The International School of Düsseldorf, Germany
Relocate Editorial 15 FEBRUARY 2021
The International School of Düsseldorf (ISD) has a proud 50-year history of supporting young people to pursue their dreams and ambitions, in all walks of life, and in all corners of the globe.
We deliver an outstanding education that prepares our students to be successful and inspires them to make a difference; an education that will equip them with the skills and aptitudes to tackle the global challenges they will face.
The ISD experience
Founded in 1968, the International School of Düsseldorf (ISD) is a not-for-profit, independent, co-educational day school located in the heart of the international community of Düsseldorf. One of the oldest and largest international schools in Germany, ISD offers both national and international qualifications to around 1000 students from over 50 countries. Due to its non-profit status, all income is invested back into the school for the benefit of the students
.The International School of Düsseldorf takes great pride in being a Positive Disciple School and the only school in the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region that is fully accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IB). ISD is also a member of the Association of German International Schools (AGIS) and the European Council of International Schools (ECIS).
Making an impact
At the International School of Düsseldorf, we are committed to providing an education that is relevant, today and tomorrow; an education that sees our students flourish and inspires them to make a positive difference in their world.
The current pace and scale of technological change requires us to be thoughtful and responsive in the way we deliver education. We cannot predict what the future holds for our students, but we expect that they will live in a very different world. Where historically, standardised education prepared students to become productive workers for an industrialised society, success in the digital economy demands information literacy, creativity and ability to innovate. In addition, we want our students to become compassionate global citizens, who are deeply committed to taking action on the issues facing humanity.
At ISD we have built a world-class learning ecosystem that supports the well-being of every individual, allows students to learn in a way that works for them, and empowers them to connect with their passions. The learning environments are adaptable and dynamic. Our teaching staff hail from more than 20 different countries and collectively represent more than 1,000 years of IB teaching experience. And, importantly, we draw on the skills and generosity of many within our lively, international community to support strong pastoral care for our children, as well as to provide an education that is more diverse, relevant, and impactful.
Community life at ISD is something truly special. Due to the mobility of its members, our community’s composition frequently changes. Despite this, we have a wonderful tradition of parent volunteering. Our volunteers help to enliven and enrich learning, whether it’s building sets for theatre productions, coaching a sporting team, or helping new families to settle in to Düsseldorf. We believe broad, community participation in school life helps to expose our students to different expertise, more varied learning opportunities, and a wider network of care and support.
For many of our parents, ISD is a home away from home where lifelong friendships are forged! The commitment of our families is a defining feature of ISD’s culture and an important part of what makes learning at our school rich and authentic.
Above all, there is no ‘normal’ at ISD. Our students come from more than 50 different countries; they cherish different traditions, they speak different languages, they hold different values and aspirations. Internationalism is in our DNA. We proudly celebrate our individual differences, while recognising and embracing our shared humanity.
The last two years has perhaps been the most challenging in generation, not just for all of us here at ISD, but for schools the world over. In the last months we have witnessed a pandemic, natural disasters, and an emphatic, widespread demand for social change. We have been reminded that the world our children will inherit, and the opportunities and challenges they will encounter, will not always be easy to predict. Amidst this volatility, the value and relevance of an international education – one that promotes kindness, positive leadership, and love of learning – cannot be overstated.
The experience of COVID-19 in particular has fundamentally changed the way we work, the way we socialise, and the way we learn. In 2020 and 2021, ISD’s entire community mobilised to support students’ learning and wellbeing during the lengthy home quarantine period. With our school’s existing digital learning infrastructure, teachers were able to implement a versatile remote learning programme at two days’ notice. This was certainly an impressive accomplishment, but the work did not stop there for our teachers and academic leaders. We invited regular feedback, promptly addressed deficiencies, and designed improvements. Our families, too, played a significant role supporting their children to negotiate a uniquely challenging experience with optimism and resilience. For us, this whole community effort had long been a hallmark of what makes like and learning at ISD so special.
ISD is a school that is committed to enriching learning through a culture of partnership. This ethos allowed our entire learning community to approach the challenges presented by COVID-19 with creativity and resolve. Each day, we saw students, teachers and families demonstrating divergent thinking, imaginative problem-solving, and courage to explore new territories. This is the real essence of great learning.