High School

The High School program at Tsinghua International School is designed to help students “FIND THEIR PASSION”! The focused set of required courses ensure that students continue their development as creative, critical thinkers, while the extensive array of elective courses provide them with opportunities to explore areas of interest and have experiences that may alter the paths of their lives. Teachers are all specialists in their content areas and work diligently to challenge students as learners and as future leaders. Within every course students are required to research and defend their positions, to write extensively and for a variety of purposes, to participate in collaborative project groups and to work to attain their own individual potential. Deep involvement in after school programs and sports is encouraged and often leads to students assuming leadership roles in those organizations. By the end of grade 12 students are well prepared to succeed at competitive universities and ultimately the workplace.


What I like about THIS is how easy it is to get involved in the activities and subjects that you’re passionate about and how all your classmates and teachers are supportive of what you do.

- Ruofan, High School Student

THIS is an incredibly collaborative family. The wonderful students, teachers and parents inspire our passion to be better teachers and mentors to everyone.

- Wenting Bai, Teacher

I like THIS because the school supports what we like to do and encourages us to try new things!

- Claudia, High School Student

Our Approach

Admission to Tsinghua International School is a three part process. Students are required to have adequate grades from their previous school, pass a math test as well as an academic English exam and complete an interview in English. The overwhelming majority of our students come with some level of Chinese language ability, but it is not required. All students must have a valid, international passport to attend the school.

All secondary students at THIS undertake advanced study in both English and Chinese. The school’s language of instruction is English, and students who are below required proficiency levels in English take our regular courses, but also additional language support courses to improve their academic English. Once students have shown mastery of academic English, they are no longer required to take the additional courses. In Chinese language, we offer courses for both first and second language speakers. For students who are native speakers of Chinese, the curriculum is similar to that in a Chinese national school, with advanced work in history and literature to develop reading, writing and public speaking skills.

Our Activities Program consists broadly of four components:

  1. Community building: Every year we dedicate the first two weeks of school to community building, including special off campus field trips at each grade-level.
  2. Curriculum-based trips and Activities: Academic field trips and hands-on department days (e.g. History Day) focused on subject matter as well as applied understandings and skills in real life contexts.
  3. Extra-Curricular Activities: Numerous clubs which span a variety of interests are available each semester to secondary division students. Some clubs are student directed while others are led by THIS teachers.
  4. Evaluating and Sharing Knowledge: Students and teachers reflect on our activities within the framework of our mission, vision and value. Collecting trip feedback and presenting information about what was learned on each trip is part of our evaluation and sharing process.
  • International Schools Athletic Conference (ISAC), full membership since 2014. Division II: Boys volleyball, Girls volleyball, Boys basketball, Girls Soccer Division III: Girls basketball, Boys Soccer, Girls Volleyball Sportsmanship awards earned in all three sports, at the Middle and High School levels.
  • THIS Spartans share a gym and sports field with Tsinghua High School.

Services include individual, group, and classroom guidance on topics such as academic difficulty, peer relations, family crisis (death, divorce, etc.), and social/emotional concerns. Both counselor and teachers collaborate to create individualized programs for students and to develop classroom interventions.

Subject Areas

Chinese Language

The high school Chinese program focuses on further developing students’ deep understanding of Chinese literature and Tsinghua scholars’ tradition and spirits. We use textbooks published by People’s Education Press and Outstanding Works of Tsinghua Scholars— a supplementary textbook created by the Chinese Department at THIS. In class, we guide and motivate students to read the textbooks and explore the problems by themselves or in groups in order to cultivate their independent thinking, cooperative exploration and inquiry ability.

English Language Arts

In high school, the philosophy of grounding literature through understanding of philosophical and cultural context is reinforced heavily, where English classes are closely tied with the student’s social studies courses. As a part of our unified standards, there are elements of each class that remain constant: discussion oriented classrooms, vocabulary assignments, timed writes, group projects, and using the writing process. This ensures that each student, regardless of year or ability level acquires a comprehensive set of literacy skills. Students are required to maintain portfolios across each of their grade levels as they reflect and make goals to improve their writing.

World Languages

In High School, the Modern World Languages Department currently offers Spanish I-IV, French I-II and Linguistics I-II in high school and ELS in grade 9 – 10. Spanish, French and Linguistics are electives. High School students are additionally required to take Mandarin Chinese, with the Chinese Department. ELS pull-out classes are mandatory for Grade 9 and 10 students who are identified, through a combination of teacher recommendation and test scores, as being in need of extra English language support.


Math is required each year in high school.  The curriculum is based on the American Common Core up to the 11th grade level.  Students start in 8th grade with Algebra I, 9th grade with Geometry and 10th grade with Algebra 2.  Both regular and advanced level classes are offered in grades 9 – 12.  In addition, after Algebra 2, students have a choice of different math courses including three AP level math courses.

Instructional Technology

In high school, Computer Science is offered at an introductory and AP level. Introduction to Computer Science exposes students to computers and networks at a level deeper than the common user interface, including both hardware and software concepts. Web Design I and I exposes students to the tools and processes involved in website design. Digital Video and Digital Photography curricula are centered at the intersection of image-based documentation and digital content management.


High school students are required to take the following courses: Grade 9 – Physics, Grade 10 – Chemistry and Grade 11 – Biology. In addition, the following electives are offered: AP Physics I and II, AP Chemistry, Environmental Science and Earth and Space Science. Teachers work together to develop concepts and processes that transcend the various courses. The UbD’s also emphasize scientific principles, continued language development especially as it relates to content, and processes that are necessary throughout the study of science.

Social Studies

At THIS, we take a skills-based approach to the social studies curriculum. Throughout their course work, students will learn to use and analyze information presented in a variety of formats, from text to charts and graphs to images, to uncover patterns of similarity and difference, cause and effect, and continuity and change over time. Students will become social scientists, completing original historical research as well as hands-on ethnographic projects as a part of their classes. Humanities, Chinese history, and modern world history are required courses with students choosing an additional elective course to complete their studies. Advanced Placement courses in history and economics are also offered.

Physical Education

In the Secondary Program, students are required to take PE in Grades 6-9 while Health is required in Grades 7-9. Beginning in Grade 10, elective courses are offered which include Strength and Conditioning, Ultimate Sports, Sports Management, Advanced Fitness and Outdoor Education. Students are required to take at least two one semester PE electives between Grades 10 and 12.

Visual Arts

Visual arts courses are project-based but place a strong emphasis on the planning and the process, instead of merely the visual appeal of the final product. Students understand that it is just as important to talk about their art and their intention as it is to make a visually appealing product. In all courses, students continually utilize individual sketchbooks to keep track of their process and to record their ideas. Students build an individual portfolio of their final pieces so that they can revisit and reflect on their achievements and learning.


High school electives allow students to either continue their studies in vocal or instrumental music, or be introduced to more specialized subjects including beginning guitar, music theory and composition, and piano. All music courses have a strong performance component and culminate in a secondary school music concert at the end of the first semester, and performances in the annual arts festival at the end of the second semester. Literacy standards are met through the use of journals, written and spoken reflections, and assessments of vocabulary.

Interested in attending THIS High School?  Contact Admissions