For more information on the British International School in Moscow, where your children we are ready to provide a high level of academic training, please contact us directly. We are happy to answer all your questions
The English National Curriculum or a Russian programme (school 5).
Children may register from the age of 3 years and continue until they complete the IB programme at the age of 18 years.
Each Foundation Stage (3 to 5 years old) and Key Stage 1(5 to 7 years old) class has a full time teaching assistant whilst parallel classes share an assistant at Key Stage 2 (7 to 11 years old). This enables a differentiated primary curriculum to be delivered. However should your child have a Statement of Educational need you must provide comprehensive reports in order for the school to decide whether your child’s needs can be met.
Over 70 nationalities are represented throughout our schools enabling us to deliver a truly international dimension to all that we do.
Given the international dimension of working in Moscow, families arrive throughout the year and if places are available we warmly welcome new families to our schools throughout the year.
We strive to maintain a maximum number of 20 students in each class, although many of our classes have considerably less on roll.
In our Primary Schools Russian language lessons are available from Year 1 to 6 and our older key Stage 2 children are offered at least one modern foreign language, usually French whilst our secondary students are offered German, French and Spanish in addition to Russsian.
BISM is able to provide transport to and from its main sites. Please ask for details when applying for your child’s place at our school.
In the British (English and Welsh) system students spend years 10&11 preparing for the GCSE exams
(the General Certificate of Secondary Education). The GCSEs mark the end of compulsory secondary
education and are taken when students are aged 15-16. Students in international schools usually take
international IGCSEs. Students who would like to go to university spend an extra two years at school
in Years 12&13 in order to take Advanced Level (A-level) examinations in 3-4 subjects. Increasingly,
schools are offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma instead of A-Levels. The British International
School, Moscow offers the IB Diploma in Years 12&13 at its southern secondary campus (School 3).
Students apply to university on the basis of their IGCSE and IB Diploma results.
Year 11 (IGCSE) is an important ‘half-way house’ measuring students’ performance at the age of 16. An equivalent could be the GIA (Gosudarstvennaya Itogovaya Atestatsiya) exams taken in Russia. IGCSE qualifications are not sufficient for students to be accepted onto a British university degree programme. However, students apply for university at the beginning of Year 13 (before they have taken the IB Diploma exams) and universities use their IGCSE results as a basis for making conditional offers. A conditional offer could be met by students’ achieving a certain points total at IB. Students are at a disadvantage if they apply for British universities without IGCSE qualifications, although there have been several cases when BISM students have done this successfully. We recommend that students complete IGCSEs before starting the IB Diploma programme.
Successful completion of Years 12&13 would lead to a student being awarded the IB Diploma. “The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, aged 16 to 18, for success at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students. The programme, has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.
The Diploma Programme prepares students for effective participation in a rapidly evolving and increasingly global society...” ( http://www.ibo.org/diploma/index.cfm)
The Russian equivalent of the IB Diploma would be the Attestat o Srednem Obrazovanii awarded after passing the EGE (Ediniy Gosudarstvenniy Ekzamen).
Traditionally, our students go to universities in the UK. Almost all UK universities recognise the IB Diploma. A list of some of them is available on http://www.ibo.org/country/GB/index.cfm.
Just as our students come from over 40 different countries, the IB Diploma is recognised in many countries and is given the same recognition as the national qualifications. www.ibo.org gives detailed information on the recognition policy of each country.
Some of our students apply for universities in the USA. On www.ibo.org there is a state-by-state list of all the US universities which admit IB Diploma students directly onto the second year of the undergraduate degree programme. This is a mark of the respect accorded by US institutions to IB Diploma students. It is also possible to enter some US universities without the full diploma (see the ‘certificates’ section below).
However, US institutions usually require a High School Diploma, which BISM does not offer. Students also need to take TOEFL/SAT examinations and BISM does not offer preparation for these examinations.
Although Korea recognises the IB Diploma, our Korean students have found it difficult to use their Diploma to gain entry to Korean universities. Often, Korean students need to take additional entrance tests when they return to Korea. UK institutions would consider a 35-point Diploma to be the equivalent of 2As and a B at A-Level and therefore a very good Diploma score. Korean universities, on the other hand, tend to only respect 40+ points as an acceptable Diploma score. The worldwide average IB Diploma score is 29 points.
University of Bath
University of Durham
University of Leeds
Queen Mary University
University of Edinburgh
St Andrew’s University
University College, London
King's College, London
Royal Holloway College, London
University of Lancaster
University of Warwick
London School of Economics
University of Bradford
University of Bristol
University of Surrey
University of Liverpool
City University London
School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
University of Glasgow
University of Surrey
University of Manchester.
In other countries:
Monash University (Australia)
University of Colorado
New York University
University of Michigan
University of Oklahoma
According to www.ibo.org, the Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics recognise the IB Diploma. However, our experience has been that Russian institutions also require Russian nationals to have passed the Russian school-leaving qualifications.
We believe strongly that the IB Diploma is a full-time programme and that students will not have the time and energy needed to complete two programmes successfully. If a student wants to be successful at IB, he/she will need to spend lots of time reading around each of the subjects in addition to completing the homework set to the high standards expected of IB students. IB students also need time to complete the Creativity, Action, Service programme outside school. Our experience of Russian students trying to pass the Russian ЕГЭ in addition to the IB is that they make very little progress in Year 12 before desperately trying to catch up in Year 13. Often it is too late for them to catch up and achieve the points score they need to attend a good UK university.
Students and parents need to be clear about what they want to achieve. If the plan is to attend a foreign university, commitment needs to be given to the IB. If he/she wants to attend a Russian university, the student should follow the Russian school programme. Completing two programmes results in mediocre results in both programmes.
Students wanting to apply to UK universities need to apply through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions System). This is is centralised system which allows students to apply for up to 5 different degree programmes using one application. The student lists his/her IGCSE results as well as the subjects taken on the IB Diploma. The most important aspect is the 'personal statement' in which the student explains why he/she wants to 'read' a particular subject at university. Students can only write one personal statement, so it is important that the 5 courses chosen are similar. The deadline for UCAS is usually 15 January of Year 13. The deadline for medicine and all courses at Oxford and Cambridge is usually 15 October. The school guides the students through the UCAS process. We also provide students with a written reference which includes our prediction of the student's performance at IB. The UCAS site contains valuable advice for students and parents: www.ucas.ac.uk.
Once a university has considered a student’s UCAS application, they either reject the application, or they make the student a conditional offer, which requires the student to achieve a certain points total at IB. In theory a student can receive up to 5 offers, but he/she is only allowed to hold on to two of them. The student chooses a 'firm' (preferred) choice and an 'insurance' offer. Usually the 'insurance' choice requires a lower points score than the 'firm' choice.
Students applying to American colleges and universities either apply directly to the university, or they submit an application through the Common Application service, which is similar to the UK's UCAS. The deadline for the Common Application is usually December 31 of Year 13.
In some other countries it is possible to apply for university after the IB Diploma results have been published in July of Year 13. Students should contact the universities for advice.
In previous years many of our students have applied for Business Management or Economics-related degree programmes at UK universities. These courses, along with Law, are very popular and therefore require high Diploma points scores (33-38 points) for a student to meet the entry requirements. Medicine courses typically require very high points totals (approximately 38 points). The entry requirements for Arts and some Humanities subjects tend to be lower. The typical entry requirements for each university degree programme can be found on the UCAS site by the student carrying out a course search ( www.ucas.ac.uk).
For each of the 6 subjects a grade of 1 to 7 is awarded (7 is the highest). Therefore, a maximum total of 42 points can be earned in the 6 Diploma subjects. There are also 3 bonus points, which brings the maximum Diploma score to 45 points. The bonus points are calculated on the student’s performance in the Theory of Knowledge component and the Extended Essay. Most UK universities allow the bonus points to be included in the points total.
Almost all of our students start some form of higher education after completing the IB Diploma programme. Most students start their degree programme several months after the publication of the IB Diploma results. Other students need to pass separate entrance tests in their own country. Students in the southern hemisphere wait until the New Year before starting their degree programme. Other students take a gap year or complete military service before going on to higher education.
BISM3 has received yearly visits from representatives of University College London, King’s College London and the London School of Economics and Political Sciences.
We have also received visits from the following institutions:
University of Bristol; University of Manchester; University of Liverpool; L'Institut d'йtudes politiques (France); IHTTI (Switzerland); University of Tartu (Estonia); University of Strathclyde (UK); IMI (Switzerland); University of Arts London (UK); Istituto Europeo di Design (Italy, Spain); Istituto Marangoni (Italy, Spain and UK); University of East London (UK); Universita Bocconi (Italy); European University (Spain) University of Niagara (Canada); Erasmus University, Rotterdam (Netherlands); University of Hong Kong; Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Hult International Business School (London); Ecole Hotelier Lausanne (Switzerland).
In September 2012 BISM3 hosted a university fair attended by representatives from over 30 different universities from the USA, Canada, Australia, the UK and other EU member states
The full IB Diploma is the most challenging and therefore the most widely respected programme offered by the IB. Students need to meet many requirements before they can be awarded the full IB Diploma:
● taking six subjects, three at Higher Level (HL) and three at Standard Level (SL)
● delivering a Theory of Knowledge presentation and writing a TOK essay
● writing an Extended Essay (the equivalent of a first-year undergraduate research essay)
● meeting the learning outcomes for Creativity, Action, Service
● submitting internally assessed work and taking examinations set by the IB in the six subjects.
● achieving at least 24 points (other conditions apply)
Not all students are capable of meeting these requirements. These students can take IB ‘certificates’ which are separate qualifications. ‘Certificates’ students take exactly the same examinations as Diploma students, but there is no requirement to take 3 subjects at Higher Level. They can take one or two IB subjects if they wish and they do not have to study TOK, write an Extended Essay and take part in CAS. The IB no longer refers to these students as ‘Certificates’ candidates and has chosen the term ‘Diploma Programme Course’ candidates. Some of our former students have used IB certificates to enter university in the USA. Recently, UCAS has added IB Certificates (Diploma Programme Courses) to its tariff system. However, our experience has been that most UK universities require the full IB Diploma.
‘A-Level’ is an abbreviation of the General Certificate of Education, Advanced Level. Since 1951 it has been a qualification taken in Year 13 and its results are used to decide whether students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland have the knowledge and skills needed to enter higher education. Scottish students take ‘Highers’ instead of ‘A-Levels’. A-Level students take a narrow range of subjects (usually 3 or 4 subjects) and the expectation is that they will study these subjects in depth. Each subject is regarded as a separate qualification. The pass grades for A-Level are A-E, with A being the highest grade. Since 2000 ‘A-Level’ has been split into two stages: ‘AS’ modular examinations taken in Year 12 and ‘A2’ modular examinations taken in Year 13. The A-Level results are converted into points by UCAS and the points total determines whether a student is accepted into university.
There have been accusations made in the media by politicians in recent years that so called ‘grade inflation’ is taking place and that A-Levels are becoming ‘easier’. To enable universities to distinguish between good and excellent students, a new top grade (A*) was introduced. Concerns have also been raised that the range of subjects at A-Level is too narrow. For example it is not compulsory for all students to study English or Mathematics in their final two years at school. This year the UK government has announced that it will reform the A-Level system. It is not clear whether A-Levels will remain or whether they will be replaced by another qualification. Many private and state schools have started offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
In contrast the results statistics for the IB Diploma have remained stable. Between 0.2% and 0.25% of all the world’s IB Diploma candidates (56000 in May 2012) gain the maximum of 45 points. Universities know that a score of 40+ is a world-class result and the top UK universities tend to make conditional offers of 36+ points. Universities know that all students have studied Mathematics and a Literature subject until the age of 18. All IB students have also studied a science, a humanities subject and a second language. Students who have completed the IB Extended Essay already have experience of university-style research when they start university. Often, our former IB students have commented that they felt at
an advantage during their first year at university.
While the A-Level's future remains uncertain, the IB is experiencing a period of rapid growth. The worldwide number of IB candidates grew from 88000 in 2008 to 121000 in 2012. As an independent organisation, the IB is more able than national educational systems to design its own curriculum and assessment procedures with a minimum of intervention from national governments. As a result, the structure of the IB Diploma remains much the same as it was when it was introduced in 1968.
The IGCSE qualifications are issued and administered by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) , which used to be a department of the University of Cambridge. Only authorised 'centres' are allowed to enter students for CIE examinations. Centres must follow CIE's rules and regulations. BISM3 is an authorised CIE centre with students from both School 3 in the south and School 7 in the north of Moscow taking their IGCSE exams in School 3. After completion, the examination scripts are sent to CIE to be marked by independent examiners. Our students' work is marked according to the same criteria and standards as in other schools, which helps explain the high level of recognition of IGCSEs throughout the world.
Schools wishing to offer the IB Diploma need to undergo an authorisation process before they gain the status of an 'IB World School'. BISM achieved this status in 2002 and is currently seeing its 10th group of students through the Diploma programme. There are 13 schools offering the IB Diploma in Russia. Our students sit their examinations in School 3 in May each year and the IB reserves the right to inspect schools during the exam period. As with IGCSEs, the examinations are marked externally by IB examiners. Some of our teachers also work as IB examiners and the school benefits from their experience. Every 5 years IB World Schools need to demonstrate that they are meeting the IB's standards by conducting an internal audit, which sometimes leads to an inspection visit from the IB. BISM is currently going through this process of self evaluation.