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The educational experience at ISM places the Learner at the center of everything we do. 

Guided by our Mission and Core Values, we seek to engage all students in meaningful learning experiences that build on their knowledge and understanding, encourage curiosity and reflection, and lead to an appreciation of complex concepts.

Our Preschool through Grade 12 curriculum is the product of countless hours of conversation, collaboration, and rigorous evaluation and is subject to constant revision by teachers and principals. It is our intention that the knowledge, understanding, skills, and dispositions we value in our educational program will serve our students through school, university, and into their careers

Elementary School
Middle School
High School

Elementary School

In Elementary School, we strive to create a warm and supportive environment that is committed to meeting the social, emotional and academic needs of our students. 

Throughout their learning experience at ISM ES, children develop the understanding that how they think and feel directly mediates their learning. They develop a growing awareness of themselves as learners, and reflect on their changing understandings.


From Kindergarten to Grade 4, we teach concept-based units of study that frame our learning around ‘big ideas’ and allow us to meet the Common Core Mathematics and English Language Arts Standards, the Next Generation Science Standards and the ISM-adopted Standards for Social Studies. Students are also taught Physical Education, Art and Music by specialist teachers.


In every discipline area, our students learn through an inquiry-based approach, where key concepts, content, skills and dispositions are uncovered to allow students to make meaning and construct their own understandings. We also have a diverse co-curricular program that provides students with opportunities to explore and cultivate areas of interest beyond our classroom learning.

Middle School

Middle School at International School Manila is a time when students are transitioning from childhood to their adolescent years.  

This is an exciting and challenging time for both the students themselves and the adults in their lives supporting them through this journey.  We believe in the following characteristics that are supported throughout our Middle School program.

We are: 

  • developmentally responsive, taking into consideration the nature of young adolescents as the foundation on which all decisions are made; 
  • challenging, recognizing that every student can learn and everyone is held to high expectations; 
  • empowering, providing all students with the knowledge and skills they need to take control of their lives; 
  • equitable, advocating for every student’s right to learn and providing challenging and relevant learning opportunities; and
  • internationally minded, being aware of the importance of acknowledging and benefiting from the cultural diversity that exists in our community and how we use this to broaden perspectives and build acceptance.

The Middle School comprises four grade levels, Grade 5 through Grade 8. The age range is from ten to fourteen.


In general, all Middle School students are required to take English, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science, Modern Language, Physical Education, Wellness and individual elective options. 

High School

The High School curriculum at International School Manila (ISM) is designed to prepare students to become well rounded, life-long learners who care for their local and global community, and strive to be the best versions of themselves. 

This is achieved through an academically challenging set of courses that put students on a path towards gaining ISM’s High School Diploma, a recognized qualification for colleges and universities around the world.


ISM values critical thinking, effective communication, problem-solving, and reflection. Students are encouraged to follow their passions and interests, as well as choose appropriate courses for their future career plans. A significant majority of our students in Grades 11 and 12 take the full International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, with most others opting to study for some subjects at Certificate level. The program is varied and allows students flexibility, particularly in Grades 11 and 12, where there is an extensive array of IB subjects from which to choose. In addition, ISM offers a range of elective courses for students in Grades 9 and 10 that include Robotics, Design Technology, Ceramics, Graphic Design, Computer Programming, Film, Visual Arts, Theater, Peer Counseling, Food Technology, among others.


Running alongside our rigorous curricular program, ISM prides itself on the vast range of co-curricular learning experiences. Students are given the opportunity to develop in the visual and performing arts, forensics, sports, service learning, and more. They are encouraged to become leaders within the community by taking on responsibilities outside the classroom and developing skills in organizing, motivating, and modeling good citizenship.


There is a strong service component to the High School, with all students becoming involved in activities that help foster an appreciation for their environment and the people in it. Through annual ICARE experiences (our week of service learning) and frequent Saturday Service opportunities, students have the opportunity to develop a sense of volunteerism that permeates their four years of high school. All Clubs, Councils, Honor Societies, and grade levels are affiliated with Manila-based service partners, providing myriad opportunities for students to act locally, while thinking globally.


ISM graduates move on to the next stage of their lives with dispositions that pave the way for further curiosity, risk- taking, and learning both in and out of the classroom.

Explore Learning at ISM

Learning Principles

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Learning Support

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