ISA is a dynamic learning community with students from all over the world. Our student population represents 36 nations: 33% from the United Kingdom, 18% from the US, as well as many from France, The Netherlands, Canada, Nigeria, Italy, Australia, Norway, India, Indonesia, Norway, Spain, Argentina Venezuela, and Denmark. Over 17 percent of our students hold two or more passports. (Statistics from August 2016)
English as an Additional Language (EAL) is available for students needing support with English as an academic language. The school provides limited specialist assistance for students with mild learning difficulties. All students are expected to complete ISA’s regular curriculum; Learning Support and EAL help to accommodate that goal.
ISA chefs prepare and serve an extensive array of both hot and cold foods and beverages, on offer at reasonable prices, everyday. The International Café is open from 7:30am until 3:30pm. Students may bring a packed lunch from home, choose to buy a meal, or buy some items to accompany their packed lunch. The menu is available by clicking Quicklinks at the top of our website main page.
Students at ISA do not wear school uniforms. We do, however, enforce a dress code that requires students to dress reasonably, in good taste, and with respect for others’ cultures. Further information concerning the dress codes can be found in the school’s handbooks.
Elementary level students are expected to wear ISA shirts for safety purposes on field trips, and physical education classes require appropriate sports attire which may include an ISA t-shirt.
The school week runs Monday-Friday, 8:15 am to 3:00 pm.
The ISA calendar covers 36 weeks over two semesters, August-December and January-June. The current school calendar is posted on the website, as well as the calendar for the following school year.
Because our school population fluctuates, our students are eager to reach out to new friends, and most new students feel at home in no time. After an individual orientation to ISA, new students are welcomed by current students who serve as their ambassadors to ISA.
ISA counsellors, administrators, and PTO have established programmes to assist with transition needs of students, parents and teachers, both upon arrival and when moving on.
The International School of Aberdeen is accredited by the Council of International Schools and the US Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. ISA is an IB World School, accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organisation. ISA Preschool is regulated and inspected by The Care Inspectorate.
Individual visits are often more suited to some families’ unique needs, so we offer personal appointments during the school day and interested students may also spend a day in school as a visitor. ISA holds one or two open days per school year as well; these are posted on our website and advertised locally.
Please contact ISA Admissions to arrange a visit: 01224 730300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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ISA publishes a weekly online newsletter called Thistle Talk that is located within the Quicklinks dropdown menu on our website. Thistle Talk contains up-to-date information from our administrators, athletics department, Fine Arts department, PTO, etc. The newsletter lists important upcoming events and includes the cafeteria menu for the following week. An archive of the years' newsletters can be found on the Newsletters page of the website.
Elementary School parents also receive information via their children’s homework folders or in the weekly classroom newsletter, and the Middle School publishes a newsletter throughout the year. Additionally, our principals hold monthly informative meetings for parents, covering various appropriate topics. Parents are welcome to ring the school at any time with questions. Teachers often email parents about classroom or specific-student topics.
Middle School and High School parents and students can access PowerSchool to access their child’s current subject grades and attendance. Students and parents also have access to isa247 for daily information on each subject, homework or other assignments, as well as possible class notes and links to related websites for each subject. Parents are welcome to email teachers and are encouraged to attend formal and informal conferences as required. Teachers are usually available before or after school for telephone conversations.
Parent, student, and faculty involvement leads to the community spirit so often seen and felt at ISA. Parents may volunteer at school and are encouraged to attend grade and school-level coffee mornings.
All ISA parents are automatically members of ISA’s Parent Teacher Organisation (PTO). More information about our PTO can be found under “About ISA” on the school website. Parents often meet informally over a coffee or tea in the cafeteria or adjoining “street” area.
Many of our families choose to live close to ISA’s campus, but we also have a number of students who live in other surrounding villages or rural areas throughout Aberdeenshire.
The school provides contract bus service that operates several routes exclusively for ISA students using full-size coaches and mini-buses, depending on the route and/or demand.
Students living in the school’s neighbourhood often walk or bike to school (helmet, lights, and fenders are strongly recommended for bike riders). Some parents choose to drop off their children by car. Students staying after school (after 3:10pm) for sports or other activities must arrange their own transportation home.
Career/university/futures activities begin in grade 8 as students explore their interests related to careers and begin to look at high school subjects which may lead to those careers. This process continues through grades 9 and 10 via various interest inventories, personality profilers, learning styles assessments, and initial research into university courses or majors, especially as grade 10 students select International Baccalaureate (IB) subjects for their final two years.
A university information evening is presented for parents and group and individual sessions are held with grade 11 students as they begin the process of narrowing down their choices, visiting universities and colleges, and actually applying at the beginning of grade 12. Students are expected to meet regularly with a counsellor to discuss and research possible career interests and options for higher education throughout the application and decision process. The goal for each student is to find and apply to the schools that best match that individual student.
The ISA University/College Guide is available on the ISA website.
The counsellors are members of the Scottish Guidance Association, Council of International Schools, Independent Schools Careers Organisation, and the Overseas and National Associations for College Admission Counseling, and abide by the NACAC Statement of Principles of Good Practice.
Currently, ISA offers an aquatics programme in physical education from grades K-10. All students are taught the fundamentals of swimming different strokes and skill that depend on their age appropriate readiness. We cater to all levels from non-swimmers to advanced swimmers. Games and activities are a big part of our programme to develop a positive healthy attitude toward aquatics. Safety is paramount and all instructors are certified lifeguards and swim instructors.
In addition to our diverse PE aquatics programme, ISA offers after school activities in the pool for ages 4 and up. We also offer a Learn to Swim programme through the Aberdeen Amateur Swim Club.