The Windhoek International School was founded in December 1990, the year in which Namibia achieved independence. It is open to students of all nationalities and is the most diverse community of learners in Windhoek. WIS is a fully accredited coeducational day school offering educational programs, enrichment activities, and learning support services for children aged three through 18. WIS is the only International Baccalaureate (IB) World School in Namibia. It is also the only school in Namibia to offer the U.S. high school diploma. The school follows a northern hemisphere academic calendar.
Organization: The school is a not-for-profit entity governed by a volunteer board of directors of not fewer than seven and not more than 12. At the time of writing, all board members are current parents of children in the school. Directors are elected (not fewer than three) or appointed by the board (not fewer than three) and a representative of the U.S. Embassy is always included. The senior leadership team (educational director, secondary principal, and primary principal) serve on the board in an ex-officio capacity. The school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Curriculum: The WIS Early Years Program starts at age three. Teaching is inquiry and play-based, and teachers utilize the PYP framework to design thematic units of inquiry. The facilities are inspired by Reggio Emilia, and feature a main street with gardens, a petting zoo, homerooms, and classrooms for music, arts, physical education, and library specialist teachers. The WIS Primary School starts at age five and continues through grade 5. The school was one of the first in the world to offer the IB Primary Years Program, and teachers take a standards-based approach to teaching and assessing literacy and numeracy. Specialist teaching includes general music, choir, art, physical education, and French or Portuguese. The WIS Middle School consists of grades 6-8. The curriculum is designed according to thematic units of inquiry and place an emphasis on skill development. Assessments utilize Australia’s curriculum standards and the IB’s criterion-referenced achievement descriptors. French, German and Portuguese are offered as foreign languages. Students in grades 9 & 10 follow a curriculum that leads to the two-year International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) qualifications. Students who arrive in grade 10 may choose to complete a “pre-IB” portfolio in lieu of sitting the IGCSE examinations. The school offers the IB diploma in grades 11 & 12, and results are typically above the world’s average. Some students may opt for the U.S. high school diploma with IB Courses as a more flexible alternative to pursuing the full IB Diploma. The school’s medium of instruction throughout is English. French, German and Portuguese are offered as foreign languages. The school employs two full-time and qualified teachers of English as an Additional Language and a Learning Enrichment Department of five. Some additional physical therapists and learning support specialists operate on campus. WIS is an active member of the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA).
Faculty: In the 2022-2023 school year, WIS has 84 total staff including 53 teachers, 3 of whom are U.S. citizens, 24 host-country nationals, and 29 third-country nationals. Our teaching staff presently represent over 20 nationalities, including the USA, UK, France, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Germany, India, the Philippines, the Netherlands, Poland, India, Canada, Russia, Australia, and of course Namibia. All teaching faculty undergo thorough background checks and maintain the relevant degree and certificate from their countries of origin.
Enrollment: At the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, enrollment was 455 students. Of this total, 31 were U.S. citizens, 323 were host-country nationals, and 99 were third-country nationals. At any given time, there are between 40 and 50 nationalities represented at WIS. A little over half of our students are Namibian citizens – who themselves represent a great diversity of languages and cultures. Around ten percent of students are American, five percent are Chinese, and five percent are German. Also, well-represented are Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, India, Angola, Ethiopia, Spain, France, and Cameroon. At last count around 100 different languages are able to be spoken on campus. English is the commonly held and social language on campus (and is Namibia’s national language).
Facilities: The school moved to its purpose-built campus in 1994. It comprises 47 teaching classrooms, an auditorium, a multi-purpose sports field, a gym, a library, an IT lab, two art rooms, a learning support center and an administration block.
Finances: Annual tuition fees can be found at: https://www.wis.edu.na/2022-2023-fees.
Special Needs: Download the Special Needs Profile (Special Needs Namibia, Windhoek) for this school to learn more about their capability to support students with exceptionalities.
This Fact Sheet is intended to provide general information. Prospective users of the schools may wish to inquire further of A/OPR/OS or contact the school directly for more specific and up-to-the-minute information regarding curriculum, special programs, and the like. Information and statistics provided by the school.