Cur­ricu­lum Co­nun­drum

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

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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


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


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