Welcome to ISR’s Middle School!

Grades 5–8 are an incredibly important time for our students as they are engaged in a very complex multi-layered experience and as young learners, they have quite different needs from both Primary School and Upper School students. In other words, we must take into account that the Middle School years are quite distinct from what precedes them and what comes after them.

Of course, there are constants, but on a socio-emotional and cognitive level, Middle Schoolers are confronting issues that mold them. They will serve to begin to define their future place in society. For this reason, it is so important that we get it right!

As current or potential members of the ISR community, you can rest assured that all the students in Grades 5 – 8 are being extremely well looked after. Here at ISR we have a highly skilled team of professional educators who provide an excellent Middle School experience that responds to all the needs sketched out above. The formal curriculum is both challenging and rewarding and is accompanied by a carefully curated series of extracurricular activities to meet all physical, creative, and intellectual needs.

Perhaps more than anything else, Middle School is a time to be enjoyed, and this most certainly happens at ISR and is evidenced by the constant excitement and enthusiasm shown by our students on a day-to-day basis.

Positive Learning Environment

New students at ISR adjust easily because we create a warm, friendly and helpful environment. A positive learning environment helps engage each student and makes learning fun!

At ISR, teachers and staff use creative ways to acknowledge and reward good grades, responsible behavior, and achievement that lay the foundation for us to realize our vision of “Enabling great minds and strong characters.”

Homework

Homework is given daily. No homework is allowed to be due on the day of an exam, as it is intended that students will be using the day before exams to study for those subjects. Homework can oftentimes be finished in class or in a “Homework Club” during the SLO® period. Students are given the responsibility to keep track of their homework and assignments in an academic planner.

Assessments

Students in Grade 5 – 8 also take a weekly quiz, alternating in Mathematics and English, which closely monitors their learning and provides consistent feedback on their progress in these subjects.

The quizzes are designed to check students learning, mastery, and long-term retention of essential concepts. This allows teachers to locate learning gaps quickly instead of having unpleasant surprises at the end of the term.

Students receive a quiz concept list at the beginning of each term, indicating which subject concepts will be assessed and when, and is intended to be used for preparing for the weekly assessment.

Starting in Grade 5, students have a weekly examination period (90 minutes) in their schedule. Students have either one 90-minute exam or two 45-minute exams during this period.

The examination timetable is released at the beginning of each term. Students also receive concept lists at the beginning of term, which details the subject concepts that will be assessed in each exam. Students in Grade 5 write their examinations in their homeroom class. From Grade 6, the examinations are written in the exam hall.

End-of-term exams are given at the end of term 1 and term 2 in all subjects to all students to determine mastery of concepts taught over a full term. Students are provided with concept lists and revision material to prepare for term exams, and the teachers review the material for each subject during the revision period prior to the final exams.

The end-of-year final exams (at the end of term 3) measure student achievement over the course of the entire academic year. Students are provided with concept lists to prepare for term exams and final exams, and the teachers review the material for each subject during the revision period prior to the exams. The end-of-year final exams are typically 2 hours per subject and are used to determine a student’s eligibility for promotion to the next grade level.

Academic Support

A unique benefit that ISR offers its students is a variety of academic support mechanisms for those students who would benefit from extra tutoring in certain subjects. These academic support groups aim to be a positive experience for all students and have a proven track record of increasing student performance.

Booster classes are offered in the core subjects: English, German, Mathematics, Science, and 3rd Languages. These are small group sessions held during the SLO® periods led by a subject teacher. Students will review certain concepts identified by the teacher in order to support the student’s progress in the course. Students are enrolled and released into these sessions on the recommendation of their teacher or Academic Head.

Parents are informed by email prior to a booster class assignment to allow enough time to make special transportation arrangements for their children, if necessary.

Peer tutors are Upper School students, usually grades 10 – 12, who assist Middle School students who need extra support and consolidation of work already covered in class. The subject teacher explains the exact nature of the academic support the student needs to the peer tutor. Peer tutors are arranged through the Head of Middle School.

Communication with Parents

The first point of contact for parents in their Academic Head. Parent-teacher conferences are held twice a year, following the Term 1 and Term 2 final exams. However, parents may make an appointment to speak with any teacher at any time by contacting the Academic Head.

Report Cards

Report cards are issued three times a year at the end of each term. The report card includes the student’s numerical marks for each subject, attendance, and behavior records, as well as an account of the student’s involvement in the ISR Student Life Organization®. A report card is not a “Zeugnis” and should not be shared with third parties as it is not an official school document. The report card contains confidential student information such as absences and possible infractions. The official ISR “Zeugnis” is the ISR school transcript, which is prepared by the Registrars Team for students upon request. In addition, the student progress overview report is available on SABIS® Digital Platform.

Student Life (SLO®) Activities

From Grade 5 onwards, the SLO® activities are mandatory for students for a minimum of three days per week. Students apply for the activities of their choice at the beginning of the school year. Typically, students stay in the same activity for the duration of the year to allow for maximum progress in the skill development area.

These activities take place in period 9, the last period of the day. There are a variety of activities in the areas of athletics, team sports, creativity, music, arts, and more! In addition to these activities, students may apply for the position of SLO® Junior Prefect (grade 5 and above), SLO® Senior Prefect (Grade 7 and above) and SLO® Deputy Head Prefect, and SLO® Head Prefect (Grade 9 and above). The Prefect positions teach students responsibility and leadership skills in specific departments and are the heartbeat of the student experience at ISR.

Student involvement in the SLO® activities prepares the students well for CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service projects) which is part of the IB Diploma Program in Grades 11 and 12.

Transitioning to Upper School

At ISR, the Path to University starts in Grade 8 within advising lessons during which students reflect on their interests, their skills, and their goals and how their profile might translate into a career path. Grade 8 is also the beginning of regular Path-to-University presentations that are offered for students and parents through Grade 11.

Find more information about Upper School here

Student Achievements

At ISR, the achievement is valued and acknowledged in many ways. In these ways, students, parents, and teachers can all be proud of what we achieve together as a school and community!

  • Award Ceremonies
  • Honour Roll
  • Music Concerts
  • Art Exhibitions
  • Sports Competitions
  • Honor

Student Trips & Excursions

Experiential learning outside the classroom is often a highlight of our student’s time in Middle School. Throughout Grades 5-8, students participate in a variety of day trips to focus on team building, outdoor education, and extending topics covered in their classes.

In addition to these day trips, students in Grade 7 & 8 have the opportunity to participate in international study trips led by subject teachers. The location and subject area of these trips changes each year, but here are a few examples!

  • Social Studies Study Trip to Rome
  • Social Studies & English Study Trip to London
  • Spanish Study Trip to Barcelona
  • French Study Trip to Paris
  • French & History Study Trip to Normandy

 

Student Trips & Excursions

Experiential learning outside of the classroom is often a highlight of our student’s time in Middle School. Throughout Grades 5-8, students participate in a variety of day trips to focus on team building, outdoor education and extending topics covered in their classes.

In addition to these day trips, students in Grade 7 & 8 have the opportunity to participate in international study trips led by subject teachers. The location and subject area of these trips changes each year, but here are a few examples!

  • Social Studies Study Trip to Rome
  • Social Studies & English Study Trip to London
  • Spanish Study Trip to Barcelona
  • French Study Trip to Paris
  • French & History Study Trip to Normandy

 

Events

ISR holds many fun events during the year, such as the Halloween party, St. Martin, winter and summer music concerts, ISR Family Fun & Sports Day, ISR Open House, ISR International Spring Festival, Spirit Days, and much more.

Middle School students also have a variety of events to look forward to during the school year. These events may change and progress each school year, but here are a few examples:

  • Movie & Study Nights
  • Spring Dance
  • Middle School Lock-in
  • End of Middle School Celebration

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