Middle School


Anja Merilainen - Secondary School Principal
Anja Merilainen - Secondary School Principal

Welcome to the International School of Havana’s Secondary School! Our goal is to foster in our students a love of learning that is lifelong, an approach to learning that is self-directed, and an understanding of learning that reflects the fact that every learner is unique. Our students’ safety and well-being are a primary focus, and we believe that parents, students, and teachers make up a community of learners who must work together in realizing a collective vision of education characterized by equity, inclusivity, and personal growth.

Students at ISH engage with a challenging academic curriculum that aims to foster individual learning while encouraging them to connect what they learn with the world they experience. As an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, research and enquiry are core aspects of the curriculum, as are intercultural understanding- encouraged through seeking and evaluating a range of viewpoints- and reflecting on one’s learning. In their academic classes, students are guided to ask meaningful questions and develop the capacity to seek the answers through training in critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills, as well as project management capabilities.

Students in Grades 11 and 12 study the IB Diploma Program, as well as work toward the ISH High School diploma. Students in Grades 9 and 10 are enrolled in the Cambridge International Education IGCSE programme and our students in Grades 6 to 8 follow the Cambridge Lower Secondary curriculum framework in their core subjects.

At ISH, we believe that one of the core purposes of education is to empower students to engage deeply with the world around them, and we embrace the idea of ‘Class Without Walls’. Our students take part in a rich co-curricular program, including arts and sports programming; service learning in the community; a student leadership program; and edifying field trips.

Our aim is to equip our students with the knowledge, skills and competencies they will need as healthy, happy adults who make a positive contribution to the world, and we live our mission of Learning to Make a Difference every day. We hope you join ISH and become an integral part of our vibrant community!

Anja Merilainen
ISH Secondary Principal


The Middle School program at ISH is specifically designed to meet the needs of young adolescents, and to bridge the transition from primary school to high school. Our dedicated teachers are ready to guide students through the joyful years of middle school, helping them learn more about themselves as they develop their subject-matter expertise and learn about the world around them.
The Middle School provides a strong foundation in academics: students study mathematics, English, foreign language (Spanish or French), science, social studies, and digital literacies. In addition, Middle School students take art, music, drama and physical education classes throughout the year. Our curriculum in Grades 6 to 8 is aligned with Cambridge IGCSE standards to prepare students for a smooth transition to the IGCSE program in Grade 9. When it comes to coursework, ISH teachers are committed to challenging each and every individual. Classes are designed to engage students through real-world issues involving collaboration, problem-solving and personal reflection. Students who require it have access to specialized teachers for English language support and assistance with meeting specific learning goals.
We recognize that the middle years are foundational years in a child’s academic career, and through our program encourage students to develop independence and lifelong, learning-to-learn skills such as empathy, tolerance, leadership, collaboration and self-management. Academics are complimented by an exciting after school program, field trips, team-building activities and much more! All of this takes place in a nurturing, student-centred learning environment.
I truly believe that our ISH Middle School is an outstanding choice for families here in Havana. I encourage you to browse the contents of our website and please do not hesitate to contact me to learn more or to arrange a visit. I look forward to welcoming you and your family.