Admission FAQ

We answer your frequently asked questions
How much is the application fee?
The application fee is 2,000 RMB per student.
Will WISS accept transcripts and teacher recommendations in other languages?
You should furnish original transcripts and other documents such as report cards with the school seal. However, all transcripts must be translated by an official, licensed translator. Teacher recommendation forms should be in English.
How are WISS students selected?
WISS students are selected based on past academic performance, recommendations, their potential to succeed in the WISS academic program and any special talents.
We are interested in visiting the campus. Is WISS open for drop-ins?
Families are encouraged to make an appointment with the Admissions Office. If a visit is required at short notice, please phone in advance to ensure someone will be there to meet you. To arrange a tour of the campus or to chat to us please contact us.
How long does it take for the Admissions Office to process my completed application?
Once the Admissions Office has received all completed application forms, an admissions officer will contact the family with a decision within 5 working days or sooner if possible.
Whom should I contact with additional questions about the school?
Choosing the right school for your child is important. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact the Admissions Office at admissions@wiss.cn
What type of curriculum does WISS follow?
WISS is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School and is currently the only International school in Shanghai to run all four IB programmes, ensuring an unbroken continuum of education:

  • Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students aged 3-12
  • Middle Years Programme (MYP) for students aged 11-16
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma (DP) for the final 2 years before University.
  • Career-related Programme (CP)

The IB Programme is taught through an inquiry-based method which is based on the premise that children should learn through understanding. This method is student-lead but teacher directed meaning that teachers guide students through their own learning. Please visit www.ibo.org for further information.

How will I know how my child is doing?
WISS values Parents as Partners and their contribution to their child’s learning. Every child has a daily communication book for teacher/parent communication. This way, parents are well-informed about what is happening in their child’s classroom and are able to communicate openly with their child’s teacher. The online system Managebac is used by students, teachers and parents as well to keep everybody informed about the development, assignments and assessments.
What kind of assessment will WISS use?
WISS prides itself on offering a vigorous and strong academic standard upheld by ongoing assessment. Assessment takes place in 3 forms:

  1. Formative assessment Formative assessment is interwoven with the daily learning and helps teachers and children find out what the children already know in order to plan the next stage of learning. For example observations, discussions, projects, tests and quizzes and portfolios.
  2. Summative assessment Summative assessment takes place at the end of the teaching and learning processes and gives the children opportunities to demonstrate what has been learned. Summative assessments may evaluate students’ abilities in any combination of the following: acquisition of data, synthesis of information, application of knowledge and processes.
  3. External Assessment Grade 6 to Grade 10 follows the IB Middle Years Programme, which follows an external monitoring and moderation process. Grade 11 and Grade 12 follow the IB Diploma Programme and sit IB examinations. For students in Grade 3 to Grade 10, WISS annually administers the International Schools Assessment created by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) (acer.edu.au), the organization that also creates the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the international comparison test. This allows parents, students and teachers to examine how some of the more traditional literacy and numeracy skills are progressing compared to other international schools.

Further questions about assessment and curriculum can be directed to our admissions office and we will put you in touch with the appropriate staff.

How many students are in one class?
WISS admission policies allow for a maximum of 18 students in each classroom for PYP and 20 for higher grades.  There are two teachers in each classroom, one native English speaking and one native Chinese speaking, from grades N-5. The Nursery and PK classes will also have 1 full-time teaching assistant in addition to the 2 full-time teachers.
When does the WISS school year begin and end?
The WISS school year starts the end of August and ends in June each year. We celebrate both Chinese and Western holidays such as the Lunar New Year, Winter break, May Holiday and the Chinese National Holidays. Please also see our School Calendar (PDF) download and our interactive online events calendar.
What are the school hours?
Monday-Thursday: 8:20 AM-3:30 PM, Friday: 8:20 AM-3:00 PM
Does the school provide transportation for students?
Yes. WISS offers bus transportation for students to and from school. Details about bus transportation including routes and times are contained in the admissions packs. For further information please see our Transportation section.
Does WISS accept students in the middle of the year?
es. WISS recognizes that families may move to Shanghai in the middle of the school year and is readily accommodating of new students. We do ask that applications are completed and returned in their entirety as soon as possible. We will make every effort to help late-entry students get adjusted to our school and the new surroundings.
Where are WISS students from?
As an international school in China, we attract a variety of students from all over the world. Currently students come from: [su_row] [su_column size=”1/2″]
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
[/su_column] [su_column size=”1/2″]
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
[/su_column] [/su_row]
What is the language of instruction?
The language of instruction at WISS is English.
Do you recognize students’ home languages?
We emphasize students’ maintenance of their mother-tongue languages and we will actively promote development of mother tongue languages through cultural sharing, reading and writing. WISS offers the following languages either within the curriculum at certain ages or as an after school activity: Chinese, Spanish, German, French, Japanese, Swedish, Finnish and Dutch.
If my child’s first language is not English, will he/she have difficulties adjusting in the classroom?
We recognize that not all students are native-English speakers and we have an extensive EAL (English as an Additional Language)/ESL (English as a Second Language) program for English-Language Learners. All students who are not native-English speakers are asked to take an EAL/ESL assessment as part of the admissions process. This assessment allows us to better understand the individual language needs of each student and, if necessary, offer them additional specialized instruction in English.
Do students learn about Shanghai and China?
Learning Chinese language and about China is a very important part of the learning experience for children living in Shanghai. Our Chinese language programme is taught by experienced and fully qualified Chinese teachers, the majority of whom are graduates of the East China Normal University Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language Programme.
Do you teach Chinese each day?
We offer 5 levels of Chinese language instruction — beginner, intermediate 1, intermediate 2, advanced 1 and advanced 2. Chinese class is held every day for 45 minutes for all grades. As an international school operating in China, we respect the culture of the Chinese Mainland and are teaching Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua) with pinyin and simplified characters. It is important that our students learn about the language and culture of our local community. To do this, we provide other opportunities through school field trips and outings to markets, farms, shops, local schools and industries which are a major learning resource. WISS is an accredited HSK testing center.
Where are WISS teachers from? Are WISS teachers certified to teach in their own countries?
WISS teachers come from all over the world. WISS teachers all hold a minimum of a university bachelor degree or above and have had at least two years of teaching experience as well as specified training and certification. To learn more about our faculty, refer to our staff profiles section. If you are interested in seeking employment with WISS, please refer to our employment section.
Does WISS require students to wear uniforms?
WISS requires all students to wear uniforms which are available for purchase from the school. There are different seasonal versions of the uniform, one for colder weather and one for warmer weather. For more information please refer to the Uniform section.
How is WISS unique?
In creating a school of excellence, we’ve researched the world’s best performing schools, their teaching methods and their curriculums. Some of these schools are located in Japan. Finland, Hong Kong, Australia, and the US and UK independent schools. The very essence of an international school should be that it doesn’t limit itself to the local and the national but looks outward to learn all that it can from around the world. With the University affiliations of our advisory board, our aim is to become a global center for exchange of best practices in teaching. We are a professional learning community that must constantly learn in order to best serve students. We are small by design. We don’t conduct ourselves like a large public school. Instead, we work and live together as a small independent school community where students feel known, cared for, and recognized, and where they have ample opportunity to be challenged each day and parents can become true partners in the learning cycle.