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lifelong learners

+ learning for life


International School of Schaffhausen

„Each mind has its own method.“ Ralph Waldo Emerson Each mind has its own method - since the founding of ISSH in 1999 this has been our school’s motto. We strongly believe that each individual has his/her own personal way of processing information. Students learn at their own rate in their own style. In an inquiry-based, yet structured, learning environment, students explore their interests, develop their strengths and progress to become successful learners. Discover the ISSH philosophy, aimed at developing responsible international citizens for today and tomorrow.

Welcome to ISSH What we achieve in life often depends on character building and on how our natural talents are developed. Are we being challenged to build upon our strengths or encouraged to stretch ourselves and develop our weaker sides? Is there enough freedom for us to explore but also enough guidance and sign posts to find the best suited paths? Are we taken by the hand or better left to find out for ourselves what to do and where to go? Are there clear boundaries within a climate of trust, openness and respect? “Each mind has its own method”- Each individual needs something different in order to develop to the fullest. At ISSH we support your child to become a well-balanced lifelong learner. We support and respect one another as different personalities with the same basic needs. Teaching and learning at ISSH is an exciting and enriching experience from Early Years through to Middle School and the Diploma Programme. Our highly qualified and experienced staff will keep your child motivated, curious and eager to learn. A personal approach, international standards, small classes and modern facilities in a historic school building – this makes ISSH unique! Learning and living together – at the International School in Schaffhausen you find quality of education combined with quality of life. The historic town of Schaffhausen provides a green, safe and charming environment with lots on offer for families, yet is in close proximity to Zurich and the buzz of this cosmopolitan city. I kindly invite you to come for a visit and see for yourself.

About ISSH________________________

Primary Years (3–11)________________

Middle Years (11–16) _______________

Diploma (16–18) ___________________

Gundula Kohlhaas Head of School


Lifelong Learning Learning for Life

international standards + individual approach

= ISSH We strive to develop young people to their full potential. Lifelong learning, confidence and openmindedness are not just words but values and attitudes which stay with our students for life and help guarantee their success. From an early age on we encourage our students to discover their strengths and to continually strive to develop them. Confidence and a strong sense of self-esteem form the basis for success and happiness in life.

ISSH: Living and Learning for One World

Facts: International School of Schaffhausen

Admission policy and school fees

In this spirit, the curriculum at the International School of Schaffhausen develops internationally minded people, who not only respect and celebrate a world of cultural diversity, but take an active part in shaping it and in making this world a better place.

The International School of Schaffhausen was founded in 1999 to serve the needs of the international community. ISSH is a private, not-for-profit institution owned by the International School of Schaffhausen Foundation. It is governed by a board of governors elected by the ISSH Foundation.

The International School of Schaffhausen accepts all children and young people, who are able and willing to be selfmotivated learners and who possess the maturity to appreciate the learning environment. Enrollment is possible all year round, providing places are available.

The school is authorized by the IB – International Baccalaureate ( - to provide the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (DP). As such ISSH is one of the few full IB world schools in the Zürich area.

ISSH recognizes that the choice of a school is a critical decision for your family, especially when moving to a new country. We welcome interested parents and their children to visit our school and its facilities in the early stages of their relocation to Switzerland. During a personal meeting with our school management team we can discuss what ISSH has to offer you.

ISSH: Life Long Learning ISSH students are encouraged to be self-motivated in their learning. Teaching and learning is inquiry-based. Asking questions, wondering why things are the way they are and making connections, these are the key elements to selfmotivated and self-directed learning.

ISSH: Supportive and Challenging Intelligence is a complex phenomenon. Abilities such as logical and critical thinking are just as much a part of intelligence as emotional awareness, the power of judgement, creativity, decision-making skills and social competence. In a supportive though challenging environment children and young people will realise their full potential and achieve academic excellence according to their individual profile.

We offer a high quality education through the full IB curriculum (Early years to Grade 12) for students aged 3 to 18. The ISSH student body is multicultural with students from over 28 different national backgrounds. The faculty is similarly diverse, comprising qualified professionals who have a university degree and a home country teaching certificate.

Our admission policy and fee structure can be found on our website Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We may well be able to find a suitable solution to meet your individual needs.

Language at ISSH The language of instruction at ISSH is English. Students for whom English is an additional language are equally welcome in our school. They receive special tuition, either on a one-to-one basis or in small groups. The German language is taught throughout the school at various levels, catering for the needs and expectations of the local and the international community. From grade 5 onwards French is offered as an additional language.


Explorers Primary Years students from age 3 to 11

lots to discover + lots to learn = ISSH The world is their playground. Our youngest students explore the world around them with all their senses, asking questions and wondering how it is all connected. ISSH follows the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), an international curriculum framework designed for children between the ages of 3 and 11 years. The PYP takes a holistic approach in developing the whole child, nurturing minds as well as hearts and addressing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to academic development.

The Primary Years Programme: The entrance into an exciting world full of new learning adventures and experiences.

A world-wide recognized Primary Curriculum

A treasure hunt

The PYP synthesizes insights of educational research and best practice from a range of national systems with the wealth of knowledge and experience of international schools. It is an inquiry based transdisciplinary curriculum which is highly relevant, engaging and challenging.

Children see the world from their own perspective. Often they take you by the hand to show you their discoveries. We at ISSH cherish their natural eagerness to learn. Our school is equipped for the needs of young explorers with modern IT equipment in all classrooms, an exciting playground, a spacious library, creative arts rooms and many more stimulating and inspiring features to discover.

Exploring the World - 6 Transdisciplinary Themes Who we are What does it mean to be human? What are our beliefs and values, communities and cultures? How do we keep up our physical, mental, social and spiritual health?

How the world works What wonders are there in the world of science and technology? How do human-made phenomena impact the natural world?

Where we are in place and time Where are we in place and time? What are our roots? How can we learn from the experiences, explorations and discoveries of humankind?

How we organize ourselves How do communities function? What does it mean to go to work? How do people work together to achieve their goals?

How we share the planet How we express ourselves What are our rights and responsibilities as we try to share How do we discover and express our nature, ideas, feelings, finite resources with other people and with other living things? beliefs, and values through language and the arts? How does our behaviour affect others?

A Home away from Home ISSH is expert in creating a home away from home. Dedicated qualified teachers with international experience, an active Parents’ Association, after school clubs and our strong bonds with the local community help you and your family to settle in smoothly.


Mountain Climbers Middle Years students from age 11 to 16

critical thinking communication + confidence = ISSH The Middle Years Programme is designed for students aged 11-16. In this period students are making the transition from early puberty to mid-adolescence, which is a particularly critical phase of personal, social and intellectual development. Such a time of uncertainty, sensitivity, susceptibility, resistance and questioning requires an educational programme that supports students in their search for their own place in society. The Middle Years Programme guides our students to develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills they need to participate actively and responsibly in a changing and increasingly interrelated world.

Middle Years Programme: Critical and reflective thinkers - questioning the world, discovering connections and reaching for the top.

Facts: Middle Years Programme

Intercultural awareness is a unique characteristic in the MYP’s belief that education can foster understanding amongst young people around the world, enabling future generations to live more peacefully and productively. The programme inspires the students to evaluate multiple perspectives from different cultures and to participate actively in their communities.

The Middle Years Programme is holistic in its approach. It aims to educate the whole person - physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically. It encourages students to consider and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world, and become critical and reflective thinkers. The MYP challenges the students to solve problems in a creative way and to realise that effective solutions often draw upon insights acquired from many sources.



Sorge tragen





caring liebevoll


communicator präsentieren


ausgeglichen fit


mutig entschlossen


Wagehals selbstbewusst fair













knowledgeable fachkundig gebildet


Development of communication skills is fundamental to learning, as it supports inquiry and understanding, and allows students to reflect and express themselves. The MYP places particular emphasis on language acquisition. Students are encouraged to explore multiple forms of expression and modern communication tools.

The IB-learner Profile The aim of all IB programmes is to develop active, compassionate and lifelong learners, who understand that other people with their differences can also be right. The centrepiece of all three IB programmes is the Learner Profile, whose attributes guide students to become balanced learners and internationally-minded world citizens.


open-minded respektieren


thinker nachdenken




Summiteers IB Diploma students from age 16 to 18

intellectual challenge + international perspective

= ISSH The IB Diploma Programme is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education, taught in the final two years of secondary school. The programme is shaped for life and work in the modern, interconnected, globalized world that requires critical thinking skills, communication and a sense of international-mindedness. The Diploma Programme combines traditional subject knowledge with an understanding of the nature of knowledge across disciplines. The intellectually challenging Diploma Programme requires robust study skills and a positive attitude to learning and thus prepares the students for university education and professional life. The rigorous external assessment, with published global standards, leads to a worldwide recognized university entrance qualification – the IB Diploma.

The Diploma Programme: Reaching the top - a challenging and inspirational programme, the first step towards a successful career.

Facts: Diploma Programme

Preparing for life

IB Diploma Programme students study six courses: three at higher level and three at standard level. Students choose their individual educational package comprising of two languages, one subject from each of the groups ‘social studies’, ‘sciences’ and ‘mathematics’ and a sixth subject either from the ‘arts’ or from one of the above groups.

In addition to their intellectual development in the subject areas, the holistic nature of the IB Diploma Programme emphasises the development of the whole student - physically, emotionally and ethically. Three core requirements of the programme challenge students to apply their knowledge and broaden their understanding: CAS: Creativity / Action / Service Academic knowledge in itself doesn’t bring success in life. IB Diploma students are required to take action and apply their knowledge in real life situations beyond the classroom. Students can combine all three components or carry out activities related to each of them separately.

Extended Essay In-depth research, organisation and communication are typical skills that an IB student acquires during his/her school career. The combination of these skills is demonstrated in a 4’000 word extended essay for which students choose a subject of their personal interest related to one of their chosen courses. Theory of Knowledge (TOK) What is knowledge? How do we know? This course, unique to the IB Diploma Programme, reflects on the nature of knowledge from an ethical and philosophical perspective. Students learn to be critical and open-minded to different opinions and to understand that creative thinking often emerges from a combination of different viewpoints.

More about ISSH Learn more about ISSH and our philosophy of learning. Take a virtual tour and find answers to your questions at


ISSH, quality of education combined with quality of life Tuttlingen Tut gen g

Highway Main Road Train link

learning together

+ living together

Überlingen a.S. en Singen


Schaffhausen Waldshut-Tiengen g




Friedrichshafen Konstanz Bodensee

Frauenfeld Winterthur




ISSH is located in Schaffhausen, a historic town close to the Swiss-German border. Schaffhausen is well connected by public transport and highways. Zürich and its airport are just 35 minutes away. A convenient school shuttle bus service is provided from Schaffhausen railway station to the school.




ISSH image brochure english  

Welcome at the International School of Schaffhausen - an IB world school offering the PYP, MYP and DP programmes to students age 3-19

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