Embark on a voyage of learning


Students follow an established and research-based programme of study.


Frequently asked questions

On this page we list the most common frequently asked questions that we receive on a daily basis:

Where do most families live?

Most families live in the Western suburbs of Hamburg, anywhere between Othmarschen, Nienstedten to Blankenese and Rissen. There is also a number of people living on the western side of the Alster. Those students can use the school bus to reach ISH.

Can students enter mid year?

ISH has an ongoing Admissions process. Students can enter throughout the year.

Do you have a school bus?

The school has two school buses which serve the outer Alster region of Hamburg. For more information, contact the Admissions office for exact routes.

Do you accept credit cards?

ISH does not accept credit cards. Payments can be made by bank transfer. Our bank details are listed on our Schedule of Fees. The Application Fee can also be paid in cash to the Admissions Office.

My child has specific learning needs, how will I know if these can be met at ISH?

Our Learning Support Department is able to provide support to students with mild to moderate learning needs.

Parents must provide psycho-educational evaluations, individual educational/assessment plans (IEP/IAP) and progress reports as part of the application process. If these are not provided, the school may request for an evaluation by a qualified and recommended specialist.

How is grade level placement determined?

For younger students, we follow a strict policy cut-off date of October 1. A child must be three to enter Primary 1, four to enter Primary 2, five to enter Primary 3, and six to enter Grade 1 on or before the cut-off date. After this, other factors such as readiness, maturity, academic history, and level of motivation are taken into account

For students whose countries of origin follow a different school year (e.g. South Africa, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand) and who arrive during our second semester, students are placed back in their previous grade level equivalent.

What is the maximum class size?

Maximum class sizes are 20 in the Early Childhood Centre and 24 across the rest of the school. Classes rarely reach that number.

Where can I find information about houses around school?

Join the ISH PTA Facebook profile, relocating parents advertise their apartments and homes when they leave. Also check the following websites, all real estate agents advertise houses there:



Do the children learn German?

All children learn German as of Grade 1. German is not taught in the ECC (Early Childhood Centre).

At what time in the morning does the school start?

The ECC and Junior School start at 8.30.

The Secondary school day starts at 8.15 and before that students must leave their coats and bags in the locker and take to homeroom the material/books they will need for the first 2 periods.

Are the EAL classes after school?

EAL classes are offered during the school day.

When are the fees due?

The school fees are due on August 1st when starting school at the beginning of a school year.

When starting mid year, school fees are due within 14 days of receipt of invoice.

Do the students take placement tests?

All students from Grade 6 to 12 have to take placement tests in both English and Mathematics. These tests can either be sent to the school the child is currently attending or can be taken in the Admissions Office. Please call to set an appointment.

Attendance - Whom do I inform if a student is not coming to school, leaving early or arriving late?

Always inform the division secretary, Ms. Gromoll for the Junior School and Ms. Pistoia for the Secondary School; it is also advisable to inform the student’s tutor in the Secondary. An email is the best way to convey the information, but a phone call to the secretary is also possible.

Does an applicant at ISH need medical examinations?

Medical examinations are not required at the time of the application; admitted students, however, may not start attending school without first submitting the Health Form completed by parents.

Where do ISH students come from?

We have students from over 50 nations, with over 30 different mother-tongues. Most of our German students will have lived abroad for many years and attended international schools prior to joining ISH. On average our students are with us for 3 years. Around 30% of our students relocate at the end of each school year.

Can students reach ISH by public transportation?

Older students (grade 5 and up) often travel to and from school by S-Bahn and bus, from locations throughout Hamburg. Students take the S1 train to Klein Flottbek, and then transfer to bus 21 for the five minute trip from there to school. This allows them to take part in after school activities and then travel home independently. Many of our students travel by bike and ISH has a big bike shed to store them. For further information see our Contact & Directions page.

How can parents get involved at school?

ISH has a very active Parent Teacher Association (PTA). The PTA has two stated goals: to support the school and to support the community of ISH—including the parents, teachers and staff.

There are many different ways that parents can be involved in school life. Most often, parents support the school in organising social and fundraising events.

The heart of the PTA is the WISH Team. Just ask our admissions department to put you in touch with a WISH Team representative, and they will supply you with a phone number and email address for a parent of a ISH student of the same age as your child, who will be happy to share their experiences and insights with you.

More about Parent Involvement