Guiding Statements


The school of choice where students come first


The International School of Tianjin is a not-for-profit school offering an outstanding education for the students of the international community of Tianjin.


Working together
Learning together
Acting together for our common future


Our school is a friendly place where the needs of the student come first. We all agree that the school and the family must work closely together to help each child achieve his or her unique potential. We help our students develop resilience and self-confidence, expecting them to be respectful of others and to recognize that everybody is entitled to his or her own point of view.

Our students love to learn. They learn to think for themselves, but they also understand the benefit of working together in teams. Our students learn how to think creatively and critically, how to make sound judgments, and how to apply their knowledge in real life situations. Teachers and parents have high social, moral and academic expectations of our students. Together, they challenge students to make the most of their abilities, and help them to make meaningful connections between the different branches of human knowledge. Our teachers appreciate that individual students learn differently, so they provide a variety of learning experiences and use a wide range of teaching resources, technologies, methods and assessment strategies. Our community promotes balance and wellbeing, celebrates all kinds of student success and appreciates that adults, too, are learners.

Our common future requires that we all look beyond our immediate needs. For this reason, our students learn that they have a duty to the wider community and to the environment. They learn to take part in government, to give service to others, and to work towards a better and more peaceful world. They learn about our host country, China, embrace multilingualism, and reflect on how different people in the world can learn from each other. Our students learn to be honest, to persevere in everything they do, and to have the courage to defend their views while making informed and ethical choices as future leaders in our changing world.



Learners at IST strive to be:

Friendly: We cheerfully engage with all members of the community, showing genuine interest and goodwill towards others. We speak positively and charitably with and about each other to foster sincere and inclusive relationships.

Courageous: We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.

Inquirers: We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.

Knowledgeable: We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.

Thinkers: We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.

Communicators: We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.

Principled: We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.

Open-Minded: We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.

Caring: We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.

Balanced: We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives—intellectual, physical, (spiritual) and emotional—to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.

Reflective: We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.

(based on the IB learner profile © International Baccalaureate Organization 2013)



International Mindedness at IST is grounded in the principles of the IST School Philosophy, the Mission of the International Baccalaureate, and

  • our commitment to a rigorous IB education and character development through the IST Learner Profile;
  • our dedication to multilingualism, literacy, numeracy, and responsible lifestyles and use of technology;
  • our provision of a wealth of service opportunities, co-curricular programs, and special events that allow individuals from around the world to come together as a diverse and unified community here in Tianjin.

Learning at IST is an inquiry-based, conceptually-driven process guided by our school Philosophy and the IB programmes where we cultivate and deepen knowledge, skills, understandings and dispositions through engaging, meaningful and diverse experiences repeated over time.

High quality learning:

  • Nurtures curiosity, enthusiasm and courage
  • Builds on prior experiences and is guided by a clear purpose
  • Explores ideas, issues and topics of personal, local and global significance and extends learning to new situations and contexts
  • Applies critical, creative and ethical thinking to evaluate ideas and situations
  • Uses diverse literacy skills for effective communication
  • Draws upon transdisciplinary skills and disciplinary knowledge, processes and structures
  • Inspires innovative ideas and solutions utilizing relevant technologies and media
  • Includes modeled, guided, independent and interdependent learning experiences
  • Relies on frequent and diverse forms of feedback, assessment and reflection
  • Ensures students have choice, voice and ownership and opportunities for action