Welcome to Suzhou Singapore International School, and Suzhou’s premier international school experience!
At SSIS our mission is to provide “an excellent international education” but what does that mean exactly?
It may seem odd to say this, but it is not the 45 different nationalities of students that makes us international. There are national schools in New York, Paris and London with as much variety but with no intention of being international. And, while it is important for us to recruit highly qualified and experienced teachers from different nations so that no one national culture dominates, our 20 teacher nationalities is not what makes us international either.
Internationalism is a value summed up in our vision statement, a desire for students to become “self-motivated, lifelong learners, who value other cultures and are responsible, meaningful participants in the international community.” Yes, this means academic rigour - without it students’ values can have little effect: so we offer the academically rigorous IB programmes and are proud of students who have joined the tiny elite who have scored full marks at IB Diploma and IB’s Middle Year’s Programme (MYP); we are proud of the IB scores consistently and significantly above world average; and we are proud of the students who graduate from this to the world’s top universities, like Cambridge or Princeton. But it is more than academics: we are most proud of the kind of people our students become, not just the abilities they gain.
Our students are expected to be principled, not merely obedient; to actively collaborate with peers; to seek first to understand, not just tolerating other cultures but growing through interaction with them. They develop these qualities in the classroom and through an extensive extra curricula programme of sports, exercise, art, music, drama, debate and service to the local and international community.
Excellence, like internationalism, is a quality of character. Our excellent facilities certainly help – the track, field, tennis courts, floodlit soccer pitch, theatre media centre, high tech design labs, science labs, world-class data centre and network – but they are a support for our excellence, not the essence of it, which is a belief that everyone of all abilities can improve, can achieve more than they have done; that no-one should rest on their laurels, and no-one should give up. This “strong culture of educational excellence at SSIS” was singled out for praise by CIS and NEASC, our European and North American accrediting agencies, in a 2016 report that awarded us with a very high number of commendations.
Starting with a half-day Pre-Nursery programme for 2 year olds, through the three IB programmes or a German programme to graduation at 18 years old, our students are first and foremost members of an international community, one that takes pride in the excellence of its academic results and its facilities but understands that true excellence is in the character of its members.
Head of School