International School Aberdeen (ISA) teachers are well aware of the vital role they play in creating a vibrant, inspiring and welcoming learning environment. Here’s a closer look at what it’s like to work at this unique school.
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Having the right support for students is key. That’s why, while the state school average in Scotland is one teacher for 13.6 students, at ISA it is one teacher for every eight students.
But as well as having the right number of teachers to allow dedicated attention to each student, it’s also all about the right kind of teachers. ISA focuses on staff recruitment in the field of child-centred teaching and learning, appointing highly skilled and experienced educators.
And since the school opened in Aberdeen in 1972, it has continued to attract world-class educators who maintain a global approach to education with a focus on contemporary teaching and learning methods.
Meet some of the International School Aberdeen teachers
Morio Kajiwara elementary school principal
ISA’s elementary school principal, Morio Kajiwara, is one of the longest standing staff members, having taken up his first role at the school in 1998 as a classroom assistant and EAL (English as an Additional Language) tutor.
Teaching stints at other international schools followed in between, until Morio moved back to Aberdeen in 2009, where he has since remained as an integral part of the ISA community.
When asked what it’s like to work at ISA, Morio said: “I’m thrilled to be able to teach in a unique and progressive school such as ISA which uses best practices in education from around the world.
“I have always been delighted to return to ISA. In fact, each time I was approached and asked to come back to join the team, I jumped at the chance. When you work with young people, you see first-hand the impact teachers can have.
“At ISA, we are immensely proud of our vibrant international identity of expats and locals. It is a privilege to work here with the most amazing staff and parent community, but most of all our amazing students. Aside from achieving some of the world’s top exam results, ISA has fantastic pastoral care and a true passion to develop our wonderful young people.”
And Morio and his family also love living in the north-east. He says: “Aberdeen is a unique city, and a very special place; we have always thought what a fantastic place to raise a family – the natural beauty, the clean air, the friendly people and the wide variety of activities available on our doorstep. We are delighted to call ourselves Aberdonians.”
Stuart MacAlpine middle and high school principal
ISA welcomed its most recent leadership team appointment in August this year as Stuart MacAlpine stepped into the role of middle and high school principal.
With more than two decades’ experience in the education sector, Stuart’s work centres around creating a supportive environment for students to be inspired by creativity and play with a focus on “hands on, minds on” learning.
And Stuart is now pleased to be continuing his career at ISA: “ISA is a wonderful, values driven international community, at the heart of the energy transition and the meeting point of many creative fusions between the local, national and global agendas.
“It is a fascinatingly diverse community in one of Scotland’s most diverse cities. All of that sitting between stunning natural scenery from both the coast and the mountains inland, and fantastic rivers and parks. There are not many places which offer such diversity of settings.”
He also shares that the best thing about being an International School Aberdeen teacher is “the warmth and care of the community, and the building of a strong intentional culture around teaching and learning.”
ISA described as “outstanding” following inspection
These internal endorsements are reinforced by Education Scotland following a school-wide inspection earlier this year in which the school was described as “outstanding” in its pioneering approach to teaching and learning.
Highlights of the report included the “consistently very high standards of learning and teaching across the school”.
ISA provides an inclusive education for children aged three to 18, with a mission to help students find their place in the world while delivering educational excellence.
The school has a student population of almost 550 students with half of those coming from the UK and the other 50% comprised of 45 different nationalities.
Worldwide, locals are turning to independent education because they realise that it’s more than just league tables and exam results. An independent education goes far deeper. Teachers at ISA do more than prepare students for academic excellence; they enable them to connect.
Visit International School Aberdeen to learn more
Visiting ISA’s impressive 21st century campus is the best way to explore the school and all it has to offer your child.
Find out more at the next ISA Open Day on Friday October 6th at 10am. Families and children of all ages are welcome.