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Admission Policy

The International School of Nanshan Shenzhen accepts applications from new students throughout the year. ISNS admits students on the basis of “rolling admissions”, taking completed applications in the order in which they arrive until no space remains in a given class. Please note that applications after April 1 will be considered as applicants for the next school year in August, not for the current school year.

As an international school, ISNS accepts applications from all nationalities outside of mainland China, in accordance with Chinese law, for Grades 1 to 12. All nationalities are accepted from Nursery to K5, subject to the ISNS acceptance criteria.

The Admissions process is composed of 4 steps: application, student assessment, interview and acceptance. Prior to being considered for admission to ISNS, students must file a complete application package and submit all documentation as required.

The ISNS Admissions procedure is transparent and fully explained to the parents of prospective students.

Acceptance Criteria

Academic Skills

ISNS is a university preparatory school that challenges students to meet the highest standards and expects each student to learn to their maximum potential. Applicants must show their motivation to succeed in the high academic standards of ISNS.

Social Skills

ISNS is a learning community bound together by the principles of respect, responsibility and honesty. As such, ISNS accepts only students whose past record demonstrates a clear commitment to these principles.

Physical or Learning Disabilities

Applicants with mild learning and physical difficulties will be assessed based on their abilities to interact with fellow students and teachers without the assistance of special needs teachers. These applicant cases will be handled individually. ISNS cannot accept students whose physical or learning disability is judged by our academic staff to be such that we cannot effectively educate the child.

High School (Grade 9-12) and Diploma Programme Applicants

For applicants to Grades 9-12, students must show that they are prepared to undertake a rigorous curriculum and succeed at ISNS.  Applicants must also be at grade level in terms of English ability.  Students entering the Diploma Programme (Grades 11 and 12) will be required to take an Orientation Course in order to understand the programme and be successful at ISNS.  Applicants will have the option of being mainstream or full-DP students.  Applicants to the full Diploma Programme must understand the intensity and fast-pace of the curriculum so they are fully prepared for the challenge of this difficult, yet rewarding, programme.

For applicants to Grade 12, ISNS will only accept students who are transferring from another IB DP school which offers the same courses as ISNS.  Applicants will be considered individually based on their previous academic abilities and skillsets to successfully graduate from ISNS.

English Language Assessment

ISNS uses the Cambridge English Language Assessment to determine the English level of incoming students. Applicants to Grades 2 – 10 must obtain a minimum score based on the grade they are applying to. This assessment is very important to make sure that students can meet curriculum expectations and succeed at ISNS. ISNS offers EAL Bridging for students who require some English as Another Language support.

** These standards are subject to other benchmarking based on criterion set by the Board of Education of New Brunswick, Canada

Mathematics Assessment

At ISNS, our students are exposed to a rigorous Math curriculum. As part of our entrance procedures, applicants will take grade level math assessments in order to show computation and problem solving proficiency. ISNS offers math resource support for students from Grades 3-12 who require some assistance to reach grade level expectations.

The Admissions Interview

Interviews are scheduled after the English and Mathematics Assessment, between the family and the Head of the School, Principal, Vice-Principal, and/or the relevant IB Coordinator, depending on the grade level. Interviews usually take place in person.

Each student’s interests and questions are important to us. Each applicant is encouraged to prepare a list of questions to ensure that we address the issues most important to them.

Our boarding curriculum provides a structured and supportive environment that develops independence and life skills for students from Grades 7 to 12. In addition to the Application Package, families must complete separate Parent and Student Questionnaires to apply for Boarding at ISNS.

The maximum class size at ISNS for K to Grade2 is 20 students, Grade 3 and above is 25 students.

Waiting Lists

In the case of a child being accepted to ISNS but with no space available in the class, the child is placed on a waiting list.

Accepted students are placed on a waiting list strictly in chronological order by date of completed application. Priority is given to:

  • ISNS Alumni: returning students
  • Siblings: siblings of students already enrolled in the school
  • ISNS employees: children of ISNS staff and faculty