We are an international school situated in the heart of elegant Marylebone, central London. We are an International Baccalaureate World School; one of a small number to offer the three IB programmes from the age of three to 18 years old. The IB is a gold standard for education, built on fifty years of pedagogical research and development to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the modern world.
ICS was founded in 1979 by the Toettcher family. We were initially an English-language school for the children of diplomats and global business people living in London, but we quickly grew into a fully-fledged academic school.
In the mid-2000s, we began introducing the International Baccalaureate as a more relevant curriculum for our students. We now offer all Diploma Programme as well as the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the Middle Years Programme (MYP).
In 2015, we achieved our greatest record yet, achieving an average IB score of 35, placing us in the top 20% of the country for IB results.
The IB and our curriculum
The IB has been around for 50 years and is now the preference for many world-class universities. It allows for a broad curriculum. Every student has two languages and can have a third if they wish. Every child studies maths, English and sciences. It develops a well-rounded academic portfolio from the PYP through to the DP.
The IB places front and centre skills such as collaboration, cultural awareness, use of language, digital literacy, problem-solving and adaptability. It addresses these either through the academic curriculum or via extracurricular activities, and community, and action, service.
The Learner Profile provides for the development of character, capability and responsibility. All these elements are integrated into the IB so that the whole curriculum pulls together and produces confident learners prepared for life after school.
The IB is internationally-minded and helps develop global citizens able to make an impact on the world around them. It is eagerly accepted by British universities and those in over 100 countries around the world. No matter what or where you move on to after ICS, your children will be prepared.
"A broad curriculum that matches the ambitions and skills of our students."
"ICS is internationally-minded and helps develop diplomatic qualities."
The school was founded upon a set of principles that the family believed should underpin any school designed for the modern age. These included values such as freedom, internationalism, democracy, respect and the rule of law and they are still part of the ICS philosophy today.
Vision and Mission
We aim to be an inclusive community of compassionate and inspired world citizens.
We are leaders and learners inspiring leaders and learners. We demonstrate:
in order to realise our potential.
Our approach to learning & teaching
Leading research and best practice guide our academic approach. Our goal is for visible learning to take place, following the conclusions of extensive and groundbreaking research by John Hattie. Hattie emphasised the critical importance of feedback and developing independent study skills in students.
We believe that intelligence and talent are not innate abilities but that through hard work and a can-do attitude, learning outcomes are improved. Carol Dweck, of Stanford University, developed the concept of ‘growth mindset’.
When we teach this to our students it has a keenly noticeable effect, helping them dig their way out of even the deepest academic holes.
While our teachers lead classrooms, we employ full roundtable discussions led by the students: assessing one another’s work by using tools provided by the teacher or discussed by the class as a whole. It gives students an understanding of the competencies of one another; makes them more inquisitive and questioning when they are empowered to take control of their learning. In this classroom setting, teachers are conductors of the class, who orchestrate the music of learning.
London attracts people with global ambitions.
It houses some of the world’s greatest exhibitions, is home to some of the most diverse cultures, and constantly offers new chances to explore. One third of new British businesses are started in this global capital city. It maintains its position as a financial powerhouse, while also remaining the centrepiece for Britain’s ever-growing creative industries. The city’s schools, universities, workplaces, fashion houses, restaurants, sports teams, architecture and parks are amongst the best in the world.
We are an urban school, surrounded by beautiful neighbourhoods., with Regent’s Park and Hyde Park just short walks away. And when you want to travel further afield, European cities such as Brussels, Manchester and Paris are all under three hours away.
We makes sure that the cultural, creative and historical impact of the city can be felt throughout our school, so that it becomes a huge part of our children’s memories.
Academic life at ICS
Based across three campus sites in Marylebone, ICS is more than just three buildings of students. It’s a community where no matter who you are, how many people you know or places you’ve visited, you’re made to feel at home. More than that though, it is a place for academic achievement and focus.
As fans of Professor John Hattie’s research, we could not attach our academic success to just one or two factors but instead to a host of variables.
We’ve been looking back at the ideas we tested out this year. One of these was the Saturday group sessions. These were entirely voluntary but very well attended by our Diploma students. They were a chance for students to come together and engage with one another, as well as with their personal tutors and subject experts. It helped create that brilliant sense that each student was responsible for their own learning. This meant that come exam-season, we witnessed some of the calmest students we’d ever had.
Another idea we deliberately developed was our feedback system. As with the Saturday sessions, this was something that was peer to peer as well as peer to class or peer to tutor. We wanted to test Dylan William’s hypothesis that “effective feedback doubles the speed of learning.”
Ask any of our Class of 2015, who averaged a remarkable 35 point IB average, if that’s true – and I’m pretty sure they’ll tell you that it is. This average point score compares favorably to the world average of 30 points and equates to 4 A grades at A- level.
Academic excellence is not a final goal, it is something we always strive for. And as look back on one of our most successful years, it gives us a foundation to begin as we ask that question once again: what can we do to help our children learn?
Meet The SLT
The senior leadership team is responsible for the everyday smooth running of the school as well as making sure that it is run in line with its vision and mission. Rose Threlfall, the school head, reports on all school operations and achievements to an education board.
Our wider team has many years of experience in senior school roles internationally and in the UK. We are dedicated to working closely with our faculty, students and parents to create an environment that will benefits us all. We also choose to bring a British flavour to the IB curriculum as we teach it at ICS, which helps our students become acclimatised with the country that many continue to call home as they choose British universities.
Rose Threlfall, our Head of School, can be contacted via the contact form and at our 21 Star Street campus.
The size of our school facilities a personalised approach to education. We strive to elicit passions from our students and then support them in pursuing those. Each student joins a class and has a form tutor who plays a significant pastoral role in their lives. During the diploma, students also have an academic tutor, who helps students with university applications, and offers further support in the final years of the IB.
Aside from the tutors, our entire staff offers a deeply caring, proactive pastoral approach to our community. For many coming from European and other systems, they don’t have this coherent experience.
We are not a factory school, we are a community that cares for you as a student. And indeed, we consider safety and wellbeing to be our number one concern.
Sports, activities and other elements
Our focus on the IB means that co-curricular activities such as sports, learning programmes and other experiences all are used to complement your child’s education.
Each year, we run a global classroom programme of events. This programme takes students across the world to learn in entirely new surroundings. That could be in south India, eastern Europe or the southwest of England.
Find Out More
Don’t take our word for it. Our faculty and students regularly contribute to our own discussion blogs, which you can read here to find out what life at ICS is really like.
If you want some more information or would like to get in touch then please, contact us.