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Linking Learning to Life

Never has our motto of 'Linking Learning to Life' been more appropriate. In a time where communication has reached unimaginable limits, we have never been so disconnected from each other and from our surroundings. At I.S. - Al Koura, we want our students to be productive, happy citizens who can put their learning to improve their life. We focus on academics, of course, but this constitutes the floor rather than the ceiling of anyone’s education. We link learning to life by teaching our core values of integrity, self-control, responsibility, courage, empathy, and tolerance. We build character or habits of mind for achieving success in the real world. We prepare our children to be adaptable and flexible to meet a future in which the only constant is change. Only problem-solvers who have the knowledge and skills to negotiate constant change and to reinvent themselves in new situations will succeed.


The curriculum adopted in our Preschool and Grades 1 to 6 is an international-based curriculum where all subjects are taught in English with the exception of Arabic language instruction, French language instruction and Social Studies (in the Lebanese Program).

As of Grade 7, students are segregated into either the High School Program or the Lebanese Program. Students in the Lebanese program follow the curriculum as prepared by the National Center for Scientific Research in concordance with the Lebanese Ministry of Education curricular requirements. All subjects in both programs are taught in English. In both programs, all courses are mandatory and extend over a period of an entire academic year. All students study Arabic Language and Literature, English Language and Literature, Social Studies (World History, Human Geography, Sociology, and Economics), Philosophy, Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Arts, Computer Science, and Physical Education.

Curricula and syllabi are regularly updated to cater to a variety of priorities including differentiated instruction, project based learning, and interactive learning.

Our Programs

At I.S., we offer three distinct programs of study. The Lebanese Baccalaureate Program , the High School Program, and the AP® Honors Program.

As part of these three main programs, I.S. - Al Koura prepares its students for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) exams, which are admission requirements to most universities in and outside of Lebanon.

Our affiliation with the College Board allows us to administer the PSAT 10 test to our 10th and 11th graders as well as the PSAT 8/9 to our 8th and 9th graders. Our CEEB Code is 685483.

Although Arabic is the official language of Lebanon, English is the medium of instruction for all non-Arabic courses. French is taught as a second foreign language as of KGI. The school considers English a first language and teaches it as it is taught to native speakers as of the formative years of a student's life at I.S. In twelve years of formal schooling (and three years in preschool) all courses are taught in English with the exception of Arabic language instruction and Social Studies (in the Lebanese Program) which are taught in Arabic. Therefore, I.S. - Al Koura graduates are fluent in oral and written English.

Students' end of year results in all our programs are officially endorsed/certified by the Ministry of Education thus allowing students to continue their higher education in universities in Lebanon and abroad.

A. Lebanese Baccalaureate Program

The Lebanese Curricular Program leads to the Lebanese Baccalaureate Degree (LB) in all its four branches – Humanities, Economics and Sociology, Life Sciences, and General Sciences. Upon successfully sitting for the Lebanese Baccalaureate Official Exams, students are granted acceptance at the Sophomore level in universities in Lebanon.

B. High School Program

The International based ‘High School’ (HS) program leads to a High School Diploma, which allows student’s acceptance at the freshman level upon completion of 12 years of schooling in universities in Lebanon and abroad. Students who are exempt for Arabic are allowed to enroll in the High School Program with clear criteria on how to obtain an equivalency for the Lebanese Baccalaureate Degree. (equivalence criteria available here)

C. AP® Honors Program

This option is available for exceptional students in the High School Program as of grades 10, 11, and 12. Students registered in the AP® Honors Program are eligible to receive up to 15 credits in the Freshman level (in universities in Lebanon and abroad) provided they sit for and pass the AP® exams usually administered in May at I.S. - Al Koura.

We are currently authorized to offer AP® Human Geography, AP® World History: Modern, AP® Physics 1, AP® Calculus AB and BC, AP® Biology, AP® Chemistry, AP® Micro and Macroeconomics, and AP® Psychology.

For more course information, check the AP® course ledger by clicking on this link.

Blended Learning

Special Programs and Education Department (SPED)

The challenges of inclusive education are an ongoing concern, but we, at I.S., believe that the responsibility to provide an educational program for all children is a logical step in our progress as educators. For that purpose, a Special Programs and Education Department (SPED) was established from the outset.

In order to create effective learning environments, it is necessary to raise awareness of the specific challenges related to students with special needs. At I.S., we support the principle of inclusion of students with special needs, with the condition that they are placed in the most enabling environments, as determined by the special educator, and other professionals in the field. It is also recognized that some students at points in their schooling might need specialized support and care based on developing medical, emotional, or behavioral needs.

A special educator, along with a team of professional specialists (that includes a speech therapist, a psycho motor specialist, and educational assistants), guides all stakeholders in the inclusion, implementation, and follow-up of students with special needs in the institution. The multi-disciplinary team provides support for students, parents, and teachers alike and host, throughout the academic year, a variety of activities that engender awareness and provide support.

Physical Education Department

The school boasts an array of prizes and awards obtained as a result of its commitment to sports and extra-curricular activities. We have several varsity teams in soccer, futsal, volleyball and basketball. Our students participate in a variety of sports and dance competitions throughout the year (on and off campus).

Project Based Learning (PBL)

Students work on a project over an extended period of time – from a week up to a semester – that engages them in solving a real-world problem or answering a complex question. They demonstrate their knowledge and skills by creating a public product or presentation for a real audience. As a result, students develop deep content knowledge as well as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication skills. Project Based Learning unleashes a contagious, creative energy among students and teachers.

PBL requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and various forms of communication. To answer a "Driving Question" and create high-quality work, students need to do much more than remember information. They need to use high-order thinking skills and learn to work as a team.

Elective Courses

As part of our vision for I.S.ALKOURA2020, we have begun offering elective courses to all our students at no extra cost. Students have a variety of courses to choose from for an elective course offered once a week during school hours. Elective courses are mandatory, however, the choice of course is not. Students choose from a wide variety of classes ranging from yoga to community services. All elective courses are offered on a semester basis thus exposing students to two elective courses per year.


Counseling is a great source of help for both parents and students alike. A counselor is a person who can help individuals understand educational goals and meet them. It is not uncommon to be struggling with school, mental health, or life in general. Counselors give students the resources to meet challenges and thrive in school and life.

Guidance counselors offer a range of services and are a crucial part of the education system. The counseling system at I.S. was put in place to help students decide and achieve in their future career and their social interactions. Counseling services are available from KG through to Grade 12. School counselors help students grow their own self-understanding, as well as develop acceptance for themselves and others. School counselors assess students individually and confidentially.

Grading System

Transcripts issued by the International School – Al Koura show students’ grades out of a 100 where the school’s passing grade (for promotion to the next grade level) is a 65. An average of 70 is satisfactory, 80 is good/very good, and a 90 or above is outstanding. Any average below 65 is poor/failing.

All courses have equal weight.