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Is There a ‘Magic Age’ to Send Your Child to an Independent School?

As parents, we know how quickly time passes and how our children seem to grow up right before our eyes.

Change is a given in all stages in life and at here at ISA, we are specifically set up to support our students through natural transitions – academically, socially, and emotionally.

The biggest natural breaks in a child’s life can be narrowed down to two key areas i.e. when they start Primary 1 (known as Kindergarten at ISA) and when they start S1 (known as Grade 7 at ISA).

Taking the decision to enrol your child in an independent school during pivotal times of change in their young lives will ignite a series of positive effects that will only bolster their future success.

Our children’s education in their early years cements their passion for learning and fundamentally shapes their lives. At ISA, children are given the opportunity to embrace a different kind of learning driven by a school-wide culture that focuses on children for who they are as individuals.

From preschool age upwards, we pride ourselves on ensuring our students are free to be themselves, without the need to always be considering future steps and the academic years to come, encouraging natural curiosity and a zest for learning.

Our Head of School, Nick Little, says “The gradual transition between play-based activities and more formal approaches to education is essentially important in encouraging younger children to be inspired to learn and to immediately become learners for life,”

At ISA, student-centred learning takes a whole child approach which includes having two full-time counsellors dedicated to Elementary and Middle School.

More staff resources also mean more specialist subjects from age five including languages, art, and music from specialist teachers. It means offering programming skills and robotics to children entering Grade 7.

We help prepare new students by holding New Family Orientations. We also assign Middle School students with a Student Ambassador, who will bring them to their classes those first few weeks.

We know the jump from primary to secondary is a big step. Academic research shows students in transition are so immersed in the social, emotional and organisational challenges they face, that their academics can take a back seat during this time.

We strive to make the transition to ISA as smooth as possible for all our new families – parents are as much a part of the transition process as the students themselves.

“The move to ‘big school’ can be disorientating, but as an international school, we are geared for change and we know how to manage it well,” continues Nick.

“Our secondary school is split into two distinct stages - middle and high school, recognising that children around puberty have different needs than older children facing exams.”

We consider the uniqueness of each of our students and how they are navigating their developmental milestones, as well as considering the parents’ own visions for their child’s education.

Seeing our impressive 21st century campus for yourself is the best way to experience our broader perspective to learning. To explore all our school has to offer your child at any stage and to book a tour contact our admissions team at

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International Baccalaureate Council of International Schools Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Cambridge International Examinations CNED