British International School of Washington

The British International School of Washington (BISW) is a private, nonsectarian, co-educational British school located in the Georgetown neighborhood near the border of the Georgetown and Glover Park neighborhoods[1] in Washington, D.C. BISW provides education for pupils aged between 2 and 18 (UK Pre-Nursery - Year 13 | US Pre-K2 - Grade 12). BISW was originally founded in September 1998 as The British School of Washington by Dr. Lesley Stagg. In 2013, BISW joined Nord Anglia Education,[2] an international education provider owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. To date, Nord Anglia operates 66 international schools in 30 countries with over 61,000 students.[3]

British International School of Washington
BISW's Joel Gunzburg speaking at the Lincoln Memorial in 2017
British International School of Washington
2001 Wisconsin Ave NW


United States
Coordinates38°55′0.7″N 77°4′3.5″W
School typePrivate
FounderDr. Leslie Stagg
PrincipalIan Piper
GradesPre-Nursery (PK2) to Year 13
Age range2 to 18
AccreditationNEASC, IB, IPC


The British International School of Washington offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)[4] for students in years 12 and 13 (US grades 11 and 12), the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) in Years 10 and 11 (US Grades 9 and 10) and the International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC).[5] The Primary School, which includes pre-nursery to year 6 (pre-K-grade 5), offers the International Primary Curriculum (IPC),[6] a curriculum for 2-12 year olds used by schools in more than 90 countries around the world—adopting best practices from the British National Curriculum (England and Wales). IGCSE and IB students take external examinations at the end of years 11 and 13, respectively.

Student profile and nationality

The British International School of Washington's current enrollment comprises approximately 500 students, yet has space to accommodate 745 pupils. As such, the school invites new applicants throughout the academic year. There are allegedly over sixty nationalities represented at the school. Moreover, the school serves pupils from nursery school to year 13 (pre-kindergarten to grade 12 in the United States, respectively).


A majority of BISW teachers are of British heritage, and were educated in the United Kingdom accordingly.[7] Despite an overwhelmingly British presence amongst staff, courses are designed to reflect a worldly perspective and the diverse nature of the school's pupils. The school actively promotes the professional development of teaching staff through ongoing programmes of training carried out in the US, UK, and Europe to promote world class learning practices through adapting and adopting examples of best educational practice from around the world.



BISW has myriad varsity-level sports including:

  • Basketball
  • Football (soccer)
  • Volleyball
  • Netball
  • Cross country
  • Tennis

BISW also has several club-level sports offered on a seasonal basis—each of which varies vis-à-vis student interest.


In keeping with British traditions, BISW has four houses named after 3 local rivers and one bay:

Many competitions, such as sports or singing, are held, with the winning house earning house points. At the end of the year house points are counted up, and a winning house is declared.

Affiliation and associations

The British International School holds accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on International Education (CIE). BSW is also accredited to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IDBP)[8] and accredited by Fieldwork Education (self-accredited) as a Learning-Focused School.[9] The school is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the European Council of International Schools (ECIS), the Council of British International Schools (COBIS), the Council for International Schools in the Americas (CISTA), and the British American Business Association (BABA).

BISW has an active Parents' Association, governed by a board of 11 volunteer parents that organizes social events and represents the views of some parents.[10]

See also

American schools in the United Kingdom:


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