Kyiv offers range of schools for expat kids
While most Ukrainian schools are still trying to emerge from a Sovietstyle educational system, a small number of newer schools have never had to make that adjustment.
Many were set up to teach the children of expatriates (mainly those of diplomats or businesspeople working in Ukraine) according to Western standards – and many at Western, private school prices.
So as the Ukrainian state education system slowly prepares for reforms proposed by Ukraine’s Education Ministry – a 12-year schooling system, and the introduction of new curricula – the country’s private schools are continuing as before, offering classes in a number of foreign languages, and following international curricula that produce internationally recognized qualifications.
Here are the best-known schools in Kyiv for English-, French- and German-speaking children. They are widely known to be expensive, although most refer to themselves as nonprofit organizations, and refuse to reveal the prices they charge.
Pechersk School International
Pechersk School International claims to be the largest international school in Ukraine, with a parent-elected board leading the school.
It teaches about 400 children from ages three to 18. Thirty percent of them are Ukrainians, while remaining 70 percent of all classroom places “are held for expatriate students.”
The language of instruction at PSI is English at all grade levels.
All PSI teachers are native speakers and fully certified, with more than 60 percent of them holding advanced degrees, from Masters to PhDs.
The school has obtained accreditation from two organizations: the Council of International Schools (CIS) in Europe, and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) in the United States.
The school has been fully authorized to teach three study programs designed by Swiss educational organization International Baccalaureate (IB). The programs are the Primary Years Program, the Middle Years Program and the Diploma Program.
The United States has the largest number of IB programs (2,010 out of 5,586) offered in both private and public schools.
Howard Gardner, a professor of educational psychology at Harvard University, said that the IB curriculum is “less parochial than most American efforts” and helps students “think critically, synthesize knowledge, reflect on their own thought processes and get their feet wet in interdisciplinary thinking.”
The school is located in the Holosiivskyi residential district, not far away from the Demiivska metro station.
Lycée Anne de Kiev
This school was founded in 1994 for French expats in Kyiv and was soon dubbed the “little French school.” Later, it expanded to include a grade school and a nursery, and it now teaches around 300 kids.
Lycée Anne de Kiev is the first educational center in Ukraine to be recognized by the French Education Ministry. In 2005, it was recognized by Ukraine’s Education Ministry as well.
It’s one of 420 schools located outside of France that teaches in accordance with the French national curriculum designed for foreign schools, which is supervised by Agence pour l’enseignement français à l’étranger, or Agency for French Education Abroad.
Children at the school study two curricula and earn two sets of qualifications: French and Ukrainian.
The school is located in Kyiv’s Shevchenkivskyi district.
Lycée Anne de Kiev’s website: lyceeadk.com
British International School
The British International School has been present in Ukraine for 20 years, preparing children for entry to foreign universities and aiming to “enable students to communicate confidently and effectively in English within the classroom and the wider school community.”
The school teaches children from three to 18 years old, and offers the IB Primary Years Program and IB Diploma Program curriculum, as well as a curriculum in line with the English National Curriculum Key Stage 3 and 4.
Students study traditional subjects, such as English and other languages, mathematics, science, technology, social studies, physical education, and various arts subjects.
This school is a member of the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) representing over 265 member schools in 75 countries. This means students of the BIS receive the same training as students in the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Japan or South Korea.
Its in-school policies include anti-bullying, academic honesty and language policies.
Students are assessed using the Cambridge Checkpoint exams, and the Cambridge IGCSE, A-Level and IB Diploma Program exams. The BIS in Ukraine is able to offer a dual curriculum program for parents who wish their children to study for Ukrainian certificates as well.
It operates from three campuses in Kyiv, and one in Dnipro.
Deutsche Schule Kiew
Deutsche Schule Kiew is a German international school opened in Kyiv in 2008 that includes a grade school, gymnasium, and a high school.
It’s officiallyrecognized as a German school located out of Germany, and is supervised by the Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen - part of Germany’s Federal Office of Administration.
The first children who studied in the school were the kids of German expats in Ukraine. Later, the school was also recognized by the Ukrainian Education Ministry, allowing for children to study for both German and Ukrainian certificates and to continue studying in either of two countries’ school in the future.
The school’s main subjects are taught by German native-speakers.
The school is located in Kyiv’s Podil district, the nursery is in Shevchenkivskyi district. The Kyiv International School is a part of Quality School International, an educational organization that provides schooling in 30 countries.
QSI started from the Sanaa International School, launched in Yemen back in 1971 by American James E. Gilson. It started its expansion in 1991, soon appearing in Ukraine.
Since its launch here 25 years ago, it’s been offering education in English for students from three years of age through secondary school, whose “parents of many nationalities have come to (Ukraine), usually for a limited stay of a year or more,” the school’s website reads. Some students are permanent residents or citizens of the host country, however.
“The school is student performance-based rather than ‘time-based’ or ‘calendar-based,’” says the school’s website. The academic program is accredited by the U.S. Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
The KIS is also a member of Central and Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA).
It offers education in English, including a DP International Baccalaureate program and advanced placement courses. Children learn English and literature, mathematics, science, cultural studies, and creative and applied arts.
The school has outside play areas, an indoor swimming pool, a gym, a cafeteria, a snack cafe, a fine arts complex, an early childhood center, a doctor’s office, and science labs.
The premises of the school are located in a park-like setting not far from the Svyatoshyn metro station.
Students of Pechersk School International draw during their art classes. (PSI)