Frequently Asked Questions
1. How would you summarise Britannica International School, Shanghai?
We are the only school in the city to be British owned, with fully-trained teachers from the British Isles, delivering the English National Curriculum to children from age 2 to 18 years, starting at the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) all the way through to IGCSE and A Level qualifications. Our British heritage means that children leave us with the highest level of achievement.
2. What is British education and what makes it special?
A British curriculum provides a doorway to any university worldwide that you may wish your child to go. It is recognised not only for its high academic level, but also for its holistic education. British education places a high emphasis on developing the life and learning skills that your child will need for success after they leave school. Music, Sport, Drama and Art are all key elements of a good British education. Good British teaching is also focused on the individual child, recognising that each child is an individual with different learning needs, abilities and interests.
3. What is personalised learning and how does it work?
Good education should always strive to provide a personalised approach. Whilst most large schools are challenged to do this, at Britannica we can adapt our teaching and learning activities to make them individual for each child, if required. We look specifically what your child needs and wants and we plan for that provision. Our Inclusive Policy also means that every opportunity is open to your child; whether it’s an after school activity, being a member of a sports team or getting on stage to perform in front of parents.
4. What are the school hours?
Buses arrive at the school from 8:00am and school starts at 8:20am. There is then a 20 minute registration period to allow children to settle and be organised for the day ahead. Formal lessons and activities start at 8:40am running through until 3:00pm with morning break and lunchtime. After School Activities then run for all children in Reception to Year 13, from 3:00pm to 4:00pm, with buses leaving to take children home after this.
5. Where is Britannica located?
We are located at 1988, Gubei Road, near Wuzhong Road. We are one of the most centrally located international schools in the city. We are about 10 minutes away from Xujiahui CBD and 15 minutes away from the former French Concession.
6. What makes Britannica unique?
There are key qualities that differentiate Britannica from other British curriculum schools in Shanghai:
- We are the only British owned, staffed and managed school in Shanghai.
- Our central location.
- Offering inclusive and personalised education made possible due to small classes and school size.
- Our comprehensive After School Activities that are provided for all students in Reception to Year 13.
- Our focus on developing student native language (Chinese, Korean, Japanese, French, Spanish, Hebrew, Italian) as well as enabling your child to be fluent in English.
7. What facilities do Britannica provide?
Our facilities are on a par with the best that Shanghai has to offer in education.
- Purpose built building with state-of-the-art classrooms.
- Premier sporting facilities that include: swimming pool, sports hall, astro turf, tennis courts, basketball and netball courts, indoor and outdoor multifunctional play areas.
- Specialist teaching rooms including science and technology rooms, Libraries, ICT suites and a 250 seat theatre.
8. Does Britannica offer school bus services?
Yes, our comprehensive bus service is continually being adapted to meet the needs of new families joining the school. Routes are changed and new buses are added to ensure maximum efficiency and minimum journey time.
9. What are the qualifications of Britannica teachers?
All Britannica teachers are native English speakers and fully qualified teachers at B.Sc and MA level. The teachers are supported by a highly qualified and experienced Principal and a large team of teaching assistants and administrative staff. All staff employed in the school are background checked and come with excellent references from previous employers.
10. How does Britannica support non-native learners of English?
We deliver a comprehensive English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme, delivered by highly qualified and experienced specialist teachers, which fully supports the English language development of our non-native English speaking students. All our teachers are trained to teach students who have English as a second language in the classroom.
11. Are Mandarin classes compulsory at Britannica?
Mandarin classes are taught to native and non-native groups and are compulsory from Pre-Nursery to Year 11. Each child is placed into a teaching group designed to meet their level of current Mandarin ability. Native classes follow the same text and similar curriculum to local schools.
12. What is Britannica’s academic record?
Our graduates go to the best universities in the world. Our IGCSE and A Level results are just as impressive:
100% 2018 pass rate in
- All A Level subjects
- IGCSE Mathematics
- IGCSE 1st Language English
- IGCSE 1st and 2nd Language Mandarin
13. What co-curricular activities are on offer at Britannica?
At Britannica International School, Shanghai your child will have the opportunity to explore a wide range of co-curricular activities outside the classroom, from sports to arts. Each week, over 100 different activities are on offer.
14. What sports can my child participate in?
Football, swimming, tennis, rugby, netball, volleyball, badminton, athletics, gymnastics, hockey, rounders. In addition to our inclusive PE schedule, we also have a strong emphasis on inter-school sports, believing healthy competition is a great way to test and apply what we have learnt in class, whilst demonstrating our leadership and teamwork skills.
1. How does the application process work?
We adopt a 4-step application process, as is clearly explained here.
2. When should I apply?
We can admit students at any time of the year, places are partly filled on first-come-first-serve basis, subject to the availability. Parents can contact our Admissions team to schedule a bespoke tour in the school or to receive more information over email. Each applicant will be asked to complete age appropriate assessments and will be asked to come to school to take the assessment test or have an interview.
3. On what bases do you consider a child for acceptance?
We will consider each child’s suitability carefully based on several aspects, including academic results to date, previous reports, and personal strengths. This case by case approach ensures that every applicant is fairly considered and is given equal opportunity to join Britannica.
4. How diverse if your student body?
Currently, our student population is made up of 41 different nationalities, with students from various parts of Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, UAE, Israel, South Korea, Japan, and many other places.