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Joining Our Unique Community
By Laura Schoepfer, Head of Admissions & Marketing

The beginning of the new school year signifies a period of reflection in the ISZL Admissions department, as we take a few days to wind down, draw breath and reflect on the admissions season that was. With 9 of our 15 grade levels currently at full capacity and with over 300 admissions visits over the last 12 months, the department has enjoyed a particularly busy and rewarding year. 

Having welcomed exactly 200 new students (from 110 new families) into our school community, we marvel at the diversity within this new cohort. With 24 different nationalities represented, 20 different mother tongue languages spoken and five sets of twins - this new group of students is truly representative of  ISZL’s vibrant community. With the total student enrolment standing at 1236 (which is in-line with last year’s opening enrolment and ahead of the previous two years), these 200 new students make up for 16.1% of our student body. 

Every ISZL family is unique, and so is every ISZL student. In recognition of their differing needs, the ISZL Admissions process will have looked slightly different for each of these families.  For some grade levels (Grade 8 and above), a certain level of English language proficiency is a requirement for entry; therefore these students will have passed their English Language Assessment as part of their successful admissions application. Approximately 30% of all new students (from Kindergarten to Grade 10) will be receiving additional English language support, as part of ISZL’s English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme.

For other students, their unique learning profile requires professional support from of our Learning Support team. All prospective students with a recognised learning support need are thoroughly assessed in advance of acceptance, thereby ensuring that we are able to meet their needs effectively and that a learning support plan is in place for them from day one. Just over 2% of this year’s intake of new students will be joining ISZL’s Learning Support programme.

For many of our new families, moving to Switzerland has meant relocating thousands of miles away from home, leaving loved ones and good friends behind. It is therefore not surprising that some of our new students and their parents are very nervous about the prospect of starting afresh. It is wonderful that they have the support of our divisional counselling teams to offer a helping hand, and to advise and support these new community members as they navigate their way into their new environment. This support, added to the work and dedication of our wonderful Parents’ Association, should hopefully lay the ground for a smooth transition for all of our new families. 

Now that we are one week into the new school year, the time for reflection is over as the Admissions team has its mind firmly fixed on the year ahead; admissions visits are once again in full swing, enrolment forecasts are being made and updated, waiting lists are being actively managed and somewhere in the world there are another approximately 200, as yet unknowing, students who will find their way into the ISZL community for the 2019/2020 school year!

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