Most international schools in Malaysia follow a British, American or Australian curriculum. We take a look at alternative curriculums and the schools that offer them
Words by Theresa Shalini Stephen German School of Kuala Lumpur, Lycée Français Henri Fauconnier and St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia
Choosing the right school for your child can be a daunting affair taking into consideration everything from type of curriculum, pastoral care, extracurricular activities, academic results and costs. International schools here tend to follow the familiar British, American and Australian curriculums; but there is a rising number of parents who are looking beyond this for various reasons, including learning a second language and access to free or very reasonably priced university education in countries like France and Germany.
GERMAN SCHOOL OF KUALA LUMPUR The German School of Kuala Lumpur is a non-profit private institution providing education for students from kindergarten right through to secondary school. The school is supported by the Central Organisation of German Schools Abroad and is recognised by the Conference of the Ministers of Culture of the Federal Republic of Germany. With this recognition, report cards and final exams are recognised in the same way as all German public schools. In 2009, the school was certified as an Excellent German School Abroad by the German Federal School Inspection Team after a thorough evaluation.
Students from the age of three (with a basic knowledge of German) are welcome and pastoral care is emphasised particularly when the children are transitioning onto the primary years. Once students have finished secondary school, they will have three important certifications stating they have passed the Year 9 and 10 examinations and the important German University Entrance Qualification (Deutsches Internationales Abitur).
The easiest and most effective way for a child to become bilingual is being immersed in the language, as it’s not a requirement to know French to begin studying here. Although it would be an added advantage to have some basics, the structure of the school ensures students learn French quickly as it’s necessary for them to have command of the language during lessons.
The school has classes from kindergarten all the way through to the last year of secondary when the Baccalauréat exams are taken, dictating what you study at university. The French system is rather academic and prepares students well for the rigours of tertiary education, and with French universities being free for everyone (some do charge a nominal fee which is a fraction of what you would pay in the UK), this is a good option for an international education.
ST. JOSEPH’S INSTITUTION INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL MALAYSIA As with their brother schools, St. Joseph’s Institution and SJI International Singapore, St. Joseph’s Institution International School Malaysia (SJII) upholds the values of the Lasallian schools with quality education. The school offers the International Primary Curriculum with Singaporean Math Programmes, a daily Mandarin Programme, International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) as well as the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP).
SJII Malaysia offers various curriculums according to early years, elementary, high school and senior school. In elementary school, students up to Year 6 are offered the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) while students in high school (Year 7 to Year 11) are offered the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is offered to students in Senior school (Year 12 and 13). The school was established last year and strives to achieve the best academic results locally, as its Singaporean counterpart has a 65% A or A*grades attained at IGCSE level.
As part of the PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Civics Education) curriculum, students are exposed to a religion- and values-based education that places emphasis on values, service and leadership. To summarise, the school prides itself on being a Singapore-based institution with an international curriculum advocating Christian values.
GLOBAL INDIAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL Another recognised Asian-based international school to consider is the Global Indian International School (GIIS) located in Brickfields. The school was established under the principles of the Global Schools Foundation, an international network of award-winning schools that includes 20 campuses across seven countries like Singapore and Japan.
The school promotes a holistic education through the Global School Nine Gems model ensuring the children become well-rounded students. GIIS Kuala Lumpur also offers Indian and international curriculums from Kindergarten to Year 12 including the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), and a Global Montessori Plus programme.
The GISS brand has received numerous awards over the years across the globe. Most recently, GIIS Kuala Lumpur Campus walked away with the World Education Award 2016 from Elets Technomedia. To enrol, students are evaluated with an aptitude test as part of the admissions process. Children aged three and below are tested through an interactive session while those aged four are required to attend an interaction session along with a reading and writing assignment. Subsequently, students from Years 1 to 11 are required to pass a written test to fulfil the school’s entry requirements. EL
START OF SOMETHING NEW
As of December 2016, Sri KDU International School (SKIS) successfully gained entry into the Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA). Amongst some of the activities the school will participate in from this accreditation include: Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Design Technology competitions, FOBISIA Eco-schools Conference in Nepal, FOBISIA Games, drama and music festivals, as well as the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) workshops for teachers.
Sri Kdu®international School 3, Jalan Teknologi 2/1, Kota Damansara, Daerah Petaling Selangor Tel: 03-6145 3888