ISA is a dynamic, diverse learning community with students from all over the world. We are an international school supporting a student population representing 44 nations with almost 50% from local families in Aberdeen.
Over 20 percent of our students hold two or more passports. 49% of students are from the United Kingdom, 14% from the US, as well as many from France, Nigeria, Norway, Canada, the Netherlands, Angola, Germany, India, Australia, Denmark, Argentina, South Korea, Spain and many more.
English as an Additional Language (EAL) is available for students requiring 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’s International Café is open from 7:30am until 3:30pm. Our talented chefs prepare and serve an extensive array of both hot and cold meals and beverages, on offer at reasonable prices, every day. Students may bring a packed lunch from home if preferred, choose to buy a meal, or buy some items to accompany their packed lunch.
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 handbook.
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. There are a number of after school clubs from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm as well as an afterschool programme until 6:00 pm for younger students.
The ISA calendar covers 36 weeks over two semesters, August-December and January-June.
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 as buddies.
ISA counsellors, administrators, and Parent Teacher Organisation (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, authorised to deliver International Baccalaureate programmes. ISA Preschool is regulated and inspected by The Care Inspectorate.
ISA holds three or four open days each school year. Due to current restrictions, we are hosting virtual open days and these are posted on our website and advertised locally.
However, 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.
Please contact our helpful Admissions Team to arrange a visit: firstname.lastname@example.org.
View our fees here https://www.isa.aberdeen.sch.uk/pages/admissions/fees
ISA publishes a weekly online newsletter – Thistle Talk. This can be read on our online Community Hub which is accessed through the website homepage. 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.
Further school information and can be found on our extensive Community Hub.
Elementary School parents receive a regular stream of information via Edmodo and through direct parent-teacher communications as required. The elementary students are encouraged to share feedback they have been given by teachers on a daily basis with their parents. Additionally, our principals hold monthly informative meetings for parents, covering various appropriate topics.
Middle School and High School parents and students use PowerSchool to access their child’s current subject grades and attendance. This is also where reports, reflections and standardised test data are shared. ISA makes use of Google Classroom as its Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and classwork and assignments are posted through this resource.
Students who are unable to attend school for whatever reason can keep up to speed with what the class is covering through the VLE. Progress reports are shared at the mid-point of each semester in MS/HS with end of semester reports released in December and June.
Parent teacher meetings are scheduled once each semester, but teachers are pleased to hear from parents out-with those times. At the start of the academic year an Open House allows an opportunity for parents to hear about their child's courses and meet his or her teachers.
Additionally, information sessions are held throughout the year on topics such as trips, course selection, careers counselling and examinations. Each semester a Principal's Coffee morning offers an update on developments at the school with weekly updates being published on the school's Thistle blog, linked to the Community Hub.
Parent, student, and faculty involvement has created a great sense of community spirit that can often be 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). Parents often meet informally over a coffee or tea in the cafeteria or adjoining “street” area.
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.
Please check with our Transport Coordinator to ensure the school bus covers your address. This is not a door-to-door service but a safe pick-up/drop-off location for a group of students. Families living in rural areas may be required to drive their children to the nearest ISA bus point.
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 and university activities begin in Grade 8 as students begin to explore their interests related to careers and look at high school subjects which may lead to those careers.
This process continues in Grade 9 where students have the opportunity to participate in ‘The Career Investigator’. This program aims to give the students an understanding of how their interests, strengths and values relate to careers and the world of work supporting possible career pathways that may suit them in the future.
In Grade 10, our High School Counsellor, along with an independent career advisor, conducts a set of psychometric assessments to measure aptitudes, skills, interests and personality. Personal interviews then take place to discuss feedback as well as a number of small group workshops where the students use their comprehensive report to begin their university course research.
At this stage this focus is on specific courses and entry requirements in terms of the IB subjects. The High School Counsellor and the student look carefully at subject specific requirements and determines IB subject choices for the following school year.
A university information evening is scheduled for parents at the beginning of Grade 11. This group of students open the year with individual goals meetings with the counsellor to ensure their IB course options line up with their previously discussed university course choices.
A University & Admissions Overview presentation in scheduled in October to kick-start university research which is continued in small group workshops late November. A Careers Clinic is also arranged, students create a long list of universities and individual family meetings are held in February – March to discuss student career possibilities and how these line up with the possible university course choices.
The application process timeline (predicts, references, personal statement, open days) is discussed with each family and conversations are based on the unique needs of that student. The goal for each student is to find and apply to the universities/colleges that best match that individual student. In Grade 12 students receive guidance with the entire university application process for whichever countries they are applying to, as well as any support or advice when communicating with universities. Information evenings are arranged to ensure that parents are well informed about the university, careers and alternative routes options.