IST - Welcome

Exciting and creative teaching that engages students and responds to their diverse skills and needs.

Welcome to the International School Telemark

We are an exciting and growing international school situated in Porsgrunn, an attractive coastal town in Vestfold-Telemark County, Norway. There are over 25 different nationalities among the students, parents and staff of IST. The school was established in 2004 and has steadily grown over the last 18 years to have over 190 students from Grade 1 to Grade 10. We are an IB World School and offer the primary (PYP) and middle years (MYP) programs of the International Baccalaureate (IB) to students from all over the world.

Our whole school and community focus for this academic year is on the school environment, especially our core goal of quality learning and wellbeing for all. This focus also includes respect, resilience, responsibility and reliability. We look forward to seeing you at IST.

Dr. Richard Caffyn, Principal

Guiding Statements

IST´s mission is to develop knowledge and understanding of subjects, global issues, people, countries and cultures utilizing the International Baccalaureate philosophy and programs of learning.
Our Core Goal is to provide quality student learning and wellbeing.
Our Core Values are Respect, Responsibility, Reliability and Resilience.
Our Core Learning Outcomes – IST learners will:

  • develop the necessary skills, knowledge, attitudes and understanding in order to succeed as life-long learners
  • be internationally-minded and embody the attributes of the learner profile
  • aim to achieve high standards in all areas;
  • be active, independent and resilient
  • be a valued, contributing member of our community
  • be given the opportunity, support and encouragement to achieve their full potential, academically and socially

Inspiring students together …

School environment

There is zero tolerance of bullying, discrimination, violence and harassment at IST.

More information about the regulations and inspection governing these rules can be found here.

Further information about the rights of children and parents can be found at the Null Mobbing website here.

Quiet and central location

IST is located in the quiet residential area of Hovet, just south of Porsgrunn centre and close to the E18 motorway. There is very easy access to local bus routes, and the intercity and local train lines between Oslo and Skien.

History of IST

The school was opened in 2004 and has steadily grown over the two decades to have 200 students from Grade 1 to Grade 10. IST was originally established in 2003 as a project led by Vekst i Grenland. Several large companies wanted to establish an international school in Grenland to support economic development and educational quality. The school was originally located at Herøya before moving to its current location at Hovet skole in August 2012.

IST is part of a growing number of international schools in Norway and the increasingly widespread use of the International Baccalaureate in the Norwegian private and state sectors. The school has financial support from the state and student fees make up the rest.

Girl drawing


Here you can download documents and information regarding IST.

IST Staff

The majority of our staff are international, having trained, lived and worked in many countries outside of Norway. When employing staff, a rigorous and extensive series of interviews and reference checks are carried out. For the majority of positions, at least 3 interviews take place involving the Principal, a member of the Senior Management Team, and PYP / MYP / SEN Coordinators. Others may be involved depending on the role. Those invited for interview are also required to supply a minimum of 3 references. Reference checks are extensive and a sample can be viewed on our website.

Teaching qualifications are many and include teachers who have:

  • Bachelors in Education
  • Honours in Education
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education
  • Masters in Education
  • Masters in Special Education
  • PPU (Norwegian)
  • Allmennlærerutdaning (Norwegian)

As is standard international training practice, teachers who teach in the primary section are not required to be subject specialists. International primary teachers may be an early years, junior primary or senior primary specialists. Norwegian qualifications that are acceptable for teaching in our primary department include allmenlærerutdaning and PPU. Where IST requires a specific skill set, the staff employed are able to offer this, whether it be mother-tongue, art, music or other areas. In our middle years department, teachers are trained as subject specialists, are experts in their field and / or have undergone specific subject related training outside of teaching. This is common international practice and IST ensures our subject teachers are up-to-date with their subject knowledge through an extensive training package of both IB and pedagogical training.

In addition to all these qualifications, teachers also have Nokut and / or Udir recognition of their qualifications, if required. This is a lengthy process and any teacher still working on this does so with the full knowledge, support and assistance of the school.

Current Open Positions

All appointments will be subject to a police check as required by Norwegian Law and ratification of certifications and qualifications by NOKUT and Udir.

Current opening:

PYP class teacher post

Open application

The deadline for the next academic school (2022-2023) is 1st March 2022.

If you do have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the school. We can organize your questions to be answered in Norwegian or English.


We have chosen IST for our children because we have great faith in the educational model and the values on which the IB system is based.

Mariann Deila Bryn

Parent of 2 IST students