Cover Photo: Garden International School

How the country’s most promising international schools are going the extra mile to give students a head start in life

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Eye-opening travel experiences

Thought your school field trip was exciting? The British International School of Kuala Lumpur (BSKL) makes the most of its Nord Anglia and FOBISIA school status, opening students to a world of new experiences via an inspirational programme of events and expeditions both in Asia and across the globe (the Swiss Alps included)

At BSKL, secondary school students embark on a number of trips in Malaysia and abroad – the particularly resilient ones will vie for the coveted Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, a travel-centred challenge meant to cultivate a greater sense of community service and personal responsibility.

Related: 8 Eco-Friendly International Schools In Malaysia

Residential trips aside, the British International School of KL is known for its collaborations with world-renowned institutions like The Julliard School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and UNICEF, allowing students to keep their finger on the pulse of the latest happenings at these noteworthy organisations around the world.  

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World-class technology and innovation

It’s comforting to know that schools like Garden International School (GIS) are ever up to the challenge of adapting in the face of the sweeping changes to learning brought about by the demands of the digital age.

Recognised for the second time as an Apple Distinguished School for 2019-2021, GIS is known for its use of Apple products to inspire creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.

GIS also bucks the trend with one-of-a-kind learning programmes – the GIS Jungle School programme, for instance, is a unique experience that lets young learners build confidence through hands-on learning in their natural environment, available to students at Nursery level to Year 2.   

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An enriching environment for boarders

We’ve debated the pros and cons of boarding school for some time now, but Marlborough College Malaysia (MCM) has captured our fancy in more ways than one:

The first would be the school’s location in Iskandar Puteri, Johor on which its stunning 90-acre campus sits. Despite its generous acreage, pupils number a maximum of 1,200, translating to smaller class sizes and the availability of specialist teachers for subjects from Years 5 onwards.

Related: 5 Insider Tips On Preparing Your Teens For Boarding School

Pastoral care is a strong feature of the College – its ‘Wellbeing’ programme saw the launch of a weekly podcast covering pressing adolescent issues of the day and several student-centric initiatives for which MCM has been nominated The Council for Overseas British International Schools’ ‘Wellbeing in Education’ award.  

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A culture of inclusivity

Interestingly, The International School Of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) began offering its first ever Life Centred Education programme to Middle School students in 2015, an award-winning programme offering customised learning support and instruction to students with diagnosed intellectual and developmental differences.

Read also: Are We Ready For The Future Of Learning? 7 Questions With ISKL's New Head Of School

In 2018, the programme was extended to high school level and currently, it’s being integrated into primary level as part of ISKL’s ongoing initiative to be a fully inclusive school. Fun fact: ISKL’s dedicated student support team includes educational psychologists, a speech language pathologist, therapy learning support specialists, counsellors, English as an Additional Language educators and a sports physiotherapist among others.  

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Timeless traditions of academic excellence

Schools like Marlborough College Malaysia and more recently, Shattuck-St. Mary’s Forest City International School are local extensions of the world’s finest educational institutions.

Shattuck St. Mary’s Forest City, for instance, is backed by a 160-year legacy that originated in Faribault, Minnesota.

Today, this prestigious boarding school in Johor honours century-old traditions of learning while offering top notch academic support through a team of international educators from the USA, Canada and the UK.

Related: Exploring Boarding Life At Marlborough College Malaysia

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Keeping up with the times

The rapid rise of jobs related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) have caused many schools to rethink the relevance of their curricula and introduce several exciting new elements.

Mont’ Kiara International School is one such organisation that comes to mind – this IB World School recently implemented modules in Robotics, Coding, Product Design and Media Design at middle and high school levels.