The Western Academy of Beijing was founded in 1994, at a time when there was a need for additional school spaces to accommodate the growing expatriate community.
Now a top international school in China with 1,400 students and world-class facilities, WAB looks towards the future while honoring the past.
WAB was founded with a strong sense of purpose, recognizing that there was a need for a truly international school that put children at the center of its efforts, embracing the experience of being in China and responsive to its community. After more than 20 years, WAB continues its tradition of excellence and embodies the spirit of its founding.
September 1, 1994 - WAB Opens its Doors
WAB opened its doors to 149 children, welcomed by its community of believers. The first day of school began to the sound of applause as the opening ceremony ribbon was cut.
June 5, 2000 - New Campus Ground Breaking
Original Campus Layout
WAB's original campus layout, which has transformed over the years.
June 23, 2002 - Early Childhood Center Opens
Our ECC became the new home for our Nursery and Pre-K students (now known as Early Years).
September 2, 2003 - WAB Middle School Opens
We welcomed a whole new building for our Middle School students.
August 25, 2005 - WAB HUB Center Opens
August 25, 2005 - High School Ground Breaking
August 16, 2006 - WAB High School Opens
After months of construction and anticipation, the doors to WAB's new High School Center opened to our community. With the help of several High School Student Ambassadors, WAB families toured the exciting new addition to the WAB campus, which represented the completion of the WAB Campus Master Plan 2001 - 2006.
August 1, 2006 - WAB Goes Wild
WAB formally launched the 'WAB Wild' Program. The full program encompasses a range of curricular-based experiential education, such as outdoor education, China Engagement programs, and interdisciplinary experiential classrooms like Science and Geography. The program embraces the value of environmental sustainability in all its forms.
August 31, 2006 - WAB Awarded Model School of Olympic Education
The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad announced that WAB was awarded the honor of Model School of Olympic Education.
June 1, 2007 - Our School's First Graduates
On Saturday, June 2, 2007, we reached a milestone in WAB's history, as we celebrated our first Grade 12 graduates with a ceremony at the Confucius Temple.
January 8, 2008 - Partnership with Bayer Begins
Partnership with Bayer for "The Green Generation: Environmental Education Center” Project.
January 30, 2008 - Olympic Gold Medalist Shares Olympic Dream with WAB Community
Australian Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe visited WAB to share his Olympic dream story with the WAB community and conduct a swim clinic for the WAB Tigersharks. As a Beijing Olympic Education Model School, WAB embraced this truly extraordinary opportunity for students and parents to meet one of the world's fastest swimmers, and the most titled Australian swimmer to date.
March, 2009 - Olympic Dream Series Starts in Elementary School
The Olympic Dream Series (ODS) is a sporting program run at WAB for students in Grades 2-5. The ODS offers these WAB students the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports with children in the same grade, during lunchtimes.
April 10, 2009 - WAB's Bridge Opens
WAB celebrated the opening of the campus bridge on Friday, April 10, 2009 with a community-wide event including students, staff, parents, Board members, WAB founders, community partners, government officials and supporters of the Green Generation campaign to build the bridge and transform the campus lake into a constructed wetlands and experiential education center.
August 31, 2009 -WAB's first APAC Championship Title: Boys and Girls Volleyball
Having joined APAC just one year earlier, WAB was pleased to win its first ever APAC title in volleyball. WAB's first APAC Championship Title: Boys and Girls Volleyball.
September 20, 2009 - WAB Unveils New Mission
WAB’s mission describes what the school, as a community of learners, is seeking to achieve. Along with the Philosophy and Core Values, this mission provides the context for teaching and learning, as well as a framework for the school’s strategic direction.
October 24, 2009 - Celebrating 15 Years in Style
Upon arriving at Saturday night’s "WAB on the Move”, guests were welcomed to a campus that had been transformed into a beautiful and festive venue in celebration of WAB’s 15 year anniversary.
September 16, 2010 - WAB Miao Liang & JGI Partnership Signed
WAB Miao Liang & Jane Goodall Insititute Partnership was signed.
December 9, 2010 - Tiger Field Opens
November 15, 2011 - NBA player George Gervin Visits WAB
The WAB Basketball Community was very lucky to welcome the "Iceman" George Gervin to WAB. Gervin, a member of the basketball Hall of Fame, spoke to players, coaches and other attendees about his experience in basketball.
November 26, 2011 - US Ambassador Visits WAB
US Ambassador to China, Gary Locke, stressed the importance of students' involvement in international affairs at the Global Issues Conference (GIC) held at WAB. This would be the 6th time WAB had hosted GIC. That year's theme, "Speak Out," highlighted the importance of open communication in resolving differences.
February, 2013 - WAB Broadcast Crew Goes Mobile, Broadcasting to 40 Countries
In early February, WAB’s Tiger Sports Network (TSN) team traveled from Beijing to South Korea to cover the Super 12 APAC Boys Basketball Tournament, live streaming the entire tournament to over 40 countries around the world!
June 29, 2013 - Dutch soccer star Ruud Gullit Visits WAB
Ruud Gullit, Dutch soccer manager and former professional player came to the Western Academy of Beijing on June 10 to run soccer clinics with lucky WAB students and two local Chinese soccer schools. The former Dutch national team captain and ‘87 and ‘89 World Soccer Player of the Year star worked directly with the lucky young players, running drills to work on coordination and gameplay.
December 11, 2013 - WAB Receives Apple Distinguished School Designation
The selection of The Western Academy of Beijing as an Apple Distinguished School highlights its successes in enhancing and extending teaching and learning with thoughtful and innovative implementations of technology. WAB has been continuously re-accredited as an Apple Distinguished School since 2013.
February 2014 - Tiger L'Air Opens for Use
Construction of the Tiger L'Air began on June 20, 2013, and the much-anticipated dome was inflated on November 25. The filtered-air facility can be modified to accommodate several sports, and students from all school sections have access.
August 31, 2014 - 20 Years of WAB
Western Academy of Beijing celebrated its 20th Anniversary in true WAB style.
October 13, 2015 - Chinese Table Tennis Legend Liu Guoliang Visits WAB
Widely regarded as one of the greatest table tennis players of all time, Liu has served as Head Coach of China's men's national team since 2008. He shared an inspirational message of pride, teamwork and sportsmanship to a crowd of more than 100 in the Founders' Theatre at the Western Academy of Beijing. Liu would again visit WAB in 2016.
September 9, 2016 - New Clean Air Filtration Systems Implemented
New indoor state-of-the-art air filtration systems were implemented campus-wide and installed on WAB buses, offering the cleanest possible air for students and staff.
February 20, 2017 - WAB named 'Best International School' at the Diplomats' Choice Awards
The annual awards ceremony hosted by Global Times, a daily newspaper with a circulation of 1.5 million, celebrated the leaders of a variety of industries, including international medical care, hospitality, airlines and car brands.
May 31, 2017 - Iconic Campus Duck Lake Clean-up Operations Begin
WAB celebrated the opening of Duck Lake's advanced on-site water filtration system, donated by Beijing OriginWater. The ceremony was the culmination of efforts from the entire community and honored those who invested in the future of Duck Lake in a variety of ways. Launched at the WAB Gala in the fall of 2016, the Fund for Education and Environment of Duck Lake, or FEED, raised 480,000 RMB in fundraising efforts and 1.4 million RMB through donations from seven WAB families. Their legacy will forever be part of our campus on an engraved stone next to Duck Lake.
August 14, 2017 - New Middle School Opens
WAB celebrated the grand re-opening of its Middle School campus, welcoming students to enjoy extensive renovations and upgrades that included new learning spaces, common areas and landscaping.
October 30, 2017 - China's First Swiss School Opens at WAB
The Swiss School Beijing is China's first, and the world's 18th, school to be supported by the Swiss government. Several distinguished guests attended the grand opening ceremony, including the Swiss Ambassador to China H.E. Dr. Jean Jacques de Dardel and Swiss Council of States President H.E. Dr. Ivo Bischofberger.
May 14, 2018 - First-ever Dragon Boat Race on Duck Lake
As clean-up and renewal operations for WAB’s iconic Duck Lake continue, we celebrated our progress with the first-ever dragon boat race on the water.
August 31, 2019 - 25 Years of WAB
Western Academy of Beijing celebrated 25 years of fostering life-long learners and excellence in academics.
November 13-16, 2019 - WAB Holds its First Global Education Conference, The Future of Education Now
FOEN 2019 was a truly immersive conference about dynamic change with over 600 attendees from more than 100 schools and organizations, comprised of 86 sessions and 74 speakers. Read more here.
February 3, 2020 - WAB begins online learning due to Covid-19 Outbreak
Due to Chinese New Year travels and reactions to Covid-19, WAB students and teachers were located around the world. But, they still met online for innovative learning programs at all grade levels.
April 30 - June 8, 2020 - WAB Returns to Campus
After the closure caused by Covid-19, students and staff returned to Campus in dates staggered by grade level. Grade 12 was first, when they returned April 30, 2020. Then, Grade 8 returned May 11. The remaining grades of HS and MS returned June 1, and Grade 4-5 returned June 8.
August 2021 - Renovations Complete in the Middle School and Hub Buildings
WAB has continued the redesign and renovation of its campus buildings to create more flexible, dynamic, and multifunctional learning environments. Watch this video to take a tour of the new Middle School spaces and hear how research and community input has helped us optimize the campus for learning.