Bavarian International School

Distance education is not homeschooling

School of the future: personalized, interdisciplinary, and collaborative.

The completely new experience of homeschooling has triggered a discussion on the future of school and teaching on a broad level. In the general education policy debate, the digitization of schools and teaching is at the forefront – due to a certain necessity. However, the answer to the question of what the learning and teaching of the future might look like is multi-layered and complex. We spoke to Dr. Chrissie Sorenson, director of the Bavarian International School in Haimhausen and Munich, which has around 1,150 students from 61 nations. Her answer is a clear plea to understand and support children in their individuality.

“The future lies in personalized education. Put simply, this means that we pick up children individually where they are in order to take them where they can go. Identifying strengths, fostering passions, imparting values, allowing personalities to blossom – that must be our credo. Educators are advisors, inspirers, development partners and enablers,” says the 55-year-old German-American, who has headed BIS since 2014. The days of mindless cramming of knowledge are long gone. In a digitized, globalized world, she says, issues are complex and interconnected, so learning needs to be more interdisciplinary and collaborative. “Children’s development is not linear; interests and abilities differ, sometimes significantly. In my view, this should lead us to approach the organization of a school and the compilation of curricula with more flexibility, courage and creativity. In concrete terms, this means more holistic, networked, collaborative learning across grade levels, the dissolution of classrooms and thus the use of flexible, interactive learning environments, and of course, last but not least, the sensible use of technological options,” says Dr. Chrissie Sorenson.

Personalized education for future game changers

BIS is a nonprofit, private, all-day school for children ages three to 18, with an Early Childhood Center (kindergarten) and preschool, elementary school (grades 1-5) and high school (grades 6-12). Around 1,150 students from 61 nations attend the two campuses in Munich-Schwabing and Haimhausen. Personalized, holistic and inspiring learning, digital DNA and innovative spirit, excellent framework conditions and, of course, the international environment characterize the Bavarian International School. In addition to English as the school language, German, French, Spanish and Mandarin are taught. BIS places particular emphasis on integrated, psychological counseling programs, learning and language support, and extensive extracurricular activities. Each week, more than 400 students take part in around 80 after-school activities. These include sports, art, music, drama, multimedia, design, the European Environmental School project, Model United Nations and the Duke of Edinburgh International Award.

Founded nearly 30 years ago, BIS follows the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) program. With the IB degree, young people can study at the best universities in Germany and around the world. In 2020, BIS’s IB grade point average of 35.8 was once again well above the global standard (31.1).

Modern, colorful, innovative: BIS City Campus for children aged 3 and over.

The City Campus has also been part of BIS since 2016. Behind the facade of Leopoldstrasse 208 is one of the most modern and spacious schools in Munich. Around 260 children from the age of three from 34 different nations attend the Early Childhood Center with integrated preschool and the elementary school (grades 1-5). Highly qualified teachers and excellent frameworks allow for a personalized education with the child as a curious, individual questioner at the center.

Trust, relationships, collaboration and communication are essential cornerstones of the educational mission statement. English is a school language, but not a requirement for enrollment. German is also a required subject in elementary school. The all-day school offers so-called After School Activities (until 4:30 pm) and the After School Care Club (until 6 pm). Info & registration
for the BIS City Campus directly at 089 – 89655 522.

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