International School of Havana
The International School of Havana is an international school
International school
An International school is loosely defined as a school that promotes international education, in an international environment, either by adopting an international curriculum such as that of the International Baccalaureate or Cambridge International Examinations, or by following a national...

 in Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

, Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 located in the exclusive neighborhood of Miramar.


It was founded in 1965 by Phyllis Powers, a British expatriate, to educate the children of diplomatic missions' staff. In 1974 overall control was taken over by a committee of representatives of foreign embassies and organisations, and it was "The Foreign Students' School", although Powers remained head teacher until her retirement in 1982. In 1988 the school relocated to larger premises and assumed its present name.

Current Structure, Curriculum & Enrolment

As of 2007 the school has two divisions: Lower School Section (Early Years to Grade 5), and Secondary School Section (Grades 6-12). Primary Section students prepare for IPC, IPM and English National Standards. Secondary Section students prepare for CIE's
Cambridge International Examinations
University of Cambridge International Examinations is a provider of international qualifications for students between the ages of 14 and 19, offering examinations and qualifications in more than 150 countries. It is an Examination Board under Cambridge Assessment, founded in 1858 as a department...

The International General Certificate of Secondary Education is an internationally recognised qualification for school students, typically in the 14–16 age group. It is similar to the GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Standard Grade in Scotland or Junior Certificate in the Republic of...

 examinations and the IBO's
International Baccalaureate Organization
The International Baccalaureate , formerly the International Baccalaureate Organization , is an international educational foundation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and founded in 1968. IB offers three educational programmes for children ages 3–19.The organization's name and logo were changed...

 Diploma Programme
IB Diploma Programme
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is a two-year educational programme for students aged 16–19that provides an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education, and is recognised by universities worldwide. It was developed in the early to mid-1960s in Geneva by...

. The school is accredited by New England Asssociation of Schools and Colleges and the Council of International Schools
Council of International Schools
The Council of International Schools is a non-profit association of international schools and post-secondary institutions which aims to improve international education...


I.S.H. is the only accredited school for children of expatriates in Havana that offers education through the medium of the English language and has a unique and charming campus with student play areas and purpose built classrooms and other facilities, such as Computer Laboratories and Library in addition to classrooms in the older original houses.

The International School of Havana currently enrolls some 218 students from 44 nationalities in a warm, caring environment with small class sizes (average teacher pupil ratio is 1:8) and challenging, demanding academic programmes, taught in English, that run from the Early Years (Age 2 ½) to Grade 12 (Pre-University graduation).

Early years

The Early Years curriculum in the Lower School is adapted to the needs perceived for students growing up in Havana, from a well known U.K. Programme, with specific focuses on language acquisition, numeracy, creativity and knowledge and understanding of the world.

Lower School

In the Primary Section of the Lower School – Kindergarten to Grade 5 – English, Mathematics and Spanish Language (offered at Beginner, Intermediate and First Language levels) programmes are complemented by the International Primary Curriculum (I.P.C.) which has themed Units of Enquiry which are supported by courses in Music, Art, Drama, P. E. and Information Technology. The standards of the National Curriculum of England and Wales and the province of Ontario, Canada were taken into account in the formulation of the English, Mathematics and other parts of the curriculum offering apart from the I.P.C. and all programmes have specific learning objectives for students at each Grade level. The Mathematics course is I.P.M. (Improving Primary Mathematics) which was developed in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, U.K. from a programme devised in Switzerland. It is adapted by our teachers to meet the needs of our students.

Secondary School

Secondary School (Grades 6 to 12) courses initially lead to the CIE Checkpoint examinations, which are taken by the students at the end of Grade 8 in the following subjects: English; Mathematics and Science.

In Grades 9 and 10 students follow courses from the CIE’s internationally recognised IGCSE programme in which students are externally examined at the end of Grade 10.

In Grades 11 and 12 students follow the courses of the I.S.H. Graduation Diploma which prepares students for university matriculation. The courses have been designed to meet the requirements of the International Baccalaureate Organisation in order to smooth the transition into that programme once the school is authorized by I.B.O. The authorisation visit took place in December 2005 and authorisation was confirmed in May 2006. The school began teaching the I.B. Diploma programme in August 2006. The International Baccalaureate Diploma is recognised in a large number of countries around the world as a university matriculation qualification and many universities offer course exemptions and credits to undergraduate students that are admitted holding this award.


The professional staff is composed of 25% expatriate teachers from Canada, the U.K., The Netherlands and other countries and the remainder are recruited locally.
All locally recruited staff are required to become trained and qualified in the CIE Diploma for Teachers and Trainers and are thus trained in modern pedagogical methods.
Ongoing training is supported by a vibrant academic staff Professional Development programme.

The school was awarded the status of an International Fellowship Centre by Cambridge International Examinations
Cambridge International Examinations
University of Cambridge International Examinations is a provider of international qualifications for students between the ages of 14 and 19, offering examinations and qualifications in more than 150 countries. It is an Examination Board under Cambridge Assessment, founded in 1858 as a department...

in 2004.
The school is a progressive institution and remains closely linked to the various international educational institutions of which it is a member.
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