In order to know if the International School of Iceland is the best fit for you and your child, it can be helpful to know how we define terms that describe our school or curriculum. Find more information below about the things that make us so unique within our community.
Beauty & Modern Design
Sjálandsskóli, the school in which we are housed, is one of the first of its kind in Iceland - a state-of-the art school located by the sea, five minutes outside of Reykjavik.
The outdoor spaces include a large playground which is bordered by the ocean on one side and a natural stream on the other. There is also a small forest of trees which we often use to play games. Finally, there is a small beach within walking distance of the school.
At ISI, the world is our classroom.
Sjálandsskóli´s open-space design allows us great freedom to move about the building, and to find spaces which fit our classes and our students best. We can combine our students into different groups as needed. We can also find cozy spots for reading and quiet activities, or open space for something that requires room to move! There are fewer enclosed classrooms than you would find in a traditional school.
Mixed Grade Classes
Mixed grade classrooms usually accommodate students in two adjacent grades, such as three/four, or four/five. In some situations, there may be three or more grades in one classroom.
Teaching in a multi-grade classroom is different from teaching in a single-grade classroom. Classroom organization, grouping and instructional strategies may be different, for example:
Teachers can effectively use thematic approaches that cross grade levels. In writing class, all students in the room might write on the same theme, but there are different expectations.
Team teaching is when two or more teachers partner up to teach a subject or center several subjects around a central theme.
Team teaching can be an effective method to differentiate instruction. It also allows teachers to work closely together.
Morning Meetings - also known as "Advisory" - take place every morning from 8:15 to 8:30 AM. Students receive important messages from their teachers, including information about special events such as safety messages, presentations from other classes, etc. More regularly, this time is used to use Responsive Classroom techniques in order to provide a reflective and introspective place for personal and communal growth.
In Icelandic primary schools, there is a rich emphasis on creative arts and movement. At the International School of Iceland, we appreciate the benefits that this can have on student learning and well-being. To that end, our curriculum is enhanced by the addition of the following: Art, textiles, woodwork, theater, music, swimming and physical education.
Additionally, we offer enriching after-school activities such as computer coding, Chinese and chess.
Bilingual education can refer to a number of different approaches. At ISI we use a dual-language (Icelandic-English) immersion model and strive for full bilingualism. The goal of the program is that, over time, students will achieve academic proficiency in both languages. ISI uses the Icelandic National Curriculum for Icelandic language instruction in the Bilingual Stream.
See more about standards used in the Bilingual Stream here.
Accreditation means that a school has been evaluated, or audited, by educational authorities, to ensure it is offering high-quality learning opportunities. ISI underwent an inspection process over the course of several months to ensure that we were fulfilling all laws and requirements as set forth by the Ministry of Education & Science in 2010. Did we meet all the requirements? The results after their meticulous evaluation: Yes, indeed!
ISI is a member of the accreditation agency known as CIS, or the Council of International Schools. In July 2017, ISI became an official CIS Accredited School. Read more about our accreditation journey here.
Curriculum refers to the lessons and educational content taught in a school. At ISI, curriculum units are aligned to AERO Common Core Plus Standards in all subjects except the International Primary Curriculum and Mother-tongue Icelandic, which follows the national curriculum.
Learning Standards are concise, written descriptions of what students are expected to know and be able to do at a specific stage of their education. These are used to guide the curriculum. Standards describe educational objectives—i.e., what skills, knowledge and understanding a student should have by the end of a course, grade level, or grade span.
The International School of Iceland uses AERO standards in English and math. For example, a student in Grade 1 English class should be able to read a story and describe characters, settings and major events using key details. To see the rest of our AERO standards for English, click here.