Admissions FAQs

Admissions FAQs

Questions about Placement of Students

Which grade will my child be placed in?

Candidates for admission to ISL will be placed by age and school history. Once you have provided the Admissions Office with the date of birth of your child, academic records from the previous school, and the intended date of admission the Admissions Officer will confirm the year the child could be accepted in at ISL. If your child's current placement is different to the one our age group policy suggests, the appropriate Principal will give their recommendation. This decision will be communicated to the parents via the Admissions Officer.

ISL will not normally accept and place students in a Year that is more than one year either side of the Year they would be in according to their birthdate. Please see the Enrollments Age Requirement Page for details.

What is the minimum age for students to join ISL and what stage of development do they need to be at?

The minimum age for students to join ISL is 2 years. The child has to be 2 years by 1st September in the year of joining and they have to be potty trained.

Questions about the Admissions Process

Does ISL maintain waiting lists?

Yes, when necessary. As an international school, ISL has a continuous turnover of students. This means that when you apply, our classes may be full and we will open a waiting list for the respective year level concerned.

Is financial aid available at ISL?

There are a limited number of 2-year scholarships available for the IGCSE (Years 10-11) and IBDP (Years 12-13).

What is the Registration Fee?

The Registration Fee is a non-refundable payment that enables us to cover the administrative costs of the application process. Re-entering and re-applying students must also pay the Registration Fee.

What is the Security Deposit?

The Security Deposit is a refundable payment that will be refunded when students withdraw, provided one-term or 3 months-notice of withdrawal is given, or when students graduate in Year 13. Deductions may be made for any lost books, breakages or damage to school property. The Security Deposit is applied to any student entering Year 1 or above

What is the Capital Levy (Enrolment Fee)?

The Capital Levy (previously the Enrolment Fee) is assigned to a fund specifically created to finance capital investments. The Capital Levy is payable after the parent/guardian has accepted a place at ISL and by the date stipulated on the offer. There is a 50% discount for second and subsequent children enrolling at ISL. Previous ISL students who leave and return do not pay the Capital Levy/Enrolment Fee again. This fee is non-refundable and will be charged in full regardless of the date of admission or withdrawal. (Please see the Tuition Fee page to find out more about paying this in installments throughout Early Years).

How can I pay the admission and other fees?

You may deposit the application fee into our account by bank transfer or you can pay by cheque.

How long will it take for the school to review our application(s)?

The school reviews the document as soon as the application is made online.

Is there an applications deadline?

There is no application deadline. We receive applications throughout the year.

Does a candidate for admission at ISL need a medical examination?

A medical examination is not required. However, the online medical form should be completed with all the necessary details of vaccinations and any medical conditions. This is an essential part of the admissions process. Please note that unless these online forms are completed in time your child's first day of attendance will be postponed to a later date.

Does a candidate for admission at ISL have to take an assessment?

ISL has an open admissions policy and is a non-selective school. However, all candidates for admissions from Years 1-13 undergo some form of assessment, which is used to ensure that they are placed in the correct class and specific needs, if any, can be met. In Primary School, the assessment is carried out by the Class teacher. In Secondary School, students complete an age-appropriate English and Maths assessment. Further ESoL or Learning Support assessments may be made if these are considered necessary. Further details will be provided by the Admissions Officer once the online admissions process has been completed.

Does my child have to join ISL on a specific date? When will be the first day of school for a new student?

After you have accepted the offer of a place for your child from the Admissions Officer, Primary and Early Years families will be invited for a 10 minute meeting with the Primary Principal. After the interview the new student can start the next day or as agreed with the Primary Principal. New Secondary students will start as soon as possible after their arrival in Lusaka provided all necessary admissions procedures have been completed and a place has been offered.

What happens at the beginning of a new academic year?

Primary School organises an 'Induction into the PYP' Morning for new parents to help understand the PrimaryYears Programme. This takes place in August at the start of the school year.

Secondary school organizes a 'New Students Orientation' programme for all new students and parents before school begins in August. More details on the schedule will be shared with families after they have accepted an offer for their child at our school and closer to the start of the school year.

Questions about the School

How many students attend ISL and what are your class sizes?

ISL has about 650 students, including up to 8 scholarship students and around 40 staff children. From Year 1 upwards, class sizes are a maximum of 24. Although up to 2 additional students may be enrolled at the beginning of the year to allow for flexibility with families moving to ISL. The classes are smaller and have a greater number of teacher assistants in Early Years.

How "international" is the student body at ISL?

ISL has over 50 different nationalities represented. Currently approximately 40% of the students are Zambian nationals. Other well-represented groups include Indian, British, European, and Chinese.

What curriculum does the school offer?

The Primary School (Nursery-Year 6) curriculum is the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP). In Secondary School, students are studying the International Middle Years Curriculum in Years 7-9, the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) Curriculum in Years 10-11 and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in Years 12-13.

What languages are taught at ISL? Does ISL offer Mother Tongue classes?

ISL is an English speaking school and offers French and Spanish to students from Reception onwards. In Year 3, students opt to study either French or Spanish. Primary School students also take Zambian Studies, which includes lessons in one of the official Zambian languages, Nyanja. In Year 7, which is the first year of our Secondary School, students continue with French or Spanish as their taught foreign language. Some older students study their own mother tongue during language lessons and take the IGCSE and IBDP examinations for that language.

Does the school offer any ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) support?

The school offers ESOL for students who have very little English or no English at all.

Does the school offer any special needs or learning support?

The school has a learning support department that supports students with moderate learning needs.

Does ISL offer a lunch programme?

The school has a tuckshop, which provides snacks and lunches, which can be eaten on picnic benches in the outside, covered seating area. Students are welcome to bring their own food and drinks if preferred.

Does ISL offer After School Activities?

ISL offers a diverse after school activity programme for our students. The sports and activities department works hard to make sure that our student community has an authentic, unique and interesting extension to their school day to take part in. We are proud to offer a wide assortment of academic, creative and sport activities for all abilities and ages. We encourage all students to take part and to challenge themselves by trying something new. Welcome to our community and get ready to have some fun at ISL!

What is the campus like?

ISL is located in a clean and secure, centrally located and green environment. It has a beautiful sports field, two swimming pools, and basketball and tennis courts, as well as a Multi-Purpose Centre (gym & auditorium), a Fine Arts building and numerous general and specialist classrooms and labs.

Is there a dress code?

There is no uniform at ISL but the dress code requires neatness, modesty and standards generally accepted at international schools. Students must wear the school sports or team uniforms for PE lessons or when taking part in sports activities or team coaching sessions.

What are the school hours?
School hours are as follows:

  • Nursery:             08:00hrs – 12:00hrs
  • Pre-school:        07:30hrs- 12:30hrs
  • Reception:         07:15hrs- 12:45hrs
  • Year 1- 13:         07:05hrs – 13:30hrs

What is security like at ISL?

Zambia is a relatively safe country. Even so, once the gates are closed after the start of school, every visitor must report to the Security Office at the school gate; after showing an ID the visitor will be logged and issued a visitor’s ID which the person will have to wear and submit to the Security Office again when leaving the premises. All parents and staff are facilitated with an ID card for their car(s) by the Admissions Office when joining ISL and staff members all have ID cards, which they should wear around school.

Does ISL have a school bus service?

We do not offer bus services for pick up and drop off. The school buses are used for field trips and educational tours. However, a private bus company is planning on offering services from and to certain suburbs from August 2017.

Does ISL have an After School Care Programme?

The school has a small formal after-school care programme for Early Years students. Please ask the Admissions Office for details. In general, all students need to be picked up at the end of school, unless they have scheduled extra-curricular or other supervised activities.

Where is the campus?

ISL is 5 minutes’ drive from 3 large and popular shopping centres, Manda Hill, Arcades and East Park Mall, in what is becoming the new commercial centre of Lusaka.

Can students who graduate from ISL attend Zambian universities?

Graduates of ISL do apply for and enter Zambian universities, including students who have been accepted to study Medicine and Law.

What universities have ISL graduates joined in the past years?

Every year, graduates of ISL go on to study in a wide range of good universities all over the world. Most students go on to study in the USA, Canada, UK, Europe or South Africa, with others going to Australia, Malaysia and other Asian countries. Please see the University Guidance pages for further details. Each year, ISL students gain over $1 million in scholarships to universities - in 2017, this amount has exceeded $1.8 Million.

Does ISL have a Parent Teacher Association?

Yes, the school has an active and successful ISL Parent Teacher Association. Each Primary Class has a PTA Class Parent Representative (CPR) who liaises with the class teacher regarding special in-class events and also PTA events. The PTA run an informal buddy system, whereby, on request, an incoming family is connected with a current ISL parent who speaks the same language as the new family and has children in the same grade/s, in order to try and help them with the settling-in process.