Q1: What curriculum do you use?
In Grades 6-8, we deliver the English National Curriculum Key Stage 3 (KS3) adapted where required to give more relevance to international pupils. As they move to G9, students follow a 2-year IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) course, with selected options/electives. Students will sit for IGCSE examinations at the end of G10.
If good grades are achieved at IGCSE, then in Grades 11 & 12 students study for the IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma or Certificate Programme).
Students who join SUIS in Grade 10 are offered the Pre-IB. This is a preparation year for subsequent entry to either of the two year IB courses in Grades 11 and 12, with emphasis on English language proficiency and a growing competence in the IB style of learning.
Q2: University Entrance/ can my child enter overseas universities for example in USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Hong Kong etc.?
We do all the required guidance and assistance with applications for university entrance ourselves. We do not recommend the use of agencies in this. Please note there are many agencies in Shanghai that will try to convince you that you need there very expensive and often generic services with regard to university applications, TOEFL and SAT tuition. You do not!! Anyone having a GCSE in English or having followed an IB course delivered in English should not require further tuition re these from an agency.
University applications are best dealt with by the in-house school guidance team.
Q3: When should I apply to join our school?
You are welcome to submit an application any time during the year; we do not have an application deadline. However, due to an ever-increasing number of students on our waiting lists at most grade levels; we do encourage you to apply as soon as you feel ready to enroll into Wuxi United International School.
Q4: What documents do I need in order to apply to the school?
Your child’s original passport and photocopy of the passport.(will return after review)
4 passport-sized photos Health certificate (or the Immunization record card)
Academic records in all subjects, Official Records in other languages must be submitted, but it is the responsibility of the applicant’s parents to provide a certified English translation.
Records needed include:
Classroom teacher recommendation – academic subject or homeroom teacher;
Or The Principal’s recommendation,
Supporting documents of educational/psychological testing or special learning needs, if appropriate
Q5: Does school require admissions testing?
Once the completed form has been submitted to the admissions office, an admissions staff member will contact the parent and student to arrange an interview with a member of the senior management team and relevant entrance tests, to include an English language test.
Q6: Importance of English levels
At GCSE level we enter children for either the English First Language GCSE or English Second Language GCSE.
At IB level students study for English A (First Language) or English B (Second Language). First Language/Mother tongue speakers
cannot be entered for a Second Language exam.
Q7: What is the Extra-Curricular Activity (ECA) period (period 7) on Wednesday?
Each semester pupils can choose from a list of offered ECA’s
Q8: What are some differences between international/Chinese education?
Teachers in an international school generally have higher teaching loads and each teacher is not expected to act as a home-school liaison person/ home or hospital visitor. For contact with home-school contact we have a structured communication/contact policy
Q9: Can you tell me some of the differences between your school and other schools?
At SUIS, we try to enable international education to be affordable, rather than the very high-cost fees required by other schools. We reflect the multi-faceted international community in Shanghai and give due respect to the richness of Chinese culture. SUIS is certainly not an enclave for the children of well-off expats.
Most other international schools are typically either very Chinese or very western. SUIS builds bridges between both educational cultures. SUIS students benefit from the school’s “East meets West” mission. They understand more about multi-cultural perspectives and prepare themselves to become tomorrow’s global citizens.
As a result of the low student-teacher ratio, our staff can focus more closely on the individual needs of each student.
What are some of the special strengths about your school?
SUIS strives to combine the very best of East and West. This is not only reflected in the curriculum – where the study of Chinese is given a high priority – and also at school management level where SUIS implements a Co-Principal Systems. With one Western and
one Chinese Principal, we believe we can meet the needs of both Asian and Western parents and students.
Q10: When does your school year begin and finish?
School begins late-August/early-September and concludes at the end of June. The academic year runs on a semester basis. The SUIS calendar meets international school requirements and also accommodates the national Chinese holidays.
Q11: What are the class sizes?
The maximum class size is 25, although most classes are much smaller than this.
Q12: Do student wear a school uniform?
We require all students to wear uniform from Monday to Friday during school hours. Students are required to acquire the uniform prior to joining the school and commencing classes. As ambassadors for the school, students are representatives of the school’s high expectations and standards.
Q13: Does school provide bus transportation? How much does it cost?
The school has many bus routes available for students who live in different districts in Wuxi. The school bus is optional, as some families prefer to make alternative arrangements for transportation. Bus routes are flexible, from example a request for a pick-up/drop-off point to be added to an existing route can be considered. Bus transportation is also available following the extra-curricular activity program. Each school bus is staffed with a bus mummy who ensures the safety of the students on the bus.
Q14: How about the staff and staff recruitment?
The majority nationality of our western teachers is British. We employ Chinese teachers to teach Chinese.
Recruitment of teachers This is done by the Principal. All teachers are western qualified teachers specialized in a particular subject area (with at least a Bachelor’s Degree in that area)(the majority nationality is British). The primary method of recruiting is by a targeted advert for a specific post in a reputed professional journal (for example the British “Times Educational Supplement”) followed by shortlisting of applicants and a subsequent interview. Previous employment references are taken before a contract is finalized.
Q15: Can you tell me the background of the school?
Our school was established by the Xiehe Education Organization, which is the biggest private education organization in China, Professor HU Wei, the Head of the Xiehe Education Organization, is also the Chairman of Shanghai Private School Associations, an expert for UNESCO, Head of Shanghai Non-government Education Research Institute.
Q16: Which nationalities do you accept?
We accept students from all over the world if they can pass the entrance test. Unlike many international schools in Shanghai, we welcome Chinese students. The entrance procedures are the same as for other foreign students.
Q17: How do you assess your students?
Parents are asked to sign to acknowledge they have seen these entries. These are particularly useful in allowing the senior management team of the school to monitor student progress and effort. The pastoral team of the school will interview pupils with unsatisfactory effort and arrange interviews with parents if this persists.
There are at two formal parent-teacher consultations per year for each year group.
Q18: How much Homework is set?
Homework is an important part of our work.
Q19: How can parents be involved in the school’s daily work?
Each class has its own Class Representative. Parents can join on a voluntary basis. Class Representatives selected by the parents attend regular school PSG meetings to share ideas with the senior management team, and hold informal coffee mornings. Parents are also warmly welcome to get involved in the voluntarily activities.
Q20: How do we monitor air quality with regards to outside activities?
The PE Department, in its continued commitment to safety first, will follow the Actions Taken as outlined below. In addition to adhering to these specified actions, the PE Department monitors the Air Quality Index throughout the day and makes decisions at the beginning of each lesson to determine which action is to be taken. This means if the AQI deteriorates in the course of a day then PE Lessons will be subject to the necessary actions. In addition, if the AQI improves in the course of a day PE lessons will return to planned activities if the quality of the outside air is favourable.