NUN Schools (NUN) comprises three separate campuses situated on the Asian side of the historic city of Istanbul, one primary coed-campus—established in 2014—and one each for boys and girls, both established in 2016. The campuses, located in the Beykoz District of Istanbul—an area away from the hustle and traffic of the city—are a 15-minute walk from Beykoz beach and also very close to the ferry port. NUN Schools embrace the green flora of the city, with a beautiful location for teaching, learning, and living. With lessons and social activities carried out in the open areas of the campus, the school urges individuals to follow their own inner journey while reinforcing the idea that each student is part of a community.
Accredited by the Turkish Ministry of Education (MEB), NUN is an International Baccalaureate (IB) Continuum World School offering the Primary Years, Middle Years, and Diploma Programmes for students ages three to 19. The school adds,
[Using the] IB programmes, [we] aim to raise world citizens, increase [their] understanding of languages and cultures, and enable students to examine ideas and problems that concern the whole world. . . We have created all our curriculum content based on inquiry with an interdisciplinary understanding, with the cooperation of our teachers.
Presently enrolled are 651 pre-K–12 students, most of whom are from many regions of Turkey, with 5% from North America. The languages of instruction are Turkish and English as well as second foreign language education in Arabic.
NUN’s facilities are equipped to support students in every way possible. The campus was built for both function and comfort, set in nature yet supplied with the latest in educational technology. The architecture carries trademarks of Turkish culture. NUN explains,
Embracing the notion that education cannot be reduced to academic knowledge, we have turned every corner of the campus into a learning and living spot. Built on the experiential learning principle, the campus was designed to develop both academic and social life skills of our students.
Each campus houses contemporary classrooms and a broad range of unique facilities that reflect a commitment to educating balanced and international-minded individuals. The combined facilities include advanced science labs; four computer laboratories; two 500-seat theatres; two indoor multi-use gymnasiums, including two semi-Olympic-size swimming pools; and two libraries with a total collection of more than 20,000 volumes. The school also boasts outstanding facilities for specialized activities: dedicated workshops for wood, textile, and IT design; two film studios; dance, ceramic, music, and art studios; a carpet weaving workshop; two observatories; and open-air sports facilities, including a football field as well as basketball and tennis courts. Comfortable dorms are available for high school students on campus.
The NUN Primary School features a Science and Technology Laboratory for little scientists to follow basic scientific methods while encouraging them “to have creative minds and see things and objects with a different mindset [as they are guided] through scientific experiments.” The Primary Eco School aims to develop a new generation of sustainably-minded, environmentally-conscious people.
Most of the primary school workshops take place in The Hidden Town section of the school, modeled after old Turkish streets. Students become familiarized with traditional Turkish culture while practicing their language and life skills. The Hidden Town simulates daily life situations in a modeled hospital, police station, madrasa (school), town square, fountain area, shop, market, bakery, restaurant, kitchen, and a place to play music. The Abstract Thinking Workshop develops abstract thinking skills through encouraging pretend play. The Mechatronic Workshop allows students to design objects before transferring their two-dimensional abstract worlds into three-dimensional concrete worlds through teamwork and technology. Culinary Workshop encourages learning and creativity in a safe kitchen while teaching techniques of preparing a meal, table manners of different cultures, food safety, right nutrition, and hygiene. In Music Workshops, students become acquainted with rhythm, melody, sounds, and musical notation while learning to sing in tune, use instruments, and move in improvised and structured ways to music. Fine Arts, Design, and Clay Workshops allow students to experiment with tools; count pieces and colors; and use paper, fabric, wood, and metals to design and discover multiple possibilities for creations.
Both the girls’ and boys’ school campuses encompass unique, enriching features. Each has an observatory with the most advanced technologies available for students to observe sky events and use during Astronomy Club hours. Both campuses have a Wooden House section, which resembles a fully-functioning farm with brick ovens, street fountains, watermills and windmills, bird watching points, animal pens and sheep folds, as well as buildings where students can take time for themselves and teachers can hold classes from time to time. NUN wanted to provide a space where students could “regulate their relationship with nature as well as improve their craftsmanship, experience, and contribution to daily life.” There, students collect eggs from hen pens, grind flour in mills, milk animals in the fold, and make cheese and yogurt with the milk.
NUN endeavors to raise students’ awareness of the environment and sustainability by helping them learn about plants and animals in harmony and peace. Greenhouses on both the boys’ and girls’ campuses allow students to learn about endemic and medicinal plants and be exposed to Turkish traditions of looking for remedies in plants. NUN students also get to witness the growth of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, green beans, strawberries, and watermelons that they consume daily. Through raising silk worms, students witness the life cycle in real time and develop a sense of responsibility for living creatures. As part of its zero-waste policy, students compost waste in compost machines, truly understanding recycling and upcycling.
NUN prefers to hire experienced, certified single teachers and married couples with a non-teaching spouse. Candidates must hold an academic degree in the subject they will be teaching. There is no age limit for certified teachers to obtain a work visa.
The benefits package includes allowances for monthly housing and one annual roundtrip airfare for each teacher. NUN provides a 60% discount for teachers’ children, if they are approved after a student evaluation process. Other bonuses include subsidized lunch, master’s degree compensation, and day care for children ages 1–4.
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Please note: The information presented about this school was valid on the date published. This information may change, and the most up-to-date information can be found on the school profile.