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.
As with all schools there's a mixed bag at the school. Some are better than others but the good ones are really good. Teachers seem to go above and beyond. There is always a good dose of humour which makes the teachers non-threatening and approachable. My son has some of his all time favourite teachers at the school.
My son was in middle school last year and there was not too much homework. He managed to get it done fairly easily and never complained. This year he is working towards his IGCSEs and they homework has gently ramped up which is good I think. It's quite refreshing the way he's doing it each night without a fuss. I think it's because there isn't too much pressure and the school is nurturing.
The school has a policy of children challenging themselves to beat their own personal best rather than competing against each other. This means students cannot be unfairly treated. Students are happy and included so there isn't a need to compete. I think all schools foster honesty and integrity so it's no different to anywhere else.
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.