The British International School of New York currently enrolls students from more than 40 countries, creating a vibrant community for its student body. This independent, international school in New York City strives to create well-rounded students by offering a variety of sports, music, art, and community service opportunities.
Size of student body: 300
Educational approach or philosophy: The British International School of New York offers a combination of the English Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate, the only school in the city to do so, according to Jason Morrow, headmaster. “Our philosophy is that we look to be ambitious for every child, both in terms of their academic progress and their level of achievement in work within in the school, but also in terms of their personal development,” Morrow says. As part of the school’s commitment to creating well-rounded students, there are abundant offerings in music, art, sports, and community service. “We have four choirs and a series of ensembles, orchestras, and bands,” Morrow says. “We do eight drama productions each year and have 14 sports teams, and then we have lots of national and international links, both in terms of charity and also for academic projects.” Among them is a sister school in London.
What makes the school unique: “In addition to our unique curriculum, we are the only school in the city that offers the Cambridge International Exams, which are highly regarded for university entrance around the world,” Morrow says. Yet that’s just the start of what makes BISNY so distinctive. It also boasts a diverse student body. “About one-third of our students are from a British background, about one-third are New York families, and about one-third come from other countries,” Morrow explains. All students, beginning in nursery school, learn either French or Spanish, and there are clubs for Arabic and Chinese. Students and staffers are each assigned to a house (“like in Harry Potter,” Morrow says) and there are various activities, friendly competitions, and quizzes between houses. The school is also notable for its striking views of the East River, and “the warmth of relations across the school community,” Morrow says. “We always say ‘children first,’ which we think works because it’s quite simple. We tend to make decisions around what’s going to be in the best interests of the students, either their learning or their progress or well-being.”
Main image: A young student playing chess at the British International School of New York