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ES Students Think Big
Elementary School
Two students smiling on ES sports day 2019
Elementary School
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Elementary School

In our Elementary School, we care about students’ growth as learners and as individuals who contribute to their community. We believe that young people are naturally curious and we recognize each student as a unique individual with the potential to achieve. Our students are empowered to solve problems, question the world around them, and develop and test hypotheses in a collaborative, supportive environment. 

PreK 3, PreK 4, Kindergarten, and grade 1 focuses on mastering basic learning skills either through the ISB monolingual program or the ISB dual language program. This is a time for young learners to explore ideas, solve problems, and build trusting relationships with peers and teachers. As our students learn through inquiry-based activities and structured play, ISB’s learning spaces have abundant resources to develop specific skills, spark curiosity, and prompt interactions.

1 : 1 iPad Program

4 hours of Chinese each week

1:8 student to teacher ratio

+26,960 books in the library

+40 field trips/experiential opportunities

14 languages provided for by the library

From PreK 3 to grade 5, we recognize that each student has an individual learning style and that students make progress in different areas at different paces. We believe it is our task to align the learning experience with the needs of each student, and work closely with parents to support their child’s unique learning journey. Additionally, each student engages in Chinese language and culture learning, the arts, and physical education to round out their program.

ISB’s Whole Child approach gives the same priority to our young learners’ health and character as it does to their academic performance. Our students' well-being is a cornerstone to their success and happiness. As they learn to work together, they grow to understand different perspectives and strengthen their social skills. We nurture children who develop independence and the ability to make positive, healthy choices. Importantly, we partner with parents to ensure that school is fun, motivating, and a place where every child can turn to a trusted adult for help and support.

With our strong foundation in both academics and social awareness, we are confident that our elementary students can forge ahead to the exploratory years of middle-level education.


Our counselors address the academic and developmental needs of all students by collaborating with students, parents, and teachers. 

Our counselors offer a variety of parent workshops throughout the academic year and are available for parent consultations. We understand that moving to a new school, or new country, can be daunting. Our counselors provide support to students and their families through key transitions, including when a family first joins ISB and when it is time to consider leaving. 

Our Elementary School counselors provide a range of activities for both parents and students to help students learn important lessons about themselves and how their choices affect others. Elementary School students learn about Kelso's Choices in regular guidance lessons. This conflict resolution and character education program offers simple strategies students can use for dealing with situations they may find difficult. 

Dual Language Program

The ISB dual language program serves families who choose to enroll their child in this optional program, which promotes high academic achievement by supporting second-language development and cross-cultural understanding. The program creates an additive dual language environment for students, whereby the first language is maintained and the second language is acquired.

The program supports our mission to provide an "academically rigorous, balanced, and engaging learning environment, enriched by being in China" where each student's unique potential is developed.

Established in August 2016 in PreK 3 and PreK 4, the dual language program will expand by one grade level each year to include grade 5 by August 2022. Students in the program are taught the ISB curriculum in English and Chinese based on an immersion model that promotes 50 percent of instruction in English and 50 percent of instruction in Chinese. Enrollment in the program is optional and a limited number of spaces are offered at each grade level.


ISB’s dual language program reflects the Mission, Vision, and Core Values of ISB by providing students with the opportunity to become bilingual, bi-literate, and bicultural. Learning in two languages allows students to develop respect and appreciation towards language, culture, and global diversity.

Our Dual Language Program values:

  • delivering the same curriculum as the ISB monolingual program
  • equity of English and Chinese language and culture
  • reading, writing, and communication in Chinese and English
  • connections between language, culture, and identity
  • partnership with parents, teachers, and all members of the school community.

We believe students learn best in a dual language program when:

  • they explore, inquire, discuss, and make connections in English and Chinese
  • they feel safe and take risks in Chinese and English
  • they are aware of cultural similarities and differences
  • they have language role models in English and Chinese
  • both Chinese and English teachers are equal partners when planning, teaching, and caring for students
  • parents are clearly informed and involved.

There is a wide body of research that supports the many benefits of dual language education, some of which include:


Students perform at or above their grade level in both languages.


Students who can process information in two languages develop more advanced thinking skills and greater cognitive abilities.


Students develop a deeper appreciation and respect for another language and culture.


Students demonstrate a high level of language and cultural proficiency through effective communication in both languages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Children enrolled in the dual language program are instructed in English and Chinese using a 50:50 model. Children enrolled in the ISB monolingual program study all subjects in English, except for a daily Chinese language lesson. 


What are the criteria for entering or leaving the program, either mid-year or between years? 

For enrollment in PreK 3 to grade 1, there are no specific enrollment criteria for the dual language program. Applicants for grade 2 and beyond will need to demonstrate an intermediate level of proficiency in Chinese to be considered for enrollment in the program. Consistent, sustained enrollment in the program is recommended so that students receive maximum benefits from learning in both English and Chinese. Children are carefully placed in classes to support their academic learning and social-emotional well-being. Exiting the dual language program mid-year is not possible. 

The Dual Language Program at ISB

Why is the ISB dual language program suitable for my child? 

ISB offers a dual language program in the Elementary School. Knowing that children learn in different ways and have different needs, we offer parents the choice of two programs: the ISB monolingual program and the dual language program. The dual language program is based on the ISB monolingual program, which uses integrated learning, project-based learning, and experiential learning approaches. In the dual language program, these experiences are created in both English and Chinese. Our teachers are native speakers of their language of instruction and educational resources are provided in both English and Chinese.

My child already speaks Chinese. Why would I want to enroll my child in a dual language program? 

In our dual language program, children are immersed in two languages. They learn how to speak, listen, read, and write in both Chinese and English. Additionally, they learn core knowledge in math, science, and social studies through using Chinese and English. With these skills and knowledge, children are able to continue learning about their surrounding world and communicate in real-life, everyday situations.

When is the best time to learn an additional language and enroll in the dual language program? 

Children have the capacity to learn multiple languages. In the dual language program, they hear and learn English and Chinese from their first day. Through interactions with the teacher and other students, most children first develop spoken language. From Kindergarten onwards, literacy skills are introduced in Chinese and English. As children get older, they are introduced to strategies that assist their learning. If a child has a strong foundation in their native language, this supports their learning in other languages. Children in Elementary School have a greater capacity to develop near-native language proficiency due to rapid development of their young brains.

Program Structure

During the day how much time is devoted to each language?

Our dual language program is based on a 50:50 model. Half of the instructional time is in English and the other half is in Chinese. All students study language, math, science, and social studies together throughout the day. Learning together allows students to serve as language role models for one another and learn language skills more quickly.

In what language will specialists and support teachers in Kindergarten to grade 5 speak to my child?

PE and performing arts classes will be taught in English and Chinese. The language of instruction will reflect the language the students are working in during that day in their homeroom. Visual arts classes will be taught in English.

How will my child be encouraged to communicate with others in the partner language?

Students have multiple opportunities throughout the day to interact with their peers. Risk-taking is encouraged through the learning experiences that are planned and provided by the teachers. The teachers model the target language and provide support for children to develop oral language and literacy skills in a safe learning environment. Similar to any classroom in the Elementary School, proficiency with English and Chinese varies among students. Great attention is paid to building student confidence to share thoughts and ideas with their classmates. From absolute beginners to fluent speakers, we support all children’s language development.

What does the program look like throughout the Elementary School?

The dual language program is optional for all students from PreK 3 to grade 1. Children learn 50 percent of the time in English and 50 percent of the time in Chinese, which is a 50:50 model of dual language immersion. In PreK 3 and PreK 4, emphasis is placed on oral language development. In Kindergarten, reading and writing skills are introduced. Language arts, math, science, and social studies are taught in both languages until grade 5 using the 50:50 model. In the 2018-2019 school year, the dual language program is in PreK 3 to grade 1. It will incorporate one grade level per year until it expands to grade 5 in 2022.


Who are my child’s teachers? 

Homeroom teachers are native speakers of either Chinese or English. In addition to homeroom teachers, each class from PreK 3 to grade 1 has a bilingual teaching assistant. From Kindergarten to grade 5, visual arts, performing arts, and PE are taught by specialist teachers. Professional development is provided for all teachers in support of the ISB vision and mission. As with all homeroom teachers and grade level teaching teams, time is allocated to the dual language program teachers for co-planning, preparation, and assessment.


What does my child’s day look like in a dual language program? 

Each student’s day is centered around the homeroom and the class community. The school day begins and ends for each child with the homeroom teacher. In PreK 3 and PreK 4, the dual language program follows an integrated, project-based, and inquiry approach to learning. Given the age of students, all lessons occur in the homeroom with either the Chinese or English teacher.

From Kindergarten to grade 5, students in the dual language program will have two homeroom teachers. With one homeroom teacher, learning will take place in English and with the other, learning will take place in Chinese. Students will spend the morning with one homeroom teacher (Chinese or English) and the afternoon with the other homeroom teacher.

From Kindergarten to grade 5, students study English language arts and Chinese language arts with the homeroom teachers. Learning math, science, and social studies alternates between the English and Chinese teachers. Learning in one language will build upon skills learned previously in the other language.

PE classes are taught in Chinese or English and occur three times per six-day cycle. Performing arts classes are taught in Chinese and English and are two times per six-day cycle, and visual arts classes, taught in English, meet two times per six-day cycle. During recess and lunch, students play with their peers who are enrolled in the ISB monolingual program.


How much reading and writing practice happens in Chinese and English? 

In the dual language program, students are immersed in both languages throughout the day. They use language to learn about concepts and ideas in math, science, and social studies. In PreK 3 and PreK 4, students are exposed to print in various ways so they learn that letters, characters, and symbols have meaning. Teachers read to students and model writing for them. From Kindergarten onwards, focused instruction in reading and writing occurs during language arts instruction. As children study math, science, and social studies, they are expected to use their Chinese and English language skills to read and write about their learning.

From Kindergarten to grade 5, students in the dual language program will have a daily literary/language enrichment lesson. During this time, adults will work with the students in the dual language classes to provide differentiated instruction that targets identified literary skills.

What will the curriculum look like in each language? 

The curriculum in the dual language program is the same as the ISB monolingual program; the only difference is that students learn in both English and Chinese. For language arts and math, the school uses the Common Core standards; Next Generation Science standards guide science instruction; and the College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework provides the standards for the social studies program.

Instruction & Assessment

My child does not speak either language. How will my child learn and communicate?

Children are immersed in Chinese and English throughout the day. Using gestures, pictures and other forms of support, the teachers involve a non-English/non-Chinese speaker in all classroom activities. In the initial stages of learning, focus is placed on developing spoken language so that your child can participate in class and everyday communication. Learning any language can be challenging, requiring risk-taking and significant time. Careful attention is paid to making sure that your child feels safe, secure, and a part of the classroom community. For some children, learning a language at the beginning can naturally be difficult. Developing a partnership with your child’s teacher, coupled with constant support and encouragement, is needed from both the home and the school to ensure a smooth transition and positive learning experience for your child.

How quickly will my child learn Chinese and/or English? 

Learning a language takes time. During the initial stages of learning a new language, most students go through a “silent period." This is the first stage of language learning, providing students with the necessary time to get used to the sounds, grammar, and structure of their new language. For some students, the “silent period” can last anywhere from six months to one year. Within a two-year period, students usually develop confidence and fluency with social and personal language first. Developing the language of school and specific subject areas, or cognitive academic language proficiency, takes five to seven years on average. The length of time it takes to learn a language varies among students. Patience, ongoing support, and encouragement, and a strong home-school partnership are key ingredients for developing learners capable of communicating confidently and effectively in Chinese and English.

How will I know if my child is making progress in each language?

Teachers monitor and assess student progress towards subject area standards on a regular basis. Daily interactions, observations of behavior, responses to learning activities, student self-reflection, and end-of-unit projects all contribute to determining if your child is making progress. For students in PreK 3 and PreK 4, parents receive their child’s learning portfolio four times a year. From Kindergarten to grade 5, information about student progress and achievement is communicated through the “Student as a Learner Progress Report” at the end of first quarter, the Semester 1 Report Card, the Student-Led Conference at the end of third quarter, and the Semester 2 Report Card. Additionally, parents are welcome to meet with their child’s teacher anytime throughout the school year.

Supporting Learning at Home & School

How do I support my child at home with language learning? 

A strong foundation in the primary language helps a child learn an additional language. One of the most important ways to support language learning is to read aloud with your child, regardless of age, in your family’s primary language. Exposing and engaging your child in varied language activities, such as playing games and listening to music, is also beneficial. If your child is learning a language that you do not know, show interest and ask questions about what they are learning; it is okay if you do not understand the additional language. Active involvement and awareness of what is happening in your child’s classroom is another essential way to support your child’s language development in English and Chinese. From the start of the year, build a partnership with your child’s teacher and make sure to read the Seesaw posts and the ISB Weekly to learn about upcoming school events.

How will my child be supported if they have difficulties in the classroom?

Each teacher takes great care and responsibility to ensure that all students are happy, actively engaged, and motivated while at school. When a teacher notices that a child is having difficulty with a particular skill or understanding a topic, the teacher uses different strategies to support the learning. If a child is upset due to a friendship problem, the teacher addresses the problem with the children involved and helps to resolve the issue. If additional support is needed, depending on the circumstances, the teacher may involve a guidance counselor or teaching assistant to help with communication. With language learning, the teacher models risk-taking and demonstrates that effort and making mistakes are part of the learning process.

Communication & Education

How will teachers communicate with parents?

Information about classroom activities and school events is communicated through Seesaw. Email is used for more personal messages between the teacher and parents. All children in the dual language program are taught by a Chinese teacher and an English teacher, supported by bilingual teaching assistants. This teaching team will support parents to ensure that communication is clear and understood.

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  • 提供和ISB单语课程项目相同的课程
  • 英汉语语言和文化平衡
  • 英汉语阅读、写作和交流
  • 语言、文化和身份之间的联系
  • 与家长、老师和学校人员间的合作关系


  • 运用英语和汉语探索问题、提问问题、讨论问题,并发现联系;
  • 运用英汉语言时充满自信,并大胆尝试;
  • 了解英汉语言文化的异同之处;
  • 学习英汉语言时有语言学习榜样;
  • 汉语老师和英语老师在备课、教学和照顾学生时协同并进是平等的合作伙伴;
  • 家长知悉情况,并积极参与。

双语教学项目采用的是50:50的浸入式教学模式,即教学时间一半用英语,一半用汉语。幼儿园小班(PreK 3)的学生将首先参与这个全新的教学项目,同时幼儿园中班(PreK 4)的学生可以选择性参加该项目。
















ISB 双语平行课程


ISB 在小学阶段为学生提供双语平行课程。我们深谙每个学生都有自己不同的学习方法和需要,因此我们为家长提供两种课程的选择:单语课程和双语平行课程。双语平行课程以单语课程为基础,用跨学科,项目学习,体验式学习等为研习方式。在双语平行课程中, 所有学习的经验都是用英语和汉语建构出来的。我们的教师都是以教学语言为母语的专业教师,我们为孩子们准备的教学资源也都是中英双语并重的。 


在我们的双语平行课程中, 学生沉浸在两种语言中,学习汉语和英语的听说读写。此外,他们还通过汉语和英语来学习数学、科学和社会科学的相关知识及技能。凭借这些知识和技能,孩子们能够不断地了解自己身边的世界,在现实生活中进行交流。 

什么时候是学习二语, 报读双语平行课程的最佳时机? 

孩子们具备学习多种语言的能力。在双语平行课程中,他们从第一天入学开始就同步聆听并学习英语和汉语。通过与老师和其他同学的互动,绝大部分的孩子会先发展口语。从幼儿园开始,学生们开始接触其他范畴的语言学习, 如读和写。随着孩子们的成长,他们会发展不同的策略以帮助自己的学习。当一个孩子,具备很强的母语能力时,这将会对他学习其他语言有很大的帮助。在小学阶段的孩子们,因为大脑的飞速成长,因而具备了发展出近母语语言程度的能力





体育课和表演艺术课用汉语和英语授课。上课使用的语言由学生们所在班级当时使用的语言来决定(如早上是英文授课时间, 那么在早上的体育课和表演艺术课也会用英文授课,反之亦然)。视觉艺术课的授课语言是英语。 




四岁班(PreK 4)至一年级的所有学生可自由选择双语平行课程项目。学生们有50%的时间用英语学习,50%的时间用汉语学习,这就是我们双语沉浸式,一比一的教学模式。三岁班(PreK 3)和四岁班(PreK 4)阶段的重点是口语发展。在幼儿园,我们将引入阅读和写作技能。直到五年级,我们都将通过一比一的模式用英汉双语教授语言艺术、数学、科学和社会学科。在2018-2019学年,双语平行课程已开展到一年级,并会在2022年扩展到5年级。 



班主任是母语为汉语或英语的老师。除了班主任,从三岁班(PreK 3)到一年级每班还配备一名双语助教。从幼儿园到5年级,视觉艺术、表演艺术和体育均由专科老师教授。我们为所有教师提供在职专业发展和培训,以支持ISB的愿景和使命。与所有其他班主任和年级教学团队一样,双语平行班的教师配有协同备课、教学准备和评估的时间。 



学生们的一天都以班级为中心,他们每天上学的开始和结束时段都会和班主任在一起。在三岁班(PreK 3)和四岁班(PreK 4),双语平行课程以跨学科、项目为本及探究为学习的方法。考虑到学生的年龄,所有教学活动均在本班由英语教师或汉语教师进行授课。 






在双语平行课程中,学生每天都使用英语和汉语。他们使用英语和汉语学习数学,科学和社会科学的概念及知识。在三岁班和四岁班,孩子们在接触印刷文本的过程中,透过各种方法学习字母,汉字和符号所代表的意义。教师为孩子们朗读,示范书写。从幼儿园开始,语文艺术课的重心放在阅读和写作上。 当孩子使用汉语和英语来学习数学, 科学和社会科学时, 我们期望他们使用两种语言,根据相关的学习内容进行阅读和写作。 

从幼儿园到五年级, 双语平行课程的学生每天都有语言文学强化课。教师会在课上对双语平行班的学生,针对特定的语言文学技能进行分层教学。 


双语平行课程与单语课程的课程要求是一样的,唯一的分别在于双语平行课程采用双语进行学习。语文和数学,本校采用美国共同核心标准课程, 科学,采用新一代科学标准, 社会科学方面以高校、职业和公民生活(C3)为课程框架。 


我的孩子既不会说英语,也不会说汉语, 那他怎么学习和沟通呢? 

学生每天沉浸在双语当中。通过身体语言,图片,及其他方式的支援,教师把非英语及汉语背景的孩子包括在所有的班级活动中。在起步阶段,教学的重点是发展孩子的口语,以便他们能参与活动及进行日常的沟通。学习任何一种语言都意味着一定程度的挑战, 需要勇于尝试和时间的投放。我们细心关注您的孩子,确保他们感到安全,觉得自己是集体的一部分。对有些孩子来说,刚开始学习一门语言时会觉得很难。家长应与老师建立伙伴的关系,为孩子提供源源不断的支持和鼓励。通过家校间的紧密合作,我们才能一起帮助孩子顺利过渡到新语言的学习, 并为他们创造正面的学习经验。 


学习一门语言是需要时间的。在学习一门语言的最初阶段,大多数学生都会经历一个“沉默期”。这是语言学习过程的第一阶段,孩子们在这个阶段吸收并内化新语言的发音、语法和语言结构。对有些学生来说,“沉默期”可能会持续半年到一年的时间。在两年内,学生通常会先建立在社交及日常情况下使用语言的信心,并具备一定的流利程度。 在掌握校内学科学术, 认知发展所需语言方面, 平均则需要5到7年的时间。学习一门语言的时间长短因人而异。耐心、持续的支持和不断的鼓励, 再加上家校间的通力协作是孩子能够自信有效使用语言的不二法门。 


老师会根据学科领域标准,定期监督和评估学生的学习情况。日常的交流、行为方面的观察、学生在学习活动中的反应、个人的学习反思和单元作品都是老师用来衡量学生学习表现的工具。对三岁班(PreK 3)和四岁班(PreK 4)的学生来说,家长每年会收到四次孩子的学习日志。从幼儿园到5年级,有关学生的学习进展和成绩表现将通过以下方式进行沟通:第一季度末的学生学习进度报告、第一学期的成绩单、第三季度末的学生领导会议以及第二学期的成绩单。此外,我们也欢迎家长在学年中随时与孩子的老师进行面谈了解孩子的学习情况。 








家长通过Seesaw了解有关课堂教学活动和学校活动的信息。家长通过电邮与老师进行比较个人,针对自己孩子的沟通。参加双语平行课程项目的所有孩子都有一位英语, 一位汉语的班主任,同时配备双语的助教。这个教学团队可确保家长与老师之间的沟通清晰明白。 

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