The New British Schools in Beijing

By Collins, Michael | Contemporary Review, October 2005 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

The New British Schools in Beijing

Collins, Michael, Contemporary Review

BRITISH school education has achieved a worldwide reputation for quality. British schools overseas annually welcome many thousands of students from all over the world and the numbers are increasing. It is no surprise, therefore, that there are now three British Schools in Beijing.

British educational traditions have developed over decades and centuries, led by some world-famous independent schools, like Eton, Harrow and Winchester, and encouraged and monitored by the government. British education is renowned for concerning itself with the development of the whole personality. Learning is important, but not enough in itself. Young people need to develop their potential to explore and discover the world around them, to think for themselves and form opinions, to relate to others, to develop their bodies through sport and physical education, and to gain experience in taking responsibility. Hence British education, while firmly rooted in the European traditions of scholarship and learning, nevertheless enthusiastically embraces these wider objectives. Some overseas schools, however, while teaching in English and promoting themselves as 'British schools', do not follow the National Curriculum for England and Wales, which has a clearly defined series of academic and other objectives at every level, known as the 'Key Stages' with attainment measured by standardised tests. At the same time, many schools that do offer a British curriculum prefer to be known as 'International Schools' to reflect the large number of nationalities among their pupils. In either case, parents who choose a British School anywhere in the world that follows the National Curriculum can be sure that the standards will be comparable to the UK, where government monitoring guarantees quality.

As for the schooling itself, however, British education outside the UK is exclusively in private hands as the British government does not run or support any schools (except for the British Armed Forces in some places and for officials of the European Union in others). Thus there is a wide variety of British schools worldwide, large and small, some primary, some secondary and others all age schools. Some have been founded by companies, others by individuals, while yet others are owned by parents or teachers. The British government plays no part whatsoever in authorising or monitoring these schools, although they may be supervised to varying extents by the authorities in host countries.

Until recently, there was no British international secondary education available in China's capital city, but three British schools have now opened in Beijing--The British School of Beijing, Dulwich College China and Harrow International School Beijing. Offering similar though distinct environments, they all provide expatriate children of many nations a British-style education geared to the English and Welsh National Curriculum and delivered by British-trained teachers, supported in many cases by native English-speaking Teacher's Assistants. Class sizes are 15-20; and the number of non-native English speakers per class is limited.

Situated in the diplomatic quarter, the British School of Beijing was opened on 4 November, 2004 by the British Ambassador, HE Sir Christopher Hum KCMG. The school is a member of the King's Group, a family of six schools located in the UK, Spain and China, and as such is wholly British owned and managed. Perhaps the best known school in the King's Group is St Michael's College, Tenbury Wells, UK. The school is registered with the Department of Education and Skills and is approved by the Education Commission of Beijing. The school is also a member of British International Schools Worldwide, the Council of British International Schools in the European Community and the East Asian Association of British International Schools.

Dulwich College China started its first school in Shanghai, and in 2004 opened another for 500 students in magnificent purpose-built premises in the fast-growing Chaoyang district of Beijing.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

The New British Schools in Beijing


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?