This not-for-profit IB Singapore international school holds a 40-year track record for being the longest established IB continuum school in Singapore. ISS International School started in 1981 and has a reputation for being a non-selective IB World School with high pass rates for its bilingual IB Diploma graduates.
Here are 12 other interesting pointers about this long-standing Singapore international school that you may not be aware of.
#1 It’s celebrating 40 years as a Singapore international school
2021 marks ISS International School’s 40th year of educating. Thanks to this long history, the school has deep-rooted relationships with its learning community, both past and present. Alumni are present in the school’s leadership team and faculty, and in the parent body of current students. The schools says this is a testament to its focus on relationships and community building.
#2 It’s not-for-profit and family-owned
ISS was founded by Mr Chan Chee Seng, a founding member of Singapore’s post-colonial government. He and his wife, Mrs Chan Ching Oi (CEO), oversee ISS’s founding vision to be an all-inclusive, not-for-profit IB international school in Singapore.
#3 It’s the longest established IB continuum school
As Singapore’s longest established International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum school, ISS has catered for learners from Kindergarten to Grade 12 since 1981. This focus is on the IB framework from the Primary Years Programme (PYP) to the five-year Middle Years Programme (MYP). Learners are equipped with the skills and experience necessary to succeed in the two-year IB Diploma Programme (DP). According to ISS, this readiness is best achieved within the IB continuum, without deviating in and out of other curricula not affiliated with the IB.
#4 The focus is on personal and academic success
Home to a community of over 40 nationalities, the school positions itself as a non-selective IB World School that excels with high pass rates of its bilingual IB Diploma graduates. As a non-selective Singapore international school, all students are eligible to challenge themselves by attempting the IB Diploma Programme. ISS believes that university destinations for its graduates reflect the focus on holistic education, rather than the number of IB Diploma points awarded at the end of the two-year programme.
#5 It awards a scholarship for IB Diploma students
The Chan Chee Seng IB Diploma Scholarship is a merit-based award covering 100% of the school’s tuition fees for the duration of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. The school selects students based on potential, judged against existing academic, extra-curricular and social achievement.
#6 It offers individualised learning for students
The ISS Learning Accelerator Programme is a tool created by ISS teachers to assists students in determining where they need to strengthen their learning skills to reach their potential. Working in partnership with teachers, students develop individualised learning plans that span academic subjects, learning skills and community engagement goals. They specially curate achievement data to assist in planning and measuring progress. ISS then uses three-way conferences, engaging parents in supporting students’ development.
#7 The Learning Accelerator Programme goes beyond academics
The Programme goes beyond academic progression. It includes a holistic approach that encourages students to be mindful of their own talents, skills and needs. This enables them to self-identify academic, social and community objectives, whilst building self-regulation and self-esteem.
ISS believes that empowering students to become self-directed learners helps to cultivate student agency. And this sets the foundation for lifelong learning, as students move on to higher education and beyond.
#8 It supports learners with an inclusive learning environment
Both ISS and the ISS Learning Accelerator Programme are open to students with talents, as well as those who require additional learning support. All students receive individualised learning plans, including goals and objectives. The school also helps to alleviate potential stigmas associated with learning and offers counselling support for students with more significant challenges.
#9 The Primary School has a modern village feel
Evoking a sense of nostalgia while reflecting modern design sensibilities, the newly renovated Primary School Village is a contemporary re-imagination of a kampong house. With all classrooms facing an open quadrangle courtyard, its intimate and organic environment resembles a close-knit village.
The primary school offers several rooms devoted to wellbeing, learning support and language learning. It also has outdoor learning and play spaces adjacent to the primary classrooms. These are ideal for supporting students with sensory needs.
#10 It’s located in a uniquely green, central location
ISS is nestled among the treetops of Telok Blangah Hill National Park; as such, it’s one of the most centrally located international schools in Singapore. The conserved heritage buildings are within a ten-minute drive to the CBD and many expat neighbourhoods – Orchard, River Valley, HarbourFront and Holland Road, for example. And the tropical gardens offer a serene environment to learn and reflect. The school is also conveniently placed between the East-West and Circle MRT lines. This is a unique setting for a Singapore international school.
#11 It has plenty of outdoor spaces for learning
Being in a natural and serene jungle habitat, ISS is able to tap into outdoor spaces that provide diverse learning environments for science and arts classes, as well as wellness activities, reflection journal writing, sports and photography.
#12 The fees are competitive and include discounts
ISS’s IB PYP Kindergarten programme offers annual tuition from $22,577. There’s also an enrolment fee rebate for students joining prior to August 2021, and a postcode catchment zone discount for the first child enrolled. Sibling discounts are also available from the second child onwards.
A word from a student
William, ISS High School student
“The Learning Accelerator Programme benefited my development as a student. I found that meeting with my teachers to set academic goals for classes was very helpful; they gave me useful advice on how to improve. This allowed me to focus on these areas that need improvements, which will help with my overall performance. The learning goal-setting allowed me to improve my public speaking skills; I now take at least five deep breaths in order to speak more loudly and clearly. And the community goal-setting allowed me to set goals like actively participating in my ECAs and continuing my contribution to the Student Council.
The programme certainly helped me improve on maintaining my performances inside and outside of school thus building aspects such as self-management and communication. Being able to set goals with the help of my teachers is a very useful and important part of this project; we agreed to realistic goals that I’m able to achieve. In my opinion, the Learning Accelerator Programme will be beneficial to other students too; meeting teachers to set realistic and manageable goals will help them improve areas such as their performance in classes, and their self-management.”
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