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International School of Madrid

School Profile:
Founded 1971
550 students, aged 3 - 18
British Curriculum
(SATs, IGCSE, AS and A levels) 50 staff .

Calle Rosa Jardón 3, 28016 Madrid Email
Calle serrano Galvache 13, 28033, Madrid, Spain. Email:


The International School of Madrid, which as the International Primary School had provided an education in English since 1971, expanded into the secondary sector on the occasion of its 25th anniversary in 1996. In 2000 the secondary section moved to a new site nearby. Since 1999 pupils have been going to British, US, Spanish and other universities.


The Primary school is conveniently located in the Chamartin area of northern Madrid, near the Pio XII metro station, with good elevation and little pollution. The secondary building, built site is nearby, close to Arturo Soria street

The Principal, Mrs. Anne Mazón, is British, and has her degree from London University. She has more than thirty years experience, teaching in schools in England, the U.S.A. and Spain. She has her office in Primary, where she teaches religion.

Mr. Michael Wickham is Head of Secondary, and since 1996 has been responsible for the secondary section. He has an M.A. and P.G.C.E. in Geography from Oxford University, and has taught in the state system in the U.K., in an English international school in Barcelona and in a Spanish school in Madrid.

Education at ISM

I.S.M. is a British school permitted to accept Spanish students. Pupils are aged 3 to 18 years. As well as the subjects normally studied in British schools, pupils receive daily Spanish lessons. From Year 1 up, all students take both Spanish language and Social studies. In the primary section there is integrated topic work, where the British and Spanish staff work together in the classroom on different aspects of History, Geography and Science. Children who change to the Spanish system have their studies validated.

The student body is of mixed nationality and these varied backgrounds of race, language and creed enrich the school environment. No one, we may say, feels different where all are different. However, there is a strong native English-speaking contingent in all classes. This we feel is important in order to maintain the high level of English necessary for exam success. Students can easily transfer to U.S., British and other schools, and the school has an excellent record of passes in the end of Key Stage, IGCSE, Advanced Level and Cambridge English language exams. The aim in the secondary section is to continue this high standard of academic work, preparing our students for entry into universities anywhere in the world.


The school is an official examination centre of Cambridge International Examinations.

Students sit the Cambridge Key English Test (K.E.T.) in Year 6 and the National Curriculum end of Key Stage 2 tests. The Preliminary English Test (P.E.T.) is taken in Year 7. In Year 9 most students take the First Certificate English (F.C.E.) exam, and all take the end of Key Stage 3 tests in Mathematics, Science and English. In Year 10 students sit English as a Second Language and Spanish as a Foreign Language IGCSE examinations. In Year 11 students take the rest of the IGCSE exams in a variety of subjects, and embark on A/AS level courses afterwards, being examined in these in Years 12 and 13.Pupils that wish to take Spanish university entrance examinations study their specific options in Year 13.The school has a 100% pass rate in these examinations, students going to the private and public examinations of their choice.


To 'educate', as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, is to 'bring up (young persons); to give intellectual, spiritual and moral training to'. This is our objective at the International School of Madrid: to prepare our students for the world of the 21st Century.

For 25 years the school provided an excellent primary and middle school education for its students, who often write back and comment on this preparation. From September 1996 the school has continued to prepare its students with a secondary education marked by quality and individual attention, adapted to the world we live in, but with the same principles and values which have characterised it up till now.

Education obviously includes teaching, but the former word has a much wider meaning. We attempt to continue and complement the education which children have already begun in their homes, but adding to this professional direction and instruction, attention to the learning process of children, and the transmission of learning skills and techniques so that the student develops the ability to learn independently. We are preparing these children to become worthy citizens of whatever country they may live in when they grow up. We are educating them - children of different races, creeds, colours and tongues - to live together in peace and harmony, appreciating and understanding each other's different backgrounds and cultures. Our theme is not 'I teach, you learn.' No! We prefer 'We are all here together to learn from each other'. And the basis of this philosophy is respect - for classmates and companions, mutual respect between adults and pupils, respect for property, for laws, etc. Without respect there cannot be discipline, nor can there be a happy learning environment. Thus there is an important emphasis on these values at I.S.M.

In accordance with our philosophy, the education of the whole person and education for life are the principal aims around which the curriculum revolves. In order to fulfil these aims successfully, we consider at I.S.M. that good manners and an attention to social behaviour must be included among the elements which go to make up the education of the whole person. For example, as a child must learn good eating habits and correct table manners at home, so he must at school. This applies to all areas of social development. The school's philosophy is therefore to help to develop intellectual, physical, moral, spiritual and artistic qualities in each student.

One of the ways to achieve this personal development is active participation. While maintaining the basic MUSTS (correct reading, spelling, grammar, writing, tables, the 4 rules), I.S.M. encourages the children in active rather than passive learning. The carefully selected, qualified staff are there to observe, direct, stimulate, encourage and, where necessary, control and discipline. Every effort is made to stimulate the student's interest in his environment and to extract from it knowledge and understanding. In the younger classes this is done through play experience.

But experience is the key word at all levels. No amount of book learning can make up for an equal period of first-hand experience. This philosophy is implicit in the English National Curriculum, which is the foundation, and forms the guidelines and policies for all subjects taught at I.S.M. The N.C. is flexible though, and can be adapted to suit the Spanish environment and culture. Experienced British staff carry out their teaching so that there is continuity if students move on to schools in Spain, the UK or other countries. There are frequent written reports and assessment at all levels, as well as Parent-Teacher Conferences.

At I.S.M. there is an emphasis on good discipline, and students are helped to see the social and personal benefits of this, whilst at the same time teachers seek to encourage self-expression, individual ability and talent. There are few rules, these mostly made for the safety and comfort of all, but they are expected to be obeyed to the letter.

Children are encouraged to be, as far as their maturity permits, self-disciplined, since this is the aim of all, and is the only true discipline. That which is arbitrarily imposed is usually resented. In Primary there is a student government in which all pupils from Year 3 up participate, some of the older students being elected officers or representatives. Here the everyday running of the school is taken care of and criticisms and appraisals of pupils and teachers are made. In Secondary the Student Council fulfils the same function.


The Primary building is modern and purpose-built, light, spacious and cheerful. Although located in the city, there is ample playground space, with three play areas and a gymnasium.
The secondary building was opened in the year 2000 and has specialised facilities such as a science laboratory, a computer room, art and music rooms, and a library asa well as a large, well-equipped gymnasium.(See photographs).

Physical Education and Sports

Students from Year 4 up are taken out for sports such as football, basketball and athletics. Swimming is compulsory from Year 2 to Year 7. All classes from Nursery up have twice-weekly PE lessons. From Year 4 up students participate in all inter-school sports competitions. The new secondary building on a site close to the school increases the sports and other facilities at ISM with the large gymnasium. Secondary pupils have P.E. and Games lessons, using the gym and a local sports centre for the latter.

Other activities
Judo, riding, guitar, piano, ballet and religious education (children are taken to Mass and prepared for First Communion and Confirmation), and basketball and football coaching are options. There are annual skiing, field, adventure and camping trips.


Reading is greatly encouraged and in Primary there is a library of over 7000 books in English, of which I.S.M. is justly proud. There is also a library in secondary in continuous expansion, and there are reading programmes in English and Spanish.


The school gives great importance to the teaching of information and communications technology. Computers are at the disposal of primary pupils and teacher and all pupils in secondary have the opportunity of receiving instruction, using the Pentium III computer, equipped with internet access and scanner. In Years 7 to 9the ICT courses are supplemented with a typing course.

Careers Guidance

A personalised Careers Guidance Service prepares, informs and guides students concerning further education, so that they can choose from the whole range of national and international options for university entrance. Three members of staff dedicate time to help students and organise the university visits and career talks, sometimes done by parents of pupils in the school.

Parents Association

Close contact is maintained with parents individually and through the Parents Association (A.P.A.).


The International School of Madrid endeavours to be a school with a happy, family type atmosphere. There is a small student body and this ensures that all pupils know each other, building up lasting friendships. The students at I.S.M. like to feel that they are a little United Nations. And who knows? Perhaps these grey-uniformed boys and girls will be the leaders of the future generation. At least they will have their International School of Madrid years to draw on for experience.

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