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The International School of Siena serves a diverse community of students from a range of nationalities, cultures and backgrounds. We offer a broad based education which uses English as the main language of learning and caters for a range of student abilities. The International School of Siena has adopted a set of core values that guide every feature of our educational provision and the school is explicitly committed to full implementation of the IB Primary Years Programme.
Admissions Policy and Procedure
The International School of Siena serves a diverse community of students from a range of nationalities, cultures and backgrounds. We offer a broad based education which uses English as the main language of learning and caters for a range of student abilities. The International School of Siena has adopted a set of core values that guide every feature of our educational provision and the school is explicitly committed to full implementation of the IB Primary Years Programme. As the school grows in the future it will also adopt the Middle Years Programme and the Diploma Programme of the International Baccalaureate.
Our admissions policy is articulated to encourage the maintenance of diversity in our student body, as well as to ensure that students who are admitted to the International School of Siena can benefit from our educational provision and be successful in the terms of our structured objectives for learning.
We recognise that a number of students are less likely to benefit from our model of education. Our policy and procedures are designed to identify these students in order to help parents and the school make the best choices in line with the individual needs of these students.
The International School of Siena also operates a policy on maximum class sizes. Our policy provides a clear set of criteria which are used to make decisions when the number of applications exceeds the places available.
- If places are available, students who fulfill our admissions criteria may be admitted at any time during the academic year at the discretion of the Principal.
- Applications for the following academic year and which are received between September and December are kept as pending unless there are spaces available and the Principal can guarantee a place . If availability cannot be not guaranteed, then current International School of Siena families are given the opportunity to register before the end of March and only from April onwards will places be offered to families on the waiting list. Families who accept a place should register their child immediately, although some flexibility may be exercised in exceptional cases (for example families living overseas).
- Applications to enroll in Kindergarten can be accepted as soon as the registration process is open, usually from early December in the year prior to entry.
- Families of students seeking admission to the International School of Siena should contact the school to arrange an appointment with the Principal. The purpose of this meeting is for parents to become informed about the school (its core values and its educational programme) and for the school to evaluate the application. Ideally, the student should also attend this meeting or arrange a follow-up interview at a future date. Meeting the student is an important part of the admission procedure. Parents should bring to this meeting the documentation listed below.
- In some cases, the school may carry out a formal assessment of the student in order to determine grade placement or to decide on appropriate learning or behavioural support. The school may also require further educational or psychological evaluations if there is felt to be a need for further information to support individual students. If individual support is deemed to be necessary then specific arrangements will be negotiated with the family who may be required to wholly or partially fund the extra provision that is needed for their son/daughter.
- Once an offer of a place is made, it is confirmed at the moment the student’s family signs the official registration form and the school accepts payment for the registration fee and/or tuition fees. At this moment parents should be particularly aware of the commitments they are making towards the school.
- The International School of Siena application form.
- Copy of the birth certificate and vaccination report card.
- Nulla Osta from previous Italian school (Elementary school onwards).
- Copies of the student’s school reports for the previous two years Reports of the results of any special academic or psychological assessments.
- A confidential reference faxed or emailed from the child’s current school.
Admission to the International School of Siena is open to all students likely to benefit from our educational programme and to families who understand and commit to the core values of the school.
Priority is given to the following categories in assessing applications:
- Siblings of current students of the International School of Siena.
- Families transferring from other ISE schools.
- Children of ex-students of the International School of Siena.
- Applicants from the international community.
- Applicants who have English as a first language.
International students transferring to Italy will be admitted regardless of their ability in English and EAL provision will be made available by the school.
Exceptions to this open admission policy are students with identified learning or behavioral issues where additional support may be necessary on an individual basis.
Italian national and other students transferring from Italian schools will be expected to have a satisfactory level of English or the family may be expected to fund appropriate individual support at additional expense.
Support for Individual Needs
As a small school, we are able to provide only a very limited level of support for students with mild learning difficulties.
We require that parents inform us of any previously identified special needs or previously received support at the time of application.
In some cases, parents may be asked to commit to providing extra support for their child, which may take the form of in-class support or out of school provision.
Trial Admission Period
In cases when it is not clear whether entry into the International School of Siena would be in the best interests of a student, provision may be made for a trial admission period.
In these cases there will be a written agreement between the school and the parents, outlining the terms of the trial, including targets, success criteria and time frames.
Students cannot be admitted if any of the following circumstances apply:
- the student has been expelled from their previous school
- the student will not be living with his or her immediate family
- the student does not already have a visa to live in Italy.
Criteria for Placement in a Grade
We usually place students in the grade appropriate to their age, seeking to differentiate for their individual needs within this context. However, transfer from another school system may also take into consideration previous educational records. For instance, students transferring from another international or English-medium school who have effectively satisfied the criteria for grade promotion in their previous school will be admitted for the subsequent grade applicable at the International School of Siena.
Internal assessment may be used to help reach decisions that aim to be in the best interests of each student. The number of years that the student has spent in formal education is not usually used as an indicator for placement or admissions. Similarly, it is not common practice to ask students to repeat a grade level purely on the basis of their ability to use the English language.
As a general rule, students are admitted to Kindergarten and Transition only on the basis of their chronological age. In particular, students will be expected to have reached 3 years of age by 31 August of the year of their admission, while all students entering Transition (both internally or as new admissions) must have reached 4 years of age by 1 September. Children must be toilet trained and therefore out of nappies before attending school.
Advice and Information for Parents Following Admission
Parents who join the community of the International School of Siena are expected to commit to the following:
- The core values of the International School of Siena.
- Their contractual obligations indicated in the registration form.
- Learning about our educational provision and the implications of our IB Primary programmes (through the International School of Siena and IBO websites and by attending the workshops we organize in school).
- Learning about how to support students whose mother tongue is not English by providing continuing opportunities for them to develop and express themselves in their mother tongue (by consulting our Learning Coordinator and attending any workshops that we organize in this area).
- Aiming to become sufficiently proficient in English so as to communicate with the International School of Siena and participate in the education of their son or daughter.
- Becoming active and supportive members of the community of the International School of Siena (through constructive involvement in the life and goals of school).