Frequently Asked Questions
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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government closed Irish schools March-June 2020 and January-March 2021. During this time, the ISD building closed, but the school remained fully operational with a virtual learning programme for all students and their families.
In January 2021, ISD was acknowledged as setting the ‘gold standard in virtual learning across Ireland’. Learn more here.
As part of our curriculum, ISD conducts daily part-time blended learning to promote Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills at an age appropriate level. For each homeroom class, one daily lesson takes place virtually. This lesson varies in subject to cover a variety of subject matter. The teacher is present in the classroom, however uses virtual means to engage students.
In addition, all homework is conducted virtually.
The school uses Google Classroom as our main virtual platform and is creative in our approach to also use other digital resources as supplement.
We recognise the value of offering a range of extra curricular activities that appeal to our diverse community of learners and both supplement and enhance the curriculum. We also understand additional childcare is a valued option for many families.
Our school offers two different services after school daily from 3:00-5:00pm. Both of these services complement one another:
- 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 Activities – A range of activities spread across the week, example activities include: piano, guitar, yoga, football, capoeira, Japanese, Portuguese, French, dancing, cooking and sewing.
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.
Read more about language support at ISD in our Learning and Teaching section.
Everyday, we ask that each child brings to school:
- A school bag, a water bottle, a healthy snack, a healthy lunch (unless availing of school lunch), 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.
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.
- School doors open daily at 8:30am and classes begin at 8:45am. Classes finish at 2:45pm followed by an optional after school programme 3:00-5:00pm.
- The school day is structured into seven periods with a morning snack break and midday lunch break. 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: visual 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 to complete weekly. 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, we provide a private school bus service which currently has one route. In addition, ISD is located in the heart of the Dublin city centre surrounded by many public transport routes on Dublin Bus and LUAS.
There is also a School Bus service which you can read about here.
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.
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.
Parental involvement is welcomed, we believe that excellent education requires a collaborative approach. Parents are welcome to volunteer to:
- be guest speakers
- 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 a variety of sports and activities to develop and reinforce age appropriate technique, skills and sportsmanship.
Examples of sports or activities may include: 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.
Students may bring their own lunch to school or students may avail of a catered lunch programme provided (based on demand).
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.
Not at this time.
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.