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GreatSchools Rating

British School of Washington

Private | PK-12 | 400 students

An authentic international education rich in the arts, languages, and technology
 
 

 
 

Living in Washington

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $750,500. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,620.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 3 ratings
2013:
Based on 7 ratings
2012:
Based on 12 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

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43 reviews of this school


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Posted February 14, 2014

We have been attending this school for 5 years now. from nursery to now 2nd grade. past few years there were a few wrinkle, however we now have a new headmaster. Mr Rosewell; he is Fantastic. He has transformed the school! We have significant improvement in Language, music, sport facility, and teaching quality. They do a great job utilizing the wooden area behind the school. The school instills a love of learning in all the kids which is priceless. There is a great international parent community.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 30, 2014

My 3 year old son started at BSW in Sept and has made a smooth and worry free transition into his school life. The welcome from staff in both his class and those of others has been extended to all the family and has made him feel right at home. Some concerns over his speech development have been dealt with sensitively and in a supportive manner. He has so many opportunites to talk about his learning with peers, adults and older students, backed up by informative weekly newsletters that have enabled us to follow up at home as well as with extended family members around the world. It is clear that the ethos of this school is about pastoral care working hand in hand with individual academic progress and this is exactly what i am looking for in a school environment. We look forward to our continuing relationship with the school as we progress on our son's learning journey.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 12, 2014

It is the best school my child has been to, we've been moving a lot and that means a lot of different schools. He tells me he hates being sick when it means missing school. The school's teachers are very good at encouraging kids to challenge themselves, especially Mr. Horton.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 31, 2013

Think again before you send your child to this school and he or she intends to return to the UK for studies. They do not offer the IGCSE options that even most state schools offer in the UK, teachers set work from websites and teh choice of languages is very poor considering it is an international school with kids from all over the world. This school has hardly eany pupils in the upper years and the teacher turn around is alarming. Look in last year's yearbook and you will see that most teachers are no longer there. It is a huge disappointment. It professes to care for individual needs but it truly doesnt. All it really knows how to do is sell a false image in exchange for exhorbitant fees. It is worrying to see that it is a school accountable to no educational authority, such as Ofsted, unlike most British Schools outside the UK.


Posted June 9, 2013

Our child has thoroughly enjoyed their time at BSW and loves going to school every day. The teachers are engaging, and set appropriate challenges. Based on the British curriculum, along with their normal studies of maths, literacy, PE, languages, every six weeks the children start a six week project based on the International Primary Curriculum; I have been thoroughly impressed as my now 10 year old has had to learn and explain the physics of rollercoasters and then design a functioning rollercoaster with a team of 3 other children, research the functionality of satellites and space travel, create their own mythology books using art, storytelling and science, study the US government and the constitution including performing mock elections with campaigning. The school is made up of 40% Americans and 60% International families. You will not find that type of mix in many private schools, let along the public school system.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 8, 2013

This school does not do enough to promote the really great things that are happening in the High School. Last year from a class of 26 students who sat their Cambridge IGCSEs one student got the highest grade in the WORLD for Drama, another got the highest marks in America for both Geography and Design Technology and 3 more students were given Cambridge Scholar Awards for having combined scores for 3 subjects in the Top Ten in America. Last Year the IB results were 10% above the global average. Academically this is a great school. The managing company acknowledge that mistakes have been made and we now have a fantastic new Head Teacher who is working incredibly hard. It takes a village to raise a child and this school and the community it fosters is a village capable to raising amazing students who go to do fantastic things. So there is not as much homework as some American parents would like, that is because the students are not given homework for the sake of being giving homework, if they complete tasks in class there is no need for them to bring work home. The Drama, Music, Art and Design departments are exceptional.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 30, 2013

As a new parent at NSW, I had high hopes but these were dashed almost in the first week when I saw parents haranguing the teachers about how poor the curriculum and homework was in early senior grades. The academic curriculum is very unambitious, and standards seem too low to make this a school to recommend. Homework is sporadic and more project oriented than academic. Overall, it seems to offer little value for the money.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 23, 2013

We really like this school. The teachers at the elementary school are very passionate/committed and easily approachable. The curriculum is British, and most teachers are from the UK, but the school has a truly international feel to it. The teachers take the time to really get to know their students. Our child in pre-K can t wait to go to school each day. She and her classmates go on walks in the woods every week (rain or shine) and have taken numerous interesting/fun field trips to strengthen their learning/understanding. The school has gone through some management changes, but all seems steady now. Facilities are somewhat limited (e.g. sports fields/gym), but the school is working on expanding these.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 20, 2013

School is unsatisfactory on a number of levels, not the least is the chaotic administration, poor organization, and lack of communication, both internaly and to the parents. The company that runs the school has been unimpressive, hiring a headmaster last year then firing him within about 6 weeks. Not a move that built confidence among parents.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 24, 2013

Outstanding nursery program. We have been thoroughly impressed with the education and socialization that our twins have received at BSW. My kids have very different personalities and strengths, and I can see that each of them are being nurtured based on their individual traits. The curriculum is play-based but with impressive amount of academics (literacy & mathematics) disguised as play. But I am most grateful for the social- and emotional-skills emphasis. The teachers foster empathy, cooperation, and age-appropriate independence. There are concerns about the facilities - small indoor play space, no proper gym, & lack of older-kid-appropriate outdoor play space - but the corporation that owns BSW now seem committed to developing unused space (about two floors worth) in the building. Personally though, I'm happy with the outdoor and indoor play available for the primary grades. The administration has quickly responded to the few questions or concerns that we've raised. Both administrators and teachers are always available in person or via email to chat, address concerns, or give (solicited) advice. BSW is a great private school and a great value. We're returning next year.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 12, 2012

A super professional independent private school in the heart of DC serving Nursery to High School Students. What makes this school standout is its British high quality curriculum and diverse student population. Class sizes are small and the teaching first class.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 5, 2012

My daughter is in the secondary program and has been there for 2 years, she loves the studies, the teachers and the diversity of the students. It is a perfect school for girls they are taught to be very strong thinkers and individuals. As an American family we are most welcome andappreciate the method of teaching She is inquisitive, independent thinking and well versed in all subjects We did a search ogf other private schools in the area and found that British not only offers the IB program, it possesses the training for critical thinking that we all need so much to succeed in the world!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 5, 2012

My son has been at BSW for the past 5 years and I could not be happier with the school. The teachers are excellent and provide lots of individualized attention and mentoring. The international primary curriculum provides a stimulating and effective course of study that induces students to think deeply about a wide variety of important social, economic, political and cultural topics and promotes intellectual engagement that enhances their acquisition of learning and life skills. The BSW community is international, socially engaged, courteous and fun to be a part of. The school has been perfect for my son and for my family. I would recommend BSW to any parents in the Washington DC area who are looking for a socially diverse, intellectually challenging, deeply caring and friendly school environment for their children.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 30, 2012

My children attend the high school and are very happy there. We are delighted with the excellent grades in both the IGCSE and IB exams that they have achieved. The learning styles that they are encouraged to adopt have helped with the transition to university. (Most students go to very good universities after finishing the IB Diploma.) There is always a positive learning environment and atmosphere in the school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 21, 2012

I have two boys who have attended BSW for the past three years at Primary level. I can honestly say that it has been a truly joyful, positive and productive experience for them. The teachers instill a love of learning in the children right from the outset which allows them to become inquisitive, thoughtful and independent learners. Class sizes are small, resulting in more individual attention from the dedicated teachers and assistants. The International Primary Curriculum in my opinion has been a huge success. It allows for differentiation and helps the children understand their place within a diverse, international community. The school continues to act upon feedback from parents and students, and together with a very strong Parents Association I am in no doubt BSW will continue to go from strength to strength. Of course, as some of the reviews here show, the school is not a best fit for everyone (as is the case for all schools). I hope in future personal grievances can be redirected to the school itself and space is left for those with constructive criticisms.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 13, 2012

I went here for four and half years before finally transfering to a different school. In short, my experience was unpleasant. I was bullied by my classmates (and certain members of staff) frequently. Only a small handful of the teachers were actually very good, but the rest were atrocious. (Like showing videos of cats instead of preparing us for our IGCSE exams.) Coming from a former student, don't send your child here. The school is too cliquey to make true friends and most the teachers can tell you more about their lives instead of their subject.


Posted June 13, 2012

We sent our older daughter to BSW for one year and took her out. The classes were large (32+) and, although the course material was well-taught, at the end of the year, the etacher, who went back to the UK, could not tell me anything about my daughter, good or bad. Also, bullying was tolerated, and seemed a part of the culture of the school. I often had to beg my child to go to class, and she is not especially shy or withdrawn. Many of the parents were nice, but there was a definate in and out crowd. The school administartion was aloof. After a year, we send our daughter to a small Catholic school in Palisades, where she has thrived. Before sending your child to BSW, understand that it is for profit and therefore will tolerate all manner of bad behavior to keep enrollment up.


Posted May 15, 2012

Our son has been enrolled at the school for two years. Upon enrollment we were told by the school that we had to pull him from Kumon tutoring because this program was antithetical to the BSW curriculum. After speaking with another dissatisfied parent, we had our child independently evaluated this year, & like her child, he was far below grade level & couldn't test into any private school in the area. To add insult to injury, he has been bullied for the past 2 years, & when we talked to administration about this, providing names & evidence, (the scar on his forehead from being pushed), the school blamed him for the abuse. I was incensed and 100% agree with the other poor reviews. I also attended British schools in Africa & I believed that the curriculum was comparable. We just discovered that BSW uses a product created by the corporation which owns the school & it isn't even accredited. Now, we have re-enrolled in Kumon, but kids in his grade who stayed in Kumon are doing 6th & 7th grade work but my son has to play catch-up. BSW provides no homework, no tests, unmotivated teachers, too much money & no scholarships. DO NOT SEND your child here unless you are a diplomat passing thru.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 14, 2012

Our children have been in the primary school for the last two years and the greatest compliment that I can pay BSW is that they look forward to going to school every day. The primary school teachers are enthusiastic and dedicated and the small class sizes this year have enabled them to focus on the needs of each of our children. I have been impressed by my children's development in literacy and their reading skills in particular. The language programme does need improvement and this is being addressed.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 14, 2012

Our two children are thriving in the BSW Primary School. The teachers are not only motivated, but motivating. The literacy programme is fantastic - both for reading and writing. The younger children go out for weekly Walks in the Woods, connecting with nature and becoming Junior Rangers. There is a strong focus on presentational skills, through homework which involves individual talks to the class, and annual assembly performances. The primary school needs more structured focus on math, which we are told is happening, and leadership has been improving. We are confident that BSW is providing the best start possible for the education of our children.
—Submitted by a parent


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Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

Unfortunately, this school doesn't have sufficient data to generate an academic rating.

College readiness and student pathways

Percentage of students going to 4-year college 100% (2012)
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
College counselor(s)
Computer specialist(s)
ELL/ESL Coordinator
Gifted specialist(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Reading specialist(s)
School psychologist
School social worker/counselors(s)
Speech and language therapist(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Chinese (Mandarin)
French
German
Italian
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Mathematics
  • Science
Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Industrial shop
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Gardening
  • Math club
  • Science club

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Visual arts
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Orchestra
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Technical design and production
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Art club
  • Drama club
  • Origami club
  • Woodshop
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Foreign languages
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular ESL/ELL needs
Staff resources available to students
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish
Clubs
  • Foreign language and culture club

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
Clubs
  • Cooking club
  • Gardening

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Clubs
  • Debate
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:30am
School end time
  • 3:30pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • David Rowsell
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • ECIS
  • IBO
  • NIPSA
Fax number
  • (202) 829-6522

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • College prep
  • Core knowledge
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Independent Study
  • Individually guided instruction
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • Internships
  • Project-based
  • STEM
  • Standards-based
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Foreign languages
  • Global
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Science
  • Service learning
  • Visual arts
  • Writing
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular ESL/ELL needs

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • School psychologist
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Career/college counseling
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
School-run shuttle from nearby metro and bus stops
  • Yes.
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • College/career center
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Industrial shop
  • Internet access
  • Learning lab
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Gymnastics
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Gymnastics
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Orchestra
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Technical design and production
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Art club
  • Community service
  • Cooking club
  • Debate
  • Drama club
  • Foreign language and culture club
  • Gardening
  • Homework help/study buddy club
  • Math club
  • Model UN
  • Origami club
  • Science club
  • Woodshop
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Photos

School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School colors
  • Navy and Red
School mascot
  • Lion
More from this school
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/BSW_School
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2013-2014 school year
$12000 - $25000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
No.
Application fee
Yes. $150.
No fee waivers available

Planning ahead

College preparation / awareness offered
College prep programs/courses during the year
College presentations or information sessions
SAT/ACT prep classes
Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Students' post-graduation plans in 2012
4 year college - 100%
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

2001 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20007
Website: Click here
Phone: (202) 829-3700

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