What are the strengths of the academic programme at ISS?

Holistic and Inclusive Education

  • Holistic approach focusing on psychological, social and emotional well-being positively influences higher academic achievement and improves relationships at school and at home
  • Well-rounded curriculum coupled with extensive extra-curriculars connects learning and guarantees that the students’ education is in tune with their unique skills and needs
  • Inclusive Performing (music and drama/theatre) and Visual Arts programme lets students tap into multiple intelligences, express themselves and grow as individuals

Supportive Learning Environment

  • Small class sizes (1:9 teacher-to-student ratio) means one-on-one attention and opportunities for individualised guidance and learning
  • “Extra help” opportunities where faculty willingly meet with students before, during or after school provides students with individualised help according to their needs
  • Caring homeroom teachers, counsellors and an Advisory programme provide a “home base,” helping with transitions and insuring positive teacher contact for students
  • Established English as an Additional Language and Learning Support programmes with one-on-one and small group instruction makes for improved learning in other classes

Proven Success and University Preparatory

  • History of academic success, including 20 years of successfully delivering the IB Diploma Programme and 30 years of the IGCSE, insures students can choose from a range of courses based on their interests and be surrounded by peers who also value academic achievement
  • An experienced faculty where 67% teachers have a masters or PhD means students learn from subject experts and are better prepared for their next move/school or university/college
  • Dedicated university and guidance counselling office means students know the ins and outs of the university/college application process for countries around the world and how to navigate their choices

Innovative Approach

  • 1:1 iPad programme in Middle School and 1:1 MacBook Air programme in High School, integrated technology in Primary School and Computer Science in High School develops digital literacy, digital citizenship, coding and robotics skills – ISS is a leader in Norway regarding use of technology in schools
  • Design Technology programme in Middle and High School provides hands-on opportunities to design, develop and make products – a fine example of building real-world creative and technological skills

Experiential and Signature Programmes

  • Reggio-inspired and inquiry-based approach in Pre-School sparks wonder, creates resilient children and engages the children in joyful learning – a much healthier approach than the lecture setting
  • Exploratory programme in Middle School where children are challenged to step outside comfort zones and feel safe doing so
  • “Leirskole” – a Norwegian tradition – provides students in Grades 4-8 with remarkable opportunities to experience the outdoors in Norway and grow in confidence
  • Academic travel within Norway and in Europe and Asia gives students a chance to learn in realistic contexts, create memories of a lifetime and better understand their responsibilities in this world
  • Commitment to service learning means students develop compassion, kindness and a drive to make a positive difference for others

International Mindset

  • An international curriculum, foreign language and exchange programmes, the École Maternelle and Dutch (NTC) classes in primary school broaden global perspectives and prepare students for their next move, whether that is back home or to a new country
  • Diversity builds a community of respect and open-mindedness in the classroom – students say learning from others with different backgrounds is a key reason ISS is such a special school

Families gravitate to us because we offer a unique education in Stavanger where Learning, Well-being and Community all intersect and the entire family benefits.

Our families believe in an education that creates responsible, globally-engaged and empowered learners.

They believe in an education that continues to make a positive impact long after their time at ISS. In fact, 9 out of 10 former parents, staff and students ranked their ISS experience highly (2015-16 alumni directory survey) and the majority said, “they wish they could have stayed forever”.

Parents and students have shared many reasons for what makes ISS distinctive and special. Here are key reasons they joined our community:


Deeply Caring and Experienced Faculty

It is not in every school you find a group of individuals who care so deeply about their students. Our teachers nurture, challenge and give students the attention they deserve. For decades, ISS students have benefited from our talented faculty.

“I am hugely grateful for the committed teachers who really do care, and time after time after time go “above and beyond” to take an interest in the kids and foster a supportive community. Thank you!” – Parent Feedback from 2015-16 Annual Family Survey


Vibrant International Community

An international community representing 50 nations, our students celebrate cultural and individual diversity, creating a richer learning experience for all. Open-minded classroom and hallway conversations expand perspectives and provide an environment for growth.

“I thoroughly valued having an intelligent conversation and presentation about international education and knowing that, at ISS, our children are in expert hands.” –  Former Early Childhood and Primary School Parent


A School for the Whole Family

For families in transition, community and trust is critically important. ISS has a warm and welcoming community that parents and students say feels like a family. With the support of parent groups, programmes and events, we make sure families have opportunities to belong and find comfort in their new home.

“ISS is leading the international schools by supporting the whole family … something so important to families who move often. Having some sense of stability when there is so much flux is very important. Thank you for working on creating this stability.” – Former Early Childhood and Primary School Parent

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Fifty Years of Strong Academic Results

“Academic reputation.” It is the number one reason families choose ISS (2014-16 new parent surveys). With a proven history, we place equal value on ensuring the Pre-School child is as well-prepared for the next move/school as the High School student ready to pursue a chosen university or career path. It is no secret that our Primary and Middle School students perform above international school standards, and the IGCSE and IB scores of High School students rank well above world averages.

“My daughter graduated from ISS as valedictorian with an excellent result in the IB Diploma, which allowed her to follow her chosen career path of veterinary science. As parents we were thrilled she was so successful in realising her potential and dreams.” – Former High School Parent


A Holistic, Child-Centered Approach

In today’s world, supporting children with their social/emotional development is a critical foundation for positive academic experiences and healthy interactions with others. Our holistic approach to education embraces 21st century brain research, empowering children to discover strengths and blossom in new ways. It is an approach positively different than what some families have experienced before.

ISS was the place I discovered who I was as an individual and a person. I would do every part of it again … the highs and lows … friends that were like family. And as someone who works in oil and gas now, I can only hope if I ever have children that I can get them the same experience or similar setting.” – Russell Hall, Former ISS Student 2005-2009


Extensive Opportunities

ISS provides all students with the most extensive and inclusive offering of school sports, extracurriculars, service and travel opportunities. Our students find balance, stay active, explore, innovate, inspire, create and have fun.

“The high school play is so much more than a performance. It’s a culmination of hundreds of hours of work, hours of acting, dancing, singing. But also hours of connecting, hours of laughs, and hours of creating something that stays with the cast long after the final blackout.” – High School Student