The top 10 schools in China, compiled by Spear’s magazine in association with Carfax Education
American International School of Guangzhou
Co-ed, Day ($23,200-$27,000)1,027 pupils, 4-18
Focus: Creativity and enquiry
Curriculums: PYP, US diploma, IBDP
Accessibility: Baiyun International; 45 mins
Originally an embassy school, AISG has grown into a top-tier, not-for-profit international school with pupils of more than 50 nationalities. It offers a curriculum aligned with US educational values and principles and blends it with the IB programme to deliver ‘dynamic, compassionate and connected learning’. After-school activities offer students a chance to pursue their passions.
Dulwich College, Beijing
Co-ed, Day $28,500-$44,000, 1,550 pupils, 2-18
Focus: Making a difference in the world
Curriculums: IGCSE, IBDP
Accessibility: Beijing Capital; 15 mins
This school is one of Dulwich’s ten-strong ‘commonwealth of schools’, taking inspiration from the London original. Benefits include links to illustrious organisations such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Vienna Boys’ Choir and Berklee College of Music in Boston. The school values academic ability, creativity and diversity and the results are outstanding.
International School of Beijing
Co-ed, Day ($29,200-$43,500) 1,700 pupils, 3-18
Focus: A forward-looking learning community
Curriculums: Blended, US
Accessibility: Beijing Capital; 20 mins
Established by five Englishspeaking embassies in 1980, the school became independent when it moved to a new site in Shunyi in 2002. Accredited by the CIS and NEASC, it offers a blended academic programme and a progressive style of learning. Academic results are high and great value is placed on the co-curricular programme, which includes athletics and arts.
International School of Tianjin
Co-ed, Day ($20,360-$36,040), 450 pupils, 3-18
Focus: Working and learning together
Curriculums: PYP, MYP, IBDP
Tianjin Binhai; 30 mins
Tianjin is an economic powerhouse, home to conglomerates such as Airbus, Samsung and LG. The school employs mainly US teachers to educate pupils from more than 30 countries who are attracted by the offer of the full IB programme and strong academic results. English is the teaching and ‘corridor’ language and pupils and parents alike say it is a very welcoming and friendly community.
Shanghai High School, International Division
Co-ed, Day $14,300-$15,700, 2,800 pupils, 6-18
Focus: Science & tech
Accessibility: Shanghai Pudong; 40 mins
Founded in 1865, this school added an international division in 1993. Pupils from more than 60 countries learn through a US-based curriculum that culminates in either IB, A-levels or AP’s. There is an Olympic-size pool and the debating team wins regional competitions – but the school’s main focus is maths and sciences. More than 40 labs are equipped for innovative research.
Shenzhen College of International Education
Co-ed Day( $32,590), 925 pupils, 14-18
Focus: Intellectual curiosity and creativity
Curriculums: IGCSE, A-level, AP
Accessibility: Baiyun International; 1 hr 40 mins
This highly academically selective school follows the UK curriculum and 72 per cent of their UK applicants secure places at G5 universities. Ivy Leagues and top local universities are also destinations. The curriculum is delivered in English, with Chinese a compulsory GCSE. A variety of clubs ensure that academic skills are productively deployed outside the classroom.
Tianjin International School
Co-ed, Day ($20,730-$37,760), 348 pupils, 3-18
Focus: Globally minded individuals
Accessibility: Tianjin Binhai: 20 mins
The second oldest international school in China, TIS has been educating expat families for more than 30 years. Its small size creates a family feel, and the diverse atmosphere provides plenty of opportunities for cultural enrichment. The US-based curriculum provides a good academic base, and pupils go on to study in the US, Korea, Hong Kong, Australia and the UK.
Wellington College International, Shanghai
Co-ed/Day; some boarding $34,500-$46,800/1,100 pupils/3-18
Focus: Developing well-rounded individuals
Accessibility: Shanghai Pudong; 35 mins
Wellington College (UK) has a family of international schools, with five in China and one in Thailand. Wellington Shanghai opened in 2014 and pledges ‘to develop the Wellington identity’. This is achieved through high academic standards and collaborative learning and exchange programmes between the schools. While English is the official language, Chinese is taught as a core subject.
Western Academy of Beijing
Co-ed, Day $30,400-$46,500, 1,400 pupils, 3-18
Focus: Making a difference
Curriculum’s: PYP, MYP. IBDP.
Beijing Capital; 15 mins
One of the Olympian model schools for the Beijing games in 2008, this IB school is accredited by CIS and NEASC. The extensive facilities (three TV studios, five theatres, 40 science labs) are set in buildings that fuse modern and traditional Chinese architecture. Top sporting facilities ensure that WAB teams flourish, IB results are good, and a German-language section now offers the Swiss curriculum.
Wycombe Abbey School, Changzhou
Co-ed, Day & Boarding, $15,500-$25,300, 840 pupils, 3-18
Focus: Determination, excellence & ambition
Accessibility: Wuxi Shuofang; 1 hr
Wycombe Abbey established this, its first international school, in 2016. Pupils take the Chinese curriculum and then work towards UK qualifications, which give them access to top universities. More than 90 per cent of senior pupils board, and most staff live on campus. The timetable reflects a British education, with a focus on learning beyond the classroom via sport, expeditions and the arts.
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