ISS is an internationally accredited school, working with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and is fully authorized to provide the International Baccalaureate programs (PYP, MYP, and DP). We believe that the combination of IB programs and NEASC ACE Learning Principles support our mission of making learning an engaging lifelong process through which our learners are challenged, supported, and inspired.
We define learning as being a transformative process for each learner that combines their unique predispositions and experiences with the development of disciplinary and transdisciplinary skills, knowledge and understanding, to nurture and develop character, competence, and a caring disposition.
We believe that learning happens when learners
- understand what they are learning and why they are learning it,
- demonstrate agency in guiding their own self-directed* learning journey,
- reflect on their strengths and monitor their own success,
- take informed risks that allow them to experiment and learn from mistakes,
- make connections between each other and the world around them, and
- embrace multiple perspectives with humility and harness the power of our diverse community.
*Self-directed learning is when learners are accountable for and joyfully engage in choosing the process, content, skills, and outcomes of their learning, with the guidance and support of others, to positively impact our dynamic and interconnected world.
These learning actions engage us in lifelong learning and active participation in a changing world.
We also believe that all of our students should receive an excellent STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education which goes hand in hand with our commitment to providing engaging interdisciplinary programs that promote the creation of partnerships with local companies, scientists and research centers.
We have pursued this strategic goal through our additional accreditations as a “Digitale and MINT Schule”, which validates our active commitment to promoting and leveraging the use of our local resources and a modern real-world application of learning.
I enjoy the different ways some of my teachers try to help the students to learn and their commitment to our learning.
ISS is what is called an ‘IB’ school. This means that it provides programs that put ME at the center! I get to learn about many subjects, but I also get to make connections of how these work in the real world, not just in school. I also get to be a part of making decisions about my learning and how to show this. My teachers are there to guide me in all of this, and to provide me with feedback and resources to help me grow and learn in a way that is right for me.
Stuttgart is a very cool city where there are lots of innovative companies, especially in engineering and technology areas. That is why at ISS, we love STEAM! That just means that we focus on finding connections between science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. For example, I recently did a fun project where we built robots to help evacuate a model town struck by extreme weather conditions.
Primary Years Program
The Primary Years at ISS caters for children in Early Years through grade 5 (3 to10-year olds). Learning is inquiry-driven and takes place not just in the classroom but also within the context of the wider community and world. Students learning is facilitated through an inquiry-based approach which puts each student and their needs and interests at the center of learning and teaching.
The curriculum is implemented through six transdisciplinary themes, organized as Units of Inquiry, that span one academic year and cover the traditional subjects from multiple perspectives with a strong focus on language arts and mathematics. Art, music, physical education, various home and family languages (e.g. Japanese, Hindi), German, EAL and essential media skills are also taught.
At the core of the program, students are provided with a strong foundation in the IB’s ‘Approaches to Learning’ (AtL) skills, which underpin learning in all areas of student development. The culminating display of these skills is evident at the Grade 5 Exhibition, a student-driven project that signifies the end of the PYP experience.
The ongoing emphasis on promoting learner agency and engagement is at the heart of all IB programs, and a hallmark of the PYP.
ISS does an excellent job of making learning relevant to the students’ lives.
I love learning through ‘Units of Inquiry’. We get to explore big ideas that help me to better understand our world. At the same time I can learn language, math, and other skills so that I can express our understanding. All our units also focus on finding out how we can make a difference and take action as a result of our learning. A few of my classmates don’t speak so much English yet, and so there is a special teacher who comes to work with us in the classroom, and often the German teacher comes as well and we all learn together, in all languages!
Middle Years Program
Students in the Middle Years (Grades 6-10) follow the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP). The MYP is a course of study designed to meet the educational requirements of students aged between 11 and 16 years. Building on the PYP, the program continues to provide a strong foundation in Approaches to Learning (AtL) skills whilst guiding students in their search for a sense of belonging in the world around them.
The MYP focuses on supporting students to become independent learners who can recognize relationships between school subjects and the world outside, and combine relevant knowledge, experience and critical thinking to solve authentic problems.
Using the MYP Global Contexts, students learn to build a deeper and connected understanding of the world through these interdisciplinary themes: identities and relationships, personal and cultural expression, orientations in space and time, scientific and technical innovation, fairness and development, globalization and sustainability.
The eight subject areas of the MYP that are used to provide the disciplinary lenses are:
Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, Arts, Physical and Health Education and Design.
Additional central elements of the program are a Personal Project and Service as Action program that promotes student agency in making a difference in their communities.
In Grade 10, students culminate the program by striving for the MYP certificate, a qualification which fulfils the requirements set out by the Conference of State Ministers of Education (KMK), and is recognized in Baden-Württemberg as equivalent to the German school leaving certificate, Mittlere Reife (a pre-requisite for vocational training in Germany).
The IB MYP naturally provides a strong basis for studies in the IB Diploma Program (IB DP).
My big sister is in Grade 8, in the MYP. This is the program for Grade 6-10 students and it really builds on everything that we are learning in the PYP, and has lots of things that are the same about it. What is different is that the kids go to different classes and have different teachers for the different subjects. There are also grades, called Achievement Levels, that we don’t have in the PYP. At the end of the MYP in Grade 10 all the students do a Personal Project, which is similar to the Exhibition that the Grade 5 students do in the PYP. They also do eAssessments and get a certificate for finishing the program successfully.
As with the other programs, the Diploma Years offer a comprehensive and balanced curriculum, preparing young individuals to relate classroom experience to the realities of the outside world and inspiring them to achieve their personal best. The program offers a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum, designed to encourage high academic standards through a practical approach to teaching for understanding.
Building on the PYP and MYP, the Core of the program focuses on an extensive research project (Extended Essay), a critical thinking course (ToK), and Creativity, action and service (CAS).
All students at ISS are given the opportunity to study for the NEASC-accredited ISS High School Diploma and can choose to also gain the full International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma or IB DP course certificates.
The subject curriculum, comprising the Sciences, Mathematics, Languages, Humanities and the Arts, can lead to either certificates in individual subjects, or, if meeting all requirements, a full IB Diploma. If course choices are made according to regulations stipulated by the German conference of State Ministers of Education (KMK), recognition as equivalent to a German Abitur is possible and students with two languages at a native speaker or near mother tongue level qualify for a bi-lingual diploma.
The final program at ISS is called the Diploma Program and it is for Grades 11 and 12. The kids that were on the Sindelfingen Campus join us in Degerloch for this. There are subject groups from which students can choose their courses, which sounds great! They also do a big project, like in the PYP and MYP, and it is called the Extended Essay. At the end of the program everyone can graduate with an ISS High School Diploma, and if they work towards it, an IB Diploma or IB course certificates. It sounds like an exciting, but challenging program!