Skills and tools

Student learning is best done when it is authentic and relevant to the ‘real’ world. At ISD, transdisciplinary learning is not confined within the boundaries of traditional subject areas but is supported and enriched by them.

Our robust curriculum includes both academic and non-academic activities that impact on student learning. We also believe all students should be supported to participate in our curriculum to their fullest extent.



We define our Elementary School curriculum as three interrelated components. In keeping with the PYP commitment to inquiry, we express these as open-ended questions, each one asking us to think deeply about our own practice with regard to student learning: What do we want to learn? How best will we learn? How will we know what we have learned?

Arts & Music

Arts and music provide students with a wide range of opportunities and means to respond to their experiences and engage with historical, social and cultural contexts. We stimulate our students to think and to articulate their thoughts in new ways by employing a variety of media and technologies.

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In PYP schools all students have the opportunity to learn more than one language. At ISD, each student connects with the host country in a variety of ways, including learning German approximately one period per day from the age of 5...

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World Languages

The need to communicate is instinctive and the development of language is fundamental to the need to communicate, as it supports and enhances our thinking and understanding. Language permeates the world in which we live: it is socially constructed and dependent on the number and nature of our social interactions and relationships.

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The power of mathematics for describing and analysing the world around us is such that it has become a highly effective tool for solving problems. It is also recognized that students can appreciate the intrinsic fascination of mathematics and explore the world through its unique perceptions.

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Outdoor learning

Our outdoor learning team designs learning activities which drive and complement classroom units of inquiry, as well as developing stand-alone outdoor units of inquiry. Examples of units that incorporate an outdoor learning component include: cycles are a part of life (reception); imagination takes us to other worlds (prep); tools help us to create (grade 1); art is in nature (grade 2); matter can be changed (grade 3); access to natural resources (grade 4); simple machines (grade 5). 

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Science leads learners to an appreciation and awareness of the world as it is viewed from a scientific perspective. It encourages curiosity and ingenuity and enables the student to develop an understanding of the world.

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Senior School students at ISD study both English literature and language. Like any other creative endeavour, literature helps us to make sense of the world and our place in it. As readers, we are opened up to the limitless world of possibilities and opportunities, through stories, poems, novels, and plays. As for the English language, it is the world's 'lingua franca', the universal language of science, mathematics, technology, finance, and many more. English is a uniquely flexible and versatile language, in which our students are able to communicate their thoughts and ideas to a worldwide audience. In short, the study of English literature and language is vital to our students' well being: it informs, entertains, and provides a pathway to future success. 

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We support students in their German language acquisition process, as well as developing literacy and communication skills in those for whom German is their mother tongue...

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All students from grades 6-12 have the chance to engage in a performance-based music curriculum that has holistic educational benefits for all learners.

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In keeping with our belief that the study of science is a fundamental part of the education of all young people, science is taught in all grade levels at ISD.  Instruction takes place in purpose-built laboratories which are equipped to support the aims of the curriculum and provide a safe and stimulating learning environment.

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Technology & Design

In our technology and design classes, students not only gain knowledge of materials and processes, but also develop design and presentation skills through an investigative, open-ended pedagogical approach. They investigate, design and create products, always keeping in mind who will use them.

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Theatre Arts

Theatre Arts at ISD provides opportunities for students and the wider school community to learn and develop through collaboratively creating, playing, improvising, and performing.

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Visual Arts

Our experienced art educators work together to create a continuous programme of art education for students from reception to grade 12. The lessons incorporate the diverse backgrounds and unique talents of each student. Individual experiments, instruction in technical skills, art criticism and cooperative projects are just some of the subjects covered.

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