Bavarian International School gAG (BIS)
Bavarian International School gAG (BIS)
Serving Munich’s economy and the global workforce
TEXT: MARKO MÄDGE | PHOTOS © SEBASTIAN STIPHOUT
1,200 students from 52 nations study at the two campuses of the Bavarian International School gAG (BIS), located in the village of Haimhausen and central Munich. ‘Believe. Inspire. Succeed’ is the motto that underlies the pedagogically rich and holistic education provided for students from ages three to 19. Intercultural competence, collaborative and inspiring learning, respect, social responsibility and tolerance characterise the spirit of this accredited IB World School.
170 teachers provide BIS students with a first-class teacher-student ratio of 7.5 to one, a ratio that allows teachers to differentiate in the classroom and address the individual needs and strengths of each child. Tangible proof of the success of this approach is seen each year in BIS students’ IB Diploma scores: in 2018, the average score was 34.6 points, well above the worldwide average (29.7). The Bavarian International School strives for state-of-the-art school standards, investing in whiteboards, iPads, MacBooks, science and technology laboratories, art and design studios, sports halls, theatre spaces, an auditorium and an extensive extra-curricular programme.
A focus on each child as an individual
“We provide our students with the intellectual, intercultural, social, emotional and, most importantly, with the critical perspectives they will need as adults in a global, technological world. Our students will be able to solve the challenges of the future and make the world a better place,” says Dr. Chrissie Sorenson, director of BIS, Germany’s third largest international school. “Each child’s individual development is placed at the very centre of the educational focus at BIS.”
Internationality and diversity is virtually the DNA of this all-day school. English is the language of instruction, with instruction in the German language offered for all levels of proficiency. French, Spanish, or Mandarin are offered as a second modern foreign language choice, and the optional ‘Mother-Tongue Programme’ allows students to maintain and develop literacy in their native language. Mother-tongue learning is currently offered in 17 languages.
Pupils and parents alike regard the multitude of extracurricular activities on offer as an exceptional feature of BIS. These activities include approximately 40 sports courses per week on the Haimhausen Campus, as well as CAS (Community, Action, Service), Model United Nations debate team, the Eco-School project, and the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, a mix of fitness, scouting and expeditions. In all of these activities, social engagement, interdisciplinary collaboration and exploring new horizons play a particularly important role, according to Dr. Sorenson.
An IB World School
The Bavarian International School is an IB World School, one of only two schools in Germany authorised by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) to offer all four IB programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme (DP) and the Career-related Programme (CP). The IB Diploma is recognised by the best universities in the world (more than 700 universities in about 70 countries).
The portability of the IB curriculum is a key factor for international families who relocate often. For globally mobile expat specialists and executives who relocate on average every three years, the smooth transition of their children from school to school is an absolute priority. The BIS Parent Teacher Organisation (PTO) welcomes new families and helps them to settle in. The Newcomers Centre offers students arriving with little prior knowledge of English, intensive language support in a safe and supportive environment. These services make BIS a vital factor for the economy of Greater Munich, serving as both an instrument for business promotion and location marketing. “Without BIS, it would be much more difficult to attract qualified managers and experts from around the world to Munich,” emphasises Dr. Manuel Cubero, CCO of Vodafone GmbH and CEO of Kabel Deutschland Holding AG.
Future through innovation
Development, innovation and the future, all drive the curriculum and teaching at the BIS campus in Haimhausen, to the north of the Bavarian capital: and to this end, the management team of the Bavarian International School has set the goal of building a state-of-the art ‘Creativity & Innovation Center’ (CIC). As the modern heart of the Haimhausen campus, the CIC will be designed to support the teaching and learning in the ‘STEAM’ disciplines: ‘S’ for Science, ‘T’ for Technology, ‘E’ for Engineering, ‘A’ for Arts and ‘M’ for Mathematics.
BIS has launched a fundraising and sponsorship programme to realise this major project; to recruit and promote excellent teaching staff; and to create a scholarship programme to enable highly talented students in need of financial assistance to experiment, learn, and create in the centre. “If there is one big headline to describe everything that we do at the Bavarian International School, then it’s ‘Shaping the Future’,” concludes Dr. Chrissie Sorenson.
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