Attending a prospective school’s Open House is one of the best ways to see the school facilities, the atmosphere, meet the teachers, and observe students in action whether in class or during break. Before we dive into our April roundup, let’s review how to get the best out of your school visits!
- Read our 2016-2017 School Choice Guide for an overview of the school, check out the school’s website, and see what other parents have said about the school.
- Prepare individualized questions for each school in addition to general questions like the ones we’ve provided.
- Does this school have a particular educational philosophy or mission?
- Does this school have a specific focus or specialty that sets it apart from the rest?
- Which curriculum does the school follow?
- Which country’s standard’s does it adhere to?
- What is their solution to Beijing’s air pollution? What is their policy for your child’s grade?
- What is their solution to Beijing’s water pollution?
- What is the average class size? What percentage of the class are native speakers?
- How does the school teach 21st century skills?
- How does the school incorporate the environment in its lessons?
- How does the school maintain or grow your child’s culture?
- What is this school’s approach to student discipline and safety?
- How much homework do students have? What is the school’s philosophy/approach to homework?
- What kind of library resources are available to students?
- How is technology used to support teaching and learning at this school?
- How do the arts fit into the curriculum? Is there a school choir, band or orchestra? A drama program? Art classes?
- What extracurricular opportunities (sports, clubs, community service, competitions) are available for students?
- Is bullying a problem at the school? Does the school have an anti-bullying policy?
- Does the school have a program for gifted students?
- What languages are offered, and to what extent?
- How does this school support students who have academic, social, or emotional difficulties?
- What strategies are used to teach students who are not fluent in English (ESL)?
- Does the school offer tutoring services to struggling students?
- What professional development opportunities do teachers have? In what ways do teachers collaborate?
- Does the school offer Physical Education (PE) classes? How often are they held?
- How much outdoor time do children get each day?
- What are some of the school’s greatest accomplishments? What are some of the biggest challenges this school faces?
- Are the school facilities well maintained? Is the building in good shape?
- Do classrooms look cheerful? Is student work displayed?
- Do teachers seem enthusiastic and knowledgeable, asking stimulating questions to keep students engaged?
- Can the school show the teaching curriculum and associated teaching materials (e.g. textbooks)?
- Does the principal seem confident and interested in interacting with students, teachers and parents?
- How do students behave as they move from class to class or play outside? Are they orderly? Cheerful and playful?
- Is there an active Parent Teacher Association (PTA)? What other types of parent involvement take place at this school?
- Can the school provide parent references for you to contact?
Attend (April Open House Roundup)
SIBS Open House, Apr 6 & 13 & 20 & 27 Springboard Bilingual International School offers classes from K1 through Grade 12, providing positive learning curricula to develop learners for the 21st century. At their Open House, parents and families can learn about their curriculum and see what students are doing in class, view the classroom environment and tour the facilities, and meet the principal who will be giving a presentation on the importance of bilingual education. 9.30-11:30am. SIBS (8049 0307)
BSB Shunyi Campus Open House, Apr 7
Take a tour of British School of Beijing Shunyi’s Primary, German Primary, and Secondary classrooms to see a classroom teaching and learning taking place. Also includes a meet and greet with the faculty, a visit to check out the new Early Years swimming pool, new Dining Hall, new amphitheater, new Secondary sandwich snack bar, sports dome, and other facilities. 8.30-11am. BSB Shunyi (8047 3558)
Daystar Academy Open House, Apr 7 & 21
Bilingual education from Toddler to Middle School affiliated with Ivy Schools. As a candidate IB school, Daystar Academy provides a 50/50 bilingual education in a child centered environment, character education program, and organic lunches/snacks, and has a strict indoor air quality policy. 9.30-11.30am. Daystar Academy (6433-7366)
Etonkids: Easter Celebration/Open House, Apr 9
Etonkids Educational Group currently operates 45+ bilingual, Montessori kindergartens throughout China as well as a K-12 International School, the Beijing Collegiate Academy (BCA). It offers international-standard early education programs in International (English only) and Bilingual (English & Chinese) classrooms. 9.30am-12pm. Etonkids Kindergarten (818 9098).
BCA Open Day, Apr 12 & 26
Beijing Collegiate Academy is a international bilingual school affiliated to Etonkids Educational Group, and will have a series of open days during spring for parents interested in international bilingual education for children from preschool to grade 6. Meet with the principal and teachers, and understand the basis of BCA’s bilingual curriculum. 10-12pm. Beijing Collegiate Academy (5681 2555).
HoK Open House, Apr 19 (Chaoyang), Apr 21 (Shunyi) House of Knowledge International School and Kindergarten will be hosting “Open Houses” at each campus this month. If you have questions, such as, “What does a language immersion classroom look like? How does the HoK program engage students? What can my child gain from an education at HoK?” The best way to obtain answers is to visit in person and ask the faculty yourself! RSVP required. 9:30-11am. House of Knowledge (650 7747)
DCB Open House/Meet the Headmaster, Apr 21
Dulwich College Beijing’s Headmaster, Mr David Mansfield will be speaking on ‘DCB Past, Present, and Future– how we have come to be what we are and where we are headed’. During the talk, Mr Mansfield will be covering the development of Dulwich College Beijing, its links to Dulwich College in London, the school’s values and philosophy and the future plans. RSVP required. 10.30am-12.30pm. Dulwich College Beijing (6454 9000)
Beijing No. 55 Open Day, Apr 21 Beijing No. 55 IB World School will be hosting an admission Open Day, offering campus tours, course introduction, and a question and answer session. RSVP required. 9:30-11:00am. Beijing No. 55 IB World School (6416 9531)
If there are any specific schools you’d like to visit, but are not hosting open houses this week, feel free to contact them to schedule a tour.