Organizational Structure

The International School of Tianjin has always been characterized by its warm and caring family feeling and each member of our school shares in the responsibility of nurturing this environment to ensure that our school remains a friendly place where the needs of the students come first. Whatever our community member’s position in the school’s organizational structure, the over-riding goal is always to ensure that we are guided by our school philosophy and work, learn and act together for our common future.

IST is governed by a nine member Board of Governors who appoints the Director as the Head of School/Chief Educational Officer. Our school is divided into two main sections: the Elementary School and the Secondary School, each headed by a sectional principal who reports to the Director. One of the principals also fulfils the role of Deputy Director.


The elementary school is headed by the Elementary Principal and has two sub-sections: Lower Elementary (NPK-Grade 2) which also incorporates the Early Childhood Unit (ECU), and Upper Elementary (Grade 3 to 5).

The elementary school follows the IB-Primary Years Program (PYP), for students aged 3-11. The curriculum framework is interdisciplinary and focuses on the development of the whole child using inquiry based, concept driven teaching methodologies.


The secondary school is headed by the Secondary Principal and has two sub-divisions: Middle School (Grades 6-8) and High School (Grades 9-12).

Students in Grades 6-10 follow the holistic and interdisciplinary IB-Middle Years Program (MYP) and students in Grades 11 and 12 take courses that lead to the IB Diploma Program (DP) and/or IST Diploma. The IB-Diploma program is a demanding pre-university course of study that leads to external examinations.


The school is headed by the Director, who is immediately supported within each of the two main sections by the elementary and secondary principals. Within the two sections there are a number of school-wide and sectional leadership positions.

  • Elementary School: PYP Coordinator; Upper and Lower Elementary Coordinators; Language and Literacy Coordinator.
  • Secondary School: MYP and DP Coordinators; Subject Chair for each discipline.
  • School-wide: Community and Service Coordinator; Student Services Coordinator; IT Coordinator; Design Centre Coordinator; Library and Information Literacy Coordinators; Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Coordinator; and Athletic and Activities Director.