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As part of our continued commitment to reflecting upon and reviewing our curriculum using independent benchmarking tools, in February 2023, all students from the penultimate years of our elementary school, middle school and MYP (Grades 5, 8 and 10) were once again invited to take the International Schools’ Assessments (ISA).


The ISA is an assessment designed by The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and seeks to measure students’ levels of proficiency in reading, writing and mathematical literacy in relation to students from other international schools and schools with an international focus. The tests are not specific to a single curriculum and participating schools follow a diverse range of curricula including International Baccalaureate (IB), British National, USA and more and are based on the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) frameworks, in consultation with international schools and drawing upon ACER’s extensive assessment development experience.

As a school community – and for the 4th year running – we have every reason to be very pleased indeed with the results from the assessments sat in mathematical literacy, reading and writing (which we received on April 19th). These are a cause for celebration, not least when one considers that we do not approach them by “teaching to the test”! In particular, I would like to highlight that our MYP students – who have spent longer in the school than their younger PYP peers – performed well above international benchmarks in every single assessment. This is not to take anything away from our PYP students, either, whose results also sit at or above international benchmarks as well. Furthermore, the PISA-aligned data from our G10 students shows that they are performing, on average, at the same level as their peers in China and Singapore, the top-ranking counties in the world for PISA scores.

The primary reason for the International School of Monza having decided to have students take these assessments is such that we can benchmark ourselves against some of the best international schools globally, just as we do using International Baccalaureate MYP5 and DP2 results in high school and, subsequently, identify areas for continuing curriculum development. The school will receive more detailed reports in the days to come and, with this data, both our Mathematics and English Language teams will be meeting to review performance in specific topics as part of an ongoing curriculum review process for next academic year, as well as identifying students with particular strengths and weaknesses that need further challenge and support, as we want to make sure every student reaches their potential and not merely be satisfied with good “average” scores for each cohort.