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How do we encourage our students to have global mindsets?

As the only IB school in the north of Scotland, we are passionate about nurturing global citizens as we know that exam success and memorising materials are not the only factors in determining how educated and globally aware young people are in our fast-paced society.

A global citizen can be defined as someone who is aware of and understands the wider world – and their place in it.’

As the region’s only international school, we are well placed to offer the kind of education our children need to become successful, confident global citizens. After all, to thrive in an increasingly complex world, children need to develop a broad range of academic skills as well as social and emotional awareness.

What does it mean to be an international school?

Since we first opened our doors 1972, we have adopted a global outlook as we embody the essence of an international school as a gateway to the wider world, while retaining a sense of pride in our homegrown roots in the North-east. Indeed, ISA is a truly multi-cultural school community, with half of our 530 students coming from the UK and the other half from 45 different countries.

Plus, we are the only IB school in the north of Scotland, meaning our senior students (Grades 11 and 12) study the International Baccalaureate Diploma, the fastest growing qualification worldwide and the most highly regarded amongst university admissions officers. Our school community celebrated full marks in the 2023 exams with students receiving a 100% IB pass rate.

How else do we encourage a global mindset?

From middle school, for example, students work with an advisor every week on the topic of citizenship. Grades 9 and 10 study Global Perspectives look at the history, geography and culture of countries around the world. This theme continues into high school where students keep a broad range of subjects to develop a rounded understanding of the world around them.

Celebrating diversity in Aberdeen

Recent research has shown that IB Diploma students demonstrate higher levels of global mindedness than other young adults. This mindset is nurtured at ISA, with students reminded visually every day by the many national flags flying at our campus entrance, and by the many events we hold to celebrate diversity and inclusion.

Other examples of global citizenship at ISA

  • Students explore local and global issues involving active learning from peers
  • Children are encouraged to connect with the world and find their place in it
  • A creative and flexible approach to education inspires children to find new ways of working
  • The student voice is vital - children are confident they will be listened to and respected
  • ISA students are compassionate individuals, accepting of all people from all backgrounds
  • Collaborative skills are encouraged with lessons that inspire discussion, debate and engagement with a wider world

A gateway to the rest of the world

Parents today recognise that today’s global economy means their children could go on to pursue careers with companies located all over the world.

“Scotland is very much open to the rest of the world and Aberdeen has long been a global hub for industry,” says our Head of School, Nick Little.

“An international education gives students a far broader perspective. While it is important to learn about Scotland and the UK, it is becoming increasingly important for young people to understand and learn about the many different cultures that make the world go round in business and in all aspects of life.

“At ISA, we teach our students to take the initiative and adopt a can-do attitude to help prepare them for life in a fast-moving and changing world. Our students become technologically minded, multi-cultural and self-aware, hungry for knowledge – all skills and aptitudes they can use in the real world.”

Finding the right next step for each child

In a safe and caring environment, no child is given up on and every child is challenged to progress and develop their strengths. We are equally as proud of our students who achieve full marks in the IB Diploma and go on to university as we are of those who choose alternative pathways.

Because the reality is that universities and employers today don’t see a global outlook as an optional extra. It is a key aptitude for all.

With respect and community at the heart of the school, we welcome children aged three to 18 with the opportunity to learn in an internationally diverse environment. All will be given the support they need to prepare them to thrive in a globalised world.

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Accredited by

International Baccalaureate Council of International Schools Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Cambridge International Examinations CNED