Frequently Asked Questions
During the academic year (August-July) BIST offers a British International education to students from Foundation (Early Years) to Year 13. To be eligible for Foundation 1 class, the child must be 3 by the 1st September of the current academic year. Placement options for students aged 16-18 are determined individually during the admissions process.
Students are placed primarily according to their age on 1st September of the current academic year (see the placement table in the Admissions Section). Although different countries have varying approaches to the age at which a child starts primary school, it is not feasible for BIST to place students according to the education regulations of their home country. We believe that it is important for children, both academically and socially, to be placed with their peers according to their age group, not according to how many years of previous schooling they may have had. Placement options are discussed as part of the admissions process, in consultation with the Admissions Office.
The tuition fee covers all normal academic expenses, including textbooks, as well as school dinner and an afternoon snack. BIST’s extensive range of Clubs and Creativity activities are also included. One lesson of swimming is included per week for Primary students, while additional lessons will be billed separately. Field trips, special activities which take place on/off school campus (not compulsory) are paid for separately throughout the year. Parents are also expected to provide the basic school supplies, school uniform, appropriate clothing and shoes for Physical Education (PE) class and swim class, and also equip the student with a daily morning snack (for Foundation Year students, the morning snack is provided). The school bus service is offered for an additional fee.
The school bus service is offered to students from Years 1-13 who live in the Tbilisi central area, for an additional fee. Foundation Year students who have an older sibling attending the school may also use the bus service. The cost covers pick-up and return fare per student at a designated bus stop. Please see the bus map on our website for detailed information on the routes. The service may be provided outside the central area, based on demand and availability, for an additional fee. Morning pick-up will begin at approximately 8.00am, depending on the route and location of the pick-up points. In the afternoons, buses will depart the school at 4.45pm, once after-school activities are completed. An earlier afternoon service (departing school at 3.30, immediately following the end of the academic day) may be offered to the Vake and Saburtalo areas, providing there is sufficient demand. Parents may choose either the earlier or later departure time at the beginning of the school year. BIST’s fleet of ten 30-seater buses are specifically designed to transport schoolchildren and are fitted accordingly with all of the appropriate safety requirements and features, including individual seatbelts, high padded seat backs, emergency exits, raised floors, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and a 360° mirror for the driver. The buses also have flashing lights and an extendable ‘stop’ arm which are activated whenever a child is being picked up or dropped off. The bus manufacturers conducted tailored safety training for the bus drivers, including on how to operate the bus, how to use all the safety features and equipment, driving safety, safe drop-off and pick up techniques, emergency procedures, and bus maintenance. A bus monitor travels with the students on each bus, ensuring that students are safely picked up and dropped off, that all safety procedures are followed, and that parents can be contacted if required.
With over 40 different nationalities represented, BIST is very much an international school, and newly-arriving students have widely varying capacities in English. Our teachers are all experienced in teaching in international contexts where English is a second language for students. The teachers and teaching assistants arrange targeted additional language support as required, and as students are fully immersed in the language (all instruction is entirely in English), they progress quickly. Additionally, specialist English as an Additional Language (EAL) teachers work with individuals or small groups of students who need extra support with developing their English competency. These extra lessons are conducted during foreign languages sessions (French, Spanish, German & Russian). If additional lessons beyond three per week are required a small additional charge is levied.
BIST’s cafeteria offers a broad range of cuisines to cater to different tastes and expose students to different types of food, while ensuring that all food served is healthy, nutritious and appropriate for young growing children. Students use our spacious third floor cafeteria for school dinners and are served afternoon snack in their classrooms to ensure adequate preparation time for Clubs and Creativity activities. Dinners comprise of soup, fresh vegetables and/or salads, juice and full hot meals. Afternoon snacks might include fresh fruit, sandwiches and pastry items. All food prepared by BIST’s cafeteria is locally-purchased, stored according to the highest health and safety standards, and served fresh to the students.
BIST uniform consists of a light blue shirt or t-shirt, a navy blue jumper or cardigan, a navy blue skirt, shorts, or trousers and dark coloured shoes. Year 7 students and above may optionally wear a navy blue blazer in lieu of a jumper/cardigan if they wish. Students are expected to wear the school uniform at all times, unless otherwise indicated by the teacher or administration for special events or field trips. Parents are welcome to purchase light blue polo shirts with a BIST badge/crest from the school office. Parents are requested to source the navy blue skirt, shorts, or trousers themselves. During the cold season, BIST Lion hooded tops are also on sale and can be used as part of the required school uniform. Parents can have the option to purchase the BIST school crest/badge, which is sewn or ironed onto garments. Please read all the details about uniforms here: BIST REQUIRED SCHOOL UNIFORM
To assist parents, BIST provides a list of required supplies for each class Key Stage, based on the type of materials required at each level. Each teacher advises parents at the beginning of the academic year which additional items may need to be supplied. These can include a pen and pencil case, indoor/outdoor shoes, a water bottle, swimming kit, etc. BIST supplies all the necessary textbooks to students via the BIST library. Teachers also utilise a broad range of teaching and learning resources acquired from a variety of other sources.