Here you can find more information about all the interesting activities for our staff, students and parents at ISI! You can also take a look at news and photos from our previous school year in the new School Archive!
Öskudagur and Winter Break
20th of February 2021
Las Wednesday our students and teachers celebrated "Öskudagur" (Ash Wednesday). Various creatures, celebrities and colourful characters could be seen at school, who all seemed to be having a lot of fun.
All our groups spent the morning with their homeroom teachers who had planned enjoyable activities with their students. They played games, listened to music, danced and admired each others costumes.
After morning snack k-4 students went around school grounds where our staff members had set up 9 stations manned by staff members or older students. Students would sing or complete other tasks such as telling an Icelandic joke and receive candy in return. It is safe to say that all participants, both students and grown ups, enjoyed this activity.
School was over at 11:30 on Wednesday but Thursday and Friday were regular school days. On Friday winter break begun and school will resume again on March 1st.
We sincerely hope that all our students and staff members will enjoy the break.
Name Sculptures in 3D
16th of February 2021
Our students are always working on ambitious projects in Art. Recently 6th and 7th grade completed these 3D name sculptures under the guidance of Kirsten, our art teacher. They had to design their own name using different fonts, fill in each letter with interesting design and finally arrange theim into a 3D name sculpture.
As can be seen below the final outcome is very impressive.
8th of February 2021
Our Tröllafoss (K-2) students have been studying how we use our senses to experience the world around us. Students explored the sense of sight by practicing different facial expressions showing emotions using a mirror. They then used a photograph of their favourite expression to create a clay self portrait.
Below are some examples of the final outcome.
Human Rights School
1st of February 2021
ISI has won the title of a Human Rights School for the third time. Our students have been awarded for writing the highest number of letters per student.
They will be rewarded with online concert and fund time with the singer Jón Jónsson, later this month.
We are all really pround of our students and are sure that their effort will make a difference.
After School Clubs Start Again
19th of January 2021
As the covid situation has improved in Iceland, we are slowly going back to "normal", and that includes after-school activities. We will start with re-introducing Homework Club and a new club, called Vikings - friends or foe? Soon to start: Chinese, Conversational Icelandic and Outdoor Education.
ISI Seeks a Homeroom Teacher
18th of January 2021
The applicant must be an experienced elementary/primary teacher and a native English speaker. Experience as a homeroom teacher in an international school setting is preferred. Our school year runs from mid-August to mid-June.
A Bachelor's or Master's degree in an educational field.
Prior experience teaching and working with school-aged students.
English as a native language.
What we seek:
An encourager who recognizes the power and potential within all students.
A life-long learner who strives to improve his or her craft and is open to feedback.
A problem-solver who approaches challenges with solutions in mind.
A proactive communicator who reaches out to students, families and colleagues.
If you are interested and meet the requirements, please submit your resume and cover letter to - subject “Homeroom Teacher 2021-22”. Please note that the successful applicant needs to be a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA). References and a clean criminal record are required.
Learning About Forces
8th of January 2021
Over the next few weeks, Goðafoss class will be following an IPC unit of work that focuses on the theme of ‘Forces’. We began the unit with a tug-of-war (the Entry Point) to demonstrate the force of friction and gravity!
Message in a Bottle
5th of January 2021
In early 2018, a group of students in grades 3-4 ended a Pirate theme by throwing a message out to sea from the shores of Garðabær. On December 29th 2020, that message was found by a couple in Notre-Dame de Monts, France. The bottle has therefore been travelling for over 30 months. The couple reached out to the school and sent these images that they gave us permission to post. Our students, now in grades 5-6, were both astonished and delighted to hear the news!
Happy New Year
4th of January 2021
School starts again today, January 4th. We hope that our students and their families have had an enjoyable holiday. Our teachers and other staff members are looking forward to a new semester full of learning potential with our students. We all hope that this new semester will not be highly affected by Covid restrictions.
It is well worth mentioning that right before Christmas break Dettifoss students finished writing letters for Write for Rights (see last post). They ended up writing 261 letters as a part of this important campaign.
Below are some images from the last day of school before the break, where our youngest students can be seen having a cosy classroom Christmas.
Write For Rights
11th of December 2020
ISI has been taking part in the annual Amnesty International campaign, Write for Rights since 2015.
During the last 2 weeks of the fall term, students are introduced to some of the cases in the Write for Rights campaign. They “meet the people” and get to know and understand the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Every year, during this campaign, students have signed cards of support, sign and show support online, and written many, many letters to the people and governments highlighted each year.
This year, due to covid, we will not be signing the cards but there will still be plenty of letter writing and the chance to show support online.
In the 7th-10th grade, we are only 43 students so any family or friend who wants to join us can sign at https://amnesty.is/.
For the last 2 years, ISI has been acknowledged as a Human Rights School for collecting the most signatures per student. So if you do decide to join us please make sure you tick the box that asks: Skrá mig í skólakeppnina and then use the drop-down menu to find Alþjóðaskólinn á Íslandi. Then your signatures will be counted along with our handwritten letters. Additionally, this year 2 of our students were invited to take part in a short video explaining the campaign in Icelandic.
The campaign is open until 31st December and Pam will be collecting and delivering the Letters to Amnesty Int. during the first week in January. There are some students who have already expressed an interest in writing letters during the Christmas recess.
9th of December 2020
The cold weather was perfect for Goðafoss class (grades 5-6) in one of their recent STEAM lessons - they went "ice fishing"!
They looked at the reactions that salt has on ice - first the salt melted the ice, before re-freezing it! They used this experiment to "catch" ice-cubes. Six was the most ice-cubes caught in one go!
Yule Lads Visit ISI
7th of December 2020
Here at ISI we are steadily getting in the holiday spirit. Last Thursday we got a visit from a couple of Icelandic Yule Lads, Gluggagægir and Hurðaskellir. Even though the vice principal tried to follow them to let them behave, she had no control over them peeping on windows and banging doors back. Unlike our vice principal, the students were happy and excited to see the yule lads.
2nd of December 2020
Students in grades 5-6 have been exploring myths & mythology in English, Icelandic and IPC. This cross-curriculum approach encourages students to deepen their learning by making connections between subjects. In English class, students read an adapted version of Beowulf and wrote their own epic poems, which they proudly presented to their classmates.
Creative Minds in K-2
27th of November 2020
Our students in K-2 have been working on some pretty cool artwork recently. When learning about Thanksgiving traditions and history they crafted these colourful little turkeys.
In Þórsmörk, we now have hot air balloon artwork, decorating the wall next to our staircase. This is also the work of K-2. As can be seen on the images below their design includes a little portrait of the students so it looks as they are flying around in their hot air balloon.
25th of November 2020
The organisers of our after school program, Sælukot, always come up with something fun for our youngest students. Due to Covid restrictions ISI students are not able to attend Sælukot in Sjálandsskóli as usual. Instead our staff members, Agla Bríet and Laura, host Sælukot in an ISI classroom.
This week we had a staff day on Tuesday and a few students spent their day in Sælukot. One of the activities was gingerbread decoration. Though christmas are still a month away we are starting to get in the holiday spirit. It is safe to say that our students had a lot of fun!
Amazing Self Portraits
17th of November 2020
Our students in 3rd and 4th grade have been working on these amazing self portraits. As can be seen these portraits feature a 3D effect. It looks like the students are blowing a pink gum bubble. Working on this design provided the students with an opportunity to be creative and learn about 3D at the same time.
Pursuing authorization as an IB World School
13th of November 2020
It is safe to say that there are exciting times ahead at ISI.
We are pleased to announce that ISI is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. IB World Schools share a common philosophy and a commitment to high-quality, challenging, international education. ISI is now a candidate school for the Middle Years Program, the MYP.
Further information about the IB can be found here: www.ibo.org.
Designing Marble Mazes
28th of May, 2020
Students in grades 3-5 thoroughly enjoyed testing their final products in Design. Working as a group, the students set out to learn how to design and create a marble maze with given materials on hand, such as cardboard, popsicle sticks, and empty paper-towel rolls. This required cooperation, patience, and a growth mindset. Well done, students!
19th of May, 2020:
In Art, the 7th Graders got to design their own shoes. The creative use of colors is mesmerizing!
Home Learning Talent Show
5th of May, 2020:
During Home Learning, an English assignment in grades 4-5 was to share their talents. In the video below, you can see some of the wonderful talents of this class called Goðafoss!
Staying Connected with Our
Students via Home Learning
27th of April, 2020
Last week, students had a few projects during their home learning sessions that are worth sharing the results of. 6th and 7th graders participated in a "Landmark Project" in Math, where they had to choose a famous landmark and build it in LEGOs or other building materials they had around the house. They then measured the size of their model and compared its scale to the original. Other students in Science were studying ecosystems and biomes. The students were to build a shoe-box ecosystem and could pick any biome they wished; i.e. a rainforest, desert, polar region, etc. The instructions were to include ten biotic factors and use what they had at home to demonstrate them in the display. For High School Math, some students worked on blueprints in Geometry and were to make a mathematical sketch for a design of their own choosing. From that design, they made a final product. One student knitted a hat, and another made a flower pot from concrete. You can see some lovely examples of all of these works below in the pictures.
Creative Spring Events
by the PTA at ISI
12th of April, 2020
The PTA hosted a "2020 Social Distancing Bunny Wave Drive-By" to help brighten students days. Families were able to drive by with their children to see and wave to the Easter Bunny from a good distance. Kids were very happy to see the Easter Bunny and some showed the pictures they colored for the bunny and also took pictures from their cars. This offered a quick family car ride to break up the day and bring a little joy, while keeping a social distance from others. A special thanks go out to our Easter Bunny - a volunteer parent!
The PTA also sponsored a virtual Easter egg hunt by encouraging children to color paper eggs and submit them electronically to the PTA. The PTA then compiled the eggs received and created a virtual egg hunt. Students could then look to see if they could find and count the hidden eggs and bunnies in the collage, and those who submitted eggs could look for their own as well. The visual virtual egg hunt compilation was thanks to the artistic work of one of our talented PTA board members, Sue Erbeck. Look below to see a copy of the beautiful collage.
The PTA also put together a few videos which they shared with ISI parents. Thanks to one of our regular sponsors - the owner of Hidden People, Gem King: a small, creative Icelandic local business - the PTA was able to put together a special holiday surprise video starring the ISI Easter Bunny visiting various places in Iceland, including the school, with a nice message. The video features the ISI Bunny, acted out by one of the ISI 6th grade students, Owen Thor Halldorsson. The message from the ISI Bunny is that, although we may not be able to see some friends or relatives at this time, we can always visit them through the magic of technology - as the ISI Bunny has done via this video.
In addition, there is an educational demo video to help remind kids of the importance of washing their hands. A long version to be shared with parents will also include a young ISI student and his sister with bunny masks showing what they learned from the ISI bunny, thanks to ISI board member, Hiroe Terada, on the ISI Parents Facebook page just in time for the holiday. The PTA hopes these various activities bring joy to students and their families during this unique 2020 April Holiday Break.
Staying Connected with Our
Students via Home Learning
29th of March, 2020
During the past few weeks, the students and teachers at ISI have been using home learning methods to stay connected and keep classes on track. The teachers have been getting pretty creative in trying to maintain student engagement and enthusiasm. Below, you'll find a few examples of some of the things they have been doing.
-Top Center: A group of happy students and their teacher having math class online!
-Bottom Left: A mock trailer showing how much the students are missed (and how crazy the teachers can go without them). Click the image to watch.
-Bottom Right: Teachers checking in with their students by putting out a morning message, accompanied with The Plank Challenge! Click the image to watch.
ISI Thanks Sushma Yenge and the Indian Embassy of Reykjavik
27th of February, 2020
ISI wishes to express its gratitude to the Indian Embassy of Reykjavik, as well as Sushma Yenge. For the past two years, we have been able to infuse stretching and breathing classes into our curriculum, courtesy of the Indian Embassy. Students learned many mindful and relaxing techniques from their wonderful instructor. Takk fyrir okkur, Sushma!
It's a jungle in there!
4th of February, 2020
The theme is "rainforests" in our IPC class at the moment, and the jungle is creeping in! The students are eager to come to class each morning to see what has sneaked in to the ever-growing scene. More information on our IPC classes can be found by clicking here.
Students Participate in Amnesty International's Annual "Write for Rights" Campaign
19th of December, 2019
Each year, Amnesty International - an international organization promoting and working to enforce human rights - hosts a "Write for Rights" campaign. For the campaign, people are encouraged to write to officials and heads of government on behalf of people whose human rights have been violated. ISI students in grades six through ten have participated for a few years now during the month of December. This year, the theme of the cases for the campaign centered around ten young people from across the world.
From the roughly fifty students at ISI that were in the participating grade levels, more than a thousand submissions were created. This includes writing formal letters to those in power, personal letters of support to those who have had their human rights violated (or their families), and signing postcards.
Near the end of the campaign, the head of Iceland's branch of Amnesty International, Vala, came to visit the class and receive all the submissions from the students. This is always a powerful experience for both teachers and students alike!
Holiday Family Fun Night
Over the past five years, the ISI PTA has hosted the annual Holiday Family Fun Night, where ISI families get to participate in creating holiday crafts, enjoy hot homemade soups, and eat delicious fresh-baked goods. The night of the event features a visit from a traditional Icelandic Yule Lad - one of the 13 in Iceland - who greets children and gives them candy as a treat. ISI parents support the event by helping with crafts and donating their time, or by preparing delicious goods to be eaten. This year's event included a raffle for prizes, where over 60 prizes were won - all provided as gracious donations from various local Icelandic businesses, artists, authors, and publishers. The high school students also took the opportunity to raise funds at the event for their upcoming annual trip abroad. This school year, they are going to Edinburgh, Scotland. In addition, the middle and high school students put their recent STEAM project works on display. The projects were tied to recreating famous examples of architectural masterpieces that inspired the students. The high school group also discussed their current involvement in Amnesty International's "Write for Rights" campaign, showing those in attendance at the event how they themselves could participate in one of the world's largest human rights projects!
7th of December, 2019
The Garðabær Library has a number of reading programs on offer, including "Read-for-a-Dog" in the month of November. As we have so many dog fans in the house, we decided to offer this in Þórsmörk during the month of December. Ten-year-old Eve listened to students read this week and looks forward to hearing more!
Colorful Corn Folk Art Project
26th of November, 2019
This week, students in 8th and 9th grade got to participate in making art with a cultural context. They studied rainbow, or Native American corn, then turned their ideas into these colorful aquarell paintings below. The lessons focused on close observation, composition, contour line drawing on the shape of the cob, highlighting with a wax-resistant technique to achieve the glossy look of the kernels, and watercolor paints, using a random color scheme to achieve the colorful kernels. Lastly, the students learned about the importance of backgrounds in paintings, making color choices that don't overpower the corn in the foreground.
4th and 5th Grade
Island Narrative Project
20th of November, 2019
Currently, students in grades four and five are reading an island adventure in class, as well as writing their own island narratives. The enthusiasm for the project has been sensational and has emboldened the class spirit with lots of enthusiasm. Recently, a 4th grade student started his day with, “Good morning, and when can we start writing?” Statements such as this sure are music to a teacher’s ears!
17 Students from Hong Kong Visit ISI
6th of November, 2019
On the 6th of November, 17 high school students from the Gertrude Simon Lutheran College in Hong Kong visited the 8th-10th grade students at ISI. Over about a three hour period, the students from Hong Kong hosted a series of cultural breakout sessions, activities, and lessons that the ISI students could cycle through and participate in. The goal was to provide space for a valuable cultural exchange between the student groups and promote global connections, staying true to ISI's message of inclusion and diverse learning experiences. Two of our own students, Pratham and Eythor, conducted a presentation on the general life and culture of Iceland to the whole group, highlighting Iceland's unique language, history, and culture. The Hong Kong group came with some of their teachers and their school's principal, who gifted a school banner to our Principal Hanna. The eight workshops the visiting students hosted included expositions on everyday life in Hong Kong, trying on traditional Hong Kong dress, a lesson in Cantonese calligraphy, and making local Hong Kong sweets. Both student groups established deep connections and gained a lot from their sharing of cultural experiences.
World Teacher Appreciation Day, 2019
4th of October, 2019
This year, for World Teacher Appreciation Day on the 4th of October, ISI's amazing Parent-Teacher Association gifted all of the teachers with personalized water bottle thermoses, provided delicious cakes, and shared many kind words. On behalf of the teachers at ISI: Thank you, Parent-Teacher Association, for making us feel very appreciated and making the school a warmer, more wonderful experience for everyone involved!
A Reader's Theatre About the Boston Tea Party
27th of September, 2019
This September, grades 8-10 led their own "reader's theatre" project about the Boston Tea Party as part of a hands-on learning activity in their humanities class. The students had lots of fun while learning - a goal we always hope to accomplish at ISI. Some future professional actors may have been born of this moment as well...
A Gift for Our School
May 9, 2019
Today, students in 1st grade where gifted bicycle helmets. The local Kiwanis organization, in collaboration with Eimskip, provides these helmets to encourage bicycle safety for our students.
Everyone was happy with their new helmets and we would like to thank Kiwanis and Eimskip for this generous gift!
7th Grade Students Compete in Stóra upplestrakeppni
March 28, 2019
We are proud of our 7th grade students and their Icelandic teacher, Hanna Sirrý, for taking part in the Stóra upplestrakeppni (The Big Reading Competition), a competition in which students read aloud in Icelandic, using their finest speaking skills.
Two of our students read, one was prepared to step in if needed, and one awed the audience with his talented violin performance. Congratulations to you all!
ISI Receives Human Rights School 2018 Award
March 14, 2019
We are honoured to announce that ISI has received an award, Human Rights School 2018, for their contributions to the Write for Rights campaign - be sure to stop by our Photo Gallery if you haven't seen photos from that event last fall! Click here to read more about what it means to be a Human Rights Friendly School!
Amnesty International representative Vala Bergsveinsdóttir presented the award and thanked ISI students for their efforts. Congratulations to our students and the teachers who inspire them!
Special Performance by Ásta Dóra
On Friday, March 1, one of our students, Ásta Dóra, gave a special performance on Norwegian radio. She was one of two musicians that the program featured on the National Radio Station NRK (P2) in Norway.
Click the piano or music note above to hear the music. Ásta Dóra comes in after about 35 minutes, right after the jazz recording that they used while the first musician was leaving and Ásta Dóra was entering the studio.
Ásta Dóra is a 6th grade student at ISI. She is attending a piano school in Oslo called Barratt Due Musikkinstitutt.
Congratulations to Ásta Dóra!
ISI Clean Up Day: September 14
The high school students & teachers took part in World Clean Up Day on September 14 (a day earlier than the rest of the world, which cleaned up on September 15!).
We took time to enjoy the weather and clean up the school surroundings. Students collected more than 25 bags of rubbish, most of it plastic. Plastic is one of the greatest threats to our oceans and seas today!
A Special Visitor:
January 17, 2019
Icelandic Minister of Education Visits Our Students
January 17, 2019
The Icelandic Minister of Education, Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, chatted with students and passed on sage advice when she visited our school on January 17.
We were delighted with her visit as well as proud to share our accomplishments and challenges. Future housing was an especially pertinent topic, as ISI looks toward building its own premises in the near future.
PTA Celebrates ISI Staff on World Teacher Day!
October 5, 2018
The ISI Parent Teacher Association recognized this day by celebrating the hard work of ISI teachers and staff with a gift to all ISI staff members. As ISI is a green school and teaches students about the importance of the environment and being environmentally conscious, the PTA thought it appropriate to provide each staff member with an eco-friendly cotton tote bag with the ISI logo to use in carrying school supplies or for other uses. Along with the ISI tote bag, there was a small key chain for cleaning or holding a smart phone, and a small message.
In addition, the parents supplied a buffet of food for the staff of both ISI and Sjálandsskóli of cheeses, breads, deli meats, cookie and brownies to complement the celebratory cake which was provided by Sjálandsskóli.
The heads of both school's welcomed teachers and expressed their appreciation at the mid-morning break prior to enjoying cake and the buffet of delicious food which was supplied in both school buildings for staff to enjoy.
Parent volunteers and board members, Sigrun Boatwright, Benoit Chéron, Karólina Hreiðarsdóttir, Hiroe Terada and Laurie Wilkins joined in the celebration, stopping by to hand out the gifts to appreciative staff.
Our Students at Reykjavik's 3rd Annual Peace Conference
Our grade 8-10 students in Gullfoss class attended the Höfði Reykjavik Peace Centre’s International Conference on October 10, 2018. The Imagine Forum: Youth on the Move was held at the University of Iceland.
Students were fortunate to hear inspirational speakers, such as JJ Bola, a poet and writer, as well as speeches from experts in the field of refugee issues. At the culmination of their day they took part in small groups of conference attendees and certainly held their own in the conversation whose main question was "How can young people address and improve the situation for young reugees?"
ISI Students Kick Off
a New Year ...
DEAR is one of our favorite times of day at ISI! DEAR (which stands for Drop Everything and Read) is a great way to get both staff and students reading. A DEAR session consists of getting the whole school to stop, drop what they are doing, and to read, for pleasure, for 20 minutes.
In the photos above, we can see that Drekafoss and Tröllafoss classes have been working on building up their Reading Stamina in DEAR after lunch recess!
Silent reading helps brain function more effectively and has many benefits including improved vocabulary, communication skills, and better fluency in understanding material. Find out more about this program on the official DEAR website.
It also helps students become lifetime readers by showing them that everyone can enjoy a few minutes of relaxation with a good book. We believe in this program so much at ISI that we do it nearly every day - as often as we can!