How virtual school really works – Distance Learning at BIS

Bavarian International School (BIS) in Munich as a source of inspiration: A tailor-made and balanced program inspires students, parents and teachers.

Immediately after the school gates had to be closed all over the country due to the corona virus, Bavarian International School (BIS) opened as a virtual school. With its own distance learning program, teaching continued seamlessly for around 1,200 students from 56 nations between the ages of 3 and 18. Already in the first three weeks, the innovative learning concept of BIS generated enthusiasm among students, parents and teachers alike. Newspapers such as the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" reported on BIS's distance learning as a benchmark.

 The technological equipment and a trained, digitally-affine teaching team are key prerequisites for the success of the programme. "Educational Technology" has been integrated into the BIS curriculum since 2002. Each student in grades 4-6 receive their own iPad and in grades 7-12 their own MacBook.

An IT team is on hand to provide assistance for any issues that may occur and they provide a help desk service to deal with these issues. Tailor-made offers for each age group, a conscious balance between online and offline time and including exercise, sport and social exchange are further decisive factors. In addition to continuous learning, the focus is on health and well-being.

For example, a day of lessons in the upper school consists of three blocks at 9:15 am, 11:15 am, and 2:00 pm, each with two hours. However, the students do not spend all of this time in front of the shared screen, but complete their tasks offline - only the teacher remains available during this time. Google Classroom, Google Meet or Seesaw are used for this purpose. Sufficient face-to-face communication between teachers and students, but also between the students themselves, has proven to be immensely important. The balanced daily schedule gives the students structure, stability and normality.

"We faced this difficult situation by using our own innovative power and the experience of other international schools around the globe to start and permanently develop Distance Learning. This enables us to maintain the highest educational standards that BIS families expect from us and which we set ourselves as a global benchmark," explains BIS school director Dr. Chrissie Sorenson.

The Bavarian International School sees itself as a pioneer in partnership, sharing its knowledge and experience with other educational institutions. On the current website the Distance Learning Programme is also available for everyone to read.

Watch our video about the "Distance Learning" at BIS here.


About Bavarian International School: Personalised education for future world citizens

Bavarian International School gAG (BIS) is a non-profit institution with two campus locations (Haimhausen and Munich-Leopoldstr.). Around 1,200 children and adolescents from 56 nations between the ages of 3 and 18 attend the recognized IB World School including kindergarten. As one of only two international schools in Germany, BIS offers all four IB programs. The IB DP average result of 34.3 (worldwide: 29.7) illustrates the high pedagogical standards. 210 employees work at BIS, including 170 teachers from 29 nations. The holistic educational focus is on the individual development of each child under the motto "Believe. Inspire. Succeed". Due to the high proportion of international students (75%), the private all-day school is an important factor for Munich's business promotion and marketing.