Taihu is a small family oriented school with small class sizes where everyone knows each other. This means that students get the individual attention and care that they need. Bigger schools may have bigger facilities but also offer more opportunities for students to get 'lost in the crowd'. Our Mother Tongue programme offers three additional lessons each week in Korean, German, French and Mandarin. Students choose the language that best fits their requirements or they can self-study their own language. All students study Mandarin for an additional four times each week in up to three different ability levels. There is an extensive after school club programme which changes every six weeks. PYP and MYP students receive ELL support in the classroom and in some cases outside of the class to improve his/her English proficiency level. MYP students also receive Pastoral Care support to meet social, emotional, academic and career needs.
Students at Taihu come from all around the world. We have students from many European countries including the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain and Sweden. Asian students come from Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India and China. African students from Burundi, Zimbabwai and Rwanda. North Americans from the USA, and Canada while Australasians from Australia and New Zealand. We welcome families from a wide range of countries, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds and we focus on teaching students how to be tolerant of other cultures through the IB Learner Profile.
Our teaching staff are all qualified education professionals with excellent levels of spoken and written English. Many are from the English speaking countries of the UK, New Zealand, Australia, the USA and Canada but we also have staff from Korea, China, the Philippines, Zimbabwe and Burundi all with excellent qualifications, experience and English levels. Over half of our international staff have a Masters qualification and have experience teaching at other international schools. The IB organization have congratulated the school on having such a diverse international staff. We interview extensively to find the best teachers available and always make background checks to ensure our staff meet the highest standards.
We offer the full range of classes from Early Years to Grade 12. Older students follow the IB Middle Years Programme with the final two years of school offering the IB Diploma or our own High School Diploma. As an accredited school, both of these diplomas can be used to gain admission to universities around the world. Our students have attended universities in Canada, the United States, Europe, Korea and China. We have a College Counselor who helps students prepare university applications, reference letters and help students prepare for SATs. TIS is now a SAT test center for enrolled students at TIS.
Students are assessed on admission to determine their speaking, listening, reading and writing ability and basic math skills. This is mainly to assess their ELL needs. Older students wishing to join M4 or higher should already have a reasonable grasp of the English language to be able to handle these academically rigorous classes. It is important that parents bring a copy of their child's last school report with them on admission to determine if an English language proficiency test is required.
The International Baccalaureate PYP, MYP and Diploma programmes are well-recognised world-wide. Many countries prefer to admit IB students rather than those from their national systems because of the rigorous IB programme. IB prepares students to be international students knowledgeable and tolerant of various cultures. It also prepares students to be collaborative critical thinkers and problem solvers preparing them for many of the job skills required of companies today. For more details about the IB programme go to www.ibo.org
We have an English Language Learner (ELL) programme specifically designed for the needs of students learning English in EY3-M2. Generally these students remain in their classes and are supported by an ELL teacher who co-plans and co-teaches with the classroom teacher. It is difficult for us to admit students who have no English at all to our M3-D2, because of the academic demands at this level, however, all students are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
As all countries have their own classification systems for classes we have adopted an international style of naming based on the IB programmes:
The International Baccalaureate (IB) offers a truly international curriculum framework for its Primary (PYP), Middle (MYP) and Diploma (DP) programmes. The framework has been developed from the best international curricula requirements and places the emphasis firmly on the acquisition of skills in inquiry and research. At Taihu this framework has been supplemented by the Texas standards for Kindergarten through to M3 from the USA to ensure that students have the basic knowledge required by most educational systems.
Students in EY3 and EY4 receive three Mandarin lessons every week, while from KG up the students receive four lessons per week. Each class is divided into at least three ability levels, beginner (IB phase 1-2), Intermediate (IB phase 3-4) and advanced (IB phase 5-6) so groups are very small. We also offer additional World Language classes in German, Korean, and French where the students have lessons designed to help them keep up with their own national curriculum requirements as much as possible. World Language is taught three times per week. For other languages parents can provide mother tongue self-study curriculum materials for their children to work on in the library during the World Language scheduled times.
TIS offers ECAs three times a week from 3:10-4:00 Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Most ECAs are offered by our faculty and staff at no charge (soccer, basketball, badminton, crafts, board games, cooking, reading clubs, gardening, dance, swimming, skating etc.) but other activities may have a charge if offered by outside organizations or coaches ( Tai Kwon Do, Education Logo, music lessons, drama, coding, etc.)
Yes, there is a PTA that meets monthly to support school initiatives. Parents of children at TIS are automatically members of the association and can run to be executive members of the PTA. The PTA is a strong supporter of school and community programs and is an excellent way for new parent to meet other parents within the school community. The PTA does have a link on the website where you can find more information about the association.