Admission FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions (and answers) are a vital part of the application process

Top Questions

Is there a deadline for application?

No, we accept applications throughout the year. Once you know you are moving to Basel, we strongly suggest that applications be submitted. Our classes do fill up and it is best to avoid a waiting list situation.

How many students are in a class?

Junior School: up to 20 students
Middle & Senior School: up to 24 students

German Classes

German is taught as a second language. German lessons are compulsory for all students from Early Childhood. The frequency of the lesson depends on the year level. For more information, please visit the appropriate school section under Learn.

After School Care

A priority for the many ISB parents who work outside the home is to find a safe, comfortable and stimulating after-school environment for their children. ASPIRE is a service designed and provided by ISB to support Junior School (EC 1 - Grade 5) students and their parents after the school day has ended. It aims to deliver an enriching and positive experience to the high standards expected by ISB parents.

Learn more about ASPIRE

Assessment

Assessment is integral to learning at ISB. It refers to the activities/tasks that take place during the learning process to evaluate/monitor students' degree of understanding of the planned goals and inform teaching (ISB Assessment Beliefs).

The IB does not mandate how/when we report on student learning, but requires schools to ensure students:

  • understand what is expected from them
  • know how they progress in their learning and what they need to do to improve

ISB has identified key principles that drive assessment practices at the school: ISB Assessment Beliefs

There are Parent- teacher - student conferences organised during the school year.

Reports are sent twice a year.

In addition, parents have access to Seesaw (Junior School) and Veracross grade book (Middle and Senior School). Both platforms provide parents more information about the tasks their child undertakes in class and overall performance.  

 

 

More Questions?

The Admissions Process

Is there a deadline for application?

No, we accept applications throughout the year. Once you know you are moving to Basel, we strongly suggest that applications be submitted. Our classes do fill up and it is best to avoid a waiting list situation.

My child has little or no English, will ISB accept him/her?

At ISB there are three English learning stages for students who enter the English as an Additional Language (EAL) support programme: Emerging, Developing, Consolidating. The school provides a nurturing and welcoming environment for students who have no prior experience of English, or have been learning English previously.

Students’ English competency will be evaluated at the admission stage and thereafter, to inform their appropriate placement and subsequent support. There are different expectations based on the programme/school section (Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme, Diploma Programme) to which they are applying.

English as an Additional Language

What are ISB’s key considerations during the applications process?

Applications for admission are considered in view of the following points:

  • Completion of all application documents. All documentation needs to be in English. Any documentation not written in English will require an official translation (original documentation should be attached to the translation)
  • Outcomes of additional assessment, if appropriate
  • Availability of space in classes and option groups offered
  • Level of English/Learning Support needs
  • Availability of places for siblings
  • Appropriateness of programmes
  • Discretion of the Director and the appropriate Principal.

How long does the application process usually take?

The processing of the application takes 1 to 2 weeks. The Head of Admissions will contact you to confirm receipt of your application via email once we receive all the required documentation.

Is my child required to take an entrance exam?

ISB does not require students to take a formal entrance exam. However in certain cases, depending on information received from the application documentation or gathered during interview, further assessment may be necessary. Assessment may include but is not limited to the following areas:

As part of the admissions process, applicants may also be required to spend time in the appropriate school section to undergo assessment. Assessment will be scheduled as part of the school visit if it is known prior to the visit that additional testing is necessary.

In Senior School, students will ordinarily be interviewed by the Senior School Principal as part of the admissions process. A student’s general standard of English, along with their subject knowledge and background, may require that students sit for assessment tests to determine suitability for programmes on offer in Senior School.

Does my child have to start ISB on a specific date?

We encourage all students to start at the new school year in August. However we accept students throughout the school year providing there is space in the relevant year level placement.

Does ISB provide financial assistance?

ISB does not provide financial assistance. Read the ISB Financial Regulations for more information.

Are certain vaccinations required to enter the School?

No, but we do require a copy of your child’s vaccination record and all three health forms to be completed and submitted with the Application for Admissions Form prior to the first day of School. A School Nurse is stationed at all campuses.

Can my child spend time at ISB before entering the School?

You are welcome to contact the Head of Admissions to arrange for a school tour or visit. In addition, at the beginning of every school year, there is a New Family Event Day for new families and students where you can familiarize yourselves with the buildings and teachers.

Placement Charts

Students are placed in the year level according to their birth year following the entrance placement tables below:

2019/2020 Year Placement Chart

The School

What are the sizes of the classes?

Junior School: up to 20 students
Middle & Senior School: up to 24 students

After School Programme

A priority for the many ISB parents who work outside the home is to find a safe, comfortable and stimulating after-school environment for their children. ASPIRE is a service designed and provided by ISB to support Junior School (EC 1 - Grade 5) students and their parents after the school day has ended. It aims to deliver an enriching and positive experience to the high standards expected by ISB parents.

ASPIRE

Who attends ISB?

We currently have students representing over 55 different nationalities.

How many students attend ISB?

We have approximately 1,380 students at our three campuses.

What is the average length of stay?

This varies greatly but the average span is about 4 years. We have a growing number of families who are making Basel their home. This offers a great deal of stability to the student population.

Where is the School Shop located and what are the opening hours?

The Reinach Campus has a shop with a wide variety of school supplies, including gym kits, and school clothing that can be purchased by students, staff and parents.

The shop is generally only open when school is in session. Special hours before the start of the 2019/20 school year are:

  • Monday 12 August: Aesch Campus 08:00 - 11:00; Reinach Campus 13:00 - 16:30
  • 13 - 15 August  08:00 - 16:30 (Reinach)
  • 16 August         08:00 - 12:00 (Reinach)
  • 19 - 22 August  08:00 - 16:30 (Reinach)
  • 23 August         08:00 - 12:00 (Reinach)

The opening hours as of Monday, 26 August 2019 at the Reinach Campus are:

  • Monday: 12:30 – 16:30
  • Tuesday: 08:00 – 12:00
  • Wednesday: Closed
  • Thursday: 08:00 – 12:00
  • Friday: Closed

Please note: Opening hours may be subject to change and prices can only be accessed once you are a current ISB family.

Is there a dress code?

Although students at ISB are not required to wear a school uniform, there is a student dress code. Students are expected to dress appropriately on campus and at all school activities. This means that student’s appearance should be:

  • Suitable for a workplace
  • Conducive to learning
  • Not distracting to others

Is school transportation offered?

We encourage our students to use public transportation to lessen the traffic volume. School transportation is not provided.

The number 11 tram stops outside all three campuses:

  • "Reinacherhof" for Reinach
  • "Reinach Süd" for Fiechten 
  • "Arlesheimerstrasse" for Aesch

For more information see the BVB website.

Academic

My child has little or no English, will ISB accept him/her?

ISB is proud of its linguistic and cultural diversity, educating multilingual learners from around the world. We recognize and build on the assets, contributions, and potential of our diverse student population.

To meet the needs of our students and facilitate their English learning in the content areas, we provide English as an Additional Language (EAL) support in Grades EC 3-10. Support is provided by experienced and qualified EAL teachers who work alongside, and collaborate with, classroom and subject specialist teachers to facilitate English language learning in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Our EAL teachers work closely with parents, encouraging families to develop and maintain each child’s home language in the home environment.

While generous English language support is provided in Grades EC 3-10, the academic demands of the IB Diploma Program (DP) necessitate a high level of English language proficiency. Therefore, English language proficiency guidelines are in place for Grades 8-12 to ensure students have the necessary English language skills to manage the rigour of the Middle Years Program (MYP) leading up to the Diploma Programme (DP).

ISB will conduct initial screening assessments to determine English language proficiency in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. For those students demonstrating limited English proficiency in Grades 8-12, enrollment decisions will be made on an individualized basis, taking into consideration the student’s past school performance, English language skills, learning in home language, impact on social/emotional well-being, parental support, and potential for success in the MYP or DP curriculums.

German Classes

ISB German progression from Early Childhood to Grade 10 is organised in phases. Depending on the student’s level of German when joining our school or as they progress within our school, they will be placed in the phase that best fits their skills competency in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

Mother tongue German speakers will be placed in a class that meets the student’s needs and language profile. Whilst some students may speak German at home, if they have not been schooled in German, the equivalent to a mother tongue German class may not be the right placement for her/him. The language progression for mother tongue speakers will be similar to their progression in the school’s language of instruction (English).

Teachers at ISB develop specific units to be taught in each grade level, based on the agreed skills for the phase they will teach. Key information about units and assessments is shared with parents as units are introduced. In line with the philosophy underpinning all IB programmes, language learning at ISB is based on inquiry and focused on conceptual understanding. The themes addressed in each unit are intentionally selected to match the students’ developmental stage, their interests and world outside the classroom.

Student Support Services

ISB offers learning support to students with a range of learning profiles (mild, moderate, intensive). When prior evaluations and documentation indicate a learning disability or learning challenge in the school setting, the Admissions Team will review the student’s complete file to determine the appropriate placement, program, and resources needed to meet the student’s individual needs.

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted on a conditional enrollment and the School may require parental agreement for provision of additional supports and services. Any additional costs incurred are the responsibility of the parents.

Where the School is unable to coordinate the necessary resources to meet a student’s intensive academic, cognitive, physical, emotional and/or behavioral needs, the School will deny admission and provide a reason for the denial of enrollment.

Student Support

Learning Support

ISB offers learning support to students with a range of learning profiles (mild, moderate, intensive). When prior evaluations and documentation indicate a learning disability or learning challenge in the school setting, the Admissions Team will review the student’s complete file to determine the appropriate placement, program, and resources needed to meet the student’s individual needs.

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted on a conditional enrollment and the School may require parental agreement for provision of additional supports and services. Any additional costs incurred are the responsibility of the parents.

Where the School is unable to coordinate the necessary resources to meet a student’s intensive academic, cognitive, physical, emotional and/or behavioral needs, the School will deny admission and provide a reason for the denial of enrollment.

Student Support

Everything Else

How difficult will it be to transition mid-year?

Our teaching staff and student body make every effort to welcome our new students and ensure that the transition to ISB is as smooth as possible.

What should the student expect on their first day?

All new joiners will be met at Reception by either the Principal or Head of Year on their first day. Students from Junior School upwards are also assigned a “buddy” to help them on their first day.

Timetables, locker numbers, and diaries (when applicable) will be given to the students by their Home Room Teacher on the first day.

When can I access the School Website Portals?

Parents will receive login credentials for the school website portals with the acceptance letter from Admissions.