International School Ikast-Brande
An article by parent and journalist Michelle Unzue:
This article is for you. Yes, you, who lives far from Denmark and wants to know what the great little ISIB family is like. And also for you, a lifelong Dane, who is curious to know why this school has such a good reputation.
We want to share with you the testimony of three varied families, differing both in origin and in length of time at the school: one has been at ISIB for more than six years, and the others for three and two years. But they all have a common thought: ISIB is the best place to educate your children!
The international atmosphere and the spirit that is breathed in and out by students and teachers alike, are just two of the reasons why parents choose ISIB. This is the case for Luciana Ladeira, mother of Maria, a 12 year-old student in Year 7, and Afonso, 8 years old and a student in Year 4. This Portuguese family came to Denmark more than six years ago.
From the beginning ISIB was their first choice, due to the recommendations of work colleagues and the language of the school. "I believe that the diversity of the backgrounds of teachers, students and assistants is one of the main strengths of the school. And also the respect and acceptance that the school provides for children", explains Luciana.
Every year ISIB hosts International Day, an event where families gather in the school and share the culture (and cuisine!) of their respective home countries. It's definitely a highly valued event that leaves a deep impression among its attendees. "In this event families can share a little of their customs and traditions, and it's something wonderful to learn. I also like that day because I feel an atmosphere of pride in each table shared by each family. And we have also the possibility to know other families better and maybe become closer friends. When we live far from our home all the friends and connections we make here are important to minimize the homesickness we feel", remarks Luciana.
She trusts the school because she sees that it provides the means for her children to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment. "My kids are happy in ISIB because they are learning from an early age to accept cultural differences without judging them. They are learning to be independent and proactive, to say no... They love playing outside, even if it's raining, and they have many different friends. They are always smiling, so I am sure they have everything they need to grow up and become smart adults in every way", she declares.
From India to Denmark
In 2017 ISIB school received two new students from India: Muthuguru, who is now 10 years old and attends Year 6, and Muthumalar, 6 years old and a student in Year 1. His father, Muthuselvam Muthusamy Karuppiah, knew the school through the references of his work colleagues, and made the final decision encouraged by the infrastructure and the curriculum of the school. The way of teaching was quite different from his native India, mainly with the syllabus and the teaching approach. The Muthusamy family are really happy with ISIB. "The most important thing of the school is that they recognise the uniqueness of each student, and it's really a very open-minded school. I also highlight the collaboration that you can find in the school", shares Muthuselvam.
The family specially enjoy several events organized by the school, such as International Day and the Christmas performance. "Although we are not Christian, we really like this representation. The kids are very excited with this gathering, and the previous weeks they rehearse in class to prepare the performance", he comments. This is another of the school's hallmarks, the respect for different religions and cultural options. "My kids really enjoy the school and they are finding their motivation here. I think it's the best school for international students", he emphasizes.
A great option for Danes
Although ISIB is an international school, 42% of the pupils have at least one Danish parent. This is the case of Kaya and Gry, students in Year 5 and Year 1. Their mother, Jeanette Cardel Rosenkjær, explains why a Danish family selected ISIB: "We chose ISIB based on our interpretation of the school's values, and that our kids would get a second mother tongue was, of course, something we took into consideration. Honestly, we were in general worried about bullying and discipline in the state schools. And to our knowledge ISIB has helped many misunderstood youngsters coming from the state schools," says Jeanette.
She really admires the politics of the school about bullying, with zero tolerance, and Jeanette also highlights that ISIB focuses on the children’s strengths instead of their weaknesses. "There is a common respect among teachers, leaders and pupils, so the kids get to learn great social as well as academic skills. And they have developed a great initiative: the kids have got buddies in school, which means that an elder student has a strong relationship with a young pupil. It's someone to look up to and someone to feel responsible for", she points out.
Learning in a different language could be an obstacle for the students, but they manage it. "My kids honestly think it's tough sometimes to cope with English, but they never complain about going to school. They get more homework than their Danish friends, but still at an acceptable level," she ensures.
Jeanette strongly recommends ISIB to other parents. "It's a great gift, our kids benefit so much from learning and socializing with children from all over the world!"