Shanghai High School International Division

Shanghai High School International Division (SHSID; Chinese: 上海中学国际部) is an international school in Shanghai, China, that was founded in 1993 as the international division of Shanghai High School. Its sole language of instruction is English, though all students are required to take Chinese classes,[2] and the school offers grades 1 through 12.[3] Because it is attached to a local school and is a division thereof, it is the first government-supported international school in Shanghai; It has yet to become a standalone international school.

Shanghai High School International Division
989 Baise Road

TypeInternational school (exam school) secondary
CEEB code694242
  • Ma, Feng (high school);[1]
  • Liu, Lian (middle and primary school)[1]
Faculty100 (approx.)
Number of students3220 (approx.)
AffiliationsIBO, UNESCO


In 1865, Qing dynasty official Ding Richang established the Longmen Academy.[4] The school changed names and moved campus several times, but its current site was converted by the Empire of Japan during the Second World War into the Lunghua Civilian Assembly Center, an internment camp for American and European citizens. James Graham Ballard was interned in the camp as an adolescent. His experiences there inspired the book (and subsequent film) Empire of the Sun. The school was restored after the war,[5] and it was renamed to Shanghai High School in 1950.[6]

On June 1, 1993, Shanghai High School approved the establishment of an International Division. On its Puxi and Pudong campuses, SHSID has had more than 2,800 students from over 60 different nations and regions. Academics are separated into English and Chinese sections. The Chinese section is based on education in mainland China and education in Hong Kong. The English section is based on education in the United States, the IB Diploma Programme, and the Advanced Placement Program.[7] As a division of one of the oldest high schools in Shanghai and all of China, SHSID is also known as one of the very first international schools established in the People's Republic of China and is a UNESCO school.[8]


As an international school in China, SHSID developed educational goals to reflect a traditional background as well as goals to meet the needs of today’s talented students. The school is committed to educate students for the challenges of the future. SHSID provides progressive education in a multi-cultural environment, preparing students with global perspectives, and encouraging them to accept responsibilities and become competent in their studies. However, the school is widely criticized for the uneven distribution of resources among students. In the system, low- achieving students usually face multiple disadvantages, such as limited class choices, controlled teaching materials, and lack of opportunities for advancement. The statement that 'encouraging them to accept responsibilities and become component in their studies' is usually regarded as an advertisement for the school enrollment.


Students take admittance exams prior to entering the school. The admittance exams and future move-up exams determine the level of the courses taken by all students. However, the chance of moving up could be safely ignored and strongly discouraged because the school's policy wants to protect academically strong students. Levels include standard (S), standard plus (S+), honors (H) and honors plus (H+). Courses are also taken in preparation for the IB and AP programs which begin in the junior year and are modeled after the education system in the United States (even though most US schools offer AP programs starting from 9th grade).[9] Typical courses taken by students include Math, Chinese, English, Physics, Chemistry, History, Economics, Music, and Art. Biology and Geography are notable exceptions to the curriculum, and are available during the later years through choice. Both curricula follow a semester system. The grading system is controlled directly by the principal, whose main intention is to display the talents and academic performance of IB students (one out of five SHSID students are enrolled in IB program) to the U.S. Universities. Usually, only IB students benefit from the curricula.

IB program

SHSID offers a variety of IB classes, including English (A1 and B), Chinese (A1 & B), Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Economics, History, Visual Arts, Music, and Psychology (SL only). Students can take the classes for 11th and 12th grade in preparation for the IB examinations in the May of their senior year. However, only top 20% of students could take IB classes, and this creates an 'IB predominated' atmosphere in school, in which IB students, though isolated, could benefit. The IB coordinator is 蒋皓 (Erin Jiang), who is also the IB Chemistry instructor. SHSID is also a test center for the IB examinations and boasts an average IB score of 42.5, produced by only 30 IB students out of the approximate 250 class size (2015).

AP program

The AP program offers a limited selection of AP courses on a 2-year program similar to the IB program that can be taken in students' junior and senior years.


SHSID has a test-based curriculum, and students take four major examinations per class every semester: 2 monthly, 1 mid-term, and 1 final exams. Due to the usual 4–5-month length of one semester, each test is roughly allocated to a specific month. These tests take up a significant portion of the students' final grades; however, only the mid-term and final exam grades are sent to colleges during college applications. Taking into consideration the amount of classes each student is required to take, students will take approximately 32 major assessments each semester, or 64 major assessments per academic year.

SHSID is also a test site for TOEFL. The TOEFL Internet-based testing is also open to students who do not attend SHSID.

Optional classes

SHSID offers a wide range of "optional" classes, or electives. They accommodate the great variety of student interests, with courses such as "East-West Comparative Philosophy", "Contract Bridge", "Home Economics", and "Flower-Arranging". More popular courses include sports such as tennis and basketball, language classes such as Korean and Japanese, engineering courses such as electrical engineering and robotics, and culture-oriented classes like English movies, Chinese pottery and painting. Each student is required to choose one optional course every semester.


The Shanghai High School campus spans an area of 223,617 square meters. The school campus has numerous buildings, two lakes, several small meadows, several gymnasiums, and various sports facilities. The campus exists on what was once a Japanese Prison camp during WWII, Lunghua Civilian Assembly Center, years before the establishment of the International Division.

Zhongxing Building (中兴楼) is the regular class building for SHSID's high school freshman and sophomores. It is located next to the Zhongxing Lake.

Xianmian Building (先棉堂), located near the Laboratories and Shangzhong road gate, is the building where high school juniors and seniors regularly have class.

The Yifu Building (逸夫楼) of the school sports four stories of laboratories and an astronomical observatory on its roof. These laboratories allow for experiments to be conducted for chemistry, physics, and biology, which are roughly allocated to the first, second, and third floors, respectively. A modern analytical chemistry section was also opened recently for conducting advanced experiments, including mass spectrometry, IR and UV spectroscopy, gas chromatography, and atomic absorption spectroscopy.[10] There are also classrooms dedicated to robotics, electrical engineering, and simulated driving.

Students in Grade 7 and up, whose homes lie beyond the school busing areas, can apply to stay in the students’ dormitories.[11]

Athletic facilities

The school has a small number of facilities dedicated to physical education, including basketball courts, badminton courts, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a gymnasium, volleyball courts, gymnastics/martial arts training rooms, Badminton/Ping Pong Building, a standard 400 meter track with a sandpit, soccer fields, and an Olympic-sized 50-meter swimming pool. The school also has a gym that students aren't allowed to use because it "belongs" to the country. The basketball courts also provide a wide area of concrete in which various sports competitions such as tug-o-war and dodgeball are held. They are also known to host occasional mock military exercises.

Art and music centers

SHSID's Art Center is built with two-story-high ceilings made out of wood and windows placed high above. Inside the Art Center is the SHS History Exhibition. Oftentimes, the school's principal will lead a group of news reporters or the school's board of trustees into the Art Center to present them with SHS's alumni, martyrs, International Olympiad award winners, and principals.

Its staff include watercolor artist Fu Gang (傅钢) and studio arts instructors for both the AP and IB Program's Studio/Visual Arts curricula.


Auditoriums of varying size dot the campus, the majority of them located in school buildings and are "assigned" to sections. The largest auditorium, the Main Auditorium (大礼堂), is located right behind the local division building. This is where school-wide events such as the Art Festival, Talent Show, and the Opening Ceremony are held. The Big Auditorium has a media center on its second floor.

Extracurricular activities

There are several extracurricular activities available to students, such as a film club, art club, and many sports including badminton, American football and football. There are also many opportunities for students to be involved in academic extracurricular activities, such as World Scholar's Cup.

Student government

SHSID has a student governing body which goes by the acronym ASB, or Associated Student Body. Members of the ASB are elected every year in each grade and are classified according to their sections (primary, junior, senior, etc.). The ASB is in charge of organizing school activities, such as inter-homeroom competitions, holiday parties and fairs, dances, academic competitions, and various services such as sending Christmas grams.

School events

The Art Festival and Talent Show are held annually (separately for each division primary, junior, or senior). Students may perform a variety of performing arts from short plays and piano recitals to rock bands and dance routines.

A sports day is also held annually and organized separately for each division (primary, junior, or senior). Competitions include track and field (100 m, 200 m, 400 m, and 800 m), Shot Put, Medicine Ball, High Jump, Long Jump, and 4 × 100 m relays.

The school hosts an annual charity fair in which students set up stands and sell products to raise funds going to charity. This is often also a culturally active event, where international students put on display their respective countries' idiosyncratic foods, drinks, and trinkets. Similar to many other school events, the charity fair is specific to grade or division.


The Nexus is a student-run charity organization established at Shanghai High School International Division in 2008. As a branch of The Library Project, The Nexus works to raise funds and collect children's books to build libraries for elementary schools in the rural areas of China. To do so by holding charity events & activities in SHSID or between international schools in Shanghai, such events include basketball tournaments, fashion shows, dance competitions, book collections, etc. Every year, in winter, The Nexus organised high schools students to head out to the rural areas to help the elementary schools in those rural areas to build libraries and accomplish other tasks. In May 2012, Dragon TV (东方卫视) shot an hour long documentary about their charity works: it aired on June 21.[12] The Nexus is looking at its tenth year since its establishment: there are more than 700 members in total making it the largest student organization at SHSID and among international schools in Shanghai.


SHSID has many school clubs, such as literature club, art club, News club, Contract Bridge club, tennis club, biology club, astronomy club, jazz club, math club, Model United Nations club, World Scholar's Cup, History Club, novel-T club amongst others. These clubs have organized school activities such as poetry competitions, sports competitions, stargazing nights, math and science competitions, etc. Almost every student participates in several school clubs to satisfy their individual interests and curiosities, and during the lunch break the classrooms are often occupied with club meetings. The walls of the school building also give evidence to the great number of clubs, with wallpapers of all colors advertising club events.

SHSID's high school debate teams have won consecutive titles as champions in the Hong Kong-Shanghai Inter-city Real Time Debate on Net English Sections (8th and 9th sessions) [13][14] SHSID's History team was the consecutive champion in Asia in the International History Bee and Bowl[15]

Sport teams

SHSID is home to a diverse group of athletic teams. These teams include a table tennis, track and field, volleyball, badminton, baseball, swimming, basketball, soccer, and tennis team.

Notable people

Writer Richard Gordon was a teacher at SHSID from fall 2005 until his death in February 2009.[16]

See also


  1. "Administrators". SHSID. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  2. "Primary School-SHSID". Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  3. "Curriculum Program Overview". Shanghai High School International Division. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  4. "School Introduction". Shanghai High School. 2016. Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  5. "'Empire of the Sun' internment camp forgotten in Shanghai". South China Morning Post. 2018-12-15. Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  6. "Profound History". Shanghai High School. 2011. Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  7. Shanghai High School International Division School Description Archived 2008-09-20 at the Wayback Machine
  8. "Shanghai High School - Wikimapia". Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-08-04. Retrieved 2010-01-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-14. Retrieved 2010-02-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2013-06-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. http://www.jsit$net/debate-9/e-schedule.htm#EShanghaiHKSecondarySchoolsEnglishSection
  15. "2015-2016 Results : International History Bee & Bowl Asia Division - History Quiz Competitions for Students in Asia". Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  16. "悼念Mr. Richard Gordon". Shanghai High School International Division. 2009. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2009.

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