Founded in 1952, the International School of Florence (ISF) is one of the oldest international schools in Europe. Both internationally minded and inimitably Florentine, ISF offers an opportunity for a teach abroad experience with the very best education in one of the most treasured cities in the world. ISF embodies the values of the Renaissance by striving for academic excellence while developing creativity, intellectual curiosity, innovative spirit, and appreciation for beauty. To this end, the school began implementing the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme in 1983. Taking advantage of its magnificent location, ISF has developed an integrated program for overseas teachers to connect their teaching and learning to the world around them.
The day school comprises two campuses. The Junior School, for pre-K through Grade 5, is housed in a beautiful villa, restored to accommodate classrooms, specialist areas, a computer room; a library; and an Aula Magna, which is a great hall used for special occasions. The rural setting makes it easy to incorporate nature studies into its Units of Inquiries from the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), and its formal garden offers a breathtaking view of the Tuscan countryside. This campus also features an all-weather sports field, two playgrounds, and a specially-equipped and surfaced play area for the Early Years and Foundation classes. The Middle and High Schools are a five-minute walk from the famed Piazzale Michelangelo, with its stunning view over the city of Florence. Though resting in the nearby countryside, the Upper School campus is just 10 minutes from the historical center of Florence. Formal gardens surround the facilities that include classrooms, a covered terrace/lunch room; an Aula Magna; a science wing; art studio; and a two-tiered, wireless access library. The Upper School uses a large sports complex Olympus—also within easy walking distance to the school— to host the ICF Physical Education Program.
Accredited by both the Council of International Schools (CIS) and Middle States Association, ISF currently enrolls approximately 570 students, representing more than 44 nationalities and over 25 languages. The school delivers the Reggio Emilia followed by the IB Primary Years and Diploma Programmes. The teaching staff of 113 includes 26 Italian educators who assist with integrating overseas teaching with the local culture.
In addition to its challenging and internationally recognized academic programs, ISF offers a rich extracurricular programme. ISF Junior School ECA (extracurricular activity) program hires qualified professionals sourced from the community to offer a variety of after-school activities, which encourage creativity and promote curiosity and self-expression. Whether they are honing their public speaking skills, throwing clay, or perfecting a martial arts routine, ISF students are always on the move! At the Upper School, students engage in a plethora of academic and athletic extracurricular activities during their lunch periods as well as after school. Activity leaders are teachers or experts in their field who bring materials and passion to the students. Some ECA's are also part of the Creativity-Activity-Service (CAS) arm of the IB Diploma Programme.
ISF hires experienced, international teaching singles and couples, including those with a non-teaching partner. The school would consider teaching couples. Candidates must hold an academic degree in the subject they will be teaching, and there is no age limit to obtain a work visa.
The overseas teaching benefits package includes a moving allowance and full tuition for up to two dependents in addition to subsidized school lunch. For its educators, ISF sets aside a professional development budget for “career development and self-improvement.” Once all documentation is completed for residency, international teaching staff are covered under the National Health Insurance Plan and Pension Plan. There are local employment opportunities for non-teaching partners.
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