here.