Languages from 30 different nations are living languages for those at ISR. The ISR is a community of cosmopolitan citizens who bring the world into ISR. Students also have the opportunity to go out into the world with the school. Every year, for example, a student group participates in a Model United Nations conference and classes are supplemented by international excursions to places such as England, Italy, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and Belgium. The school celebrates World Math Day, United Nations Peace Day and International Week. The programs at ISR are truly international, exposing students to global ideas and enabling them to easily transfer to other international schools worldwide. ISR is a multicultural environment in which each person is respected, regardless of his or her background.
ISR is one of only eight International Baccalaureate (IB) schools in Switzerland which are authorized to offer all three of the IB Programs – the Primary Years Program, the Middle Years Program and the Diploma Program. These are all high-quality, challenging programs which equip students with the skills necessary for success in life beyond the school.
Excellent educators with previous teaching experience are recruited for ISR. Over 60% of the teachers have not only a Bachelor’s degree, but a Master’s degree as well. All teachers have appropriate teaching qualifications. Moreover, the teachers regularly attend workshops and conferences to remain up-to-date with respect to requirements for the IB programs and to learn about new developments and good practices in education. Almost all teachers at ISR are native English speakers and all are fluent in English. Indeed, all ISR teachers are trained as teachers of English as a Second Language in the Mainstream, given that it is recognized that all teachers are English language teachers, regardless of the subject they teach.
At ISR, the development of the whole child is central. The programs aim to develop the intellectual, social, emotional, physical and personal skills for students to live, learn and work in the rapidly changing world.
In conjunction with the IB learner profile, the school aims to produce students who are life-long learners, who can inquire into new areas, who are knowledgeable and who are able to use critical thinking skills to analyze information to achieve a task and make informed decisions. The programs encourage students to work independently and also to function effectively in small groups and teams. Students should be willing to take risks, reflect on their learning and their actions and to lead a balanced life. Students are encouraged to be sensitive and caring towards others. They are also encouraged to be principled, able to appreciate the importance of fairness and justice. By looking at issues or situations from various perspectives, students become open-minded, tolerant and accepting of those who are different – understanding that we are all similar in many ways.
The teaching strategies at ISR are adapted to cater to various multiple intelligences and learning styles and to also accommodate a child’s strengths and weaknesses. Counseling and special needs services are available for all our students.
As the student advances through the school, the programs change in order to better meet the needs of the child at various stages of development. In the final two years of the school, students take the diploma program which is rigorous and demanding. Students are supported enormously by their teachers, but they are also required to work independently and become competent in time management – learning the importance of meeting deadlines and balancing a number of assignments and projects at one time. This is excellent preparation for university studies and the world beyond academia.
Communication in a language comes first, even before grammatical perfection. Students are immersed in the English language. By virtue of intensive language usage, they develop the skills needed to function in that language. Grammar skills are taught as an integral part of language lessons and not as separate skills.
Students are given many opportunities to communicate with others – in small groups and also in front of large audiences. They learn how to competently and confidently use languages to give presentations, question others, actively participate in learning and collaborate with others to perform a task.
Students are actively involved in the learning process and are not always merely presented with a body of knowledge to learn. Students learn by inquiry and investigations – discovering knowledge for themselves with the guidance of teachers. Knowledge and skills are applied to real life situations. Technology plays an important role in lessons and students use it as a tool to support their studies. The school has two science laboratories, a computer laboratory, a media room and numerous computers, interactive white boards and laptops available throughout the premises.
ISR does not pre-select students for the IB Diploma program and all students are encouraged to participate in the IB Diploma program. Despite this, 80% of those going through the program have successfully achieved the full IB Diploma. This is the world average for candidates pursuing the diploma. The program is a rigorous one, but students who are highly committed to their studies and are engaged throughout the 2 years will generally achieve success in obtaining the diploma and reaching their personal goals.
With the IB Diploma or IB Certificates in individual subjects, students have access to universities and tertiary education institutions around the world. The IB Diploma is an internationally recognized diploma and is accepted by universities in over 100 countries. 90% of ISR graduates have gone on to study at universities and tertiary education institutions.
The programs offered at ISR are of a high standard and the student-teacher ratios are low, thus ensuring individual attention for each student. Despite this, the tuition fees are competitive and lower than those in international schools in the cities. The ISR is a non-profit organization with all proceeds from fees going directly back into the school system.
As a day school, ISR plays an important role in the life of the student. After-school activities are also offered. In a friendly, relaxed, inspiring and respectful atmosphere, each student is treated as a unique individual.
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