Singapore / Singapore Central / Tanglin / ISS International School (Preston)

ISS International School (Preston) Q & A

ISS Preston prepares secondary school students for university by offering the globally respected International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme within a small school that lives up to its international name.
At a glance
School phase
Secondary
Curricula taught
Availability 2018/19
fiber_manual_record All grades
Availability 2019/20
fiber_manual_record All grades
Annual fee average
SGD 37,500
Annual fees
SGD 37,520 - 37,520
Status
Open
Opening year
1981
School year
Aug to Jun
Principal
Margaret Alvarez (Head of School). Nicola Zulu (Principal)
Owner
ISS
Main teacher nationality
A mix of nationalities
Main student nationality
A mix of nationalities
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ISS International School (Preston) Q & A - WhichSchoolAdvisor

Welcome to the ISS International School (Preston) official Q and A page. Here we ask the questions, and the school answers directly. It is its chance to have its say on specific areas you have told us you want to know about. If you think there are additional questions we should be asking you may contact us here.

What qualities and characteristics would you say define your school?

1) ISS is an INCLUSIVE school
At ISS, we embrace the needs of all of our learners. This is our core strength of ISS. We firmly believe that an inclusive learning environment benefits all learners from the most academically able to those whose learning needs mean that they require additional support. Our exceptional staff ensure that every student benefits from the inclusive learning culture at ISS and that every student has access to programmes.

We continue to share our Chairman's vision that quality international education should not be the sole preserve of academically high achieving English speaking children, although it should be noted that this group thrives in ISS's inclusive community.

Whilst some international schools may pride themselves on their exclusive admissions policies, ISS believes that we prove our success by ensuring that each and every student we admit, be they academically high achieving English speakers or not, are able to achieve their potential. Whether a student has the potential of going on to attend one of the world's top universities or any myriad of other pathways to a happy and fulfilled life, ISS is committed to ensuring that each student can achieve personal success.

Inclusion also means that we enrol students from all nationalities and the over 50 multinational students who are currently studying at ISS are a testament to this. ISS is careful to adhere to guidelines which lay out the maximum number of students that we will enrol by nationality, learning needs and English acquisition. This is to preserve our ethos of a multi-national, balanced and productive learning environment.

We are proud of our commitment to inclusive education and we believe that inclusive education benefits all students whether they be highly academic or require learning support, whether they are native English speakers or are learning to speak English.

2) NURTURING and Caring Teachers
Students benefit from the close interaction with teachers, made possible only by keeping a low student-to-teacher ratio. Class ratios at ISS International School (ISS) are conscientiously kept low; 8 (students): 1 (teacher) at high school, 15:1 at middle school & 18:1 at elementary school.

ISS provides a safe and nurturing environment where faculty and staff know the students by name. They are thus able to care for the students' well-being and address any bullying or emotional problems in a timely manner if the need arises.

"It's a lot easier to make appointments with teachers as they have more time for you," alumni Ashmitha, describes. "As a result of the relationship you develop with them, they care a lot more about your comfort level with the subject and with you as a person."

3) Customised Learning Journeys - Student-centric approach in our Learning environment
With more focus on students as unique individuals, ISS is able to customise the learning journeys according to the needs and interests of its students. The close and authentic student-teacher interaction - a successful formula for ISS - enables the delivery of an education centred on students' needs, to give students the best chance to realise their potential.

As student Camille, shares: "Of the five schools I have attended in two countries, I see a difference at ISS. It has a diverse range of classes and activities to accommodate different learner profiles. The teachers are always willing to help after school and between classes. I have known a teacher since Middle School and she still offers support to me."

4) Passion in Teaching
The close student-teacher bonds also benefit the teachers. This adds to the sense of job fulfilment that the faculty and staff members experience, which in turn fuels their passion to shape the best learning experience for students.

At ISS International School, the passion is well-reflected in the teachers' willingness to innovate in their teaching methodologies and to go beyond the call of duty to support students. "I can see that it is reflected in their zeal to educate their students," says Ashmitha.

5) Chances and Opportunities are created for our students to EMPOWER them to identify their best potential
ISS is able to offer an extensive range of extra-curricular and leadership activities to complement the academic subjects and holistically nurture the students' personal development. But the difference is that there are more opportunities for students to get involved.

"ISS has the advantage of allowing children greater participation, especially in leadership positions," observes Ai Hoon, an ISS parent. "There are also more opportunities for them to represent the school in different events."

How many nationalities are represented in your school?

Over 50 Nationalities

Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?

To maintain our multi-national student community, we place a cap on the number of students enrolled per nationality.

What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?

For the Elementary School (Kindergarten 1 to Grade 5) - 1:22
For the Middle School (Grade 6 to Grade 8) - 1:15 to18
For the High School (GrAde 9 to Grade 12) - 1:8 to10

Does your school have a waiting list?

This varies for each Semester. To ensure that you have the most up to date information, please email admissions@iss.edu.sg OR call:
+63 6737 9171 (Kindergarten 1 to Grade 8)
+65 6475 4188 (Grade 9 to Grade 12)

Describe your school's approach to education and teaching?

We practice an inclusive academic environment at ISS and we are proud of this commitment to inclusive education. We believe that every child deserves to be educated and that children gain significantly from working in a diverse environment. Our academic practices within the school support this philosophy.

In our classrooms, our teachers provide multiple means of representation, action, expression and engagement when facilitating learning. This facilitates a customised approach to learning and allows our teachers to differentiate and modify lessons to accommodate each student's learning style, ability and needs.

Physical education and sport is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. How does your school ensure children engage in physical activity?

Physical Education (PE) is key to the well being of our students and all students from Kindergarten 1 to Grade 12 have at least a double period of PE in their weekly timetables. This is over and above the sports activity choices that are offered for Extra Curricular Activities and CAS (Creativity Activity Service).

How does your school promote healthy lifestyles?

Well-balanced school timetable with allocated times for academic, sporting activities, arts and drama pursuits and mindfulness activities for our students. We do not only focus on a healthy lifestyle but we include the total well being of our students also.

How do you promote healthy eating?

Our school canteen vendors serve well balanced, wholesome and nutritious meals. We do not serve sugared soda nor ice cream in our cafeterias.

Does the school have cafeteria facilities for the students?

Yes, each campus has a cafeteria,

If yes, does it serve hot food?

Yes we serve hot food.

What would be the amount spent by a student for their lunchtime meal?

Between $2.50 to $5 for the variety of hot meals offered.

What is the starting and finishing time of your school day?

Kindergarten 1 to Grade 5: 8am to 2.30pm
Grade 6 to Grade 8: 8am to 2.45pm
Grade 9 to Grade 12: 8am to 3pm

Is there a school uniform?

Yes we do. Please refer to this: http://www.iss.edu.sg/school-life-services/school-services/school-uniforms/

Please advise on your discipline policy?

We follow a well-specified and detailed discipline policy which can be found in our ISS Regulations Handbook, as well as in the Parents/Students Handbooks for each of Elementary, Middles and High Schools. Please refer to our website www.iss.edu.sg for all these handbooks.

How do you feedback progress and attainment to students and parents?

We have both formal and informal feedback channels:
Formal channels: through report cards, parent/teacher/student meetings,
Informal channels: through teacher daily blogs, student journals, emails to the homeroom teachers an through Managebac (an online learning communication platform that enables curriculum planning assessment and reporting)

How often is the more formal feedback such as reports and parent/teacher meetings?

Student Report Cards are issued twice a year, at the end of each Semester.
Parent Teacher meetings for each school section take place twice each Semester.

What is your medium of instruction?

English language is the medium of instruction

Which other languages are taught?

Mandarin is taught from Kindergarten 1 to Grade 12
while Japanese, Korean and all mother tongue languages are taught and facilitated from Grade 6 to Grade 12

Do you offer EAL or TEFL support for those students where English is not their first language?

Yes we do, We have very established English as a Second Language programme at ISS (http://www.iss.edu.sg/school-life-services/learning-community/esl-support/)

We also offer a Preparatory Course for High School. This is designed to prepare students for entry into either IBMYP 4 or 5 (Grades 9 and 10) and subsequently to gain entry into the IB Diploma programme (Grades 11 and 12). Students undergo intensive English instruction at the same time as they learn core secondary subjects such as mathematics, science, humanities and elective subjects such as the arts and physical education. Students are fully integrated into the activities and life of ISS. By entering this programme students can stay 'on track' and are not required to repeat academic years or to enrol in classes with students that are not of the same age. This is in keeping with our core values of nurturing, empowering and offering an inclusive education.

The course is taught by teachers specialised in accelerating English language learning. Teachers use specialised English language programmes that include diagnostic tools that pinpoint students' areas of need. Progress is carefully monitored throughout the programme so that students maximise their ability to quickly learn the skills and language necessary for entry into the MYP programme.

For more information and enrolment requirements, please do contact our Admissions Team at +65 6475 4188, email admissions@iss.edu.sg.

Do you develop independent learning through homework and, if so, what are your recommendations regarding this, particularly time spent on homework?

We see the value in homework and believe that homework is an important part of becoming a life-long learner and to enable students to realise that learning is not confined within the school environment. With encouragement and monitoring by parents they can:
i. Establish self discipline and develop good study habits
ii. Form a link between home and school
iii. Have the opportunity to extend learning and reinforce skills.

Depending on the grade level of our students, we recommend a daily average of between 10mins (at kindergarten) to 3hours (at high school) of homework and extra time spent on reading.

What percentage of your sixth form that take exams at 18 go to university, and where, in general, do they go?

Over 90% of our Grade 12 students attend University at ISS. The remainder choose to take a Gap Year or serve the National Service.

Our students attend University all over. Some examples include:

In the United States/Canada
Johns Hopkins University
University of Michigan
University of California, Berkeley
University of Toronto
McGill University
University of California, Los Angeles

In Europe
Leiden University
Wageningen University & Research
University of Twente
Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne

In the United Kingdom:
University College London
Imperial College London
King's College London
University of Edinburgh
University of Manchester
London School of Economics
University of St. Andrews

In Asia and Australia
University of Hong Kong
University of Melbourne
University of New South Wales
Keio University

Do you have a learning support team in your school?

Yes, we have a comprehensive Learning Support Team at ISS. Please refer to http://www.iss.edu.sg/school-life-services/learning-community/learning-support/

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?

Yes, we do have the Parent Teachers Association (PTA).

The PTA exists to support the school by fostering a spirit of cooperation and community among parents and teachers as they work together for the benefit of the school community.

Are there opportunities for parents to support the learning, activities and events within the school or on trips other than through the parent group?

Yes, parents are encouraged to volunteer at school concerts, events ( such as sports) and even field trips,

Do you offer specific activities, events or information sessions for those parents new to the school and/or area?

The many subject specific coffee mornings, orientation sessions where parents are introduced to the IB curriculum, University Advising sessions, PYP, MYP and DP Evenings are activities that we carry out each Semester to give our parents the opportunity to question our academic team, clarify their doubts and get a better understanding of their child's learning environment. These provide parents the necessary understanding to enable them to support their children throughout their learning years at ISS and facilitates the total well-being of not only our students, but also their parents.

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