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Founded in 1963, the well-established International School of Lusaka is one of the oldest international schools on the African continent, and currently the third largest in the Association of International Schools in Africa. It has over 700 students from over 60 different countries. The teaching staff consists of over 50 professional educators from 15 countries. The school is made up of three school units: early childhood, primary and secondary. The secondary school is divided into the lower school and the upper school.
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The Early Years Department at the International School of Lusaka offers education to children aged two to seven years, with nursery classes, pre-school classes, reception classes, year one classes and year two classes. Classrooms are spacious and well-resourced, and playgrounds are extensive. The campus is located in a clean and safe environment.

ISL's Early Years Department gives a hands-on learning experience in Language, Mathematics and different aspects of Science and Technology, Social Studies, Personal and Social Education, Art and Drama. This approach allows each child to learn at their own level and in meaningful ways.

The International School of Lusaka has a weekly Early Years' assembly where the children listen to stories, sing songs and take part in performances.

Maximum class sizes are:

  • Nursery – 16 (1:5 adults to children)
  • Pre-School and Reception – 20 (1:10 adults to children)
  • Years 1 and 2 – 26 (each year children are enrolled into age appropriate classes by July 30th)

Children are assessed by the Learning Support Department before being admitted. The normal ages for the different classes are:

  • Nursery – 2+ years (the child should be toilet trained)
  • Pre-School – 3 years
  • Reception – 4 years
  • Year 1 – 5 years
  • Year 2 – 6 years

School facilities

The International School of Lusaka campus has facilities that include specialist classrooms, two swimming pools, one of which is a learner's pool. The qualified school nurse is able to offer parents advice related to health issues. The school also offers a Learning Support programme (LSP), and an 'English as a Second Language' programme (ESL).

The Nursery class

Children develop their self-awareness and become confident and independent. Play is an important aspect of Nursery and the school aims to provide an attractive environment that will stimulate learning through play. Children attend specialist lessons in PE, Music, Library and Swimming.

The Pre-School class

Children are given the opportunity to investigate and experiment at their own pace. Activities are arranged to give children an introduction to foundation skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening, mathematics, art, science, social studies, music and physical education.

The Reception class

In Reception the school fosters children's natural love of learning by building on their curiosity. The programme helps children to learn to express themselves, communicate and represent ideas, feelings and knowledge about the world. The school now offers French and Spanish as specialist lessons.

Year 1 class and Year 2 class

Each child is treated as an individual. The teachers are skilled at identifying where a child is, and supporting them to take the next appropriate step. The subjects include Science and Technology, Social Studies, Personal and Social Education, Mathematics, Art, Drama and Language.

School hours

From Nursery to Reception the school day is 7:30hrs – 12:15hrs. An early drop off at 7:05hrs and a late pick up until 13.00hrs are both available.

In Years 1 and 2, classes start at 7: 00hrs for morning registration and end at 13.00hrs, with two breaks of 20 minutes and 30 minutes each.

In Year 2 the children are invited to join the Upper Primary after-school activity programmes. These activities include a variety of sport and art-based activities.

International School of Lusaka key information:

  • Excellent co-educational international education
  • Open to students of all races, religions and cultures
  • Age 2+ to 18 years
  • An International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) World School
  • Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Member of the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA)
  • Member of the Independent Schools Association of Zambia (ISAZ)

Key information

  • From Nursery class to Year two – ages 2+ to 7 years
  • Weekly awards for good performance
  • Children's birthdays are celebrated

International School of Lusaka · Pre-schools

Primary schools

The primary school curriculum at the International School of Lusaka follows an English language programme. The curriculum is designed to nurture students to become inquirers, thinkers, communicators and risk-takers. An authorised Primary Years Programme school under the International Baccalaureate Organisation.

The International School of Lusaka (ISL) is staffed by a diverse population of teachers from across the globe, countries represented include UK, USA, Canada, Belgium, France, Zambia, India and Brazil. The cultural diversity of both its students and staff provide the school with an excellent and strong basis for international education and cross-cultural understanding.

Primary school background and subjects covered

The Early Years and Primary School classes (Nursery through to Year 6) follow an English language programme that uses the Primary Years Programme (PYP) under the auspices of the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO). ISL became an authorised PYP school in 2007. This programme is flexible in order to accommodate the demands of most national and local curricula.

The Primary Years Programme is designed for students aged 3 to 12.

At the International School of Lusaka, emphasis is placed on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside.

Single subject specialist teachers prepare pupils in the following subjects:

  • French
  • Spanish
  • Music
  • Swimming
  • ICT
  • Library
  • Arts
  • Physical, social and personal education


At the International School of Lusaka primary school teachers evaluate the pupils by selecting or designing methods of assessment appropriate to the learning outcomes they intend to capture. The teachers also take into account the diverse ways individual students develop and demonstrate their understanding.

The prime objective of assessing students' learning and performance is to give feedback to:

  • Students – to encourage the start of lifelong learning
  • Teachers – to support and further develop the design of teaching methods and materials – what to teach and how to teach it
  • Parents – to highlight their child's learning and development

The schools Learning Support Department for pupils is designed to ensure pupils with mild learning difficulties achieve maximum proficiency in literacy and numeracy before leaving primary school.

The International School of Lusaka offers a comprehensive internal system for monitoring pupil's individual progress that combines with and compliments external checks, such as the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) tests which are administered at appropriate year levels.

Extra-curricular activities

A comprehensive extra curricular programme is available between 14hrs and 15.45 hrs every day. All primary students are encouraged to take part in and enjoy the school's large playgrounds and innovative play equipment, as well as its swimming pools. Sports facilities include large fields for football and cricket, a multi-purpose sports area and a covered basketball court.

International School of Lusaka · Primary schools

Secondary schools

International School of Lusaka's secondary school is comprised of the lower school, where students are prepared for the upper school levels; IGCSE, the study of core subjects leading to the IGCSE examination; and the International Baccalaureate diploma. The secondary school is open to all races, religions and cultures.

The International School of Lusaka is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). The school is also a member of the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA) as well as the Independent Schools Association of Zambia (ISAZ).

General academic information

The Secondary School programme offers a broad international curriculum in Years 7, 8 and 9. For Years 10 and 11, the curriculum is based on the UK's International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). There is an 'English as a Second Language' programme for those who require this before entering the main school programme.

The academic year consists of 180 instructional days divided into two semesters – August to January and January to June.

IGCSE programme

In Year 10, the students begin their IGCSE coursework. At the end of Year 11 students sit for the Cambridge IGCSE examinations. The successful students receive a CIE Certificate and ICE Award. The IGCSE courses currently on offer are English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, French, Spanish, Computer Science, English Literature, Geography, History, Business Studies, Music, Drama and Art.

International Baccalaureate programme

Years 12 and 13 students participate in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. This diploma, which is arguably the best college preparatory programme in the world, has been offered at the International School of Lusaka since 1996. The two-year course forms the basis of study in the IB1 and IB2 programme.

Students may choose to undertake the full diploma option, and upon successful completion they are awarded the IB Diploma by the International Baccalaureate Organization. Alternatively students may opt to earn certificates for specific IB courses. In addition students have the option of completing the coursework necessary to obtain an ISL High School Diploma.

The following IB courses are currently offered at both Standard Level and Higher Level: English, French B, Spanish B, Geography, Economics, Physics, Biology, Mathematics, Visual Arts, Theatre Arts, ITGS, Chemistry, History, Business and Management and Computer Science.

IB courses offered at Standard Level only are: Spanish ab initio, SL Mathematics, and Maths Studies.

International School Lusaka is also a permanent test centre for the American Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SATs).

Extra-curricular activities

International School of Lusaka gives its students a chance to participate in two activities on a daily basis. These include clubs based on culture, language, art, music, drama, games, academics and intramural sports; netball, football, basketball, swimming, cross country, volleyball, track and field, and hockey.

After ISL

The school provides a student counsellor to assist with university admissions. ISL students go on to study at universities all over the globe, including USA, UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, various European countries and, of course, Zambia. More information can be found on the school profile.

Parent Teachers Association

The PTA at International School of Lusaka organises events that help to bring parents, teachers and students together in a spirit of goodwill and co-operation. In addition, the Association strives to promote a better school spirit and raises funds for development projects at the school. The PTA community meets once a month. For more information about how to become involved in the PTA, email

International School of Lusaka · Secondary schools

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