ISS has always been about more than a narrow educational experience. We offer different opportunities for personal development including sports, music, drama, Duke of Edinburgh. We believe that students learn as much, if not more, outside the classroom as they do inside it. Moreover our aim is to ensure that the co-curriculum ensures that students develop a clear sense of values, are taken outside their comfort zone and leave the school with a range of competencies which will allow them to lead fulfilled and effective lives.
We are determined that students should be able to participate in as wide a range of activities as possible and that they do not create a narrow programme. In some activities we look to them to develop leadership skills, but in others we hope they will be effective ‘followers’. We are very clear that a student’s overall experience should allow them to develop their own sense of values and ethics, encouraged by the example of their peers and by being drawn towards positive aims by their teachers. Each activity we offer is considered in the light of this and our teachers and coaches see themselves as educators first and foremost.
It is clear that students learn most by ‘doing’ and our co-curriculum is developing to allow students to work in the social action sphere and with the environment, alongside the more traditional roster of school activities. Excellence in any activity is respected but participation is hugely valued too and students are encouraged to work hard in areas where they may not feel comfortable rather than sticking solely to well-known territory. Our tutorial system is designed to ensure that students are reflective about themselves and their experiences with the aim of understanding how they might improve, helping to build self-reliance and a sense of personal responsibility.
Our ambition is that ISS students should be able to look back on their years at school as a time of personal growth and that they will recognise the pathways they followed were first signposted whilst at school. We want our students to leave school with a healthy respect for their good fortune and a determination to make their energies count in future – not only for themselves and their immediate families, but for the wider community too.