Learning at ISH

ISH Learning embodies the following principles:

Learning is individualized

Learning is social

Learning is reflective

Learning is authentic

Learning is lifelong

ISH is the only school in the Helsinki area to be fully accredited to offer all three IB programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students in grades Discovery- grade 5, the Middle Years Programme (MYP) for students in grades 6-10, and the Diploma Programme for students in grades 11-12.

For details of the ISH curriculum, please visit the PYP, MYP and Diploma sections.

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is designed to actively engage students in developmentally appropriate learning activities and to encourage and stimulate development of concepts and skills. We use an integrated, cross-curricular approach to learning. PYP at ISH starts with our 4 year-old pre-kindergarten programme and goes to 10-11 year olds in Grade 5.

The PYP curriculum is listed below by grade level. If you click the link you can see an overview of the programme of study. These overviews include grade level Units of Inquiry, Maths and Language as well as the specialist subjects Art, PE, Music, Finnish Mother Tongue, Finnish Foreign Language, French Foreign Language & ICT.

The International School of Helsinki is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. The International Baccalaureate® (IB) offers high quality programmes of international education to a worldwide community of schools. There are over 4,000 IB schools in 145 countries. You will find more IB world school statistics from here.

ISH became Finland’s first fully IB accredited school in 2005. Our three IB programmes – PYP; MYP and DP – meet the needs of a wide range of nationalities of students. The programmes focus on the development of the skills, attitudes, confidence and responsibility that enable our students to succeed in the next national or international school.

Our IB programmes are driven by a student-centered and inquiry-based educational philosophy. We want our students to develop independent thinking, to explore the world with curiosity and to express themselves creatively.

At ISH, student empowerment is the first big idea in our vision statement. This idea is based on the understanding that learning is more effective when students can shape the process. We all have distinct learning speeds and styles. Simply put, if a student is developing understanding, then they need to able to ask the next question that makes sense to them at a time when they are ready. Genuine inquiry-based education is driven forward by student inspiration and excitement. Therefore, the best schools are fully engaged with individualising learning. At ISH, we truly believe that each student is unique and we try to get the best out of each learner.

The language of instruction is English. Swedish, Spanish, French and Finnish as a Foreign language, as well as Finnish Mother Tongue, are offered. The English as a Additional Language (EAL) programme provides support for identified students.

The Middle Years Programme (MYP) is a curriculum framework providing a broad and balanced education for learners aged 11–16. The MYP is designed to encourage students to make connections between all subject areas, link their learning to the world around them, and become critical and reflective thinkers. At the ISH we offer the MYP as a full 5-year programme from Grade 6 to 10.

High School Diploma (HSDP) and the IBO Diploma (DP) Programmes: All ISH students that meet the ISH graduation requirements earn a High School Diploma that is an equivalent to an American high school diploma. In Grades 11 and 12, all students are given the opportunity to do additional requirements to qualify for the IBO Diploma Programme. Both diplomas are academically challenging and balanced programmes of education. The programmes are taught over two years and have the recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities. Those students graduating with the IB Diploma will also receive a HS diploma.