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  • Primary
  • Secondary

Admissions Policy

The International School of Milan caters to a diverse community of students from a broad range of nationalities, cultures and academic backgrounds. We offer the IBO Primary Years Programme (PYP), with all subjects taught in English apart from second language lessons (Italian).

We will consider students from international families who are not proficient in English if we feel that over their projected time at ISM the student will be able to follow IBO Programmes successfully. Students with a beginner or intermediate level of English may be asked to take an intensive language course prior to starting at ISM and progress will be assessed before the final authorisation of a place. Such courses and any additional support required outside of school will be funded by families as an additional cost.

Admission for Primary students begins in Pre-Kindergarten (from 24 months) and continues through to Grade 6 (the final year of Primary school). The PYP Programme begins in Kindergarten and hence students follow an 8-year programme of study designed to facilitate admission to the Middle Years and Diploma programmes. Applicants will be assessed on their academic and personal suitability for the programme, including previous academic experiences, interests and enthusiasm for learning.

Generally, students are placed in the Grade level which corresponds to their chronological age (please see Grade level chart below), but exceptions to this may be authorised at the discretion of the Principal in conjunction with the Headmaster.  

We operate a maximum class size policy of 25 students per class and accept enrolments from International Families throughout the academic year. Enrolments for students currently studying in Italian schools are considered for the following academic year, but their enrolment may be authorised at any time during the year at the discretion of the Primary School Principal in conjunction with the Headmaster.

If places are available, prospective students and their families should follow the procedures set out below. If a given Grade level is full at the time of application, the student may be given the option to be placed on a waiting list for the next available place. Current ISM families are given priority with re-enrolments until the passing of the re-enrolment deadline at the end of February.

Admission procedure

  • Families of students seeking admission to ISM should make an appointment to meet with the Primary Principal (or Deputy dependent upon availability). The purpose of this meeting is for parents to be informed of the school ethos, the curricular programme, expectations and daily activities at ISM and for the Principal to evaluate the application. Where possible, the student/s should be present, but if this is not possible, they may be asked to attend an evaluation before enrolment can be authorised. Families should bring the following documentation to the initial meeting:
    • copies of academic reports for the past 2 years;
    • copies of reports of any evaluations carried out by external specialists.

As any offer of a place here at ISM is partially based upon academic suitability for our International programme, we may ask a student’s current school to supply us with further information if we consider this necessary. This may take the form of a confidential teacher/Principal reference or recent work samples and parents will be informed if this is the case.

  • In some cases, the school may carry out a formal learning assessment in the areas of Mathematics and Language (English and / or Italian). This will take place at the school and usually lasts for approximately 90 minutes. The school may also require students to undergo educational or psychological evaluation before the offer of a place is considered. Students with a diagnosed learning or behavioural difficulty will only be considered for admission following an evaluation by the school’s support services.
  • Once an applicant has satisfied the academic and personal criteria for admission, an offer of a place will be authorised by the Principal. In order to confirm the offer, the family will be invited in to sign a contract. Once all of the administrative requirements have been fulfilled, the next available start date will be confirmed.  
  • Parents of applicants are obliged to disclose any and all relevant information pertaining to the application with respect to their child’s educational and personal status as requested above. If the school does not receive this information prior to enrolment, re-enrolment for the following year may be affected. 

All courses at IS Milan lead towards IB Diploma qualifications.

We cannot provide for students who would benefit from alternative targets or who require substantial learning support beyond Grade 9. Admission is based on school records from the last two years and a personal interview in which families can demonstrate a commitment to the Core Values of the school. The student may have to carry out diagnostic tests in English and Mathematics.

Secondary School Admissions Process
Complete application form and return to admissions office via email
Submit school reports from the last two years and results of any special learning or psychological assessments
Contact admissions office to fix appointment with Principal
Meet with Principal to discuss programmes and visit campus
Prepare for admissions tests (where appropriate)
Sit admissions tests (where appropriate)
Previous school to submit confidential reference (proforma or letter)
Decision on admission by Principal
Invitation to enroll or placed on waiting list

We will consider students from international families who are not proficient in English if we feel that over their projected time at ISM the student will be able to follow IB Diploma courses successfully. Students with particularly weak English skills will be asked to take an intensive language course and progress will be assessed before being accepted. Such courses and any additional support required will be funded by families as an additional cost.

Where we are in doubt about the suitability of our programmes for any applicant we occasionally admit students on a trial basis. In this case the targets and criteria for success will be clearly identified in writing before admission. The aim of the trial is to give a specific period to assess whether the student can be successful at ISM, ensuring that the trial is also short enough for him/her to transfer elsewhere if we find that our system is not appropriate for the student concerned.

Students with diagnosed learning or behavioural issues will only be considered for admission following evaluations by the school’s support services and an agreement with the family regarding the provision of any individual support which needs to be funded by the family.

Grades 7-9 (Years 1-3 of the Middle Years Programme)

We will consider students who we believe will be able to progress to the final two years of the IB Middle Years Programme, based on previous school records and admissions tests where we consider appropriate.

Grades 10-11 (Years 4-5 of the Middle Years Programme)

We will consider students who we believe will be able to progress to the full IB Diploma Programme in grade 12, based on previous school records and, in most cases, admissions tests.

Grade 12 (Year 1 of the Diploma Programme)

We will consider students whose school records and admissions tests indicate that they can be admitted to full IB Diploma Programme. Applications for grade 12 after the October half-term break will not be considered unless the student is already following IB Diploma Programme courses in another school.

Grade 13 (Year 2 of the Diploma Programme)

We will consider transfer students who have achieved pass criteria (usually 28 points, a full draft of the extended essay and 100 hours CAS) at the end of the first year of the Diploma Programme and where courses are compatible. The IB Diploma team will be involved in close liaison with the family and previous school to set clear individual criteria for the courses being studied.

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