The ISB Learning Programme

What’s worth learning?

At ISB, we believe that every student should be given an opportunity to master the ‘traditional basics’ of literacy and mathematics, as well as be exposed to a range of learning situations that prepare them for life beyond school.

So how do we make this kind of learning happen?

Click on the links below to find out more.

How do we define learning at ISB?

Our starting point is the belief that we can never be effective in making learning happen until we decide what it actually is. At ISB, we have therefore defined learning as building three types of capacity in our students:

Conceptual Learning

This is happening when students are connecting new, potentially disruptive, knowledge to prior understanding and to important concepts; constructing and re-constructing theories of how things work and why things are the way they are; testing their evolving theories in different contexts to refine them so they have increased explanatory power and to see when, where and how they apply.

Competency Learning

This is happening when students are deconstructing expert performance and comparing it with their own; identifying the adjustments they need to make; and practicing a skill in order to refine it and make it increasingly automatic.

Character Learning

This is happening when students are considering what particular dispositions and values would ‘look like’ when applied in specific authentic contexts; acting as a result of these considerations; and reflecting on the effects of these actions.

These different kinds of learning constantly interact together and, today, we tend to think of it as the DNA of our approach to learning across the school.

What are the standards and content that frame the ISB learning experience?

Having defined three kinds of learning – Conceptual, Competency and Character – we developed clear, assessable standards. But learning does not happen in a vacuum. It needs a body of knowledge in which to become meaningful. But, for international students, what body of knowledge? Here’s a key question:

“1500 students, 70 nationalities, whose history do we teach?”

Our response to this question has been to develop a framework for an international knowledge-base that is relevant, engaging and challenging for all learners, regardless of language, culture, time or place.

We created a global context for learning, eight Human Commonalities that organise well selected illustrative content, providing the ‘common ground’ for all our learners.

We made a series of short films, exploring the common ground that is the basis of learning at ISB.

Click below to watch our films about Learning at ISB and the Eight Human Commonalities

What does the ISB learning experience look like in practice?

The ISB learning experience is designed as a continuous journey of self-development from Preschool to High School graduation.

We believe that every year spent at ISB is a unique opportunity for each student to engage with a coherent curriculum that is developmentally appropriate, tailored to their individual learning needs.

Click or tap the icons below to discover more about delivering learning at ISB

How do we know our students are successful?

We measure our success at ISB by the extent to which we make our values of inclusion, challenge and success a reality for each student.

Over the past few years, the school leadership and Board has put into place a number of key success indicators to ensure that we continue to provide an outstanding educational opportunity for all our students.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Examination Results

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is a course of study which is taken by students in their final two years

of high school. It is an eclectic and in depth high school experience. Students choose six subjects each taken from a specific

subject area such as science, languages and humanities.

The International School of Brussels was among the first fifty schools in the world to offer the programme. The Diploma

Programme has been an integral component of the life of ISB and shares much in common with the educational values of

ISB’s own Diploma programme and learner profile.




Comparison of ISB Diploma Results vs Worldwide Average

Overview of Higher Education Placements by Country, Class of 2015

*This information is based on available information at the time of publication. It is not representative of the entire Class of 2015, but should rather be seen as a guide, highlighting where the majority of ISB students currently continue their higher education studies.

List of Higher Education Offers, Class of 2016


Carleton University • Concordia University - Montreal • Douglas College • HEC Montréal • McGill University • Simon Fraser University • Trent University • University of British Columbia • University of Ottawa • University of Toronto • University of Victoria


Aarhus School of Business • Amsterdam University College • Artevelde University College • Copenhagen Business School • Cork Institute of Technology • Delft University of Technology • Dublin Institute of Technology • École des Gobelins • Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne • Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam • Hogeschool van Amsterdam, University of Applied Sciences • Hotelschool The Hague • IE University • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven • Leiden University • Leiden University College The Hague • Reykjavik University • Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University • The Hague University of Applied Sciences • Universidad Europea de Madrid • Universita Bocconi • Universiteit Maastricht • University College Cork • University College Roosevelt • University of Amsterdam • Vatel International Business School Hotel and Tourism Management • Vesalius College • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 


IDC Herzliya - Raphael Recanati International School 

United Kingdom

Abertay University • Arts University Bournemouth • Bangor University • Bath Spa University • Bellerbys College - Brighton • Bournemouth University • British and Irish Modern Music Institute • Brunel University London • Buckinghamshire New University • Cardiff Metropolitan University • Cardiff University • City University London • Coventry University • De Montfort University • Durham University • Glasgow Caledonian University • Goldsmiths, University of London • Hult International Business School in San Francisco and London • Imperial College London • Keele University • King’s College London • Kingston University • Lancaster University • Leeds College of Music • Leeds Metropolitan University • Liverpool John Moores University • London Metropolitan University • London School of Business and Management • London South Bank University • Loughborough University • Manchester Metropolitan University • Middlesex University • New College of the Humanities • Newcastle University • Northumbria University • Oxford Brookes University • Pearson College • Plymouth University • Queen Mary University of London • Queen’s University Belfast • Regent’s University London • Richmond The American International College in London • Robert Gordon University • Royal Holloway, University of London • School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London • South Devon College • St George’s, University of London • St Mary’s University Twickenham • Staffordshire University • Swansea University • The Glasgow School of Art • The Institute of Contemporary Music • Performance • The London School of Economics and Political Science • The University of Edinburgh • The University of Manchester • The University of Nottingham • The University of Sheffield • The University of Warwick • Ulster University • University College London • University of Aberdeen • University of Bath • University of Birmingham • University of Brighton • University of Bristol • University of Cambridge • University of Canterbury • University of Central Lancashire • University of Chester • University of Chichester • University of Dundee • University of East Anglia • University of East London • University of Essex • University of Exeter • University of Glasgow • University of Gloucestershire • University of Greenwich • University of Hertfordshire • University of Huddersfield • University of Kent • University of Leeds • University of Leicester • University of Liverpool • University of Oxford • University of Portsmouth • University of Reading • University of South Wales • University of Southampton • University of Stirling • University of Surrey • University of Sussex • University of the West of England • University of West London • University of Westminster • University of York


United States of America

American University • Bates College • Berry College • Boston College • Boston University • Brandeis University • Brown University • Bryant University • Christopher Newport University • Coastal Carolina University • College of the Holy Cross • Columbia University • Emory University • Fairfield University • Fordham University • Furman University • Georgetown University • Georgia Institute of Technology • Hood College • Howard University • Kenyon College • Lesley University • Lincoln Memorial University • Loyola University Chicago • Miami University, Oxford • Middlebury College • New York University • North Carolina A&T State University • Northeastern University • Northwestern University • Occidental College • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts • Pennsylvania State University • Pitzer College • Princeton University • Purdue University • Rhode Island School of Design • Saint Leo University • Saint Michael’s College • Salisbury University • Santa Clara University • Savannah College of Art and Design • School of Visual Arts • St. Lawrence University • Syracuse University • The Culinary Institute of America • The George Washington University • The Ohio State University • The University of Arizona • The University of North Carolina at • Chapel Hill • Tufts University • University of California, Berkeley • University of California, Davis • University of California, Irvine • University of California, Los Angeles • University of California, San Diego • University of California, Santa Barbara • University of California, Santa Cruz • University of Chicago • University of Colorado at Boulder • University of Dayton • University of Denver • University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign • University of Maryland, Baltimore County • University of Maryland, College Park • University of Michigan • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities • University of Oregon • University of San Diego • University of South Florida, Tampa • University of St. Thomas • University of Tennessee, Knoxville • University of Vermont • University of Wisconsin, Madison • Utah State University • Virginia Tech • Wake Forest University • Washington University in St. Louis • Wesleyan University • Whitman College 



At the time of publication, the complete results for students from the Class of 2016 planning on attending Japanese Universities were not yet available. The following is a sampling of acceptances over the past two years:

Hiroshima University • Keio University • Kwansei Gakuin University • Nagoya Institute of Technology • Osaka Prefecture University • Rikkyo University • Sophia University • Waseda University


Preparing for Life Beyond ISB

The ISB World of Work Programme offers High School students each year the opportunity to prepare for life beyond ISB through an annual Careers Day and regular panel conversations with professionals working in different fields. The Programme also offers students, at the end of Grade 11, the opportunity to take up two-week internships with partner corporations and non-profit organisations in and around Brussels.

Below are some of the companies who supported the World of Work Internship Programme between 2008 and 2015: 

Norton Rose Fulbright (Law) • White & Case (Law) • Kelley Drye & Warren LLP (Law) • Guy Melviez (Architect) • Mobelsa (Interior Design) • Greenlight for Girls (NGO) • Close The Gap (NGO) • European Cancer Leagues (NGO) • MARS Food Corporation (MNO) • WABCO (MNO) • GOODYEAR Tyres (MNO) • Johnson Controls Incorporated (MNO) • Serendip Spa (Wellness Centre) Small Medium Enterprise (SME) • British Chamber of Commerce (PR/Lobbying) • DoberPartners (PR/Lobbying) • City of London Office (PR/Lobbying) • Dutch Embassy to Belgium (Diplomacy) • Mexican Embassy to Belgium (Diplomacy) • Greek Embassy to Belgium - Press Office (Diplomacy/Journalism) • RadioX Brussels (Media) • Irish Times (Ireland - Media) • Fulbright Belgium (Education) • United Business Institute (Education) • Starwood Hotels (Hospitality) • Aloft Hotel Schuman (Hospitality) • AIM (Event Management MNO) • Dunhill (Financial Consultants)

For more information on the ISB World of Work Programme, click here.