Welcome to ISW’s Elementary Department

International School of Wuxi’s elementary program is designed specifically for students in grades 1-5. The elementary program creatively combines active hands-on activities with cooperative learning in small classes catered to students’ individual needs.


ISW’s elementary school program seeks to prepare students for life success in their academics, social maturity, and spiritual well-being. In order to accomplish this, teachers utilize student centered learning strategies.  Some of these strategies include, but are not limited to: teacher directed lessons, cooperative learning, character education, and weekly team building activities across grade levels. ISW’s goal is that our students be prepared to live as dynamic individuals in a diverse world.


ISW is known for promoting excellence in academic achievement and encouraging our students to strive for their personal best.  However, we also understand the importance of learning through play, service, technology, and community.  Through the opportunities provided in and out of the classroom, it is ISW’s goal that our students become well-rounded young men and women who actively make a difference in the world around them.


Our staff seeks to truly care for the whole child, building relationships with them that foster trust and support.  It is our desire that our students learn the importance of being people of character, truth, and excellence.  Not only is ISW a place for students to grow in their English and academic skills, but also an environment which nurtures the students’ social, emotional, and spiritual skills.

Who should enroll in ISW’s Elementary Program?

  • Expatriate students in 1st-5th grade who are interested in improving their English skills
  • Students who in the future may move to the United States or some other English speaking country
  • Children who want to gain experience interacting with peers and educators from diverse cultural backgrounds

Why should students enroll in ISW’s Elementary Program?

  •  Safe learning environment
  •  Highly trained, professional teachers with multiple years of teaching experience (overseas and in the United States)
  •  Caring and competent teachers, co-teachers, and staff who are invested in providing high quality education to meet the academic, physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of each student
  •  Individual learning needs are addressed with student-focused programing (curriculum, goals-setting, lesson design)
  •  English is the core language of instruction with opportunities for intensive language study in pull-out classes and push-in support


The elementary school curriculum uses traditional teacher-directed study/learning activities in character education, language arts, phonics, science, social studies, Chinese, math, physical education, computer, art, and music.  The child moves from concrete experiences to increasingly more complex levels of abstraction in critical thinking.  Skills related to each area build upon previous learning and measurable performance objectives.


Elementary Program Features:

iPad Program

iPads are incorporated into the Elementary program to enhance student learning and give students the opportunity to use technology as a resource. A class set of iPads is shared between grades 1 – 4, and a class set of iPads is used in grade 5.

Stanford Achievement Testing

The Stanford Achievement Test is administered every spring to all elementary and secondary students. The test series measures academic knowledge in multiple subject areas including: reading comprehension, mathematics, problem solving, science, and social studies. The result of this test can be used by both teachers and parents to better support student learning. ISW schedules the test over the course of 3 days to be given during school hours.

Reading Program

ISW’s reading program is designed to help both non-native and native English speakers track and improve their reading level. The Wildcat Readers program is hosted each year by the library to spark student’s interest in reading books. The reading curriculum features different reading programs based on the grade level of the student. Grades 1 – 3 follow the Reading A – Z program for reading groups and leveled readers to provide on-level reading materials at home. Grades 4 and 5 follow the Read Naturally program to improve reading fluency and comprehension. All elementary students participate in the DRA Reading Assessment several times throughout the year to help teachers gage growth and identify individual learning needs. Learn more about the Wildcat Reader Program here.

English Language Support

The elementary program supports the learning needs of non-native English speakers through the ELL program. The program provides support through the “pull-out” and “push-in” methods in Phonics, 2nd and 3rd grade Reading, Grammar, Writing and Phonics and 4th and 5th grade Reading, Grammar, Writing, Spelling, Phonics, and Social Studies. Learn more about the ELL program here.