English Language Ability
English is one of the main language of instruction in all grades, and the ability to successfully access the curriculum within a reasonable time and to thrive in our English-language learning environment are the guiding principles for admission to the school. All ISW teachers are trained to support language acquisition and learning by non-native English speakers, and specialist English as an Additional Language (EAL) teachers provide additional support and instruction.
Immersion in the English language curriculum is usually sufficient for children to quickly develop proficient English language skills. Children may be admitted to our school regardless of their level of English proficiency. However, we do not advise mid-year admission for grade 5 students with minimal English ability, as the curriculum in the second half of the school year calls for considerable proficiency with respect to presentation of the End of the Year Exhibition.
If we have some concern regarding an applicant’s ability to access the curriculum, we may require the applicant to attend school on a trial basis without obligation.
We uphold the principles of a balanced education rooted in the firm belief in inclusion. Academic excellence is reflected in our philosophy of supporting and celebrating the diversity of learning needs within the school community. We endeavor to accommodate students with diverse learning needs to achieve their highest potential while celebrating their unique learning strengths and needs. Applicants with mild social/emotional issues, learning difficulties or other special needs are referred to our learning support staff for evaluation. Admissions decisions are made by the Executive Director based on the recommendation of the learning support staff. If we determine that we are unable to accommodate a candidate’s special needs, we will endeavor to direct parents to more suitable options.
Please note that any special educational, social/emotional, physical or behavioral issues and needs must be fully disclosed and described in detail in the application for admission. Reports of professional assessments, along with details of extra support the applicant is receiving, must also be provided at the time of application. Failure to fully disclose such information at this time may result in revocation of admission or, if discovered after enrollment, require withdrawal from school. Should significant social/emotional/behavioral issues or learning differences become apparent following enrollment in the school, we reserve the right to review a student’s progress and determine the appropriateness of his/her continued enrollment in the school within the context of our learning support resources and capabilities and in consideration of the overall classroom environment. This review will include close consultation with parents but may also involve requiring parents to obtain external assessments.
ISW is a day school and does not have boarding facilities. Students must therefore reside with their parent(s), another adult family member, or a legal guardian in a location within commuting distance to the school.
We strive to maintain a balance of genders, abilities and nationalities in each of our grade years and classes, and admissions decisions are made in accordance with this aim.
ISW students come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds, including international and national school systems from around the world, and a complex range of circumstances. Our grade placement policy ensures the quality and consistency of our academic programs, and the ultimate aim to place students in the most appropriate grade for their academic and social development. In almost all cases, placement is determined by age as of September 1st in the academic year of entry. However, in considering grade placement we may make rare exceptions to this age-based protocol to ensure there is a continuity of the student’s education and that they have completed a grade before entering the next grade. In all cases, the final decision on grade placement lies with the school.
Early Years – There are two levels within the Early Years Department. Nursery is for children who have turned 3 years of age by September 1st in the year of entry and Reception is for children who have turned 4 years of age by September 1st.
Elementary School – Placement in all grades is determined by age as of September 1st in the academic year of entry as follows:
Year Level Placement