The first day of school at WISS was September 6, 2006, with only 17 students from Nursery to Grade 2 and the school year ended with 37 students. By Fall 2007, enrollment rose to 171 across Nursery to Grade 8. The student body was represented by 21 nationalities. Today, WISS is truly an international school with a student body of almost 800 students represented by over 50 nationalities speaking nearly 40 languages.
The school campus is spread across an 18-acre site which was designed by Weimar Architects of the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. The Board of Directors established the Academic Advisory Board, comprised of highly esteemed international educational experts. The Board, with input from the Advisory Board and the school’s administration, was responsible for establishing the overall policy and objectives of the school and for ensuring that an excellent education is provided to students.
The school was first authorized for the IB Diploma Programme and the Primary Years Programme in 2010, and then the Middle Years Programme in 2012. In 2017, WISS received accreditation for the Career-related Programme which makes WISS the first and only four programme IB world school in mainland China.
Mr. Jin Hong Jian
Chairman of the Board
The Western International School of Shanghai (WISS) was founded on the IB educational philosophy and principles of preparing students to be globally minded, as well as the common Chinese educational philosophy of: De (heart) Zhi (mind) Ti (body), so that our students go into the world understanding others, being empathic, and expressing the desire to reduce conflict.
As an IB school, we believe that every student that walks through the doors of WISS is unique and deserves to be recognized as an individual. We understand that the needs, aptitudes, and interests are not the same for everyone. At WISS, we take pride in helping students develop the motivation to reach their full potential, challenging themselves to always strive for excellence in all they do. That is not to say every student will turn out the same; they require different approaches to develop different strengths and to improve in other areas. Through our commitment to the IB programmes, WISS is here to support the students and their development however we can.
The IB approach aligns with the concept of De-Zhi-Ti, creating a philosophy shared with students, families, and staff that is uniquely “WISS” and allows us to welcome and support the growth of students with many different backgrounds, strengths, and life challenges.
De (德) – An education is not just the content that is covered in school. At WISS, we expect our students to develop healthy relationships with others based on being caring, collaborative, respectful, responsible, helpful, and giving back to the community.
Zhi (智) – When a school develops the mind of its students, it gives them knowledge and skills and helps them become more critical, increasing their ability to solve problems that they may have never encountered before. Therefore, at WISS, success is not just a number on a test but also how students approach challenges.
Ti (体) – Students need not only compassion for others and the intelligence to solve problems, but they need to look after themselves with a healthy mind, body, and lifestyle. WISS’s balanced approach to education nurtures the whole child.
It is through the hard work of the teachers, students, and families at WISS that this vision and identity grows even stronger as we enter our 14th year.
Jin Hong Jian
Chairman of the Board
Western International School of Shanghai
September 6, 2006
WISS opens its doors with 17 students from Nursery-Grade 2.
Enrollment rises to 171 students from Nursery-Grade 8.
WISS partners with Couleurs de Chine with our first donation of 3,000 RMB to sponsor 6 girls.
A beloved tradition celebrating our diverse community is begun with the first WISS International Day.
Saturday School is born. Saturday School begins when a WISS teacher reaches out to children in the farmlands behind WISS and invites them to come learn English at WISS. Today, approximately 200 local migrant children come to WISS each week to learn English from our passionate students, parents, and teachers.
WISS is authorized for IBDP and IBPYP.
WISS takes learning out of the classroom and into various parts of China with the launch of the Explore China program.
Students, parents, and teachers travel to Cambodia for the first WISS international service trip.
WISS students earn diving certifications in the Philippines during the first overseas activity trip.
Under Director Tom Kline, WISS partners with English Premier League Team, Stoke City Football Club, bringing elite coaching to football players at WISS and in Shanghai.
WISS is authorized for IBMYP.
WISS students are invited to the Moscow Space Olympiad and speak from Moscow Mission Control to the International Space Station.
WISS receives the ACS WASC accreditation.
WISS partners with International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA) Performing Arts Academy bringing world-class theater practitioners to workshops hosted at WISS for budding thespians across Shanghai.
The Creative Arts Carousel is implemented in Grades 6-8, allowing students to explore a variety of different art forms.
WISS joins GAIL and attends the GAIL Conference in India.
John Cucinello, Director of Community Service, is awarded the prestigious Magnolia Award from the city of Shanghai for his efforts in Saturday School and other service projects in the Xujing area community.
WISS forms a Robotics Club and enters their first robotics competition.
WISS is authorized for IBCP. WISS receives accreditation for the Career-related Programme which makes WISS the first four programme IB school in mainland China offering Sports and Production Arts pathways.
The Greenhouse Gym, developed as a multipurpose learning environment for CP Sports and DP Biology students, is unveiled.
WISS partners with SCAD and FirstPoint USA, offering CP Art and Design and CP Sports students one-of-a-kind learning experiences as well as scholarship opportunities.
His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex visits WISS as the patron of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and dedicates Tiger Hall in the opening ceremony.
The WISS IBCP Sports Pathway is recognized as an entry track into 12 sport-related programs at the University of Stirling.
WISS is granted CIS membership.
The WISS IBCP Production Arts Pathway is recognized as an entry track into the Bachelor of Fine Arts programs in the University of Melbourne.
WISS partners with SUMAS to offer a new IBCP Pathway in Business and Sustainability.