High School Programs
Admissions High School Programs
The Mission Statement of International School Suva states that
‘ ISS is committed to rigorous and high academic standards and instillation of ideals of life-long learning and responsible global citizens. We strive to ensure that every student leaves ISS with an international understanding, an ability to think critically, act with compassion, care about themselves and others and display the attributes of Schoolwide Learner Outcomes.’
The admissions policy for High School Students is part of a schoolwide policy of open admission to the school. The expectation is that through this transparent process ISS can commit to provision of high quality education to students of all ages, and that the students are supported effectively in a program that is best suited to their educational needs and which embody the ideals identified in the Vision, Mission and Learner Outcomes.
Admission to a particular year level at International School Suva is strictly by age. To be eligible to enter the High School, it is expected that a student will
· be 14 and turn 15 during Year 9
· be 15 and turn 16 during Year 10
· be 16 and turn 17 during Year 11
· be 17 and turn 18 during Year 12
The procedural requirements for admission are that students complete an enrolment form, provide their latest school report, evidence of a valid visa, evidence of date of birth (birth certificate or passport), completion of Progressive Assessment Tests in English and Mathematics and completion of an interview. In some cases students will be required to complete an English language aptitude test, and to provide evidence of their English language ability, as outlined on our High School ‘Learning Support and English as a Second or Other Language’ page (which can be found here)
Placement in any year level of a child at, or older than, the age reflected above is based on the academic potential of the student and the capacity of the school to meet the student educational requirements. Data and student interview drives the decision made. Placement of a child younger than that stated above for any year level is only considered in exceptional circumstances where a child’s birthday fall before March 31st of the year of admission.
The placement of a child in any particular year level remains the responsibility of the Head of High School based on information provided by the parents and student performance in testing and interview. It is important to contact the school regarding whether ISS is able to accommodate special educational needs. Failure to provide full disclosure of any known special needs requirements on an application form may lead to cancellation of an existing enrolment. Similarly, should further testing be required to proceed with enrolment, it is the expectation that a place remains contingent on completion of the testing and evidence that ISS can accommodate the particular need tested for.
Availability and Space in Classes
It is possible to apply for enrolment at any time during the year; however, entry may be limited by current student numbers.
Entry is on a ‘first come, first served basis’ into the school. However students wishing to reserve and hold a place if they are arriving part way through a semester, may do so by completing entry requirements and paying a holding fee.
Students entering part way through an academic year may have restrictions placed on subject selection or completion of examination courses; particularly should a class be full. Course selection has to be approved by the Head of School and discussion is encouraged to ensure the student has courses that allow them to be as successful as possible.
English is the medium of instruction and it is the expectation that students learn a second language. The only exceptions considered are when a student chooses the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate program. The Language Policy will guide admission for students who have languages other than English. Similarly admission into a course of study in a second language will be defined by course regulations regarding prior learning or previous acquisition of language. Wherever possible, the school wishes to support mother tongue language learning.
Scholarships may be offered in Year 11 for a two year program, or Year 12 for completion of the final year of school. At least two full scholarships are offered each year. Students who are the appropriate age for admission are encouraged to apply using the scholarship application form. The application must include the latest report and examination results, proof of birth and a written statement indicating reasons for application to ISS.
Applications are vetted and shortlisted students undergo formal in-school examinations assessing critical thinking, English and Mathematics skills. A short-list is derived and these students are interviewed by a panel consisting of the Head of High School, the ACT and IB DP Coordinator. Selections are made on the basis of perceived future potential, academic performance in testing and best educational and social fit for the school. Students are screened carefully to ensure that their transition to ISS will be relatively smooth and with a high measure of personal success.
Once selected, the student is closely monitored. The Principal reserves the right to cancel a scholarship.
There is opportunity for students to obtain temporary short-term admission to the school. This will be on a case by case basis and at the discretion of the Principal and Head of School with consideration of the current programs run and impact entry will have on the existing student body.
Admission to specific programs
International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)
It is expected that those students who have completed Year 8 at ISS or satisfy age requirements on admission would normally progress into the IGCSE program. Students follow a full program of study defined by the Head of School and IGCSE Coordinator. Subjects offered are published in the Year 9 / 10 Curriculum Book and student selection of courses can be made via the Student Course selection sheet. Options are discussed prior to admission for new students, during parent meetings and teacher student meetings for students already at ISS. The final decision on admission to a particular course of study and subject selection is based on educational need and in cases of late entry, class size.
Students are expected to complete examinations in specified subjects at the end of Year 10. Students are also expected to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and Community and Service Program. Modifications to the program may be considered where there is an identified need however the procedure is that any changes and admission to a different subject selection than that made initially have to be processed through the Head of School.
Students would normally transition from Year 9 into 10 having successfully completed the requirements for Year 9. Some students are able to be admitted into Year 10 but this remains at the discretion of the Head of School. In some cases, an unsatisfactory performance or identification of a specific need to do so, a student can remain in Year 9 or be asked to repeat a year in Year 10. Should this happen it would be in consultation with teachers, informed by data and remains the prerogative of the Head of School in consultation with the Principal.
Whilst students at the end of Year 10 are encouraged to undergo screening conditions for admission into programs in Year 11 and 12 (either the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate or the IB DP) in most cases student choice is supported.
International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB DP)
Although ISS has open admission to any one year level, admission to the IB DP in Year 11 is contingent on:
· assessment of past performance evidenced in data such as report grades and the IGCSE mock examination results.
· current students completing Form 1: Potential IB DP Students. Teachers sign off on suitability for SL / HL in any one subject and an overall program of study is approved by the IB Coordinator. The process is designed to initiate conversations about the program between staff and students.
· students attending relevant information evenings and mentor sessions
· some students requiring additional academic counseling (which may include parents / guardians) involve the Head of School or IB DP Coordinator and Counselor.
· students enrolling for the full Diploma.
· the school being able to support a student in a School Supported Self-Taught Language where relevant.
Continuance into the second year of the program is contingent on satisfactory performance in the first year, along with satisfying requirements for CAS, TOK and EE to the end of that year. Support is provided to students where needed to ensure that they are as successful as possible in the program. Student movement out of the program is with significant consultation and consideration of student needs.
The IB DP Coordinator will endeavor to work with all stakeholders to allow the student to be as successful as possible but should data and general performance and engagement of the student indicate that the IB DP is not the appropriate choice for the student, the Head of School reserves the right to move the student to another program or ask the student to take Certificates rather than the full Diploma. At such a time, all parties must be informed of the implications of the transfer.
Transfer into the program part way through the first year (for example in the case of a student transferring from the Northern Hemisphere) may be possible with consultation, but is dependant on subjects already chosen at the previous school and compatibility with subjects offered at ISS. Transfer into the program in the second year is not possible.
Australian Capital Territories Senior Secondary Certificate
All students who have completed the Year 10 program at ISS or (when transferring from another school) are age – appropriate at entry, can qualify for entry to the two year ACT Senior Secondary Certificate program. It is expected that students take a minimum of five subjects and a maximum of six in any one year in a program of study that meets the BSSS regulations for completion of a required course of study over the two years.
Current ISS students are expected to attend early information sessions and undergo academic counseling with the ACT Coordinator prior to entry to the program. Students doing T packages are expected to complete the Australian Scaling Test with a view to obtaining an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank). Usually a T-package is selected by students; however, the school reserves the right to modify a course based on need. In such cases a student may not sit the AST examination and therefore would not receive an ATAR score.
It is possible to enter the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate program in Year 12 and gain overseas recognition in subjects completed in Year 11 at other schools or within another program such as the first year of the IB DP, assuming that pre-requisites and Year 12 course availability satisfies completion requirements identified by the BSSS.
The course of study students are admitted to remains the final prerogative of the Head of School.
All students are expected to attempt to complete the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, either a Bronze or Silver (depending previous experience) in the two years.
The Diploma Programme: From Principles into Practice. IBO 2009 (reference pages 20-3)
Allied ISS Policy Documents
Special Educational Needs Policy