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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
It has been said: "don't believe everything you read on the internet" After reading posts about BSW on this forum, it is especially true. There are many falsehoods being presented as fact and many grudges being played out in a public forum. I am a parent of a child at BSW. I have known nothing but kindness, professionalism, warmth and success for my child in the past 4 years. I receive weekly updates from my child's teacher so I can support him in his learning at home. Homework is fair & engaging. My son is challenged and supported through the network of teachers and subject specialists. The Head Teacher (Principal) is engaging and actively working to provide students with the highest quality education available. He regularly communicates with parents through meetings, parents association, monthly letters and casually during morning drop-off (this includes acknowledging students by their name). A very active & inclusive parents association enhances the school with a variety of events & opportunities for students, parents and teachers -and no dues. Worth a visit to talk to some parents and students. No school is perfect, you just need to find the right fit for your child.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We have two children at BSW and have been with the school for four years. The teachers and curriculum have consistently met and exceeded our expectations. The children are challenged and develop a love of learning from the beginning. We have seen this continue each and every year. Teachers are caring, dedicated, challenging, creative, and hard-working. The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) is one of the many aspects that help make BSW a unique and special school. The IPC is taught in the Primary School (Reception (PK) - Year 6). It is an engaging curriculum designed to foster rigorous learning, particularly focusing on on academic, personal and international learning. Through the IPC teachers are able to provide their students with innovative and exciting ways to learn, which I have seen first hand in our children. They truly do love learning and we can't imagine providing our children with a better education than at BSW!
Our daughter started attending BSW this year (elementary school) and we have been very happy with the experience so far. Her home room teacher is excellent, and her reading and math performance has improved dramatically. I believe that the academic standard is quite high compared to any private school in the area. Most importantly, our daughter is very happy. We have particularly appreciated the school's willingness to help students who enter the school at varying levels to catch up to their class mates through individualized attention. I did not get that impression from any of the other private schools we visited, most of which seemed more concerned with what the student would bring to their school, rather than what the school could do for the student. That said, the physical facilities are not really up to par (particularly in term of sports, play areas etc.) and the language program needs strengthening. But there are signs that this is being addressed - so we'll see. Our daughter has only been at the school for half a year, and it remains to be seen whether our experience will extend to other teachers, but so far, we have had an excellent experience.
I have several children at BSW. Quality of the school is best at the primary stage and then steadily deteriorates in secondary and student numbers drop making it a very small school at IB level. Teachers variable - some excellent, others far from it. Strengths: design and technology, maths and english. Weaknesses: sport, language program. School building very average - below DC public schools in terms of facilities. Governance structure is not responsive (for profit, based in the UK). Parent involvement correspondingly limited.
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