Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Visiting ISS


We welcome families to our school throughout the year. Our admissions team is happy to arrange a school visit whilst you are visiting the island. We understand that parents relocating to Koh Samui may do so at any time of the year. Our largest intake of new students is generally at the beginning of the academic year in August. However, new pupils may start their education at ISS at any point in the school year. Where possible a visit should be arranged by booking an appointment. This can be done by email, social media or phone +66 77484548. English, Thai Russian and Chinese Languages are spoken. However, we are always on hand to welcome families wishing to see the school and talk about their children's education. Walk-in visitors can present themselves at the security gate and request to see a member of the Admissions Team.




Trial Days @ ISS


We welcome potential students to try out our school free of charge. Trial days may take place over a few days up to a couple of weeks. Trial days can be an important time to understand what a British "ethos" school can offer and for students unfamiliar with the British education system to feel at ease in their new surroundings. Trial days do not oblige you to make any long-term commitment to the school. If you would like your child/ren to try out our school for free please do not hesitate to contact the admissions team.




Acceptance of a place at ISS


Upon acceptance of a place at ISS the school will require the following forms and documents to be submitted for each student attending school: Application Form Medical Form Previous School Report Copy of Child/ren’s Passport with Visa Entry Stamps Copy of Parents’ Passports with Visa Entry Stamps Copy of Child/ren’s Birth Certificate (with English translation) 2 Passport photos of child/ren
A place is only considered secured once the Security Deposit, Joining Fee and 1st Term's school fees have been paid.




Schools @ ISS


Our Early Years caters for children from 2 to 4 years of age, there are 2 classes which are called: Ladybirds (ages 2-3 years) and Busy Bees (ages 3-4 years). Students' progress follows the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) learning goals.
Our Primary School caters for children from 4 to 11 years of age - there are 7 classes from Reception (ages 4-5 years) to Year 6 (ages 10-11 years). Students' progress is measured by the Attainment Levels of the England and Wales National Curriculum. (British Curriculum of Education) Our Senior School caters for children from 11 to 16 years of age - there are 5 classes from Year 7 (ages 11-12 years) to Year 11 (ages 15-16 years). Students complete their education with the highly regarded iGCSE certificate. (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) Our Sixth Form caters for children from 16 to 18 years of age - there are 2 classes. Year 12 (ages 16-17 years) and Year 13 (ages 17-18 years). Students complete their education with the highly regarded Cambridge A Levels.




Terms @ ISS


There are 3 academic terms at ISS which follow the school calendar of other international British schools around the World and independent British schools. Term 1 - starts in mid-August and finishes in mid-December. Term 2 - starts in early January and finishes in mid-April. Term 3 - begins at the end of April and finishes at the end of June. Please check the school calendar on the Important Information page for specific term dates.




School Hours


Senior School The school day begins at 8:20 am and finishes at 3:00 pm After school activities (ECAs) run from 3:15 - 4:00 pm Monday to Thursday Primary School
The school day begins at 8:30 am and finishes at 3:00 pm
After school activities (ECAs) run from 3:15 - 4:00 pm Monday to Thursday Early Years The school day begins at 8:30 am and finishes at 2:50 pm There are no after school activities (ECAs) but there is a babysitting club from 3:15 - 4:00 pm Monday to Thursday Please see this page for individual class timetables




Subjects - Early Years


Personal, Social and Emotional Development Physical Development Communication and language Literacy & Phonics Mathematics & Numeracy Understanding the World Expressive Arts and Design Physical Education Outdoor Play Gardening Drama & Role Play Movement & Dance Information Technology Thai Mandarin Music




Subjects - Primary School


Literacy & English Mathematics Topic & Thematic Learning Science Geography History Drama Information Technology & Coding Physical Education Dance & Movement Swimming Team Sports Art Music Thai Mandarin Spanish EAL (English as an Additional Language) PSHE (Personal, Social & Health Education)




Subjects - Senior School


Mathematics Further Mathematics English Literature English Language English as 2nd Language Chemistry Biology Physics Computing & Robotics Business Studies Geography History Drama Thai Language & Culture Mandarin Spanish Music Art Design & Technology (Textiles, Sewing & Cooking) Physical Education Swimming Team Sports (Games) Well-being & Mindfulness PSHE (Personal, Social & Health Education)




Curriculum


The curriculum at ISS is planned and taught in accordance with the
British Curriculum albeit with an International theme. It is an extensive and stimulating curriculum covering a wide range of subjects and skills supported by our accreditation with the University of Cambridge as a Cambridge International Examinations Centre. Our curriculum is supported by outstanding teachers who are recruited from the United Kingdom, have a minimum of 2 years teaching experience and a PGCE, B Ed, M Ed or equivalent specialist UK recognised teaching qualification.
Early Years - In the Early Years, play is a central part of learning and teaching. Children are given opportunities to experience much of their learning through well-planned and challenging play both indoors and outdoors. There is a balance between child initiated and adult led learning activities. In Busy Bees and Lady Birds teaching and learning is guided by the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and the Practice Guidance for EYFS. In preparation for Reception, the process of transition to the Primary Curriculum is carefully planned. Primary School - In both Key Stage 1 and 2, teaching and learning is guided by the Statutory Programmes of study in the British National Curriculum and the Cambridge Primary Program. Children have opportunities to learn within discreet subjects and through thematic learning across the curriculum. Our Curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of our International minded students. In year 6, the process of transition to key stage 3 is carefully planned. Senior School - To embrace our student's desire for learning, Years 7 and Year 8 follow a fast moving and inter related curriculum based upon the British National Curriculum. There is a strong emphasis on providing a rich and diverse curriculum for the students. Subjects taught include Mathematics, English, Drama, Science, History, Geography, Art, Design & Technology, Computing & Robotics, Music, Wellbeing & PSHE, Thai, Mandarin and Spanish. Sport is an integral aspect of the curriculum and school Ethos with PE, Swimming and Team Sports taught on a weekly basis. This diverse and enriching curriculum for Years 7 and Year 8 is then built upon in Year 9 through Year 11 with an expansive three year curriculum which prepares our students for the Cambridge IGCSE examinations.




Assessment, Reports & Graduation


Assessments take place regularly throughout the year by means of continous assessment, tests, verbal assessments, group and individual work and tasks and end of year formal examinations. In the Primary School, children are informally assessed continuously and in every lesson. This assessment helps to inform teachers' planning for next lesson and helps teachers to personalise their support in the classroom. At the end of every term, teachers’ assessments in the different areas of Reading, Writing and Maths are shared with parents in the form of a score which reflects the extent to which each child has mastered the year's curriculum. Students receive a graduation certifcate on the completion of their studies in the Primary School in Year 6. This graduation certificate is handed out at Speech Day in the Summer term. In the Senior School students are assessed against UK National Curriculum Levels in Years 7 to 9, and against IGCSE marking criteria in Year 10 and 11. Formal assessments take place 5 times across the academic year, with reports produced twice in Term 1, and once each in Terms 2 and 3.




Teaching Support


At ISS we are able to offer our pupils throughout the school the teaching support they require. This teaching support comes in different forms. We can offer one-to-one teaching support for students who require subject specific support such as English, English speaking, science, phonics and mathematics.
Our specialist EAL teacher offers up to 3 hours of English support per week in small groups of 2 to 3 students. Each of our classes from Early Years to Years 6 have teaching support staff who are available to support the teacher in the day to day running of the class. The teaching support is determined by the regulation quotas set by government. Our well-trained teaching support staff receive regular PD workshops as well as regular English tuition and are a key resource in supporting our students’ well-being.
Provision for students with specific special educational needs (SEN) would require an assessment of a child before the specialist support can be offered, normally on a 1:1 basis.




Extra-Curricular Activities


ISS offers a wide-range of after school Extra-Curricular Activities (ECAs) in the Senior & Primary schools. Students are encouraged to take part in some after-school clubs but these are optional. After-lunch clubs & activities take place each Friday afternoon.

ECAs take place between 3:10 pm to 4:00 pm. Students will choose their clubs at the beginning of each term. The club schedule for Senior and Primary school changes each term. Some ECAs incur a charge if run by an outside provider. Payment for ECAs should be done at the beginning of each term in the Accounts Office. ECAs are allocated on a first come first serve basis and changes can only take place after 1 week of the first club beginning.
Please see this page for detailed information about ECAs.




Communication


At ISS we are proud to have in place good communication links between home and school. We communicate with parents on a day-to-day basis to inform parents of events and activities taking place via email and typed letters. Social media, twitter, facebook and Instagram also form a strong link between school and home. Parents will be invited to parents’ evenings where they have the opportunity to meet class or subject teachers once a term. Teachers will be available most mornings between 8:15am to 8:25am for a parent to drop in and have a quick chat. Email communication can take place between parents and teachers. The school endeavours to communicate regularly with parents on curricular, co-curricular, sport and community events. The school has many information boards displaying results, awards, clubs, news and general information around its campus. In the Senior School students have a specific tutor whom they meet every morning during registration time where they may discuss pastoral, world or school issues. The same tutor will lead one to one meetings with a tutee to discuss emotional, social, pastoral and academic progress and/or concerns. Parents can refer to the school website for up to date information on curriculum and weekly homework schedules which have been set.




Social Media & Internet Safety


The school takes an active role in social media to communicate information to parents and interested parents about what’s going on around the school. The social media network is managed by our marketing team. This platform is regulated and checked daily for content and posts.
ISS is proud to be a digital-safe zone.
The school has in place a number of internet safety filters to prevent any student from inadvertently or purposefully accessing inappropriate information or webpages online.
During the school working day students throughout the school are forbidden to have access to any personal devices such as phones, smartphones or iPads. Laptops are allowed for students in years 10 & 11 who are taking their iGCSEs. For students who bring devices to school there are secure lockers at the security office to deposit their devices. For any emergency calls students can go to the school secretary who will call the parents/guardians.




Graduating From ISS


We work very closely with our graduating students and their families to provide them with a varied and extensive range of schools offering both A-Levels and/or the IB-Diploma once they have completed their iGCSE Certificate at the end of Year 11, or direct university entry after A Levels at the end of Year 13. We fully support parents with their choice of education after ISS and we will work closely with their chosen establishment to ensure a smooth transition. Full support is offered from Year 10 up to support either an application to their chosen University, or entry into the world of work. Using the highly regarded Unifrog system, students research both career paths, and university courses to make informed choices for their futures.




School Fees


Fees are paid in Thai Baht in 3 termly payments of 40%, 30% and 30% respectively. Fees are due 2 months before the start of each term. Siblings' discounts are available for 2nd and subsequent children. Fees paid up front for the whole year benefit from a 5% discount. A non-refundable joining fee of 75,000 Baht is payable for the first 2 children in a family, commonly known as a capital levy in many international schools, this fee goes towards long term capital investment in the school's facilities. A refundable security bond of 75,000 Baht per child is payable upon acceptance of a place at ISS – this fee acts as a security to the school and is refundable once 1 term’s notice has been given in writing prior to departure from the school. Fees include all teaching materials, school resources, textbooks, workbooks, stationery, lunch, morning snack, field trips and accident insurance.
For more information please refer to the school fees schedule on our dedicated Admissions page




Safeguarding and Security


ISS is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of its students under its care. All teachers at ISS undergo child protection screening, including checks with past employers and Disclosure and Barring Service checks. ISS is supported in this role by being a member of COBIS, please see further information here about the strict safeguarding regulations that ISS adheres to. The school has 24 hour surveillance CCTV, two central entrance gates with combination codes and a security guard on duty every school day. There is a lifeguard on duty for all swimming lessons and all after school activity providers are supported and supervised by a member of the ISS teaching staff.




Subjects - Sixth Form


A Level subject options: Biology Business Studies Chemistry Classical Studies Computer Science (from January 2020) Economics English Language English Literature Geography History History of Art Mathematics Physics Politics Psychology Sociology AS Level Thinking Skills




Are you open during this COVID-19 emergency


Yes we are. We are live-streaming a 100% Teaching Timetable via our ISS:Live interactive Teaching, Learning & Assessment Platform. It is proving very popular with our students and their parents. Students have a full timetable of lessons that are led interactively in live-stream classrooms by their class and subject teachers. All lessons are monitored by our Digital Learning Control Centre to esnure teachers and students are fully supported and that all safeguarding policies and standards are adhered to. For an example lesson please click here




What are the Fees for your ISS:Live Teaching Program


We have created a special Fee Schedule for this period where we are teaching everything via ISS:Live. Please see this page for more information.





141/21 Moo 6, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani, 84320 Thailand

international school koh samui accreditation british curriculum
international school koh samui accreditation british curriculum

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