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Nanjing International School
Nanjing International School
Nanjing International School

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Nanjing International School

The Vision & Journey of Our IB School in Jiangsu

We see a school where students have agency to make deliberate choices about what they learn, how they learn, and who they learn with. A school where students learn as they serve others, take environmental action, and create social solutions, both inside and outside of the walls of our school.

Students of different ages share the same spaces at our school. Our work does not occur in isolation. We are a school where teachers are innovating around best practice to create learning environments that connect us all.

Strategy is the map we use to arrive at this new reality.


Strategy is the lens through which we filter all that we do. Strategy is the best of research-informed and innovative practice in education applied to the needs of the NIS community. Some examples are that we use Strategy to guide our thinking and decision making when we:

  • Design learning spaces
  • Discuss student achievement
  • Plan for learning

NIS is an inclusive learning community inspiring international mindedness, creative thinking and personal excellence. Our strategy is how we make this happen.

Our Journey

Defining our strategy was a community collaboration that resulted in The Little Book of Nanjing (2015) - a blueprint for the way in which we ‘do school’ at NIS.

“There are no surprises - the strategy came from the community, after all. Really putting student voice and choice at the centre of things is a huge undertaking that could fundamentally change our school."                             -Laurie McLellan, Director

How did our journey start?


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Normally, school strategies are too long, full of jargon, and have the misplaced belief they can predict what will happen in five years’ time. Normally, no one reads them, but everyone spends five years thrashing about helter-skelter to make ‘it’ happen. Whatever ‘it’ was. Lots of thunder, no rain.

We decided to come up with strategy that is short, to-the-point, and audacious. We’ve zeroed in on two big, audacious goals - "Student Voice & Student Choice" and "Bursting the Bubble." We had eight chunky strategy projects to take us there, in which everyone in the school community took part. We have a talented, creative team of educators, leaders, students and parents driving the projects forward. 

And there’s no ‘five year plan’. We’ll take as long as it takes.

By picking out these two key goals, we have created a simple but ambitious strategy.

It’s simple enough that first graders understand it: when we say we’re inclusive and involving the whole school to make it happen, we really mean it. It’s ambitious enough to excite our existing team, and compel more of the world’s best educators to join us in making it happen.

Learn More

Student Voice & Student Choice

Our school is empowering our students by involving them in the decisions about teaching and learning.

Burst the Bubble

We equip our learners with the skills that allow them to connect and thrive outside their comfort zone: when they start at college, work, or any other new environment.