Unique Features of the SABIS® Educational System™
What sets ISR apart from German, international and non-SABIS® Network schools?
The SABIS® Educational System™ at ISR offers many unique features that are not always found at other schools, thus making ISR one of the best choices for a high-quality international education.
College Preparation for ALL Students
As a licensee of the SABIS® Educational System™, ISR strives to prepare all of its students to enter top quality colleges and universities which fulfill students’ career goals. We believe that a college education should be academically accessible to ALL students, not only the most able.
ISR enrolls students starting in Kindergarten (age 3) to grade 12 (age 18). Whether a student enrolls as a Primary School student and continues on through to graduation, or enters as an Upper School student, the goal is for ALL students to be prepared for a quality university program. In addition, the aim is for students to be well- prepared for assessment measures used for admission to colleges and universities around the world.
ISR is academically orientated without being highly selective. The admission requirements are:
- Math: For students entering Primary School, knowledge of Mathematics (as determined by knowledge checks) is necessary. Students sit for a math knowledge check beginning in Grade 3.
- English & German Language: Students with previous knowledge of English and/or German, will sit a knowledge check in those subjects to determine if they are a beginner, intermediate, advanced or native level speaker. No previous knowledge of English is required before Grade 7. Students entering Grade 7 must have a foundational level of English. For Grade 8, students must have a strong foundation in English and for Grade 9, students must be at the native speaker level. Students with no prior German language experience may join in any grade and will be placed in the appropriate level German class.
- Science: Beginning in Grade 10, students will be also tested in science.
- Grade placement is according to the student's current ability level, with age as a second limiting factor.
- To be successful at ISR, it is critical that both the student and the parents have a desire for a high-quality education. Students must show a willingness to make the necessary efforts to achieve the high standards that are set at ISR.
Students applying for admissions must sit for a knowledge check. Those students who are found to have gaps in academic subjects are offered one of several different support programs, depending on the degree of their academic deficiencies. Students who start to slip backward for any reason after enrollment can also benefit from these same support programs. These are:
- Intensive Courses: Pull-out/Parallel Classes in the core subjects of English, German and math which are designed to help the student catch up as quickly as possible in areas of significant deficiencies.
- Tutorial Study Groups: The SABIS Student Life Organization®’s weekly tutoring sessions are available during the school day and are geared toward students who have less severe deficiencies.
- Peer Tutoring: The SABIS Student Life Organization®’s system of student-to-student academic support, known as SLO® Peer Tutoring, is available for minor cases of remediation.
ISR’s student body and staff represent many different cultures and backgrounds. Cultural diversity provides students with an opportunity to learn how to relate to students and teachers from diverse cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds.
Valuing cultural diversity helps ISR fulfill one of its goals: “to help students develop a true understanding of the peoples of the world through an appreciation of their differences, as well as their similarities.”
Efficiency through Time Management
ISR emphasizes the importance of efficient time management. The school defines efficiency as accomplishments per unit of time. The higher the efficiency, the more time saved which can be used for leisure activities, for relaxation or for more learning.
To increase efficiency, ISR guides the students in the proper use of their time. The SABIS® Student Management System (SSMS) helps the administration ensure that the concepts taught are learned well and that new concepts are based on a background well-understood by the students. The system works as follows:
- Concepts and skills that the students should learn are carefully selected
- Teachers teach these concepts according to a set time plan
- Assessments are used to monitor the attainment of these objectives
- The continuous feedback from these assessments is used to detect learning gaps as soon as they form
- Immediate steps are taken so that learning gaps are filled
- The clear objectives and the absence of gaps accelerate the learning process
- The SABIS Point System® of teaching, the computer-aided system of assessment to help monitor the learning of each individual and other techniques are all intended to achieve more efficiency with less effort and in less time.
Teaching Methods: SABIS Point System®
In addition to the features of the SABIS® Educational System™, ISR utilizes the SABIS Point System® method of teaching and, in some classes, integrates it with new interactive whiteboard technology.
All courses for students in Kindergarten and above are clearly structured to enable students and teachers to know precisely what should be learned. The whole class is taught together, using the SABIS Point System®. The key concepts of a lesson are listed. Each of these concepts are taught interactively, alternating oral work, individual written work, group work and group checking.
Class time is utilized for building a solid foundation of knowledge through interacting, analyzing, forming and expressing opinions, and engaging in effective discussions. These discussions are based on critical thinking and logical reasoning.
The various teaching methods used and the set pace stimulates students by keeping them interested and channeling their enthusiasm. When in class, students learn actively, they do not simply listen to lengthy explanations or take dictated notes.
Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs)
ISR values the latest technology that makes it easier for teachers to teach and students to learn, so we have invested in Interactive White Boards (IWBs) for all kindergarten through grade 12 homerooms. Unlike traditional whiteboards or blackboards, which require teachers to manually write out content during a lesson, IWBs allow teachers to present pre-prepared interactive lessons that can integrate a variety of teaching tools. The content for every lesson that is part of the SABIS® IWB Program has been carefully developed by the SABIS® Academic Development Department, ensuring that lesson delivery is even more efficient and that teacher’s time and talents are maximized.
So far, the feedback from ISR teachers has been overwhelmingly positive. Science Teacher Mr. O’Brien said, “I can underline important things to remember or note a point we will focus on at that moment. Videos can also be embedded. In Term 2, I wanted to show a chemical reaction which would’ve been too hazardous to experiment with in school. Now in Term 3, I will be able to teach Grade 9 about electricity with the use of videos.” Mr. O’Brien continued, “I can touch and drag points and concepts around the board. Think of Minority Report [with Tom Cruise]. It’s a lot like that!”
We believe that efficiency and high standards can only be achieved if people are held directly responsible for their actions and decisions. Hence every individual at school is held accountable.
Administrators bear the responsibility for setting, achieving and maintaining high standards. The administration sets the syllabi for all subjects and measures the attainment of objectives through independent assessments, thus enabling the teachers to be accountable. Students are, of course, accountable as well. Their academic achievement is measured frequently, and a record of each student’s involvement in activities is kept in the form of Student Life Merit points.
Responsibility & Leadership through SLO®
Students are given opportunities to learn organizational and leadership skills as they participate in running our SABIS Student Life Organization® (SLO®), ISR’s student society. Just as in any “real-world” organization, students in the SLO® work their way up the hierarchy by proving themselves capable at the lower levels of the organization. We feel that it is because of these positive formative experiences in SLO®, ISR graduates go on to become responsible leaders in their families, communities, workplaces, and countries.