High School | Ages 14 - 18
A personalised learning experience
Our High School delivers an exciting and diverse program to over 400 students from more than 50 different countries. With an emphasis on a broad and balanced education, our college-preparatory programme is delivered in an atmosphere that is supportive, encouraging, challenging, and based on the principle of respect.
With a tradition of personal and academic achievement we believe that increased individual attention can really make a difference to student success. Our outstanding International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and Advanced Placement (AP) results secure student placements at many of the best colleges and universities in the world.
Our academic programme is enhanced by a varied programme of experiential learning opportunities, including participating in Sports, the Arts, after school clubs, field trips and service learning opportunities. All High School Students take part in a yearly Personal Development Week (PDW), which allows further learning opportunities outside of the academic curriculum, with a focus in Grades 11 and 12 on community or environmental service. Through such experiences, we strive to encourage our students to develop a positive attitude, a life-long love of learning and a commitment to both the local and the global community.
The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) at ISZL strives for passionate, emotional, and intellectual growth in each and every student. Holistically driven, concept based, and skill oriented, our middle years programme seeks to prepare students by building foundational knowledge and creative problem solving skills. It is our aim that students improve themselves, their school, and create a better society for all.
ISZL’s approach to teaching and learning in the Middle Years Programme (age 11-16) is a student-centred holistic curriculum that provides an opportunity for students to connect their learning to the real world and develop their intercultural understanding. In their eight subject areas (which include two languages) students engage in conceptual learning and develop a breadth and depth of learning as they acquire knowledge, understandings and skills. Students are taught how to manage and evaluate their own learning, and acquire skills in collaboration, research and critical and creative thinking. As well as learning through enquiry, students engage in service learning which allow students to participate in local and global communities. Students are able to demonstrate and integrate their learning through a wide variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary activities, projects and assessments.
- International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)
- ISZL High School Programme
- Career-related Programme
The Diploma Programme (DP) at ISZL is an inclusive programme that aims to produce well-rounded students who have achieved their academic potential in challenging, internationally focussed courses. The whole programme develops active, caring and lifelong learners, ready to tackle the complex problems in the world today.
Students study six subjects, three at higher level and three at standard level providing them with a broad, holistic education. These include:
- Languages: two
- Individuals and Societies: one
- Science: one
- Mathematics: one
- Arts: one
- Environmental Systems and Societies: This interdisciplinary subject allows students the flexibility to specialise further by selecting another subject from any group to make up the total of six.
The real-life contexts of the Diploma Programme helps students to further develop their academic skill set, preparing them for university courses, as well as their values and life skills. This Programme is based around the "Core" of:
- Theory of Knowledge (TOK): students think about the nature of knowledge and reflect on the process of learning in all their subjects, looking for and understanding the connections between them.
- Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS): allows students to find and follow their passions, helping them to maintain balance in their lives, care for others, develop their character and undertake challenging projects.
- Extended Essay (EE): students undertake a piece of academic writing of up to 4000 words. The process will take them through a process called metacognition, where they will learn to understand how and why they make decisions during an academic piece of research.
These three core elements work together to help our students become capable, self-aware and international minded people with a strong sense of identity.
The ISZL High School Programme allows students to choose a variety of course types to suit their passions and interests, while meeting the graduation requirements. Students can choose from Advanced Placement courses, IB Diploma courses, a BTEC in business or ISZL’s own courses.
All the courses on offer under the High School Programme are connected by ISZL’s vision of a holistic, student centred approach to teaching and learning. Students undertake service projects as part of their High School experience and have to opportunity to enrich their education with a vast array of clubs and sports.
Advanced Placement courses are college level challenging courses designed to push students academically and allow them to fulfil their academic interests. They require a high degree of independence in study habits and have one external exam. They typically are completed in one year, although some science courses will require a preparation year, e.g. Biology before AP Biology. The College Board have more information about the AP courses.
IB Diploma courses take two years of study and have both internally and externally assessed. Popular courses for HS Programme students include Languages, Mathematical Studies and Sports Science. More information about the Diploma courses can be found on the IBO website.
The BTEC in Business has an applied, continually assessed professional qualification. Students will demonstrate their learning through business reports, presentations, multimedia products and accountable teamwork exercises. They will have the opportunity to engage with local international businesses in authentic, rich learning activities. Pearson offers more information about the BTEC Diploma in Business.
ISZL’s own courses offer students a lot of flexibility as they are not restricted by the requirements of external regulatory bodies. Some ISZL courses are focused on preparing students to take an AP in the following year. For example, students are strongly recommended to take Biology before AP Biology or Chemistry before AP Chemistry. Alternatively, optional preparation courses may be available for students if they are not yet academically secure with the prerequisite knowledge, understandings and skills. An example of this would be taking Pre-Calculus as preparation for AP Calculus AB.
Other ISZL courses are focused around experiential, project-based alternatives to ISZL’s external exam-based courses. Each student aims to leave these courses with a university or career-ready portfolio of innovative individual or team-based projects. There are three courses of this nature: Humanities: Global Innovations, Science: Innovation in Action and English: Innovations in Communication.
The Career-related Programme at ISZL offers a focused, personalised and innovative learning experience for students with an interest in the world of work.
Students combine practical, career-related studies with 3 academic subjects from the IB diploma or ISZL and AP courses. The career study in the programme is the BTEC Diploma in Business.
Students achieve the IB Career-related Programme (IBCP) qualification if the BTEC in Business is combined with 3 IB subjects and the IBCP core, or the ISZL career-related high school diploma if the BTEC is combined with AP or ISZL high school courses.
What sets the career-related programmes apart is the authentic, practical business experience and skills development the programme has at its core. Through extensive research and consultation with business we have identified the 10 essential assets to thrive in the modern workplace. These will be developed in the Personal and Professional Skills (PPS) course and in work experience with our business partners. Also in the core of the IBCP is a Reflective Project on an ethical dilemma in business and a Language Development project to promote multicultural fluency.
Students at ISZL will benefit from the assessment style and breadth of the BTEC courses that will challenge them to demonstrate their learning in authentic business-related contexts. The BTEC is continually assessed throughout the two year programme without an examination at the end. Students will demonstrate their learning through business reports, presentations, multimedia products and accountable teamwork exercises. These professional qualifications develop a range of practical knowledge and skills which help learners to prepare for – and progress in – their chosen career.
Career-related Programme students will graduate with in-depth specialist knowledge in business, the understanding from rigorous IB and AP courses and a well-developed, essential skill-set for the world of work. The result is confident, motivated and well-qualified students who are ready to thrive at university and in the workplace.
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A Wealth of Experience
ISZL has highly-qualified and internationally experienced educators dedicated to the High School:
- Our teachers have a wealth of teaching experience, at minimum they hold a university degree in Education and receive on-going professional development.
- Art, Music, Physical Education and Reading are taught by specialist teachers in learning environments dedicated to their subject.
- An in-house Speech Therapist, Counsellor and Learning Support Team are available to provide support should there be a requirement.
- Two dedicated, full-time Assistant Principal oversee the programme.
8.45 Classes Begin
10.50 Morning Break
13.10 - 13.55 Lunch Break
16.00 Classes end and activities begin
A Day in the Life of a High School Student
Students stream off of the local bus and walk into the main high school building. After chatting with some of their friends in the cafeteria, organising a few belongings in their lockers, they head off to Homerooms to touch base and check out what’s happening at Riverside that day. Students start their first class at 8.45 and after two, hour-long classes, it is morning break (10.50) and another chance to catch up with friends, grab a bite and maybe a quick game of ping pong outside.
Fifteen minutes later, students head back to their lessons in classrooms all over the campus. Another two hour academic block ensues where students might be found collaborating or working individually, writing notes by hand or on laptops, using test tubes in science labs or crash mats in the triple gym, raising hands or being called upon, faces loose with laughter or tight with concentration. Then, thank goodness, lunch at 13.10! Students gather in the cafeteria, but then disperse to their favourite places around the campus: kickabouts on the all-weather pitch, impromptu jam sessions in the music rooms, reading in a cosy corner in the library, chatting with friends by their lockers or at the picnic tables outside, admiring the view of mountains.
The final two lessons of the day begin at 13.55, both an hour each. Depending on the day, these could be academic lessons or a rotation of personal development experiences where students might talk with their homeroom teachers, think about their personal, social and emotional health, practise their wellbeing or attend a school assembly led by the student council. By now, it is 16.00 and most students will head off to one of the many sports, clubs or activities on offer. Taking advantage of our surroundings, they might be found skiing or hiking in the mountains, sailing or kayaking on the lake, using the all-weather pitch for rugby or soccer training or the triple gym for basketball or volleyball.
A day in the life of a High School student at ISZL is one of mutual respect among staff and students- it is a warm community with a family feel. Within this environment, all of the students can choose an academic pathway that makes sense for them while having the chance to develop their strengths and passions to flourish as a person.
Maximising your child's potential
At ISZL we believe that support needs to be available to students in a number of areas, including academic, health, social and emotional. In all of these areas ISZL has trained staff to support students in order that our learners achieve their best in all aspects of school. We believe that students need to be healthy and feel safe, secure and comfortable in their environment in order to maximise their potential as learners.
Opportunities to experience more
ISZL is a haven rich in the Arts and Athletics as well as student clubs and activities. Our campuses are nestled in the surrounding hills and forests of central Switzerland, a place that provides further opportunity for students to explore concepts linked to the natural environment and to reflect on their responsibility for its sustainability, while learning about themselves.
Whether engaging in after school programmes, organised athletic events, musical and dramatic performances or summer camps, our students thrive on these elevated opportunities to do, learn and experience more.
ACCESS TO THE LATEST Technology
As adults, we use the programme or device that best suits our needs. We teach children this same concept. Our students use a variety of devices to support their learning. This includes tablets, laptops, and interactive whiteboards. We also teach students how to be safe in an online environment.
Integrating school and the world of work
ISZL supports students in providing connections with the world of work and experience during their time in the high school. Through the Career-related Programme, Grade 10 work experience, annual careers fair and the Enterprise Team, students can gain an insight into life beyond ISZL and develop skills that will benefit them in university and their chosen careers.
partnership - internship - mentoring
One of the essential qualities of the career-related programme is partnership between schools and employers. We have worked in close collaboration with the local business sector to design a programme that will provide the skills and experience businesses require so that students are more career-ready in the future.
Students currently work with local business partners to develop knowledge and understanding of the business environment and develop essential skills for the modern workplace. The Personal and Professional Skills course at the core of the IBCP and each unit of the BTEC Diploma in Business is supported by input from business, either through visits to school or exercises in local workplaces.
In addition students seek one week internships at two points of the year and are supported in securing a longer placement in the break between Grade 11 and 12.
Students who can find a weekly half-day placement will also be supported in gaining the most from this experience when it can be balanced with their other commitments in the IBCP.
Each Career-related programme student will have a mentor in a career area of the student’s choice to provide insight, feedback on the students BTEC business assignments and a point of contact for further work experience.
Case Study: BTEC Diploma in Business in partnership with Thomson Reuters
Students undergo a strengths profile and receive coaching to design a personal change management plan with Thomson Reuters human resources department. They conduct a systems analysis of the business resources to evaluate opportunities for improved performance and go through a selection process for a job with the company.
The Riverside Campus is located in Hünenberg and hosts the ISZL High School. This modern campus has two principal facilities – the main building with over 20 classrooms, state-of-the-art science labs, library, art factory and music rooms and a triple gymnasium built in 2013 that also includes a dance studio, techno gym fitness centre and climbing wall.