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High School

High School

ISL High School (Grades 9-12) implements a rigorous set of academic programmes to challenge and motivate students to fulfilling their potential and achieving academic excellence.

The curriculum is centred on our vision, values and mission and emphasises independent thought, creativity and communication. Our students are encouraged to pursue their unique interests whilst honing their research, collaboration and critical thinking skills in preparation for university and beyond.

The High School programmes are divided into two separate but complementary globally recognised and transferable curricula, each lasting two years. ISL accepts students within these time frames and supports integration and adaptation for students transferring from other schools and programmes.

Grades 9–10: IGCSE’s (International General Certificate of Secondary Education)

Within the general framework of the IB programme and its holistic educational approach, courses in Grades 9 and 10 prepare the students for the British Cambridge Assessment International Education IGCSE examinations at the end of Grade 10. Building on the foundations laid in the Middle School, these prestigious, internationally recognised programmes aim to develop the knowledge, the study and research skills, and the critical thinking essential for a successful participation in the IB Diploma Programme in Grades 11 and 12.

N.B. For students joining ISL in Grade 10 without prior IGCSE study, an individual programme of preparation will be explored according to previous schooling and future plans.

Students in Grades 9 and 10 study the following subjects:

  • English and/or French as a native or first language (language A)
  • English Literature
  • French, and/or English as a second language (language B) for non-native speakers
  • Coordinated Science (lessons are in Physics, Chemistry and Biology). This course is equal to 2 IGCSE  diplomas (exceptionally, individual IGCSE’s for each of the 3 sciences may be considered).
  • Geography
  • History
  • Business Studies or Visual Arts (elective)
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education

Grades 11-12: The IB Diploma Programme

The IB Diploma Programme aims to develop internationally-minded students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge – students who flourish physically, intellectually, socially, emotionally and ethically.

ISL IB DP students work within the ISL vision of ‘Building Our Best Selves’ to develop the academic and personal skills essential for success in the Diploma Programme in Grades 11 and 12. These include research, communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills, as well as all the IBO learner profile attributes. Their studies include a balanced choice of six academic subjects, an interdisciplinary course in critical thinking called ‘Theory of Knowledge’ and mandatory participation in extra-curricular activities in the areas of Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS). The teaching of research skills culminates in the production of a 4,000 word research paper, the ‘Extended Essay’. The IB Diploma gives access to leading universities in countries all over the world and enjoys a particularly strong reputation in the UK and North America, including, for example, advanced placement in leading US universities. The subjects below are available, along with some online possibilities with an accredited external provider for subjects not taught in ISL (for example this year, Spanish and Psychology).

N.B. Students who fulfil ISL’s Graduation requirements are also awarded the school’s High School Diploma which is available to students who join ISL in Grade 12 if they are not transferring from another IB school.

Subject Groups

Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature (Language A)

  • English A Literature: higher or standard level
  • English A Language and Literature: higher or standard level
  • French A Language and Literature: higher or standard level
  • Another mother-tongue language as ‘School Supported Self-Taught’: standard level only

Group 2: Language Acquisition (Language B)

  • English B, French B: higher or standard level
  • French Ab Initio (beginner): standard level only
  • Another B language studied online with an accredited IB course provider

Group 3: Individuals and Societies

  • History: higher or standard level
  • Geography: higher or standard level
  • Economics: higher or standard level
  • Environmental Systems and Societies: standard level only

Group 4: Sciences

  • Chemistry: higher or standard level
  • Physics: higher or standard level
  • Biology: higher or standard level
  • Environmental Systems and Societies: standard level only

Group 5: Mathematics

  • Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches: higher or standard level
  • Mathematics: Application and Interpretation: standard level only

Group 6: The Arts

  • Visual Arts: higher or standard level
  • A second subject from any of the other five groups: higher or standard level

The IB Diploma Programme Curriculum Model

For more details, please consult our ISL High School Curriculum Guide.

All high school teaching and learning is supported by ISL’s Vision, Values and Mission and the IBO Learner Profile.

Examination Results

Given that we have relatively small numbers in external examination classes (25-35 at the moment), and in order to produce only meaningful data, we do not publish precise details of our annual examination results. We are, however, proud of our IB Diploma results where a large majority of our students take the full IB Diploma (not just certificates). Our average point score is generally in line with or above the world average point score and, more significantly, our pass rate is consistently well above the world average pass rate. We would be pleased to talk you through these factors in more detail when you inquire in person.

Higher Education Destinations

Our comprehensive University Counselling programme helps support our school-leaving cohorts in choosing the programmes and courses most suited to their passions, academic strengths and career ambitions in countries throughout Europe and beyond. University and subject choices are as diverse as our students and their destinations vary from year to year.  The most popular at present, however, are The Netherlands, The UK, France and Spain.

Students from the International School Lyon have gone on to attend a wide variety of institutions worldwide. In recent years these have included:

  • Durham University (UK)
  • Kings College London (UK)
  • Queen Mary University (UK)
  • University College London (UK)
  • The University of Manchester (UK)
  • University of Warwick (UK)
  • École Polytechnique (France)
  • Institut Paul Bocuse (France)
  • Sciences Po (France)
  • Sorbonne Université (France)
  • Ecole Hotelière Vatel (France; Spain)
  • EDHEC Business School (France; Spain)
  • TU Delft (Netherlands)
  • University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • University of Leiden (Netherlands)
  • University of Utrecht (Netherlands)
  • Bocconi University (Italy)
  • Ecole Hotelière Laussane (Switzerland)
  • École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
  • University College Dublin (Ireland)
  • McGill University (Canada)
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA)
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