Istanbul International School, one of the accredited international schools in Istanbul, is a learning community, interested in teaching and learning things that matter.

Who We Are

Istanbul International School, one of the accredited international schools in Istanbul, is a learning community, interested in teaching and learning things that matter.

Our environment is a happy one for students and staff and encourages curiosity, critical thinking, community spirit and academic excellence for children of all backgrounds.

We understand diversity not least because we are diverse – we have over 50 nationalities represented in the student body and more than 20 nationalities among the teaching team. In this diverse community, learning foreign languages is natural, emphasizing world values is understood and individuals are valued for who they are.

International education is expensive but we have always worked towards providing quality education at a reasonable price.

With over 15 years of experience we are constantly reminded that the responsibility is great – value based teaching and learning that paves the way to contributing to the world in which we live and the transmission of knowledge and culture from one generation to the next.

John Lees
Director – Teaching and Learning
Founder of Istanbul International School
Vice-Chairman of the Board of the International Schools Association


Born in Giresun on the Black Sea coast of Turkey, he completed his medical studies at Istanbul University. He is a specialist in Paediatrics.
In 2002 he co-founded Istanbul International School with responsibility for the Management aspects of the school. When not at school his medical training and experience is put to good use as a volunteer doctor in relief work. In addition to his relief work he has taken a role with the Turkish Red Crescent as head of the Üsküdar, İstanbul Office. He has served in Pakistan, Lebanon, East and West Africa. He is a keen sportsman with an interest in water sports, tennis, trekking and skiing, which he has developed as a school sporting activity.

– Dr. Mustafa Karadeniz


Born on the west coast of Scotland and studied in the United Kingdom, where he did his teacher training. He has worked as a teacher in the UK and number of countries including Turkey. In 2002, he co-founded Istanbul International School. He has used his experiences as a primary school teacher and English language specialist as well as his studies in Bilingualism to design the school programme. He is Vice Chairman of the board for the International Schools Association as well as their Regional Representative. He enjoys travelling, the cinema and reading.

– John Lees

Early Years

Our programme is designed to encourage a balance of child initiated and teacher facilitated activities. The programme offers children a variety of choices. The environment includes art, dramatic play, maths, language work, enjoying books, art, music, water and sand play, science activities, and so on. Our goals include the encouragement of each child’s natural curiosity and interest in learning.

Primary School

Our School’s primary curriculum is built around the need to provide knowledge skills and understanding arranged by subject under three areas of study, environmental studies, life skills and the expressive arts. Our primary grades 1 – 4 are equivalent to Years 2 – 5 in the Cambridge Curriculum.

Middle School

The Middle School is an important bridging period between Primary School and High School. Our Middle School Grades 5 – 8 are equivalent to Years 6 – 9 in the Cambridge Curriculum.


Cambridge IGCSE™ is the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16 year olds, although it can be taken by students of other ages. It is tried, tested and trusted. It is taught by over 4800 schools in 146 countries. The programmes balance a thorough knowledge and understanding of a subject and help to develop the skills learners need for their next steps in education or employment.

AS/ Level

The A Level syllabuses prepare learners for university study, which is why universities worldwide value and recognise Cambridge International AS & A Level qualifications.