From the Upper School Principal

Welcome to the middle and high school section of our website – the ISO Upper School. Here we aim to clarify who we are, our roles and our curriculum. Whether you are a current or incoming student or parent, we hope you find the journey through this website useful and revealing.

Our Students

Our Grade 6 to 12 students come from many countries and cultures and understand that through diversity we find inspiration and strength. Our young world citizens are actively engaged in discovering who they are and how they might contribute to building better local and global communities. Students here are immersed in authentic, inquiry-driven activities that add meaning to, and a deeper appreciation of, their academic and social pursuits. They are confident in the knowledge that ISO is preparing them for success in universities and careers around the world.

Our Parents

Although our students become increasingly independent learners in the Upper School, the vital role of parents does not diminish. Parental support is needed for maintaining the ideal conditions, attitudes and ambitions for learning and planning as our students begin to focus more on the future. Our active PTA and Board of Trustees are avenues in which parental support leads directly to a stronger school. As ISO Association members, parents are encouraged to contribute to Board and Association meetings.

Our Staff

As you would expect, our educators represent a range of nationalities and often come to us with experience from other international schools. Our Upper School faculty is primarily made up of Americans, Canadians, Burkinabe and Europeans. As committed professionals we are constantly enhancing our practices to conform to the most recent and accepted best practices in international education. We model the lifelong learning we so eagerly strive to instil in our students.

Our Program

The aim of our American-style curriculum is to provide students the confidence and competence to view new and old ideas through critical and creative lenses as they prepare for college and careers. We live in an increasingly connected and digital world in which new and exciting ways are constantly challenging the old and accepted. To survive and thrive our students will need to ‘answer questions’ and ‘question answers’. An inquiry-based education provides these opportunities by building the skills and attributes required to: identify problems; critically research and analyze; demonstrate empathy; present and defend conclusions etc. When our students reach Grades 11 and 12, they are guided by our college and career counsellor through the process of preparing for university life after ISO.

Co-curricular Activities

Conducive to our belief in a balanced and differentiated education, our students are provided opportunities to express themselves, develop skills, and build character through a variety of activities. Our drama program sees students acting in various performances throughout the year and our music program allows students to develop instrumental and vocal roles through many genres while also entertaining the school community. Our visual arts program develops skills, appreciation and cultural awareness through different media, genres and projects. Elective courses such as psychology, web design, guitar, yearbook, and engineering provide ample opportunities to explore varying fields of interest. Students are actively engaged in a number of clubs which seek to challenge them with new ways of thinking and communicating, while encouraging the transfer of skills attained from their academic disciplines; the Student Newspaper on this website being one such example. ISO belongs to WAISAL, the West African International Schools Activities League, a collaborative group of international schools from Cameroon to Senegal. Schools participate in mathematics competitions as well as swimming, basketball, volleyball and soccer. Every year ISO hosts one or more of these events while students have the opportunity to travel to the other international schools to compete, make friends, and increase their understanding of other West African cultures



Kate Holywell
Upper School Principal

01 BP 1142, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Tel: 226-25-36-21-43
Tel: 226-25-36-13-50

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