Frequently Asked Questions
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In January 2021, ISD was acknowledged as setting the ‘gold standard in virtual learning across Ireland’ for our response to the governmental closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic. View a feature segment about ISD on RTE’s Prime Time here.
As part of our curriculum, ISD conducts regular part-time blended learning to promote Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills at an age appropriate level. For each homeroom class, select weekly lesson takes place virtually. Virtual lesson subject varies to cover the full scope of the curriculum. The teacher is present in the classroom, however uses virtual means to engage students.
The school uses Google Classroom as our main virtual platform and is creative in our approach to also use other digital resources as supplement.
ISD recognises the importance of offering a range of extra curricular activities that enhance the curriculum and appeal to our diverse community of learners. We also understand after school supervision is a valued option for many families.
An optional before school supervision is provided for students daily, 8:00-8:30am.
An option after school programme is provided daily, 3:00-5:30pm.
- After School Care – General after school supervision provided through full time, part time or ad hoc services. Students enjoy games, crafts, indoor and outdoor play.
- Extra Curricular Clubs – A range of activities spread across the week, example activities include: piano, guitar, yoga, football, capoeira, Japanese, Portuguese, French, dancing, cooking and sewing.
Both services complement one another. Families may sign up in a menu format, children may attend a combination of both clubs and care as desired. The programme can also be attended in a part time or full time manner.
Students may bring their own lunch to school or students may avail of a school meals programme.
ISD offer s healthy daily food (snack and lunch) options with an international feel. Supporting local businesses, nearby restaurants supply lunch. Registration for the programme is available in a full time format only .
Yes, we provide support for non-native speakers through English as an Additional Language (EAL). The main goal of EAL is to help students function independently within their classroom setting and the school grounds.
EAL sessions are directed to help students acquire language to support their learning in all subject areas, to communicate with all members of the school community.
Yes, we teach Spanish as an additional language and promote the advancement of mother tongue languages through our after school extra curricular activities.
Everyday, we ask that each child brings to school:
- A school bag, a water bottle, a healthy snack and lunch (unless availing of the school meals programme), appropriate clothing for the daily activities and weather.
No, religion is not a core subject within our curriculum however we do encourage our students to be open minded so that they may understand and be respectfully aware of the diversity of world religions.
No, we encourage our students to use self expression in their appearance. We do request that appropriate clothing is worn given the nature of each school day, wide variety of activities and weather (e.g. On a P.E. day, students should wear appropriate clothing and footwear for fitness).
No, the Irish language is not a core subject within our curriculum.
Irish language tutoring sessions are offered as part of the After School Programme.
In the effort to teach more than just the Irish language, each class has one Host Country Studies lesson per week. These lessons enable students to deepen their understanding of where they are in time and place, learning about Ireland and its culture linked to the Units of Inquiry.
Yes, we have both male and female students and staff.
- The school doors open daily at 8:00am. Optional before school supervision is offered 8:00-8:30am and classes begin at 8:45am. Classes finish at 2:45pm followed by an optional after school programme 3:00-5:30pm.
- The school day is structured into seven periods with a morning snack break/play and midday lunch break/play. Students are taught all subjects through inquiry. Our curriculum framework is guided by six transdisciplinary themes of global significance, explored using knowledge and skills from six subject areas: language, social studies, mathematics, arts, science, physical/social/personal education.
- Students take part in several specialist subjects weekly such as: performing arts (drama, music, dance) spanish/english, physical education.
We believe that students greatly benefit from learning both inside and outside of the classroom.
Where possible, we try to facilitate either a field trip or expert guest speaker every six weeks so that the students make local and relevant connections with their Units of Inquiry as they transpire.
You can read more about the Student Experience at International School of Dublin here.
Homework is viewed as a method to enable students to further explore concepts learnt at school, make connections between home and school and gradually learn how to organise themselves in preparation for secondary school.
Every student has some form of homework on a varied basis. Homework expectations differ based on student age and is always a task that a student is familiar with or has learnt already.
Based on demand, ISD provides school transport services for students via private taxis.
If interested in school transport, please share your home address with firstname.lastname@example.org to assess if transport may be arranged.
ISD alum attend varied secondary school in and around Dublin.
We are happy to help support families as they search for suitable secondary school options. We have relationships with a large variety of surrounding secondary schools offering different options (e.g. single sex, coeducational, national Irish curriculum, IB curriculum) and can guide and help facilitate introductions as necessary.
Annually in early Autumn ISD hosts an informational meeting for all families to discuss the options for secondary school in Ireland. ISD staff is joined by former students and their parents and principals of secondary schools to broaden the conversation and provide multiple perspectives.
Inquiry-based learning is an approach to learning that emphasizes the student’s role in the learning process. Rather than the teacher telling students what they need to know, students are encouraged to make connections to their prior knowledge, explore the material, ask questions and share ideas.
Read more about our teaching method here.
Assessment is integral to all teaching and learning. Continuous assessment provides students, teachers, and parents a clear picture of a child’s ability and understanding throughout their learning journey.
Assessment can be a collaborative act that involves dialogue and reflection between parties; it can be formative or summative and informs the school community about transdisciplinary achievement and progress.
It is an integral factor in informing teachers’ planning and we use a variety of strategies and tools that are relevant and applicable to the assessment task (learning experience). Criteria for assessment is established with the students prior to starting an assessed activity.
Formal reports and conferences take place triannually.
Parental involvement is welcomed, we believe that excellent education requires a collaborative approach. Parents are welcome to volunteer to:
- be guest speakers
- class representatives
- chaperone field trips
- attend afternoon tea parent discussions
- attend community events
- help with a variety of tasks such as: library work, book fairs, running of special events
Our number one source and main avenue for communication with parents is our school app. All teachers in collaboration with the students provide weekly learning updates and media. This app contains anything from important documents like school policies to a handy attendance portal for parents.
We conduct a variety of selection processes to find excellent teaching candidates that help contribute to our international team and skills set.
All staff possess relevant teaching qualifications. In addition, the school carries out rigorous international safeguarding checks.
Read more about our teaching staff here.
We provide a number of technological devices for student learning such as smartboards, laptops and iPads. We encourage responsible and balanced use of technology to aid students learning processes.
ICT skills are becoming increasingly relevant and we encourage students to learn how to apply these skills, whilst ensuring they do not become over-dependent on technology.
Where possible, all P.E. sessions are linked to each homeroom’s Unit of Inquiry.
Students engage in P.E. 2-3 times weekly through a variety of sports and activities. All engagements are aimed to develop and reinforce age appropriate technique, skills and sportsmanship.
Examples of sports or activities may include: swimming, gymnastics, tennis, invasion/territory or striking/fielding games.
ISD issues invoices for payments which should be completed by electronic transfer. We do not accept credit card payments.
ISD prides itself on its truly “international” nature. The community is represented by over 20 different nationalities.
The average class size is 12 students however the maximum class size for Kindergarten is 18 students while the maximum class size for Grades 1-6 is 20 students.
We have 4 classes across the year groups:
- Ages 3.5, 4, 5, 6
- Grades 1,2
- Ages 6, 7, 8
- Grades 3,4
- Ages 8, 9, 10
- Grades 5,6
- Ages 10, 11, 12
Yes, siblings may be placed in a class together when their ages correlate within the same class. Due to our individualised approach, we find this to work well.
We believe that age is a key criterion in determining class placement. Our aim is to place each child in a stimulating and challenging year level that provides the best opportunities to make appropriate social interactions.
The Primary Years Programme curriculum and small class sizes at ISD also facilitate appropriate differentiation.
Differentiation is the process of identifying, with each learner, the most effective strategies for achieving agreed goals so that learning opportunities may be created to enable every student to develop, pursue and achieve.
There is, therefore, an important link between differentiation and thoughtful and adaptive planning. Differentiation takes place throughout the teaching and learning process, during: planning, instruction and assessment.
The curriculum at ISD is inclusive and should be accessible for all our students. We believe in educating every student to reach their full potential.
As an IB school we embrace inclusive practices where developing the learning of all students is the shared responsibility of the classroom teacher and support teachers. We are sensitive to our students’ needs and provide additional support for those whose needs might not otherwise be fully met for reasons of cognitive ability, physical disability and/or social-emotional factors.
These students are identified as having Individual Needs (IN).
We ask parents/guardians to share any special educational requirements their child has received previously and all relevant documentation so that we may meet the child’s needs as soon as they arrive.
ISD is a small, private, non-profit school and is governed by an independent voluntary Board of Directors.
Turnover on average is between 15 – 20% per annum. This means in a class of 20 students you would expect 3 or 4 students to move on in a 12 month period.
No, this process is independent of the school however we are happy to provide letters justifying proof of student enrolment if necessary.
ISD is pleased to offer a tuition discount to siblings who are enrolled concurrently. The sibling discount is applied as follows:
- 10% tuition discount per student for 1st and 2nd siblings
- 20% tuition discount for 3rd and additional siblings
Classes commence in late August and finish in late June. There are two mid term breaks in October and February. There is a three week winter break in December/January and a two week spring break in March/April.
You can see the full academic calendar here.
At present, ISD shares premises with another national primary school.Situated in the heart of the city centre, a lively community enhances the school’s atmosphere and resources.
There are ample, naturally bright classrooms arranged to facilitate flexible learning and collaboration.
There is an outdoor space designed for both play and sport. With partial covering, this space allows the students to have fresh air everyday despite the weather.