ISOCS Middle School Continues to Develop Strongly

Welcome to ISOCS Middle School 2013/2014

At this time last year we were excited as we opened the ISOCS Middle School with 11 students; this year 28 Middle School students walked through the door on the first day and we were over the moon. The mix of nationalities on our campus has grown as well, and new and returning students are further enriched by this multicultural environment. This development is heartening and gives us confidence that at ISOCS we really are creating something special for the young people who have chosen to be here for their education.

Photo Credit: Faulensee Waterfall

ISOCS Middle School Field Week

Shortly, we will be heading up into the mountains for our ‘retreat’, where students will get the opportunity to get to know each other a little better whilst experiencing the beauty of the natural landscape of Switzerland. They’ll also be coming out of their comfort zones as they climb up to the hut where we will stay the night.

In my experience, the first days of the year are the most anxious for many students, especially for those who are studying in English for the first time. Our community is a welcoming one, and no one is made to feel badly because their English language skills are weak. Nonetheless, students often put themselves under great pressure simply because they want to do their best. This means they come home very tired at the end of the day and they may be a bit fragile. This is not a condition that lasts all too long – it is different for each person and there are few generalisations that can be made except that it gets better with time (and with increasing confidence in English).

Even for those students who may have strong English skills, the first days are challenging as there are new social situations that need sorting out. While they are concentrating on Maths or Humanities lessons, at the same time in at least one part of their brains they are highly conscious of who is doing what with whom, and planning what they will say to whom at the next break. It all makes for tiring days, made only worse by the body having to get used to school hours again.

But it all passes, and the rhythms of the school day and year are adapted to, even  before you know it…and by then it will be October break anyway!