School begins each day at 8:30 a.m., with students arriving between 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., and it ends at 3:30 p.m. At the end of instruction, students can stay after school to attend After School Activities, Homework Club, or the After School Care Programme until 5:00 p.m. Special Early Morning Care starting at 7:00 a.m. and Evening Care until 6:00 p.m. are also available.
Many students enter ISU with little or no English, and usually they learn very quickly. Young children in particular learn languages quickly when they are surrounded by a new language all day. For older children, the speed at which they learn depends on the child. They are given extra support during class and by English teachers. Typically, a new student begins to understand English quickly, but it might take a few months before they develop the confidence to speak. Because of the rigors of the IB Diploma program, students entering Upper School will need to have a solid basis of English before we will consider them for admission.
You should only speak English with your child at home if your mother tongue is English. When learning a new language, it is important that a child continues to receive support in his or her mother tongue. There is a direct connection between competence in a first language and effective learning of additional languages. The parents are a child’s primary mother tongue role model. For younger children it is important that parents continue to read to their children in the home language and to ensure that vocabulary and fluency continue to develop.
All children learn English and German in the Lower School and, in addition, they learn French and/or Spanish in the Middle and Upper School.
When children are younger and learning to read it is important that they read at home most evenings. After children have learned to read and write, then they are asked to do homework which complements their learning in school. In general, students should be able to complete their homework independently. Homework will increase in quantity and level of challenge as the child progresses through the school.
The school has a maximum class size of 21 students, although most classes average between 10 and 15 students. Having small classes helps us to meet the needs of the individual learner and is an important aspect of the quality of education offered at ISU.
Children who are gifted with special talents often succeed well in an international school because of the open-ended and differentiated nature of teaching and learning, the acknowledgement of a range of learning styles, the challenging nature of the program, and the positive and constructive atmosphere within the school. If students have special talents that cannot be met in the school, we will try to help parents find an alternative way of supporting these talents in the local community.
At ISU, we teach children to be good learners and to be happy in confident in learning. They develop the ability to reflect on progress and to set new goals. They learn strong social skills. Children who develop these skills transition well into other school systems. If a child has developed a love of learning, resilience, and confidence then he/she will quickly overcome any initial difficulties.
ISU has the acknowledged status of “genehmigte Ersatzschule” from the Bavarian government. Normally children are able to transfer successfully into the local school system. For a transition during the middle and upper school years, the state schools hold entrance examinations for an adequate placement of the student.
The school does not issue a “Grundschulempfehlung,” however, students take the Bavarian Vergleichsarbeiten tests in the German language during 3rd grade, which can be used to support students entering a Realschule or Gymnasium.
Students take IGCSE exams at the end of 10th grade which can be used to apply for the “Mittlere Reife” recognition by the Bavarian state. The IGCSE is also recognised internationally.
Students take the IB Diploma when they are 18 years old which is accepted for university admission all over the world. In Germany, the IB Diploma is considered the equivalent to the “Abitur” and can be used to apply for recognition by the Bavarian state as General Qualification for German University Entrance (Allgemeine Hochschulreife).
Students may bring items such as mobile phones, iPods, and MP3 players to school, but students must turn them off and keep them in their school bags while on school grounds unless a teacher specifically gives permission to use them.
Students may not bring electronic games or toys, pocket knives, or weapons of any kind. We also strictly prohibit alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes.
Students may not ride scooters and skateboards in the school building on a school day, but students may use scooters and skateboards as a form of transportation to get to school.
Students should wear clothing that is clean and free of offensive graphics or language and large holes and tears.
We supply regular school materials such as books, notebooks, and folders (exception: IB Diploma books). Students should come prepared with basic learning items such as pencils, sharpeners, pens, rulers, erasers, and colored pencils. Your child's homeroom teacher will send home a letter outlining the items your child needs depending on the grade level. In addition, please bring the following items to school marked with the child's name:
If your child will be absent from school, please telephone the school on the first morning of the absence before 8:30 a.m. If your child must be absent for several days, please inform us about the approximate length of absence, and let us know the reason, so that we can give your child the appropriate support. Please notify us in advance, in writing, of an extended absence as soon as you are aware of it.
We have an extensive parent volunteer program (Parent Partners), which provides the school with much-needed additional assistance in the classrooms, in the libraries, and with student supervision in physical education and swimming. If you would like to volunteer, please let us know!