Shekou International School is a private, co-educational, not-for-profit school located in the People's Republic of China. It serves students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12th Grade on two campuses – Mountainside and Parkside buildings, located in the beautiful Jing Shan residential area and Bayside, adjacent to the Coastal Rose Garden residential area. The language of instruction is English for all classes with the exception of proficiency leveled Mandarin classes. Additionally, SIS offers the French national curriculum in Preschool through Grade 5 where the language of instruction in academic subjects is delivered in French.
Shekou International School provides a rigorous education in a caring community and inspires our students to become principled, innovative contributors in a transforming world.
The philosophy of Shekou International School is based on the premise that the purpose of education is to enable children and young people to play a full and active role as global citizens. Using the ESLR's (Expected Student Learning Results) as a vehicle, SIS learners are nurtured to become:
- Independent Learners
- Complex Thinkers
- Global Citizens
Shekou International School is an IB World School offering the International Baccalaureate and is the only school in Shenzhen fully accredited from preschool to grade 12 by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). SIS was one of the first international schools in Guangdong province to be accredited by the National Council of Curriculum and Textbooks, a Chinese accreditation endorsed by the Chinese government. The school is a member of the East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools (EARCOS), the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE), a founding member of The Association of China and Mongolia International School (ACAMIS) organization, and the Southern Delta Region Conference (SDRC). Our success has recently been recognized by our being named an Apple Distinguished School by Apple, Inc., and our being named as School of the Year 2014-15 by the 21st Century Learning International.
Students and Faculty
Shekou International School presently has over 800 students representing more than 40 different countries including the US, Canada, South Korea, Hong Kong, France and Germany. We have over 145 world-class faculty and staff members hailing from 15 different countries. Many SIS overseas hires are from North America, but our staff includes experienced teachers from New Zealand, Australia and Europe as well. More than two-thirds of the faculty have a master's degree or higher. The student–staff ratio is well under 10:1. Teaching faculty are highly qualified in their area of assignment, including all specialists.
SIS hires only the finest experienced teachers available. Recruiting from around the world, our staff is recognized for hard work, intelligence, good will, and abidingly, a love for children.
Academic Calendar and School Day
The school year is comprised of 180 days divided into two semesters from August through January and February through June for the school.
Comprehensive Educational Program
Learning during the early years plays a significant impact in building the foundation for all future endeavors, which is why the Early Childhood Centre (ECC) provides a curriculum that is rich in a mix of early academics, structured play and experiential opportunities. Our ECC classes cater to children aged from 2-5 years and are divided into Nursery, PreK-1 and PreK-2. We believe in providing small class sizes, professional teaching staff, a stimulating environment and offering a child-centred curriculum that focuses on the individual needs of each child.
Elementary SchoolThe elementary school, comprised of kindergarten through grade five, is committed to providing excellent learning opportunities to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of every student, in a safe, nurturing, and welcoming environment. We use a comprehensive standards-based curriculum in which we teach for understanding. We place a strong emphasis on the foundational skills of reading and writing through the workshop model. Students also develop math, science, and social studies content and skills through investigations and explorations. We aim to develop the whole child by providing rich experiences in the arts, physical education, world languages, and through our extensive after school activity program. Teachers and students use technology as a learning tool throughout all areas of the curriculum to work collaboratively, make global connections, and communicate effectively with others. As we recognize the importance of a home-school connection, we warmly welcome our parents to become involved and participate in our school activities and their child's education.
Students in the middle school enjoy a challenging academic curriculum, fostering a love of learning, and enhancing a feeling of self worth. Middle school students have the opportunity to explore a variety of core subjects and follow their interests through electives, as well as the rich after school activity and 'Classrooms Without Walls' programs. SIS middle school students use technology as a learning tool to work collaboratively, think critically about the world around them and to communicate effectively with others. The middle years are a time of great growth, and the talented and dedicated SIS staff work in partnership with parents to ensure that our students maximize their potential in both their academic and social/emotional development at this crucial time.
The Shekou International School (SIS) high school, at the Bayside campus, offers a rigorous college preparatory program. SIS is an International Baccalaureate World School offering the diploma program to grades 11 and 12 students. High school classes carry credit towards a high school graduation diploma and our students gain entry into some of the most prestigious universities in the world. The SIS high school is a technology rich environment with a fully wireless campus and 1:1 MacBook or PC program which challenges students to think critically about the world beyond their classroom. The Bayside campus offers not only a beautiful setting for learning but a collaborative approach to interacting with the high level learning materials offered.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
The primary goal of the EAL program at SIS is to ensure access to the curriculum and expedite language acquisition for all English language learners. In order to achieve this goal, SIS supports a Sheltered-Immersion Model (SIM) in the elementary and middle school. EAL teachers work directly with students in their classrooms. Students are not withdrawn from their classrooms. Within the students' core classes, support is provided in sentence structure, academic vocabulary, language usage and skills development.
To ensure balance within the classroom, the number of seats available for English language learners is limited. Beginning in grade 1 non-native English speaking children will be tested to assess their English proficiency level. The level of English fluency needed for academic success varies by grade.
Grade 1: Children in grade 1 do not need to have prior exposure to English. However, in order to maintain balance in the classroom, SIS limits the number of English language learners in each classroom.
Grades 2 - 5: Children must have some English fluency. In general, children should be able to speak at a level that is within two years of the English required at the grade level.
Middle and High School
Grades 6-8: An intermediate level of English language proficiency is required. In addition to EAL support, some students may be required to take English for Academic Purposes (EAP) in lieu of an elective.
Grades 9-12: A high level of English proficiency is required. Students receive only limited support from a support teacher outside of the classroom and during independent study periods.
French International Program
The program is available for students from pre-school to Grade 9. The French International Program has official homologation from the French government through the French Ministry of National Education and is the only school in Shenzhen to receive this accreditation for the Kindergarten through Grade 5 program. The program offers the French national curriculum and is taught by French government certified teachers. From Grade 6 to 9, students are following a bilingual program with french subjects through CNED. The program’s purpose is to provide opportunities for French speaking students to maintain and further develop competence in their native language, and to facilitate French students’ reintegration into the French National Education System upon their return to their home country. Students learn English as a second language through classroom instruction and attend non-academic classes such as PE, art and music in English.
German Language Program
SIS offers a German language and literacy class. German language classes are open to children who have German as their "native or mother tongue" and desire to maintain and improve their native language. The goal of the class is to increase students' German language and literacy so that they will maintain their familiarity with the language for eventual repatriation to Germany and entrance into German schools.
For Kindergarten through Grade 5 the class occurs during the regular academic day schedule and replaces the regular grade level Chinese class. One lesson in Chinese language and culture is offered once a week for all K-5 students within the German Heritage Program. For students in grade 6 through 12, SIS offers German language and literature as an after-school program from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. two days a week.
Learning Through Technology @ SIS
Learning innovation is about sparking creativity and providing students with personalized, authentic and challenging experiences. Shekou International School (SIS) has become internationally recognized for its contemporary practice and has been awarded both Apple Distinguished School status and the "School of the Year" award from the 21st Century Learning Institute.
At SIS, we firmly believe that both school and home play an equal role in ensuring students have safe and positive experiences with technology. While at school, students participate in our THINK program which covers concepts such as digital footprints, effective use of social media and personal relationships. Students are also supported by the SafeChat features built into our school network. At home, all parents are encouraged to have open discussions with their child about the appropriate use of technology.
When combined with effective teaching and learning, technology has the ability to transform how students connect, collaborate and create. It's an exciting time to be a learner at SIS.
Beautiful and Comprehensive Facilities
SIS has a swimming pool, multiple playgrounds, basketball courts, a sports field with a soccer pitch, an all weather track and an indoor, air conditioned gymnasium. Both campuses feature theaters which are used for school meetings and performances and multi-purpose rooms. SIS's facilities are unique among Shenzhen's international schools.
SIS Library Media Centers
The SIS Libraries are made up of the Mountainside facility serving the Early Childhood Center and elementary school as well as our Bayside library serving our middle and high school communities. Each library has a comprehensive and ever growing collection of books, reference materials, periodicals and online resources. Between the two libraries, SIS has almost 20,000 volumes. Both libraries use Follett's Destiny program which can be accessed from school or home though the school's web site. The libraries are open for independent student use before and after school, and, of course, during the regular school day. Considered a community resource, we are also open to parents throughout the day. Early childhood and elementary classes visit the library on both a fixed and flexible schedule. Middle and high school classes use a flexible schedule. The librarian's role at both the elementary and high school includes supporting teachers and students by collaborating with classroom teachers across the curriculum. The centers are open before and after school so that our librarians can assist students and parents with finding materials.
Fine Arts Program
The SIS Music department offers a comprehensive education in music from Kindergarten through Grade 12. The Arts engage, inspire and enrich all students, encouraging them to reach their creative potential. We believe music is essential to the development of the whole child and involvement in the arts is a catalyst for skill development in all areas of their learning. Participating in music promotes self-expression, communication, intrinsic worth, and emotional exploration through individual and collaborative approaches.
Music literacy is the foundation of music learning at SIS. Students learn literacy skills through singing, playing instruments, composing, analyzing and performing. Our SIS musicians perform regular concerts and have the opportunity to participate in local and international music festivals. Beginning in Grade 6, our students choose to participate in band, strings, or choir. In grade 11 and 12, our students may choose to continue their studies in our IB Music program.
The visual arts department offers a discipline-based art program, which includes art production, art history, art criticism, aesthetic awareness, and personal expression. It is based on the elements and principles of design and offers cumulative experiences in drawing, painting, ceramics, printmaking, graphic design, digital media, 3D modeling, and construction. Students' artwork is displayed throughout the school during the year and is showcased at the end of the year art show.
All SIS students begin studying Chinese as an Additional Language (CAL) in Kindergarten and have the opportunity to continue CAL in each grade level through the IB Diploma in Grade 12. For native and advanced near-native speakers of Chinese, SIS offers classes that are designed to develop and enhance literacy for students who are already verbally fluent in Mandarin. Beginning in Grade 7, students also have the option of studying French as an additional language.
Within its physical education program, SIS provides opportunities for students to develop their skills through a variety of individual and group activities. Outside sporting areas include full-sized basketball courts, a multi-purpose field, track and swimming pool. As a member of The Association of China and Mongolia International School (ACAMIS) and SDRC PRC, sports exchanges are organized for the SIS middle and high school students throughout the year. Our students participate in tournaments for volleyball, badminton, swimming, basketball, touch rugby and soccer.
After School Activities
After School Activities are offered to SIS students during the course of the school year. For each of the three sessions, students sign up for activities that interest them in one of the following four areas: Service & Leadership, Creativity, Recreational Sports & Activities, and Academics. Activities include such things as, swimming, soccer, drama, arts and crafts, Tae-Kwan-Do or Model United Nations (MUN). Teachers,students, parents and community members provide these activities for students at a nominal fee. Students use that time to make new friends, learn a new sport, improve their skills, or just have fun! For children who are second language learners, these activities provide them with opportunities to improve their language skills and to learn more about their school culture.
The SIS interscholastic activities provide opportunities for students to participate in fine arts, cultural and academic events, and competitions. Students will have the opportunity to participate and compete with other students from within China and, in some cases, the Asia region. These activities currently include, but are not limited to, AMIS music festivals, Middle School and High School Model United Nations (MUN) conferences, Global Issues Network (GIN) conferences, Knowledge Bowl and Math Olympic competitions.
At SIS we believe that Service Learning is an important personal and educational experience. Service Learning involves developing understanding, acting positively and reflecting upon the local and global community.
SIS students understand that they can make a difference in the world by learning about world issues and acting in an informed way to positively impact their local and global communities. Service Learning at SIS also fosters an understanding of how others live and allows students to develop compassion and cultural understanding.
SIS has a formalized program in place with a participation requirement for the middle and high Schools. Students are required to participate in service activities and reflect upon their experiences in their portfolio. This process is undertaken within the advisory program.
Guidance and Counseling ProgramWe are committed to the optimal growth of all students as individuals and as part of the entire SIS community. Our comprehensive, developmental, and proactive guidance program addresses the personal, social, emotional, and academic needs of our students. In addition, a focus on the ESLR traits of global citizenship, effective communication, independent learning, complex thinking and collaboration skills emphasizes a positive and productive environment at SIS. The guidance program, middle and high school advisory, individual and group counseling sessions, working in partnership with teachers and parents, enables children to maximize their potential.
Classroom without Walls
Class excursions are integral to the school's educational program. In every grade, students travel within China for an afternoon or even a week (depending on the grade) to places such as Shenzhen's Water Purification Center, the Flower Market, Cultural Village, Ocean Park in Hong Kong, Macau, Yangshuo , Foshan, Lamma, and the foothills of the Himalayas. The objectives of such excursions are to experience hands-on extensions of classroom research and activities, provide students with experiences with the host culture and natural environment and develop friendships and cooperative relationships among students and between students and teachers.
Other Relevant Information
Morning Nursery: 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Afternoon Nursery: 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
PreK-1 through Grade 5: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Middle and High School: 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Transportation: SIS subcontracts a transportation service for students. Fees and routes available upon request and are subject to availability.
School Year: The academic year begins mid-August and ends mid-June.