Located in leafy Surrey, this day and boarding secondary school offers a broad, US-based education to a largely American body of students who are encouraged to be open-minded and intellectually curious.
Students represent over 50 nationalities from around the world with the largest proportion coming from the United States. It is set in a beautiful campus is Surrey, close to London, for all its attractions, and close to major airports. Relocating families are assigned a buddy family as well as buddy students. The Parents’ Association is strong and helps enormously with any transition to the UK.
Bryan Nixon, Head of School since 2017, has led international schools in varied locations, including the Bahamas, Germany and the United States. He has created a new mission statement for the school: “TASIS England nurtures intellectual curiosity and emboldens each learner to flourish as a principled, open-minded, and compassionate member of a global community.”
What defines TASIS is “nurturing intellectual curiosity” so that students become lifelong learners. The Head believes in "international mindedness” which celebrates diversity and creates a desire to serve. Developing international mindedness “isn’t just about service to others or community, it’s also about challenging thoughts and ideas.” The students here are open minded, thoughtful and confident and they are encouraged to reach their full potential in whatever field they choose.
TASIS offers a broad-based American curriculum with a global perspective, which include the American high school diploma, twenty Advanced Placement (AP) courses and the International Baccalaureate. All students must study mathematics, English language, arts, history, science, and foreign languages, while also experiencing a wide breadth of other disciplines, including music, art, drama, health, and physical education.
This school does not follow the traditional English education route; the American system of grades and semesters are in place and the school runs on two semesters per year. French and Spanish are offered as modern foreign languages and Latin and Greek are offered as options. The Middle School curriculum in Grades 5-8 is a standards-based curriculum, informed primarily by the AERO Plus Standards. The AERO Plus standards comprise the Common Core State Standards for English and Mathematics, the Next Generation Science Standards, and additional standards for other subject areas. Apart from mathematics, students are not grouped by their ability level.
The Middle School science programme draws many of its resources from Lawrence Hall’s “Amplify Science”. The course is a blend of hands-on investigations, literacy-rich activities, and interactive digital tools to empower students to think, read, write, and argue like real scientists and engineers.
The curriculum conundrum continues and whether to choose British, US or an International course is a decision TASIS takes seriously; it offers the IB Diploma Programme as well as the American High School Diploma with Advanced Placement courses. The latter offers one-year courses per subject and students can start at different grade levels.
The AP Programme is designed to provide motivated high school students with university-level academic courses. Established in 1955 by the College Board in Princeton, New Jersey, the AP Programme offers a range of externally-graded examinations on a scale of one to five. A full selection of subjects is on offer, whichever course the student decides to take.
There is a large sports programme, and the students are taught by experienced external coaches. There's soccer, cheerleading, volleyball, martial arts, lacrosse, horse riding, baseball to name a few. The school is a member of the International School Athletic Association, which is a sporting community made up of international schools, set up to celebrate diversity and build bridges through sporting competition.
TASIS is proud of its extensive arts programmes, which include studio arts, theatre, dance, music, photography, and film. For art there are six classrooms, one dedicated to three-dimensional work with two kilns, one for multi-media, including iMacs equipped with current InDesign and Photoshop packages, and one for printmaking – and there are two general purpose studios.
Drama and music are strong parts of the curriculum, and students are encouraged to partake in productions and to take up individual music lessons. In Lower School, the violin and cello are compulsory for one semester each.
As part of the school's co-curricular programme, there are plenty of elective options with choices such as Yearbook, Curiosity Hour and Introduction to Coding; there are interesting discussion groups where students can explore the Disinformation Age - Fake News, Bias and Facts, etc.
There is also a host of clubs, such as Debating and Women in Politics. TASIS' founder believed that travel should be an essential part of TASIS England’s experience and learning and there are large choices of trips for the students to take, over and above the usual skiing.
Every year during October half term week, TASIS offers exceptional travel opportunities for all Upper School students (Grades 9-12). Trips are organised to several different destinations in Europe such as Wales, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Romania, Italy, and Greece. The trips are assigned by grade level and directly linked to the Upper School curriculum, and the same goes for Middle School.
Community service is an integral part of each student’s education and there are opportunities on campus and off to volunteer and to “give of themselves”.
TASIS supports students with mild learning difficulties and says it can “cater adequately", as long as the student is capable of functioning in the academic mainstream. These students may require small group or individual attention, or specific learning accommodations.
The Annual International Fair is where every nationality represents itself through culture and food. This really does celebrate the school's unique multinational setting where the students are from so many countries.
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The average IB result in 2021 was 36, higher than the 2020 score of 33.
The TASIS England 2020 AP pass rate was 89%, which compares favourably with an American independent school average of 70%.
TASIS graduates attend universities including Oxford, Chicago, Imperial College London, Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, University College London and many more. Several students continue to study the arts, going to Film School, Rhode Island School of Design and Central St. Martins to name a few.
Boarding house bedrooms are typically shared between two or three students, each with a different mother tongue to encourage the use of English. Pastoral care is taken extremely seriously here with Dorm Parents in place. The weekend activity choices are plentiful and fun, such as trips to London theatres, proms, mountain biking and more.
TASIS has a flexible rolling admissions policy and welcomes students all year round. As part of the admissions process, a report must be filled in by your child's current school.
Fees start from £12,280 per annum for Early Years (ages 3-5). Day fees are grade-dependent and range from £20,900-£26,375. Boarding fees from Grades 8-13 are £48,900. Scholarships and bursaries are available, both non-means tested and means tested.
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