This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
British International School of Boston5
Posted April 03, 2015
- a parent
My son spent 5 years at the British School. He now attends a highly-ranked public high school. The other day he said, "I really miss the British School. My current school looks beautiful from the outside, and the AP courses seem impressive, but the learning is all disorganized and disjointed. Everyone crams for tests and then forgets the material instantly. But at the British School, we learned how everything connects into the big picture. I can still remember much of what I learned there." He frequently references things that he learned at the British School. It is obvious, from his grades in the AP classes, that BSB prepared him well to handle the challenging material. The BSB education really shows in everything that he does.
This school has really great people and teachers, but so does every other school in Boston. What makes this school different is how relaxed and small it is. For a high school, there's a lot of free time, assemblies, culture weeks, a lot of random "fun" things.The high school is very small (~20 people per grade), which is something that you should obviously consider before attending. Everyones nice, it's just a lot harder to make real connections from a pool of 20 people. Everyone gets to know their teachers really well, and you're stuck with the same ones for however many years you decide to stay, which can be either good or bad, depending what you make of it. Like at most schools, some teachers suck, but I've heard of students avoiding those teachers by switching classes. Your reputation matters a bit more here than at other schools because it's so small and everyone knows everyone. The grading is much more arbitrary than a typical high school, so being smart and ontop of things will get you far. The schools attempt at sports is nice. They don't hire coaches for sports, but they're genuinely fun!
BISB is a great school with a great faculty and a really good curriculum. The school is in a decent campus in Jamaica Plain, but it would benefit if more facilities are added such as larger music rooms or a bigger library. The rigour of the academic programmes at BISB is one of the leading in Boston, and most teachers are generally supportive in ensuring you can get the very best out of the curriculum. Having said that, there are some teachers who need to be a little less strict and also need to stop giving us so much homework! The school truly shines in its extracurricular activities and programmes. Although it is a small school community, it is very dynamic with a plethora of options to choose from, such as Model UN, Soccer, Basketball, Curling, Cheerleading, Duke of Edinburgh Award (D of E) and Science and Maths Olympiad. The school tries to give as many opportunities to pupils to participate in competitions and conferences throughout. The British-style international curriculum at BSB truly thrives because of the school's modern features. The use of technology for educational purposes is very popular in the school, which is engaging and beneficial. All in all, BISB is amazing
I am a parent with two children here at the BSB. We have been at this school for along time. I must say yes we lack sports and other extra's however we make it up with what these chidren are taught. The teachers here are the best the proof is when ill children fight to go to school. The two most important people in the world are my children and I trust the BSB with them. I am a working man and tuition is high. In life we must make choices for our childrens future this is why we tighten our belt. I love the school,staff and education and my children also do who as a parent can argue against that. Thankyou to all at BSB and to those who have gone before us.
I am a parent with a child who just finished Reception (equivalent of preschool). While I was a skeptic in the beginning, after completing our first year here, I have been massively impressed with the individualized learning that my child has received. Teachers have tailored their material to him, and thus have allowed my child to excel in areas of strength, and improve in areas of weakness. They track my child's progress very closely, along multiple dimensions. Even though they work outside the classroom, the administration and staff truly know my child personally -- it's an intimate school and my child is supported and recognized. The older students are also very warm with the younger children, and I am always surprised when they greet my child by name, which creates a nice sense of community. I've been able to raise concerns to the administration and they have been responsive, with real change and not just lip service. I'm extremely happy with my son's progress and I have high hopes that the school will continue to grow and thrive, especially with the administration's responsiveness to parental input. Fantastic school, involved parents, great teachers!
I have two children at the British School, a boy in Secondary and a girl in High School. We have attended top private schools and top public schools. However, my kids were not challenged until they came to this school. The school was recommended to me from a psychologist specializing in school placement for gifted kids. The teachers are excellent and both the teachers and students are from all over the world. That is important to me in a global economy. It prepares them for real life.
I have two children at the British School, one in High School and one in Middle School. The school is academically very strong, able to prepare students for the best schools in the city as well as for the IB program, possibly the most rigorous international high school degree. Teachers here are excellent - of a high caliber, fun and yet firm. Learning is personalized - with differentian built in across the curriculum. The atmosphere is wonderful students here are engaged in their learning and take pride in what they do. The high school sports teams are small, but they are growing and there is a huge variety of sports on offer. Teacher-run clubs run after school every day - a huge variety, making for a difficult choice.
I didn't realise how much my child did not learn at the British School until she left. The lower school is great, but the secondary program is lacking. Many students leave to attend more established, better programs, for the "high school" years. The community is very small at the upper end, leaving the extra curricular and sports programmes sorely lacking.
We joined the school at the beginning of the academic year following a visit in the Spring. Our daughters are in the middle and high school. We are very happy with the school in general. I have little exposure to the lower school so I can only comment meaningfully on the older years. We have found the teaching staff in particular to be of high calibre. They are without exception highly motivated and engaged in their commitment to pushing the students to the heights of their abilities. Our daughters settled in very quickly and are very happy school. They really like their teachers and are always keen to get their homework done. They often come home with tales of an interesting lesson, such as today my younger daughter spent a whole lesson as a given character which helped her think in detail about what made her character tick. They are also keen to be involved in extra curricular activities spending four evenings in sporting and other activities such as Model UN and Duke of Edinburgh awards. The school is relatively small but there is a real sense of community with the kids knowing others from years below and above them and showing an appreciation of diversity.
The IB diploma programme is widely accepted, by the most prestigious universities, as the single best programme designed to prepare students for life at university and beyond. It's so well rounded, and challenging, and goes beyond the traditional (and often shallow) American education. I couldn't be happier with the education my children are receiving at the British School of Boston!