Beijing BISS International School
Parents and Students
2010 – 2011
No.17, Area 4, An Zhen Xi Li
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029
Tel: (+8610) 64433151
Fax: (+8610) 64433156
Welcome Message from the Principal
In 2009-2010, Beijing BISS International School celebrated its 15th Anniversary of
operating a highly effective and successful International school in Beijing. During
our first decade and a half we have introduced all three IB programmes and have been
repeatedly accredited by a number of international bodies. Our recent accreditation
success in 2008 allowed us to reflect on our progress and look towards continued
improvement in all areas of the school. The most noticeable change this school year
has been the extensive remodeling of many parts of our campus with further work
planned for each summer. Our teaching staff embody the IB Learner Profile of
Reflective through their continual improvement of our curriculum, aimed to provide
the best teaching practices available based on the latest professional research of
student learning styles in the 21st century.
However, these excellent teachers do not work in a vacuum. As our name suggests
we are an international school, and BISS is rightly proud of its achievements in being
the first school in Beijing to offer all three IB programmes (PYP, MYP and DP). We
are proud of our academic record. As an IB World School we offer our students a
continuous, coherent, international experience for the duration of their school lives.
We are also committed to inculcating in our students the attributes espoused by the IB
Learner Profile and this desire to provide our students with the appropriate life skills.
This is reflected in our School Mission Statement that declares that our aim is to
„educate and empower our students to attain personal excellence and positively
impact the world‟.
I look forward to getting to know you all more this academic year. I hope this
handbook is of use to you and will facilitate understanding between home and school.
Your comments are both welcome and needed as we work together to ensure the
continued success of our school.
Mr Lennox Meldrum
Secondary School Principal
SECTION A : IMPORTANT INFORMATION PAGE
School Philosophy and Strategic Plan 3
IB Learner Profile 4
School and Community 5
University/College Acceptances 6
Contact Details 9
SECTION B: THE ACADEMIC PROGRAMME
Curriculum Overview 11
Assessment Beliefs of Our Learning Environment 12
Methods of Assessment 12
Homework Policy 13
Grade 6-12 Assessment Descriptors 14
Reporting Student Progress 15
Attendance Policy 16
SECTION C: CODE OF CONDUCT
Rights and Responsibilities 17
Student Discipline 18
Dress Code for School/Classroom 20
Computer Use at BISS 21
Student Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Abuse Policy 21
Drug Testing Policy 22
Academic Honesty 23
SECTION D: SUPPORT SERVICES
The Secondary School Homeroom Programme 24
Individual Counselling 24
Optimal Learning Centre (OLC) 24
SECTION E: EXTRA-CURRICULAR PROGRAMME
After School Activities (ASAs) 27
ASAs - student departure from school 27
SECTION F: GENERAL INFORMATION
Text Books 28
Laptop Recharging Stations 28
Lunch/Canteen Services 28
House System 28
Student Council 28
Books and Supplies 29
Calculators for Mathematics 29
PE Clothing 29
Lost and Found 29
Being Away From Beijing 30
Visitors to the School 30
Guardianship Policy 30
Promotion Policy 31
Graduation Requirements 32
Open Campus Policy 32
SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY AND STRATEGIC PLAN
We believe in embracing diversity and treating everyone with dignity and respect.
We believe in living a balanced life.
We believe that people thrive in a caring, safe, healthy and stimulating environment.
We believe in acting with integrity, taking responsibility, and learning from our actions.
We believe in working for a better future by helping others and conserving our planet‟s resources.
We believe in striving for excellence.
BISS is an IB World School serving the international community, committed to the ideals
of the International Baccalaureate. Our mission is to educate and empower our students
to attain personal excellence and positively impact the world.
1. Each student will acquire and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, attitudes and concepts necessary
for their success in life.
2. Each student will demonstrate the competence and confidence to identify and choose their own
course of action.
3. Each student will achieve their own goals and the outcomes of the IB programmes to their
4. Each student will be an active, responsible participant in their various communities.
1. We will design and implement a scope and sequence for our curriculum that emphasises
academic rigour, active learning, and personal excellence.
2. We will ensure that our school has the financial capability to achieve its mission and objectives.
3. We will expand our technology and enhance its use school-wide.
4. We will employ and support enthusiastic, quality staff who are able to actively work together
towards maximising student achievement and the betterment of the school.
5. We will develop open communication and decision making processes that will involve all
6. We will ensure that our class sizes are appropriate to optimise student learning.
7. We will improve our facilities and resources to provide a welcoming, safe, and clean environment
that is conducive to the needs of the BISS community
IB Learner Profile
The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing
their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and
more peaceful world.
IB learners strive to be:
Inquirers – They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to
conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy
learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
Knowledgeable – They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global
significance. In doing so, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across
a broad and balanced range of disciplines.
Thinkers – They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to
recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
Communicators – They understand and express ideas and information confidently and
creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They
work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
Principled – They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and
respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility
for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
Open-minded – They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories,
and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities.
They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to
grow from the experience.
Caring – They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of
others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to
the lives of others and to the environment.
Risk-takers – They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and
forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies.
They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.
Balanced – They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance
to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.
Reflective – They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They
are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their
learning and personal development.
Beijing BISS International School
Address: No 17, Area 4, An Zhen Xi Li CEEB No: 694202
Chaoyang District Website: www.biss.com.cn
Beijing 100029 Phone: (8610) 6443 3151/2/3
P.R. China Fax: (8610) 6443 3156
Head of School: Dr Ettie Zilber Secondary School Principal: Mr Lennox Meldrum
SCHOOL and COMMUNITY
Beijing BISS International School is an independent, co-educational day school, which offers an
English language curriculum for Kindergarten to Grade 12. BISS is a proprietary school founded in
1994 by International School Singapore. It has grown rapidly and now has over 320 students from 40
countries. BISS serves students from the international community of business people, educators and
diplomats residing in the greater Beijing area.
BISS is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), the Western Association of Schools
and Colleges (WASC), and by the National Centre for Curriculum and Text Book (China), (NCCT).
BISS is also registered by the China Education Bureau. The school is a member of the East Asian
Regional Council of Overseas Schools (EARCOS) and an associate member of the Council of
International Schools. The International Baccalaureate (IB) recognises BISS as an IB World School
offering the IB curriculum from Grades 1 through to Grade 12 through all three IB programmes.
BISS has a Head of School, Secondary and Elementary School Principals, and IB Programme
Coordinators for the PYP, MYP, and DP. The teaching staff comes from a variety of countries but
predominantly from the USA, Canada, and Australia. In addition Chinese national staff teach Chinese
language and there are a number of Chinese national classroom assistants. All teachers are licensed in
their home countries, many hold advanced degrees and most are experienced in international
education. The Optimal Learning Center (OLC) and English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
Departments support students‟ academic pursuits.
ACTIVITIES and SERVICES
The school facilitates students‟ participation in events with other international school students in
Beijing, elsewhere in China, and overseas. BISS is a founding member of the Association of Chinese
and Mongolian International Schools (ACAMIS) and students participate in ACAMIS events and
sports tournaments. BISS strongly encourages participation of all students in its After School
Activities (ASA) programme, which includes cultural experiences, creative activities, service-based
groups and sports. All students are required to take part in the Activity Week Programme (in and
around Beijing or to other regions of China). MYP students are required to participate in one
approved Community and Service (C&S) activity per quarter that they reflect upon in a journal. C&S
aims to develop a sense of community and positive citizenship leading to an intrinsic desire to serve
various groups found within a community. Often participation in the school‟s ASAs will meet this
requirement. Students in Grades 9-12 are also encouraged to participate in C&S organised by
community groups outside school. Grade 11 & 12 students complete two years of Creativity, Action,
and Service activities as part of their graduation requirements.
SOUTH AFRICA Lawrence University (WI)
Roger Williams University (RI)
Bond University National University of Lebanon Valley College (PA)
Griffith University Singapore Loyola University – Chicago (IL)
Monash University Hope College (MI)
Queensland University of Michigan State University (MI)
Technology Ohio University (OH)
University of Cape Town
RMIT Parsons New School of Design
University of Melbourne (NY)
University of Sydney SPAIN Pennsylvania State University
University of New South Wales LaSalle University – Barcelona (PA)
University of Queensland St. Louis University – Madrid Purdue University (IN)
University of Western Australia Roger Williams University (RI)
UNITED KINGDOM San Francisco Academy of Fine
Canterbury Christ Church Arts (CA)
Vesalius College Santa Barbara College (CA)
Central St. Martin‟s College (Art Savannah College of Art Design
University of British Columbia Seattle University (WA)
Liverpool Hope University
University of Toronto Stanford University (CA)
University of Victoria State University of New York-
University of Alberta Binghamton (NY)
Oxford Brooks University
State University of New
CHINA Stony Brook (NY)
Beijing Culture and Language Syracuse University (NY)
St. Mary‟s University
University University of Alabama
Beijing University University of California -
University of Bristol
BTIC Raffles Fashion Institute Berkeley (CA)
University of East England
Hong Kong University of University of California – Los
University Of Edinburgh
Science & Technology Angeles (CA)
University of London -
Beijing University of Business University of California -
and Economics Santa Cruz
University of London - Royal
University of Chicago (IL)
University of Illinois -
FINLAND Warwick University
Polytechnic of Turku Lancaster University
University of Michigan (MI)
University of Miami (FL)
NETHERLANDS University of Minnesota -
Erasmus University UNITED STATES
Twin Cities (MN)
University of North Carolina –
ITALY Washington, D.C.
University di Roma Berkeley College of Music (MA)
University of San Francisco (CA)
University of La Sapienz Boston University (MA) University of Southern
Carleton College (MN)
JAPAN City University of New York
University of Tampa (FL)
Sophia University (NY)
University of Tulsa (OK)
University of Arts and Sciences Columbia University-Barnard University of Wisconsin-
Weseda University College (NY) Madison (WI)
Creighton University (NE) Vanderbilt University (TN)
KOREA Drexel University (PA) Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Chung An University Earlham College (IN) and State University (VA)
Dankook University Emmanuel College (MA) Wheaton College (MA)
EWHA Womans University Franklin College (Switzerland) Willamette College (OR)
Hanyang University George Washington
Hong Ik University University, Washington D. C.
Seoul National University Gilford College (NC)
Sungkyunkwan University Hawaii University (HI)
Yonsei University Illinois Wesleyan University (IL)
Johns Hopkins University (MD)
Kalamazoo College (MI)
At Beijing BISS International School, we value our parents highly. Their input and support help
make our school a special place in the lives of their children. We encourage them to communicate
with us and to become involved in our school. Parents are always welcome at the school. Anytime
you have a question or concern, come and see us. Together we can create the best possible situation
for all involved
Every week the school publication, BROADCAST, is available upon our website. This publication
helps keep parents informed of all the BISS school and community activities. Often important
information is communicated through Broadcast so all parents are strongly encouraged to peruse each
The BISS Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) is also an integral part of our community. The PTA
meets once a month and all parents and friends of BISS are invited to attend. Your contributions are
always welcomed and appreciated. Check the latest BISS calendar for PTA meeting dates.
Communication with the school is crucial for your son/daughter. Making sure that we do it well is
important and every effort is made to make sure that you are informed of what is going on.
A crucial part of this process is having up to date information regarding telephone and email.
Parents change locations, business, internet service providers and telephone numbers and we
do not always hear about it immediately. You cannot assume that your child will tell us.
Therefore, we ask that whenever there is change that we are told immediately. Thank you.
Email is often the best way to make contact with staff at BISS as teaching schedules mean that
teachers are often unable to take phone calls. Additional ways to communicate include:
Often the best and most effective means of communication is talking. Doing so face to face is not
always easy but usually resolves issues more effectively. Parents are encouraged to meet contact the
child‟s teachers at any time to discuss their child‟s performance. This can be done by contacting the
teacher directly or by making arrangements through the Academic Office. The Principal and
Counsellor are also available to talk over any issue related to your child and the school. They can be
contacted through the Academic Office.
As part of the school‟s eLearning program students and parents can assess classroom activities online
through a portal called Studywiz. Students can interact through this medium by accessing and
responding to information, submission of projects, participation in discussion forums, etc. Parents can
also use this medium to communicate with their child‟s teachers. Our students are increasingly using
Studywiz to electronically record their daily homework and teachers place important notices and
assessment deadlines on the calendar so we strongly encourage your regular monitoring of this
website. This year the school will be using the parent email accounts available in Studywiz to
send out important school information so if you are not yet using this portal then we strongly
encourage you to contact our eLearning Coordinator, Mrs Julie Lindsay, to find out how you
can activate your account.
Teachers are encouraged to get in touch with parents on any important issue that involves their child.
Often this will be through the homeroom teacher who also monitors your child‟s well-being and
performance. The Administrative Officers in the Academic Office will take a message if you cannot
contact the teacher directly.
Parent / Teacher Conferences
There are several formal opportunities held during the year for parents to discuss and view evidence
of their child‟s performance. Please refer to the school calendar and web site for dates.
Parent/Teacher conferences are held after each Quarter‟s reports have been sent and are seen as a
valuable opportunity to discuss their child‟s performance with the teachers.
In the Secondary School, Student Led Conferences are held in Quarter 3 (April) with students sharing
a portfolio of work samples from their subjects. This is also a valuable opportunity for parents to view
their child‟s work and discuss their performance with their child.
Parents are strongly encouraged to attend these opportunities to discuss their child‟s performance. If
you cannot attend then feel free to contact the school or the teachers to see them at a mutually
Meet the Teacher Evening
At the beginning of each school year we have a Meet the Teacher Night. During the evening parents
get a chance to meet their son/daughter‟s teachers. They will talk about the curriculum, their
expectations, communication avenues, and about the various activities that will happen throughout
We encourage all parents to attend this evening. If you cannot attend then feel free to contact the
school or the teachers to see them at a mutually convenient time.
The school‟s website has a wealth of information including the curriculum, contact details, events,
calendars and so on. It is worth visiting the site regularly to keep up with what is happening in the
school and therefore affecting your child.
Ms Makiko Koike is our Japanese teacher. Her email address is listed in the staff section and if
parents feel more comfortable communicating in Japanese, they are invited to email Ms Koike with
Ms Angela Ku is our Korean teacher. Her email address is listed in the staff section and if parents feel
more comfortable communicating in Korean, they are invited to email Ms Ku with their queries.
There are many teachers of Chinese in the school who can and will assist parents in communicating
with the school. For the Secondary School, parents should talk to Academic Office who can assist in
finding a teacher or assist directly.
SECONDARY SCHOOL CONTACT DETAILS
DEPARTMENT CONTACT NAME EMAIL TELEPHONE
Board Deputy CEO Mun-E Chan firstname.lastname@example.org Ext. 209
Head of School Dr Ettie Zilber email@example.com Ext. 208
Secondary School Principal Lennox Meldrum firstname.lastname@example.org Ext. 279
Elementary School Principal Wayne Demnar email@example.com Ext 223
MYP Coordinator Ross Brown firstname.lastname@example.org Ext. 278
School Receptionist Rebecca Wang email@example.com 6443 3151/2/3
SS Academic Officer Florence Mei firstname.lastname@example.org Ext. 263
Business Administration Manager Henry Wong email@example.com Ext. 256
Admissions Officer Joyce Chia firstname.lastname@example.org Ext. 216/215/253
Counsellor Karen Shrimpton email@example.com Ext. 237
eLearning Coordinator Julie Lindsay firstname.lastname@example.org Ext. 251
TEACHING AREA TEACHER E-MAIL COUNTRY
Athletics Director/CAS Coordinator Damian Johnson email@example.com Australia
Biology/Science Stan Covington firstname.lastname@example.org USA
Chemistry/Science/Mathematics Mark Saunders email@example.com United Kingdom
Chinese Studies Coordinator Wang Yan firstname.lastname@example.org PR China
Chinese Studies Pamela Yang email@example.com PR China
Chinese Studies David Wang firstname.lastname@example.org PR China
Computer Technology Ben Cooperman email@example.com Canada
Design Technology/TOK Rob Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org Australia
Economics/Business & Management Daiju Vithayathil email@example.com India
English Catherine Liang firstname.lastname@example.org New Zealand
English Doris Cowley email@example.com Canada
English Ross Brown firstname.lastname@example.org Australia
ESOL Alexis Kossiakoff email@example.com USA
ESOL/English B (DP) Christine Vithayathil firstname.lastname@example.org Austria
ESOL Filipa Covington email@example.com Portugal
French (part-time) Marie Paule Hutin firstname.lastname@example.org France
History/Humanities/TOK Dr Mary Montgomery email@example.com USA
Humanities//House Coordinator Henry DeGreef firstname.lastname@example.org USA
Japanese Makiko Koike email@example.com Japan
Korean Angela Ku firstname.lastname@example.org Korea
Mathematics Tracy Lu email@example.com Australia
Mathematics/Activities Coordinator Iain Fitz-Gerald firstname.lastname@example.org Australia
Music Gerard Dutton email@example.com Australia
Optimum Learning Centre (OLC) Gail Hall firstname.lastname@example.org New Zealand
Physical Education Mindi Dryer email@example.com USA
Physics/Science/Mathematics Andy Elmers firstname.lastname@example.org NZ
Records Officer Angel Li email@example.com PR China
Science Jenna Barnes firstname.lastname@example.org USA
Science Lab Technician Shujuan Qu email@example.com PR China
Spanish Cheryl Moen firstname.lastname@example.org USA
Secondary School TA Lynn Long email@example.com PR China
Teacher Librarian Ana Cob firstname.lastname@example.org Spain
Theatre Cath Rankin email@example.com Australia
Visual Arts Gillian Mercer firstname.lastname@example.org Australia
CALENDAR FOR 2010-2011 SCHOOL YEAR
Our calendar has major dates set during the previous school year, however at times even events we
believe are “locked in stone” can be forced to move due to circumstances beyond our control. In
addition, many additional events come up during the school year that we wish all members of the
BISS community to be aware of our participation. Hence we strongly encourage all BISS community
members to constantly check our Google calendar, conveniently located on our school website at
www.biss.com.cn and also on the home screen of our Online Learning Portal, Studywiz.
Major Planned Events
August 13: New Student Orientation
August 16: First Day of School
August 26: Meet The Teachers Evening
September 13-16: SS Activity Week
September 27-30: ES Activity Week
October 1-10: National Day Holiday
November 1-2: School Closed (Teacher Professional Development days)
December 17: Half Day
December 18-January 9: Winter Holiday
January 29-February 6: Spring Festival Holiday
February 24-28: 21st Century Learning Conference at BISS
April 2-10: Spring Break Holiday
May 2: May Day Holiday
May 3-24: IBDP Exams
May 21: International Day Spring Festival
May 27: Grade 12 Graduation
June 17: Final day (half-day)
The curriculum at BISS reflects our philosophy that the student is at the centre of the learning
process. Therefore we strive to educate and develop the whole student‟s individual, intellectual,
physical, emotional and creative identity. Around this philosophy we have developed a curriculum
that will grow with the school and its students. For further details of the curriculum, please refer to
the relevant course guides and our website – www.biss.com.cn.
The Secondary School curriculum encourages student exploration, discovery and experimentation in
a pleasant academic environment. Secondary School students follow a prescribed curriculum
consisting of the core subjects of the Arts (Visual Arts, Music, Theatre Arts), Experimental Sciences
(Biology, Chemistry, Physics), Mathematic, Technology (Computer and Design), Languages
(Chinese, English, Spanish, French, Korean, Japanese), Physical Education, and Humanities
(Combined Humanities, History, Economics, Business and Management).
The focus of the Secondary School curriculum is on experiences and lessons that develop students‟
writing skills, verbal fluency, comprehension, computational skills, analytical abilities and other skills
needed to effectively meet a variety of challenges. The curriculum brings together intellectual,
creative, social and emotional considerations, guiding the students towards problem-solving and
decision-making skills necessary for individual, family and community needs.
Grades 6 – 10 and the IB Middle Years Programme
The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) provides a curriculum framework that is specifically
designed to meet the needs of students aged 12-16. These students are at an age of many transitions –
intellectual, social, emotional and physical. The MYP was devised to help them develop the
knowledge, attitudes and skills they needs to participate actively and responsibly in a changing and
increasingly interrelated world.
The BISS Middle Years curriculum offered in Grades 6 -10 is a rigorous, challenging and exciting
course designed to meet the academic, social, emotional and physical needs of preadolescents. The
program offers a variety of subjects and meaningful interdisciplinary units. Learning activities are
planned following the inquiry cycle which involves developing awareness of a topic, followed by
responsible action and reflection of their learning. Not only does the program offer academic
excellence it also promotes development of positive citizenship by involving all students in
community and service activities. At the completion of the five-year MYP course, students receive
the IB MYP Certificate and/or Record of Achievement. The MYP is considered an excellent
preparation for the IB Diploma Programme and an internationally recognised qualification for
students moving between schools.
Grades 11 & 12 and the IB Diploma Programme
The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is a two-year internationally recognised pre-university course.
Rather than being based on the curriculum of a single country, the DP is a deliberate combination of
the specialisation required in some education systems and the breadth required in others. The DP
came into existence in the late 1960s and now more than 850 schools participate globally in the
The DP emphasises a global, tolerant yet critical perspective of the world in which we live. By
insisting that students study a range of subjects, the DP helps students to become creative, informed
generalists who have the range of skills necessary to solve problems in a variety of areas and,
therefore, to be able to participate successfully in our rapidly changing world.
A student who earns an IB Diploma will have „a passport‟ to further education. IB Diploma students
are highly sought after by universities and colleges throughout the world and tend to be amongst the
most successful students in further education.
ASSESSMENT BELIEFS OF OUR
Assessment is fundamentally a feedback process. Self-reflection is an essential component
of most assessment.
1. Students should have clear criteria for success on any assessment task.
2. Assessment should improve student learning. Students should have access to and use
assessment results to improve their learning.
3. Assessment practices influence instructional practise and assessment results should be
used regularly to inform and modify instruction.
4. Most learners achieve higher standards when provided with models of excellence or
exemplars to understand how work is graded.
METHODS OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment is the collection and evaluation of evidence of student progress towards expected
learning outcomes. It measures the student‟s ability to apply knowledge, skills and attitudes.
Clear and reliable assessment is based on multiple measures and goes beyond paper and
pencil tests. For this reason a variety of assessment techniques are employed to meet the
various learning styles of students and allow them to show evidence of the learning
Assessment in the MYP is referred to as criteria related assessment which means each
subject is divided into sections with clear statements describing the students‟ level of
performance in each criteria. Teachers are responsible to design appropriate assessment tasks
for given units of work and that allow the students to show their performance in the subject‟s
criteria. These will be published and made known to students when the task is given with
timely feedback being provided.
In any given reporting period a child‟s performance from a number of assessment tasks is
recorded and used to determine the student‟s final level of performance according to the
Level of Achievements Grades 1-7. A grade of 3 or above is considered a pass, however
concern is raised for students who consistently score grades of 3.
For students in Grades 11-12, subject areas will be responsible for weighting assignments
according to their importance to the outcomes of the course. The final 1-7 subject attainment
grades on a report will be a weighted average of all previous assessments.
SCHOOL ACCREDITATION & PROGRAM EVALUATION
The school is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), Western Association
of Schools & Colleges (WASC) and the International Baccalaureate (IB). Accreditation
means that the school‟s curriculum and operations have met standards set by the above
In addition the school‟s curriculum is assessed annually by participation in external
assessment techniques such as the IBDP Exams, MYP monitoring and DP moderation.
Time Secondary School
8:00-8:15 Students Arrive
Each day the students have eight 40 or 45 minute classes 8:15:8:25 Home Room
as outlined to the right. The full timetable consists of 40
periods in a weekly cycle. At the beginning of the year 8:25-9:05 Period 1
students are issued with their individual programme
schedule. Students should arrive at the school by 8:10am 9:05-9:50 Period 2
so that school may begin promptly.
9:50-10:30 Period 3
Students must remain on campus during school hours
unless given written permission to leave by the Principal 10:30-10:45 Break
and the Academic Office.
10:45-11:30 Period 4
11:30-12:15 Period 5
12:15-12:50 Period 6
HOMEWORK POLICY 12:50-13:45 Lunch
The purpose of homework at Beijing BISS International
13:45-14:30 Period 7
School is to:
extend learning; 14:30-15:15 Period 8
reinforce new skills and concepts;
prepare students for new tasks; 15:20 Early Buses Depart
consolidate previously learned skills and knowledge; 15:20-16:20 ASAs
enable students to revise effectively; and
establish independent habits of study. 16:30 Late Buses Depart
Outline of Recommended Homework for Grades 6-12
GRADE AVERAGE HOURS ADDITIONAL
PER WEEK (per week)
6 6 Minimum 1 hour independent reading
7 6 Minimum 1 hour independent reading
8 7 Minimum 1 hour independent reading
9 8 Extended reading and exam revision
10 9 Extended reading and exam revision
11 11 – 13 Extended reading and exam revision
12 12 – 15 Extended reading and exam revision
Homework diaries (electronic or paper) for students in Grades 6 – 12 will be
signed/acknowledged weekly by a parent or guardian and regularly checked by the
homeroom teacher. It is also expected that if a teacher does not set formal homework, a
student should utilise the time for independent study. Parents and teachers are encouraged to
use the homework diary to communicate information about the student‟s performance.
GRADE 6 – 12 ASSESSMENT DESCRIPTORS
A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge
and skills, and the ability to apply them almost faultlessly in a wide
variety of situations. There is consistent evidence of analysis,
synthesis and evaluation where appropriate. The student consistently
demonstrates originality and insight and always produces work of
A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge
and skills, and the ability to apply them in a wide variety of
Grade 6 situations. There is consistent evidence of analysis, synthesis and
evaluation where appropriate. The student generally demonstrates
originality and insight.
A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge
and skills, and the ability to apply them in a variety of situations.
Grade 5 The student generally shows evidence of analysis, synthesis and
evaluation where appropriate and occasionally demonstrates
originality and insight.
A good general understanding of the required knowledge and skills,
and the ability to apply them effectively in normal situations. There
is occasional evidence of the skills of analysis, synthesis and
Limited achievement against most of the objectives, or clear
difficulties in some areas. The student demonstrates a limited
understanding of the required knowledge and skills and is only able
to apply them fully in normal situations with support.
Very limited achievement against all the objectives. The student has
Grade 2 difficulty in understanding the required knowledge and skills, and is
unable to apply them fully in normal situations, even with support.
Grade 1 Minimal achievement in terms of the objectives.
REPORTING STUDENT PROGRESS
Reporting is communicating the knowledge gained from assessing students‟ learning. It should
indicate what the student has achieved, and offer constructive recommendations. Reporting of
student achievement is carried out for a variety of purposes (advice, clarification, encouragement, and
negotiation) and a variety of audiences (parents, students, homeroom teachers and Principal).
Reporting student progress at BISS, takes place both formally and informally. We encourage parents
to contact their child‟s subject teacher to seek information on current progress and all email addresses
are listed at the front of this handbook. Formal reporting includes regular Academic progress (mid
semester) as well as detailed reports at the end of each Semester. All teachers are encouraged to
contact parents with any concerns or queries about individual students. Formal reports will be read
by parents, children and the Principal, and parents will be the principle recipients. Parent/Teacher
Conferences are also held regularly (check our calendar).
Formal Written Reports
Written comments are an essential element of any formal reporting process and are presented together
with grades in order to give a complete picture of progress.
Written reports address the student‟s performance in the various areas of assessment and skill
development identified by the course. They provide a detailed student assessment record which is
kept by the teacher and the school. They are sent home at the end of each semester. Quarterly reports
containing subject grades and homeroom comments are also sent home.
Secondary School reports show a number of criteria grades. There are usually separate grades for key
components of the course of study. There is also a summary grade for the semester course as a whole.
The relative contribution of each separate grade to the summary grade is determined in advance by
departments. Teachers will often discuss the reports, before they are sent home, with their students.
The school records, containing both the quantitative and the analytical information on reports, are
made available to all teachers so they may best meet students‟ needs and design appropriate learning
programmes. Records of diagnostic testing are also made available to teachers where appropriate for
the reasons given above.
Parent/teacher conferences are valuable tools because they allow interaction between parents,
students and teachers. These usually occur at set times of the year but additional interviews may be
scheduled on an individual basis. They take place at school every quarter. For Grades 6-10 the final
Parent/Teacher conference is replaced by the Student Led Conferences and Personal Project
A general reference will be made available to all Grade 12 students when they complete their studies.
The reference will contain an evaluation of the student‟s academic achievement, records of sporting
and co-curricula achievements, of positions of responsibility held, and a commentary about personal
attributes. A general reference can be made available on request for leaving students of other grades.
Informal reporting may take the form of written teacher response to written and oral class work,
verbal teacher responses and student-teacher consultations. Informal reports are often descriptive
assessments and subjective, as they are based upon the teacher‟s professional judgement. All
informal reporting is part of the learning process so is usually constructive. Informal reporting is part
of everyday teaching practice. The reporting of peer and self-assessment is also valuable.
Parents are required to inform the school before 8:15am by phone (SS Academic Office) if your
son / daughter is to be absent
All late arrivals to school need to report to the SS AO and give an explanation before they go to
Educational and academic success requires regular daily attendance at school and all classes
Students are expected to be on time to each and every class
In order to encourage appropriate attendance patterns the following will apply:
Students must attend at least 85% of each class to obtain a pass in that class. This means there is a
15% allowed absence for an unexplained/explained absence and unexcused absence. Any student
who fails to make the required 85% total school daily attendance will risk not being promoted to
the next grade or meeting graduation requirements.
There are 4 types of absence:
1. Unexplained Absence
No medical certificate or note or telephone call from parent/ guardian explaining the absence has been
presented to the school. These absences contribute to the 15% of allowed absences.
2. Explained Absence
Students absent for a day due to sickness or other emergency must bring a note or medical certificate
to school to explain the reason why they could not attend school. Although these are reported as
absences on official school transcripts, consideration for graduation/promotion will be made for
students who exceed the 15% of allowed absences due to Explained Absences but are able to catch up
all missed work successfully.
3. Excused Absence
Excused absence may be granted for a religious/national holiday, serious or long term illness,
accident, or to attend the funeral of a close relative. The Secondary School Principal must approve an
excused absence in advance. All work missed during an Excused Absence must be completed within
two weeks of returning to school, otherwise the Excused Absence will lapse. The Excused Absence is
not counted as part of the 15% allowed absence.
4. Unexcused Absence
This applies to any absence that does not fit the above categories and is included in the 15%
1. Students arriving after homeroom will be recorded as “Late”, and Lates are taken into
consideration as: 3 Lates = 1 Absence. Students arriving after Period 4 or leaving before Period 5
will be recorded as Half-Day Absent.
2. The school will keep parents/guardians informed of students who are in danger of failing due to
poor attendance at school. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ensure that the student
attends school. Students whose academic performance is suffering as a result of absences may not
be allowed to participate in sporting or cultural activities that require missing class.
3. Parents are strongly encouraged to plan family vacations around the school holidays so students
are not penalised for excessive absences.
Any request for reconsideration of this policy must be lodged in writing with the Head of School and
circumstances surrounding the absences will be taken into consideration. Appeals will be considered
by a Committee consisting of the Head of School, Principals and any other appropriate member of
CODE OF CONDUCT
Rights and Responsibilities
Responsibility is inherent in all rights, especially the basic responsibility and duty to respect and
secure the rights of others. No student or other person involved in any school can realise their rights
unless he/she also exercises the self-discipline and care to afford all others the same rights. We can
never allow our actions to infringe upon the rights of others.
Every student at the BISS has the right to be treated with respect, courtesy and consideration by every
other student, teacher or member of the school. Each individual has the right to know what the rules
are and have the right to know the basic standards of expected conduct and behaviour for themselves
and others. Then, and only then, will the school environment be a community of individuals who live
and interact based on commonly shared rules, rights, expectations and common sense.
As a BISS student, one has the right to:
be treated with respect;
be provided with an educational programme and atmosphere conducive to successful
academic achievement and personal growth;
be given clear and timely information on all rules and regulations;
express one‟s views on educational policies and school regulations;
consult with teachers, counsellors, administrators and other school personnel;
present concerns to school authorities and receive prompt replies.
A BISS student has the responsibility to show:
Respect for the learning process by:
attending classes regularly and punctually;
following expectations and procedures of the classroom;
listening to others, both teachers and students;
being fair and honest in completing school work;
avoiding disruptive behaviour.
Respect for rules and authority by:
respecting the laws of the host country;
following school and classroom rules;
following the dress code;
refraining from the use of tobacco or alcohol on all occasions on school grounds and on
school sponsored activities and within the An Zhen Xi Li area;
refraining from the procurement, use, or possession of illegal or potentially dangerous
implements, material, drugs, or other behaviour altering substances;
leaving the school premises only when supervised by a teacher of the school, or with
permission from the Administration.
Respect for property by:
helping to maintain a pleasant, clean, safe environment;
taking good care of books and other school property;
refraining from damaging other‟s property.
Respect for others by:
avoiding name-calling, foul language and gestures;
welcoming and assisting newcomers;
demonstrating respect for other cultures;
moving carefully through corridors and the playground.
respecting the sensitivities and well-being of others;
not encouraging or participating in any form of disrespect, humiliation, physical or sexual
harassment, or threat or violence toward another person;
understanding that all demonstrations of affection are, by their nature, private, and will
remain private; at school, they are inappropriate.
Mobile Phones and other Electronic Communication Devices
Students are permitted to bring mobile phones to school but they may only be used on the campus
outside the school buildings before school, during break, at lunchtime and after school. Once a
student is inside the school buildings, mobile phones must be switched off. They should be kept in the
student lockers or on their person. The school takes no responsibility for mobile phones that are lost
or stolen if they are not kept secure. An unsupervised school bag is NOT a secure place.
Please note that use of mobile phones at specific times and places should be considered a privilege.
Abuse of this privilege, or use of phones at inappropriate times and places, will be considered a
serious behavioural infraction. If a student is seen using a mobile phone inside a school building, it
will be confiscated by the teacher and handed to the Principal. Arrangements involving the parents of
the student will be made to return the phone. Infringement of this rule will be considered a level 1
offence. Repeated infringements will mean an elevation to level 2 and, at the discretion of the
Principal, level 2 offenders may be prohibited from bringing their mobile phone to school.
Recreational Equipment and Games
Because of the potential danger to both students and property, the use of skateboards, roller-skates,
roller-blades and bicycles is not permitted within the school grounds.
Electronic devices, for example MP3 players and Discmans, are permitted in school and may be used
before school, during break, at lunchtime and after school. Their use may be permitted in the
classroom at the discretion of the subject teacher. As for mobile phones, electronic devices should be
kept in the student lockers or on their person. The school takes no responsibility for devices that are
lost or stolen if they are not kept secure. An unsupervised school bag is not a secure place.
Discipline / Behaviour Management Process
Issues of discipline will be handled in accordance with the seriousness of the incident. Minor
infractions of the rules and/or inappropriate behaviour will be dealt with by the supervising member
of staff and may lead to a detention and correspondence with the parents or guardian. More serious
offences will be will be considered by a Disciplinary Committee. The Disciplinary Committee will
consist of the Head of School, Secondary School Principal, and a teacher who is considered to know
the student well. The Disciplinary Committee will judge the severity of the case and make a decision.
Suspension is a possible sanction as is expulsion in a very serious case. A student suspended out of
school may not attend classes or school events.
A student who commits a serious infraction of school rules and policies, as judged by the Disciplinary
Committee can be suspended for up to five days without Board approval. A student may be
suspended for a longer period of time with Board approval. A student on his/her return, accompanied
by the parent/guardian, will sign an individualised behavioural letter pledging a commitment to good
behaviour. A copy of this letter will be placed in the student file.
The Disciplinary Committee may recommend to the Board that a student be expelled. Normally, this
would be in a situation where, following counselling and conferences with the student and parents,
the student demonstrates one or more of the following: continues to behave in a manner that is
detrimental to the school; or, is unable to profit from the academic programme; or, either interrupts
the learning of others or endangers their safety. However, in severe cases, expulsion may be
recommended without benefit of prior counselling or conferences. In the event of expulsion, all fees
for that billing period are forfeited. The decision of the School Board in this matter is final.
A search of student property in school - including but not limited to lockers and school bags - may be
made at the discretion of the Principal if a reasonable suspicion arises that items considered illegal,
dangerous, disruptive, or a general nuisance to the educational process are being kept at school or
there has been theft committed.
Personal searches of students may be made only in the presence of two adults of the same sex as the
person being searched, and written notification forwarded to the parents and the Head of School.
All students are expected to be in school before 08:15 am and report to their classes on time. Habitual
tardiness is a serious concern which will lead to disciplinary action and may include suspension from
school. Lates accumulate and in extreme cases may lead to a student failing the year.
Students are responsible for punctual attendance of all classes. Avoiding classes will result in a
formal school detention. Continued avoidance of classes will result in suspension and may lead to a
recommendation for expulsion.
Unauthorised Leaving of Campus
Since the school is responsible for the well-being of students from the time they arrive on the campus
until they leave, there is no unauthorised leaving of campus by students. The security guards are
instructed not to let them off campus. If they have to leave, they must present a written request from
their parents to the Home Room teacher and the Principal who will sign the note. For the safety of our
students there can be no exception to this rule. Students then take the signed note to the Academic
Office to secure a gate pass to leave campus. AO will email faculty to advise them of the student
Bus Behaviour Guidelines
In order for bus travel to be as safe as possible for all students, regardless of age the following need to
be observed by all students;
Students have a designated pick up stop;
One student per seat on the bus;
Students should stay seated while the bus is moving;
Students must not stand on the bus seats;
Once the air-conditioners are on, the windows must remain closed;
Students should not lean out or put their arms out of the window;
No littering or graffiti on the bus;
The ayi and the driver on the bus should be shown respect at all times.
Any student who does not follow these guidelines and displays inappropriate bus behaviour may be
given a detention and/or be suspended from the bus for a period of time. These rules refer to travel on
the bus and in the period when students are boarding the bus at the end of the school day. When
classes finish students are to go directly to the bus. It is absolutely forbidden to go first to the annexe
or to leave school and then return to the buses. Once on the bus students will not be permitted to leave
BISS ID Cards
The Admissions Office will issue these at the beginning of the year or at the time of admission. All
students are required to carry ID cards for proper control and supervision of school-related activities.
While students are at school ID cards must be immediately accessible. ID cards are necessary for
printing at BISS with no exceptions made.
DRESS CODE FOR SCHOOL/CLASSROOM
BISS does not have a school uniform, but it does have a dress code and students' grooming
should reflect well on the school and the international community. It is expected that students
will demonstrate a respect for cultural differences and a sensitivity that will be reflected in
their appropriate choice of dress for school. In the absence of a school uniform, BISS
students are expected to demonstrate pride in themselves and in their school by their manner
of dress and appearance. The dress code for 2010/11 was devised by the Student Council and
approved by the Principal and therefore must be respected by all students. Offending students
will be sent home to change. If this is not possible they will serve an internal suspension.
Clothes, makeup, and hairstyles shall be neat, clean and in good taste.
Student‟s appearance should be modest and appropriate to the school environment. Visible
tattoos and body/face piercings are not allowed. This list has been written to help students
pick appropriate clothing for school:
Underwear should be covered by outerwear;
Clothing should be in good repair with no ripped or torn items (whether designed that
way or not);
Written motifs should not be offensive and should not include drug or alcohol slogans
Headwear should only be worn outside (except for religious reasons). Caps worn
inside school will be confiscated.
Straps on dresses and tops must be a minimum of 4cm wide;
Basketball jerseys should be worn over a T-shirt;
Student‟s torso must be covered with clothing.
Skirts and shorts should a maximum of three fingers above the knee.
Heels on shoes should be less than 6 cm high.
Flat-soled covered shoes must be worn in Science Labs and the DT studio.
COMPUTER USE AT BISS
All students at BISS are expected to use computers, the school network and facilities, email, and the
World Wide Web in an ethical manner appropriate for a school setting. At all times, BISS students
are expected to conduct themselves in a manner, which is cognizant of the rights, feelings and
freedoms of others as well as themselves. Due consideration must be given at all times to the effects
one‟s actions have on other members of the BISS community and our global society in general, when
using technology both at home and at school. Computers at school are to be used for school work
only and it is never acceptable to see students on social media sites (including email) or playing
games during class time. Use of a laptop in class is strictly for the work of that class and any other use
will be handled with the strictest penalties. Students downloading files of any type for non-school
purposes while on the BISS network will also be dealt with strictly.
All those using BISS ICT resources must agree to the following Acceptable Use Agreement:
Respect and practice the principles of community:
Communicate only in ways that are kind and respectful.
Practice ethical behaviour.
Report materials that are threatening or discomforting to a teacher or a student.
Not intentionally access, transmit, copy, or create material that violates the school‟s code of
conduct (such as messages that are inappropriate, threatening, rude, discriminatory, or meant
Not intentionally access, transmit, copy, or create material that is illegal (such as obscenity,
stolen materials, or illegal copies of copyrighted works).
Not use the ICT resources to further other acts that are criminal or violate the school‟s code
Not send spam, chain letters, or other mass unsolicited mailings.
Not buy, sell, advertise, or otherwise conduct business, unless approved as a school project.
Guidelines for the security and repair of laptops required by students are outlined during the
admissions process and further details can be obtained from the IT department.
ALCOHOL, TOBACCO & DRUG ABUSE POLICY
No student shall possess, use, attempt to use or transmit, or be under the influence of illegal drugs,
alcohol or tobacco in school or during school-sponsored activities. These include:
1. Any controlled substance or dangerous drug as defined by law, including but not limited to
marijuana, hashish, any narcotic drug, hallucinogen, stimulant, depressant, amphetamine, barbiturate,
2. Any locally available pharmaceutical or over the counter medication without the knowledge and
permission of parents and Principal;
3. Any other intoxicant, or mood changing, mind-altering, or behaviour altering drugs, unless
prescribed by a qualified medical physician. In the case of such prescription the school should be
informed in advance.
Procedures And Sanctions
1. Use or Possession of Alcohol or Cigarettes/tobacco products
On the first offence, a student's parent/guardian will be notified and a letter of warning of suspension
will be placed on the student's file. The students will serve an in-school suspension. On a second or
subsequent offence a student's parent or guardian will be notified and the student will be suspended
out of school with no opportunity to make up work missed, for a period of up to three days as
determined by the Principal. Repeated offences will be dealt with in accordance with school policy
2. Use or Possession of Illegal Drugs
Where a suspicion exists that a student may be involved with illegal drug use, or may be under the
influence of these substances, the student's parent/guardian will be notified and a parent/school
conference will be held. It will be the responsibility of the student and his/her parents to allay the
suspicion and to confirm with the school accordingly. The school will require the submission of a
medical report by a doctor nominated by the school and supervised by the school.
On the first offence, a student's parent/guardian will be notified and the student will be automatically
suspended from school. Further offences could result in a recommendation for expulsion.
DRUG TESTING POLICY
Beijing BISS International School, in an effort to provide students with reason to say no to drugs, will
carry out compulsory random drug testing on students from Grades 6 to 12.
Students will, under supervision of a BISS faculty member, provide hair or nail samples that will
serve as the basis for the test by an outside testing agency. Consent forms will be issued by the BISS
Admissions Department at the time of enrolment. Students will not be enrolled unless said forms are
completed and signed by the student, parent or guardian agreeing to drug testing. Refusal following
enrolment to submit to a drug test will result in immediate suspension or explusion. For further
information, please contact the Counsellor.
Procedures for Grades 6-12:
The Counsellor will randomly select students from the Grade 6-12 list of students via a computer
Testing will take place on a regular basis throughout the year.
Selected students will be given a notification letter via their Home Room teacher during Home
Chosen students must report to the Clinic at the specified time for Random Drug Testing
procedures and take the notification letter with them.
Either the School Doctor or School Nurse will conduct the test following the procedures indicated
in the Psychemedics Corporation Manual. The test will take approximately seven minutes. The
Counsellor will supervise the testing procedures.
Those students in the test group will need to take the notification letter home. Parents are to sign
the tear-off slip and return the slip to their Home Room teacher on the next school day following the
test. It is important that the school knows that parents have been notified; therefore failure by the
student to return the tear-off slip could result in further action being taken by the Home Room
Once the tear-off slip is returned, the HR teacher forwards the tear-off slip to the Counsellor who
will keep a record of all students tested.
After the test
The results will be usually received within three working days after the test. This will be
accomplished through Psychemedics Corporation‟s secure web site.
If the test is negative, the Counsellor will inform the student and their parents by standard letter.
If the test is positive, the Principal will forward an appropriate letter to the parents. In addition the
Principal will make personal contact with the parents to set up a meeting to be attended by the
student, parents, and Counsellor.
On a first offence of testing positive, there will be a variety of actions undertaken. Initially a period of
suspension will be served during which the student will be required to undergo professional outside
counselling in addition to some other tasks as specified by the Principal. A retest is possible through
Psychemedics Corporation following the procedures in the documentation. All costs will be met by
parents. Upon returning to school the student will be placed on a periodic, mandatory drug testing
regime at parents‟ expense. It is hoped that the student utilises this time and the assistance given to
him/her to reflect on and change his/her behaviour in relation to drug use. If however, the behaviour
does not change and a second positive test is recorded, the student will be permanently withdrawn
MALPRACTICE, COLLUSION AND PLAGIARISM
Malpractice as the attempt by a candidate to gain an unfair advantage in any assessment component.
Collusion as a candidate knowingly allowing his or her work to be submitted for assessment by
Plagiarism as the submission for assessment of unacknowledged work (words, thought or ideas) of
another person as the candidate‟s own work.
It is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure, to the best of their knowledge, that all candidates‟
material for assessment is their own. Suspected cases of malpractice, collusion and plagiarism must
be dealt with by the school.
All work submitted to the IB for external moderation or assessment must be authenticated by a
teacher and must not include any instances of suspected malpractice.
A student found guilty of the above by the IB may not be awarded a diploma/certificate and will not
be allowed to take the IB examinations in the future.
BISS addresses issues of academic dishonesty seriously. Possible consequences are listed as: zero
grade, academic probation, detention, suspension and expulsion.
Students found undertaking malpractice, collusion and/or plagiarism
during an examination or major assessment, risk failing the entire quarter,
regardless of previously completed work.
Further details can be found in the Secondary School Academic Honesty Policy.
Secondary School Home Room Programme
The Homeroom programme provides students with opportunities for positive interaction and
teamwork in a non-academic setting. Homeroom time is an opportunity for them to get to know their
peers, their teachers, and perhaps even themselves. In a partnership, the students and the homeroom
teachers will be asked to concentrate on developing activities that will enrich social awareness,
personal development, and academic growth. The groups meet daily for ten minutes during which
attendance is taken, the daily bulletin is read and discussed, sports activities are planned and the
homeroom programme is implemented.
The Counsellor is trained to help students with problems arising from academic, personal, social or
family conflicts. Some common problems include adjustments to school, changing peer
relationships, parent expectations and study habits. Confidentiality is always observed. Students
should feel free to make an appointment with the Counsellor whenever they need to do so.
At different times throughout the year, the Counsellor will conduct group guidance sessions. These
sessions are designed to help students gain insight into their behaviour, understand their attitudes,
interests and capabilities, and learn how to make intelligent decisions.
The academic follow-up service is a series of systematic checks co-ordinated through the Counselling
Office and the Optimal Learning Centre (OLC) to determine whether the educational programme is
meeting the needs of the individual student. It may include regular progress reports, individual
testing, individual counselling or consultation between student, parents, teachers and counsellor.
Career Guidance & College/University Placement
Counselling and guidance on further education issues are of utmost importance to students in Grades
9 to 12. At Beijing BISS International School we have a full time counsellor, whose role is to assist
students with the following tasks:
Researching career options through discussions with teachers, use of the school library‟s
career resources and other materials on the Internet.
Contacting specific institutions, obtaining prospectuses and critically assessing the literature
and the courses offered.
Investigating specific entry requirements for specific institutions and assisting students to
prepare applications accordingly.
While the Counsellor will help the students make the step from school to college or university,
emphasis is placed on the student to make the transition happen.
Optimal Learning Centre (OLC)
The OLC programme is provided to assist students with mild learning disabilities through a wide
variety of services, including educational evaluation that will support students and teachers from
Grades K-12. These services will be utilized by qualified students and will accommodate a variety of
student learning needs. Each student will receive individualized attention that will encompass
assessment, learning strategies, individual programmes and reports. OLC staff will work to support
areas of weakness to promote remediation, as well as to reinforce student performances.
The OLC programme also provides an enriched programme for students with unique learning
abilities. The Enrichment Programme offers individualized programming as determined by student
interest and motivation.
ESOL (ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES)
English is not the first language of many of our students. It may well be their second, third or even
fourth spoken language. Therefore, the ESOL programme is essential to help students who need to
improve their English skills quickly and so integrate fully in all aspects of their life here at BISS.
The purposes of the ESOL programme are:
1. to assess the students English proficiency, assign a level of support and monitor their progress.
2. to develop the student‟s ability to communicate effectively in English in both academic and social
3. to develop a student‟s all round abilities in speaking, reading, listening and writing as well
general study skills in all areas of the curriculum.
4. to develop a student‟s cognitive and conceptual learning whilst they are learning English.
5. to value linguistic and cultural identities each student brings into the life at school.
Most of the learning in Secondary School takes place within the mainstream classroom. In this way
students continually use the skills and language they acquire directly in their learning, whilst also
helping them with their everyday communication with friends and teachers.
In delivering the best programme possible, we use a wide variety of teaching materials and resources
including professionally designed videos, recordings, computer based materials, and the very best
commercially produced texts alongside our own materials which have been custom designed to meet
the curriculum needs of students at BISS.
Placement of Students & Entrance Testing
Grades 6 - 10
All students in Grades 6-10 will take an English standardised entry/placement test and a school
based curriculum test before their formal enrolment into BISS. Subject to the scores achieved in
these initial tests students are provided with a level of support that is considered appropriate to their
abilities*. Such support is offered through the ESOL or OLC programs. Students assessed at a
beginning level of English acquisition may be withdrawn from some classes to receive additional
In Grades 9 & 10, no English B Foundation students are admitted. Students must be at the English B
Standard level of English language proficiency for admittance into grade 9 & 10. No beginning
students will be admitted after the beginning of March in Grade 8 and by the beginning of Grade 9
they must be at the English B Standard level of English language proficiency.
* Following admission, to ensure that we provide the appropriate level of support, each ESOL
student is given a probationary placement period of up to 4 weeks. During this ‘settling in’ time we
carefully monitor a student’s progress and their level of ESOL support for suitability. Either during
or following the probation period a student’s placement is then evaluated and confirmed or adjusted
as necessary. Students will also undergo a more extensive English ability test during this time.
All MYP students studying in our English B programme are tested twice a year using the MAC II
test from Questar Assessment, Inc. Our minimum requirements for progression are listed below:
Grade Expected minimum percentile Required minimum percentile
rank – November rank for Grade progression - June
6 - 20
7 25 40
8 45 60
9 65 70
10 75 80
Grade 11 & 12
There is no ESOL support for Grades 11 & 12. Students wishing to enter Grades 11 or 12 must be
tested before any formal enrolment and must be at a Near-Native level of English language
proficiency for admittance.
In the event of a major emergency or fire, the school will follow procedures to quickly and safely
evacuate to the main playground. Once there, further instructions will be given, depending upon the
nature of the emergency. In the event of an earthquake or school lock down students will remain in
their classrooms and follow given procedures as directed by their teacher.
The school operates an onsite clinic which provides emergency first aid treatment. Students who
become ill at school must be referred by a staff member to attend the clinic. The medical team will
assess the student‟s ability to remain at school or contact home so a student may leave to seek further
Students who need to take medication regularly during the school day need to have a note from
parents stating this. All medications are to be administered through the clinic.
The school has accident insurance for all students. It is limited liability coverage of medical
treatment. We encourage parents to have their own medical insurance to cover the costs of extra
medical care that may be related to any accident that occurs.
After School Activities (ASAs)
Students are encouraged to participate in after school activities (ASAs). A wide variety of extra-
curricular activities is offered by teachers and other instructors after school and/or in the lunch break.
Activities are offered to all students from Grades 1-12. As a guide, the following is a list of activities
that have been offered in past years:
Art & Craft Stamping/Card-making Sport Gong Fu
Chinese Art & Craft Table Tennis
Clay Work Soccer
General Video Club Ice-Skating
Chinese Cooking Outdoor Games
Roots & Shoots Aerobics
Spanish Club Badminton
Student Council Music & Drama Maori Club
Model United Nations Hip Hop/Jazz Dancing
Winter Games Dramatics
Chess Rock‟n‟Roll Band
Creative Writing Choir / Singing Group
ASAs – student departure from school
Students may remain on school grounds after 3:15 pm for two reasons:
1. They are attending an ASA.
2. They have been given permission 24 hours in advance and are supervised by a teacher.
These students are in our care from 3:15pm until their time of departure to either the buses or their
own transport. Students in an ASA need to leave the school grounds by 4:30 pm.
Any teacher who has a student in their care from 3:15 pm-4:30 pm, either as an ASA or by individual
arrangement, is responsible for ensuring that they leave the campus. In the case of K-10, this may
mean that teachers need to either check that they get on the buses or they have departed the school
through their own transport.
If a student has not left the campus by 4:30 pm, and there appears to be no means of transport home,
the teacher can accompany the student to the foyer and request that reception and/or an
Administration Officer to follow up with a phone call home. The student needs to wait in the foyer
until he/she is collected. Guards will notify reception once the means of transport arrives.
While attendance at ASAs is voluntary students are strongly encouraged to attend. For Grades 6-12
ASAs serve as the main means for students to meet their Community & Service requirements.
However once a student registers for an ASA they are expected to attend all scheduled sessions and
leave the school by 4:30pm or advise the supervising teacher in advance of any variation. The
Activities Coordinator and Homeroom teacher will be informed if a student does not attend an ASA
session or is regularly not picked by the appointed time. Parents will be given due warning that their
son/daughter may lose their ASA privileges if they are not collected at 4:30 pm or if they do not
attend a session without a valid explanation. A student who has a continuing problem with ASA pick
up or attendance will be referred to the Principal to follow up with parents.
These procedures also apply to sports teams and practices/matches.
School-owned textbooks will be issued to all students. In cases of loss or damage, the school will
Secondary School students have a small locker in which to store their textbooks and school supplies.
A 50RMB fee will be charged to replace a lost key.
LAPTOP RECHARGING STATIONS
Laptop recharging stations are available for general use. Students must provide their own lock to
secure their computers while they are being recharged. Students are only to use this service only for
the duration of recharging their computers and not for long periods (overnight).
Lunch is eaten in the courtyard. Students are to leave their eating areas clean and return eating
utensils to the canteen. Free drinking water is available at all times throughout the school building.
Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottles as constant hydration helps learning. For
those students who bring their lunch from home, two microwave ovens are placed in the courtyard
and the assistant will help students warm up their meals. Our catering sub–contractor provides a hot
lunch daily and also sells snacks, instant noodles, ice cream, milk and other drinks during breaks.
LIBRARY AND RESOURCE CENTRE (LRC)
BISS LRC is located on the second floor and it is divided in two resource rooms. BISS maintains a
library of books, magazines, DVDs, audio materials, etc. We also have subscriptions to several online
resources such as Brainpop and the EBSCO research database. Students are encouraged to visit the
library to borrow items to take home, as well as to use them on site. Students may use the library
materials in conjunction with their class work as well as for leisure. The library resources are
continually being extended and we welcome suggestions for new materials. Students are able to
search for library resources via the online catalogue, Destiny.
The loan period is two weeks for books and three days for magazines. If students have items that are
overdue, they will not be able to borrow any more items. Materials that are lost or damaged will be
charged according to current market prices. The library is open from 8:00am - 4:00pm. Any
questions can be directed to the Teacher-Librarian, Ms Ana Cob.
Each student and each member of faculty is assigned to one of the four school houses designated by
the colours red, blue, green and yellow. During the year, a variety of house competitions take place
ranging from sports to quizzes with results being accumulated to determine winning house.
The Student Council is an elected body of students from the Secondary School. The student body
selects four officers: President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Representatives from each
grade level complete the Council.
The Student Council aims to organise various functions such as fund-raising activities, dances, and
holiday celebrations to enhance student life. The Student Council also serves as a liaison between
students and the school administration.
The BISS yearbook is representative of the events that take place throughout the academic year. All
students completing the school year at BISS receive a free copy.
BOOKS AND SUPPLIES
The school provides an initial package of basic stationery supplies such as notebooks, pens, pencils,
erasers, and crayons or coloured pencils. Textbooks are issued to each student on a loan basis.
Students are responsible for the maintenance of the supplies and, if necessary, their replacement cost.
CALCULATORS FOR MATHEMATICS
GRADES 6 TO 8
All students are expected to have a standard scientific calculator capable of performing statistical
functions and manipulating fractions. We recommend Casio brand and the Casio fx–65 or similar
would be suitable.
GRADES 9 AND 10
All students are expected to have a standard scientific calculator capable of performing statistical
functions and manipulating fractions however we recommend the purchase of a Graphic Display
Calculator. These are essential in Grades 11 and 12. Students that become familiar with their use
during Grades 9 and 10 put themselves at a distinct advantage. We recommend the Texas Instruments
TI-83+. These are available through the school at a cost of approximately RMB 1200. Please see Mr
Fitz-Gerald for orders.
GRADES 11 AND 12
All students are expected to have a Graphic Display Calculator. This is a requirement from the IB.
We recommend the Texas Instruments TI-83+. These are available through the school at a cost of
approximately RMB 1200. Please see Mr Fitz-Gerald for orders.
Important note: Please consult Mr Fitz-Gerald or view the IB Approved Calculators document
at http://www.biss.com.cn before buying a graphic display other than the TI-83+. Several
models are not permitted in IB Examinations.
For PE, a good tracksuit and sweatshirt is advisable. All students will be issued with two school T-
LOST AND FOUND
We maintain a lost and found area at the Reception desk. Please check at the Reception desk for
The school operates bus services to major expatriate areas. In the mornings, school buses leave their
designated pick-up points between 07:00 and 08:00. In the afternoons, buses reach their designated
drop-off points between 15:20 and 16:00. For more information, please contact the General
Administration Manager on 64433151.
Parents may wish to make other arrangements in order to ensure that their child arrives and leaves
school at the appropriate times. Students are required to leave the school grounds at 15:15 unless
they have an ASA or have specific permission and teacher who will supervise them.
The School must be aware of parental arrangements for transport, school buses, private cars or
leaving school on foot. When students wish to temporarily change school bus, parents should advise
the Academic Office in advance so that the appropriate permission form may be filled in.
The school has limited telephone facilities which are to be used for official calls only. The main
office phone number is 64433151/2/3 and students need written permission from a teacher before
they can use the phone. Students must turn their mobile phones off whilst on campus. They should be
kept in the lockers or turned off and on their person. Mobile phones can only be used at break times.
The school takes no responsibility for mobile phones that are lost or stolen.
BEING AWAY FROM BEIJING
Given the transience of the International School community, we realise there are times when both
parents are going to be away from home. The change of routine can affect their child's performance
here at school. We request that they notify in writing the Academic Office in advance of their
departure, indicate to us who will be responsible for their child while they are away and whom the
school should contact in case of emergency. With their co-operation we can help ensure that things go
as smoothly as possible here at school while they are away. We recommend that no student be left
without adequate supervision at any time.
VISITORS TO THE SCHOOL
It is standard operating procedure for our visitors/guests to the school to make appointments prior to
their visit. Our students know that in order to have a friend accompany them to school for the day,
they need to bring a letter of request from their parents/guardian and addressed to the Principal prior
to the planned visit (at least two days notice is appreciated). This is important so that we can
minimize disruptions to the school timetable - teachers could have activities or assessment planned
and it is not appropriate for guests to be present. Once permission is granted, the teachers are notified
so that they can plan for this, as well as other school personnel. Guests on campus are required to
wear their Visitor‟s Badge for the duration of their visit, and follow the rules of our school whilst here.
It is considered polite and good manners that students bring their guests to introduce them to the
school. We look forward to visitors to our school and hope that students and parents continue to
support our need to follow the above procedures, not only for security purposes but also to observe
To ensure the safety and well-being of all students who are in Beijing without their parents, the BISS
admissions policy requires all such students to stay with BISS approved guardians.
Acceptance, and continued enrolment in BISS, will depend on approval of living arrangements by the
school Counsellor, Secondary School Principal, and Head of School.
Changes in guardianship or living arrangements require prior approval from the school. Failure to
obtain prior approval will bring a student's future enrolment status at BISS into question, and could
result in the student being directed to withdraw from BISS.
GRADES 6 - 9
In order for a student to be promoted to the next grade some minimum standards and requirements
need to be met. A student must:
1. The student has passed a minimum of 6 subjects. In order to pass a subject a student must get at
least an average of 2.5 over the 2 semesters with a minimum of 3 in the second semester. NO
subjects can be failed two years consecutively. If this occurs a student cannot be promoted to the
2. All Community and Service requirements have been fulfilled.
3. The student has met the English level equivalent percentile for the Grade level for promotion on
the MAC II test from Questar Assessment, Inc.
4. The BISS Attendance Policy has been fulfilled.
5. The student has participated in the Activity Week Programme.
Students diagnosed with a Specific Learning Disability will be offered the appropriate support that
will allow them the opportunity to be promoted to the next grade.
GRADE 10 – Entry to IBDP
It is important that students take responsibility for their learning and that we ensure, as a school, that
students are able to cope with the level of instruction undertaken at the IB Diploma Programme level.
For this purpose, the following promotion policy is vital to ensure that academic responsibility is
1. The student has an English level equivalent to the 80% percentile on the MAC II test from
Questar Assessment, Inc.
2. The student has completed all MYP subjects to a passing grade of 3 or more.
3. The MYP Personal Project has been fully completed to a passing level.
4. All Community and Service requirements have been fulfilled.
5. The student has received recommendations for at least 5 of the required IBDP Groups.
6. The BISS Attendance Policy has been fulfilled.
7. The student has participated in the Activity Week Programme.
Failure to meet the promotion requirements may affect movement to the next grade level.
A student with a specific learning difficulty may be exempt from the above promotion requirements.
The student must have documentation (which includes an educational assessment) that certifies the
learning difficulty to be exempt.