Growing with the times
In 1991, a momentous decision was made by the German federal government to move the national capital from Bonn to Berlin following reunification 1989. The City of Bonn needed to rethink its future and rebrand itself as a centre for internationalism, global business, research and science.
As plans for "Bonn 2.0" progressed, the need for an international school to serve an increasing number of United Nations families and those of global players headquartered in the region became clear.
Three already existent schools -- the American Elementary School, American High School, and British High School, all with roots from the 1950s -- merged together in August 1997 to form Bonn International School. At that time, most of the embassies in Bonn had moved to Berlin or were on their way. International business and research organizations had yet to make a significant impact in the region. BIS opened its doors to 300 students.
Since then, BIS has grown steadily to its current enrollment of more than 800. While we once primarily served embassies and diplomats, we now host a diverse mix of children from internationally-mobile and local families. Approximately 20% of our students come to Bonn and BIS with the United Nations. The rest are distributed over more than 100 companies. Between 15 - 20% of our students come from families who live in Bonn long-term, either internationally-minded Germans or families having moved to Bonn and fallen in love with the quality of life.
BIS has been an International Baccalaureate World School for 25 years.
After starting with the IB Diploma Years Programme in 1997, we became authorised to teach the IB Middle Years Programme in 1999 and the Primary Years Programme in 2001.
We made the decision early on to adopt an educational system not based on any specific country curriculum. With the full range of IB Programmes, we are able to draw from evolving academic best practice and international research on how children best learn and grow. We chose the IB from the beginning and would unequivocally do so again.
Building for the future
Upon opening in 1997, our school was physically divided between three locations which had seen better days. Over the past 15 years, we have financed, built and opened three modern, light-filled buildings on a single riverside campus. We opened the Waves building in January 2006, the Agora in August 2012 and the Crest in January 2017.