FAQs

What are the school hours?

School hours for the students are from 8:20 – 15:25. We recommend that students arrive at 8:10 in order to have time to organise themselves for the day ahead. The day is broken up into seven 40 minute and one 35 minute lessons. There are two breaks in the day, one at recess and one for lunch. Students use the playground areas at the break times. During wet weather breaks are given indoors.

What accreditations does the school have?

The school is fully accredited by the Turkish Ministry of Education to offer educational programmes as an international school in Turkey. In addition, the school is accredited by CIS (Council of International Schools) and NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges). We are a member of ECIS (The Educational Collaborative for International Schools) and are fully authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate Organization Primary Years Programme and Diploma Programme and the University of Cambridge curriculum.

Which languages are taught?

The medium of instruction of the school is English. Therefore, all lessons are taught in English. For Modern Foreign Languages students choose between Spanish and French. There are Turkish as a Foreign Language lessons offered to students in the Primary School from Kindergarten to Grade 5.

Do you have a preschool?

Yes, we have an Early Childhood Centre which caters for students aged 3 to 6. The levels are for Preschool (3-4 year olds), Pre-Kindergarten (4-5 year olds), and Kindergarten (5 to 6 year olds).

What extracurricular activities do you offer?

Clubs are offered at MEF IS across all grade levels. These activities enable students to explore and develop their interests, socialize with peers, pursue athletic potential or acquire new skills.  Students in Primary School have one club period each week. In the Secondary School students in Grades 6 and 7 have 4 hours of clubs each week, and Grades 8 to 12 have 2 hours of clubs each week. After school activities for the Primary and Sports coaching in the Secondary are also offered after school hours.

Is there a doctor on campus?

There is a full time doctor and nurse on campus during school hours. Students may visit the infirmary if they are not feeling well to receive treatment.

Where is the school located?

MEF IS is located in Ortakoy, Besiktas, Istanbul. It enjoys a central location in the heart of Istanbul, only minutes away from the Bosphorus Strait.

Is there transportation to and from school?

Transportation is provided through a contracted service bus company, Gursel. Students may opt to travel to and from school on the service bus.

What kind of curriculum is provided?

MEF International School is authorised by the lB to offer the Primary Years Program (PYP) and the Diploma Program (DP), and it is licensed by Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) to offer the Lower Secondary and IGCSE curriculum and examinations in the middle and high schools, respectively.

What are the qualifications and nationalities of your teachers?

Teachers working at MEF IS are fully qualified teachers who have earned their undergraduate degree in the area of specialisation in which they teach. In addition teachers have valid teaching certification from their country of origin. Up to 45% of our teachers hold a Master’s degree in Education. Our teachers come from a variety of backgrounds which is in line with developing our ethos of internationalism and global mindedness. Some of the backgrounds include: US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, Turkey, Colombia, India, Philippines, Venezuela, Peru, Costa Rica and Kazakhstan.

What food service is offered for students?

Students are served a hot lunch each day. Each day there will be soup, a main dish, a side dish, fruit / dessert, and a choice of salads. Students enjoy a variety of cuisine including Turkish and international dishes. Students are also provided with a morning and afternoon snack. All food is freshly prepared on site, by MEF kitchen personnel, under the supervision of our Head Chef and Food Engineer.

What is the dress code for students? Are students issued uniforms?

MEF IS does not have a school uniform for everyday wear. There is a uniform issued for PE and Sporting events. All students are expected to come in clothing that is appropriate for the season. Proper footwear should also be worn at all times. We have a simple dress code that is shared in the Parent Handbook.

What is the difference between a club and an after school activity?

Clubs happen during the course of the school day and are compulsory for all students. After School Activities are optional and are provided after school hours.

Do the students receive homework?

Yes, our students do receive homework. The purpose of the homework is to reinforce the knowledge and skills acquired in school and to promote the development of good independent  study habits and effective time management. You can find out more about homework in our Parent Handbook.

How will I be informed about happenings at the school?

The most commonly used method of communication at the school is e-mail. We communicate events, information and reminders through email communications to parents on a regular basis. In addition, we send a Weekly Newsletter to give you information about things that are happening in and around the school. Your child’s teacher will also make regular contact to provide you information about their learning particularly in the Primary School. In the Secondary School you can request your child’s homeroom teacher to add you as part of Google Classroom so that you can get regular updates about what your child is doing in class. We have Parent Teacher Conferences and Student Led Conferences in the Primary – a total of 3 this year about which you will receive information about your child’s progress. You are also welcome to make an appointment with your child’s teachers and/or leadership team at any time to come in for a chat. We welcome parent involvement and your feedback.