I had my son for 1st year in primary school, I'm not at all impressed with what the school is providing: Teachers are nice and trying their best, but 1- school facilities is a big zero, nowhere for children even to play 2- Large number of students (20 student per class) with a small size class and one teacher and his assistant, so educational activities have little impact, my son in the middle of year 1 can't count correctly from 1 to 20, so I had to arrange 1 hour help for him from my time every day 3- Transportation is a disaster, we tried the bus but I noticed no bus attendant so only bus driver and of-course students were doing parties as I was told on board, removing seat belts on highways, head of transportation looks like from a private company and not related to the school so he wasn't very responsive, so I stopped bus transportation and tried with my car and in the morning the area is quite packed with no place to park even for few minutes. 4- No school book or clear curriculum followed 5- school reports don't represent reality, looks like the copy/paste, so no chance to understand weakness of your side to try to help. In the end I found it would really hurt my student to continue there as I was looking for a partner to educate my son and BIS wasn't that partner, looks they focus on profit side more than educational side.
We moved to BISW 3 years ago, we love the school and the teaching system. Most of the teachers are nice and dedicated. The actual Principal is great! Very polite, answers every question personally and listens to feedback The activities at BISW are amazing and various from organizing trade shows to theatre presentation and the study of music is strongly encouraged especially after the collaboration with Juilliard School.
We like BISW's teachers and the curriculum. It has prepared our children very well. I am writing in response to the parent review that is oddly critical of the Parents' Association (of which every parent/caretaker is a welcomed member --- there is no entry fee, no sign up - you just show up) to clarify a few things about their opinion on the PA board. The Parents' Association board has no actual board power at the school or relationship to the school beyond being a parallel organization, so the post is confusing. It is a PTA board, not a school board. In our experience, parents all have access to the schools' communications and there are no gatekeepers. I was really surprised to read the review as it does not at all ring true to what we have experienced during our eight years at BISW. Additionally the political commentary is just odd, frankly, as in our experience we have never heard any kind of partisan political conversation on any field trip, visit, or class presentation -- especially one that is in any way part of a school lesson. It is an international school so those definitions vary widely by country so it doesn't even make sense. We value highly the school's use of the Washington DC region as an extension of the classroom. With so many children from different countries in the school, it is truly an international experience and certainly not one that we've noticed is overtly ideological beyond valuing the importance of understanding one another beyond nationality. In some respects it provides a respite from the Washington political intensity. It has been a great school for us, and has provided a sound foundation.
My children will not return next year. The leadership of the school is confusing. The principal is consistently negative and disrespectful when talking about Nord Anglia Education yet he continues to work for the school that is owned by NAE. This inconsistency leaves this parent uncomfortable with not knowing what are school decisions and what are corporation policies.
Teaching and grading is very inconsistent. This year 13 percent of students did not pass the IB. Besides, the school has lost over 100 kids during the summer.
My son started at BISW 7 months ago. He came from one of Australia's top private schools which he really enjoyed so he was bound to make comparisons. Of course the facilities aren't anything like he had back home but this was made up for with the closeness of the community and quality of the teaching staff and students. My son was accepted into the community straight away and felt very at home. The teachers are non-threatening and enthusiastic and the students are mature, worldly and there to learn. Since we arrived there have been major upgrades of the facilities which are improving all the time. Sure things are sometimes less than perfect in the IT area but who cares, the place is run with humour, enthusiasm, a terrific sense of community and a wonderful global outlook which we find brilliant. The school is on the up and up. I can't recommend it enough.
Primary school is good, but the quality of secondary is very low in some subjects. Besides, the school is disorganized at all levels and unresponsive to parents concerns. I would not recommend the school past beyond primary.
Our children attended BSW for several years, and we loved it. Unfortunately, the school has been so poorly managed for the last couple of years that I'm glad we got out when we did. As an initial matter, all of our children's teachers were excellent. That said, I'm not impressed with the current head teacher (the 5th in just 3 years). As BSW is is a for-profit company, the head should at a minimum treat parents like paying customers. Instead, I think he sees us as a nuisance (and it doesn't appear he treats teaching staff much differently). Don't expect much if you raise a concern. Similarly, the head has not followed-through on many promised facility improvements. The focus seems to be on increasing profits. And now that BSW is owned by Nord Anglia Education (a Hong Kong-based company traded on the New York Stock Exchange) I would expect an even greater emphasis on profits and less on students and their families -- reading the investor prospectus was an eye-opening experience. I also fear BSW will lose many of its best teachers because of current management. In sum, DC has some exceptional private school options. Sadly, BSW is no longer one of them.
I had such high hopes coming to BSW. I really did. First things first, I do think most of the teachers were good, but the flip side was that some were very bad. I had a teacher who just assumed everyone had taken the "prerequisite" for her class (what is this university?) and literally used PowerPoints instead of actually standing up and TEACHING. Seriously? Also, I was a brand new student and even though I asked for help, I got none in that class. I had another teacher who would yell and ridicule a student if he or she didn't know the answer and who obviously had anger management issues. Secondly, at least in my year, I felt that there was a very negative attitude towards Americans and D.C. in general. I noticed students (and some faculty) were very condescending and would go out of their way to make fun of American citizens and culture. I understand that this is a British school, but is snobbery really necessary? How is that inclusive? And really is this not an INTERNATIONAL school? Lastly, the pretentious and entitled attitude by nearly everyone was excruciatingly distracting and disheartening. So I must ask is this worth the exorbitant fee that is tuition? Former Student
I used to think that our family would leave BSW with a heavy heart but instead it was with a sigh of relief. We were at the school for 7 years and experienced the primary, middle and high school sections of the school. Primary is best by far, the leadership is dedicated and motivated and baring a few notable exceptions the teachers are fantastic. The school gets progressively weaker, with the High School being the weakest 4 years. On top of the high cost of tuition we also had to employ tutors for subjects where the teachers were weak, not something that should be necessary when the largest class size was 12. The school has gone through a large number of changes including a change of ownership and 5 Head Teachers in the last 2/3 years. The leadership does not truly understand the needs of students who want to go to US universities and believe that it lack of facilities is acceptable, Don't expect action if you raise concerns or even answers to emails. This is a for profit school with a public school attitude, they need to start behaving like they are being paid to provide a service rather than treating parents like they are a nuisance and an inconvenience.