British International School Kuala Lumpur

British International School Kuala Lumpur, otherwise known as BSKL, has been in operation for the last 8 months.  Currently, they are located in Bukit Utama within The Club, just off Jalan Surian.  It isn’t a particularly convenient location to get to, but they will be moving to their new facilities at the commencement of the new school year in September 2011.  The new facilities are located next to KBU, diagonally opposite Center Point in Bandar Utama.

What I liked about BSKL?  Well, what’s not to like?

Campus

By the time we’re ready to send Gavin there, they will have a brand new campus with excellent facilities.  My only gripe is that it is located in Bandar Utama – the heart of traffic jam city.

Teaching Philosophy

I like that they promote thinking-out-of-the-box and that they have a problem-solving focus on education.  The teachers teach using a Smart Board rather than with textbooks.  They have a multi-disciplinary approach to teaching, for instance, the children might be learning about the Great Pyramids which would include the history of the Pyramids, the art of constructing a model of the pyramids, etc.

The children learn to work as a team and individually.  For instance, the class might be divided into three groups where one group will work with the teacher, another group with the assistant teacher, and the third group on their own.  The teacher and assistant teacher will rotate around the groups so that each group spends time working on their own.  The group that works on their own are encouraged to tackle the task on their own and brain storm ideas on what they can do if they find the task too difficult.

They don’t believe in excessive homework – which I like.  I don’t think children should be spending hours and hours after school doing their homework.  Personally, I’ve always felt that tuition classes should be for students who cannot cope with the subject matter at school rather than being a normal routine for every student.

Teaching Staff

All the teachers (teachers and teaching assistants) are British, with the exception of the teachers who teach Chinese who are native Chinese speakers.  All the teachers have been personally interviewed by the principal and vice principal and are signed up for a minimum contract of three years.  They undergo continuing professional development on a yearly basis which keeps their teaching skills up to date.  BSKL also boasts higher remuneration for their teachers to reduce staff turnover.

Classes and Class Sizes

The early years – reception and nursery – have classes with a maximum of twenty with two teachers to a class.  Children are divided according to ability so that those who are more precocious will be set harder work to challenge them.  The curriculum is designed to meet the level of the child’s ability rather than assuming the entire class is at the same level.

Languages

Currently, they offer Mandarin, French and one other.  Personally, my interest is in Mandarin – it’s no secret that I’m hopeless with any of the Chinese dialects so I especially want Gavin to be in a school that offers Mandarin.

Extra-Curricular Activities

They have a broad range of ECAs encompassing sports, music, cooking, etc.  The ECAs available will change from term to term to help encourage the children to take up different activities.  All students are encouraged to take up ECAs after school.

Assessment

There is an assessment prior to acceptance for entry into the school.  It can be done at any time so long as an appointment has been scheduled.  The assessment is to determine if the child is ready for school and capable of taking instruction.

Other

They take in children from as young as 2 years of age in their pre-nursery program, however, they must be toilet trained.  Each class room has an adjoining toilet so the children don’t have to leave their class rooms to go to the toilet.

Fees

At the date of posting, the fees are:

  • Application fee (non-refundable) – RM 1,000
  • Deposit (refundable) – RM 11,500
  • Pre-Nursery – RM 9,188/term; RM 25,279/year (if paid in advanced)
  • Nursery – RM 11,637/term; RM 32,019/year (if paid in advanced)
  • Reception and Year 1 – RM 14,088/term; RM 38,762/year (if paid in advanced)
  • Year 2 to Year 6 – RM 18,252/term; RM 50,219/year (if paid in advanced)

There is a discount for annual fees paid in advanced.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

38 thoughts on “British International School Kuala Lumpur

  1. Dear Shen-Li,

    i am glad that i stumbled upon your blog and its detailed overview of this school as i myself is all confused about where and whatkind of pre-nursery to put my soon to be 2 year old daughter in!hopefully my visit tomorrow to the school would be a pleasant one!…thanks again for all the very informative tips and guide about BSKL!…

    first time mom- Qilla!

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  2. Hi, my daughter has been in BSKL since Sept 2009. I can’t think of a better school than this. The teachers (& other staff) are excellent. At the moment, the school is small but the environment is really very cosy. Looking forward to another exciting & fun filled year. Can’t wait to meet more new students, parents & teachers in Sept 2010.

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  3. Not sure that we will be sending our son to BSKL just yet, but I would be just as happy for him to go there because I was very impressed with the school and the staff. My only gripe is that I don’t relish the thought of driving into BU area at peak hour…

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  4. You can consider the school bus service. My daughter takes the school van in the morning. In fact, there are only 3 kids from my place. I fetch her after school. That way, I still go to school to mix with other parents & catch up on the latest news. I am very pleased with the bus service. The drivers conduct themselves professionally. They actually use the Mercedes 12 seaters van. For every van, there is a female assistant who makes sure all the children are properly seated & buckled up before the van moves. The fee is very reasonable. I have seen how other bus operators work eg: Sri KDU & Tenby school – rude & reckless. The drivers even smoke or gather in a group making lots of noises while waiting for the children.
    Btw, I think the BSKL is running at its maximum capacity for the coming academic year.

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  5. Didn’t know about their school bus service. Definitely something to consider then. Do you know what the wait list is like for next year’s September intake?

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  6. Hi Shen-Li, if you are asking about Sept 2011, I think the chances are good but not for Sept 2010. Why not call Sook Ling?

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    1. Yeah, I was referring to Sept 2011. The last time I spoke to Sook Ling, she said don’t need to apply until three months before the start of term, but I’m thinking if so many people want to get in, surely there will be a waiting list. Isn’t it better to apply earlier? I just worry there will be no places left.

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  7. Hi Shen Li,

    Just want to tell you that your blog is really very informative especially for mommies like me. Thank you and keep up the good work.

    I’m really interested in sending my kids in this school, however their fees are so high compared to other schools that’s why I’m a bit hesitant. My 2nd option is Nexus which is the sister school of GIS. May I know why you opted for GIS instead of BSKL? Have you visited Nexus before?

    Thanks.

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    1. Thank you, Mommy K! At the time when I checked out the schools, I was not aware of Nexus. I think it is relatively new? I heard about it recently but after I had already set in motion the registratin at GIS.

      Part of my criteria for selection is related to the location of the school. Between GIS and BSKL, GIS is just more conveniently located for us to get to. All the schools that were “too far away”, unless there was something so amazing about the school that was head and shoulders above the rest that I just had to have my children there, I did not pursue them. So my lack of interest in some of the other schools is not necessarily because I felt they were inferior but because of their location.

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  8. Hi all. I am new to this site. I am very keen on sending my daughter there next Sept intake which is in 2012 for reception class. Just wondering how would the assessment be like and what are the chances of getting in? I was told they have quota for Malaysians. Mona, which year is your daughter in if you dont mind telling me. Does this school emphasize on Maths?
    Btw, I am so glad i stumbled upon your site. It really provides great info.

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    1. Hi Christine,

      Glad you find my blog useful! This was the assessment my son had for Garden:

      figur8.net/baby/2011/05/27/international-school-entrance-assessment/

      I don’t know what the assessment for BSKL is like, but I’m guessing it can’t be too different.

      Good luck!

      Oh yes, don’t wait too long to apply because if there is a waitlist, the earlier you apply the higher up you will be on it and the better your chances for getting a place for your daughter.

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  9. Hi CC

    My daughter is now in Y6. The school emphasizes on all main subjects. They have excellent departments of Mandarin & Music. Perhaps give a call to the school to find out about the assessment & all other admission related questions.

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  10. Hi,
    I have a 3 years old daughter and we are thinking of sending her to BSKL. Just wondering on few things
    a) apart from their high fees for school/ tuition, uniform and food, do they charge any other fees – example extra books to buy, or additional things that you have to pay.
    b) how is the students discipline taken care
    c) how is the curriculum, the student progression
    Thanks

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  11. Well, unlike many other commentors I am actually a student planning on going to BISKL. And… I don’t know what to expect. Honestly, my father seems quite sold on the school and my mother likes the idea of moving to Malay from Britain.
    Thing is, I don’t know what to expect- could you please tell me what the students are like in the older years? Or what percentage of students get into which universities? Also- I’m not British- is that a problem? Sorry to annoy you, but… well, I really want to know what it’s like before I attend.
    Thank you so much in advance.

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  12. Hi Shen-Li,
    I am so glad that I found your blog ! ^_^
    My son will be turning 2 only in Sept 2013, I ‘ve been searching for a school which offers English & Mandarin taught by natives. Did Gavin join BSKL ? If so, do you mind to provide me the info on:
    1. Disciplines of the students;
    2. Quality of the Mandarin teachers, do they pronounce proper Mandarin or “Malaysian Mandarin”
    As my son was born on 1 Sept 2011 , BSKL won’t accept him for pre-nursery until Sept 2014. Meanwhile, I am searching for a good preschool which offers proper English but not “Malaysan English”, would you have any suggestion on the pre school/ playschool ?
    Thank you !

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  13. Hi joyce
    My daughter is currently attending BSKl in reception year. i can say the discipline is quite strict, so far, up to my expectations. And as for mandarin, i was rather impressed
    hw mch focus they put on mandarin. They teacher uses proper mandarin to teach. Yes, bskl is quite strict in terms of the cut off date to join.

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  14. Hi Joyce – I didn’t end up sending my son there so I can’t offer you any feedback. Regarding preschools with proper English pronunciation, I don’t know of any except Lorna Whiston but last I heard they were only taking in kids who are 4 years and above. I’m not sure if there have been changes since… You can check them out here:

    http://lornawhiston.com.my/

    They had a preschool program (although I cannot find the details on their website).

    Thanks Chris for providing the feedback for Joyce!

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  15. Hi Chris & Shen-Li , Thanks a lot ! 🙂
    Chris, the fact that you were impressed by the standard of mandarin and discipline make me feel so much comfortable . May I know
    1.why did you choose BSKL as compared to Alice Smith/ GIS ?
    2. Did your daughter start off with pre-nursery/Nursery ?If not, where did you send her to before joining BSKL?
    3. Was the waiting list long & when shall I submit the application?

    Shen-Li,
    Thanks for the information on Lornawhiston, I visited and kinda like it but I am concerned about the security. Besides, I always think that kids pick up fast from their friends, some young kids speak broken English (perhaps they just joined?), that worries me. Chris & Shen-Li, I need your advice, please correct me if my thinking is wrong.
    Having said that, some kids do pronounce accurately, the administrator is so friendly and the teachers are nice too. Anyway, it was just a visit and it is unfair to conclude, thus, if anyone who send your kids to Lorna Whiston , please provide some feedbacks.
    Shen-Li, if you don’t mind, may I know is there anything you don’t like about BSKL thus decided not to send your son over?
    Thank you 🙂

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  16. Hi Joyce – Actually, I loved BSKL. I decided not to send my son there because of the distance to us and I felt the standard of the current school he is at is comparable and not so far.

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  17. Hi Shen Li,
    Would really appreciate your feedback – we have a 4 year old child who is due to go into reception year (based on the British syllabus) this September. Am aware that there’s lots of parents who send their children or have a better understanding of the different international schools in KL, and would really appreciate all the feedback (both good and bad) on the following schools (Am aware of the major difference in the price range too for all these schools):-
    1. Alice Smith primary
    2. British international school, bandar utama
    3. Garden international
    4. Global indian international school 
    5. The Sri Kdu international primary school
    6. The new Help international school due to open its doors in sept 2013 in subang (if anyone has heard anything)

    Shen li, as your little boy is in GIS, what is your views on the school so far, and are disciplinary issues promptly and firmly dealt with in the school

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  18. Unlike other commenters, I’m actually a Year 6 student from BSKL and I am really happy with my progress in just 6 months. I’ve learnt so much and really enjoy the classes there. I got into BSKL through the school’s scholarship program last year. I really suggest that parents should send their kids to BSKL , its heaven for me!

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  19. Hi B Philip,

    I have no complaints so far. We have disciplinary issues and they are dealt with to my satisfaction. My son hasn’t been attending very long so we only have experience with two class teachers – both who seem very dedicated to the children, for which I’m delighted to see. I have heard from some mothers about other teachers who were “not so good” but I cannot comment as I have not personally experienced it myself.

    I have worked closely with the teachers whenever disciplinary matters arise so that there is a consistent message conveyed both at home and in school. This method seems to work well for my son.

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  20. Thanks Shen-Li for your reply 🙂 Is GIS implementing IPC instead of British national curriculum? May I know what is the difference?

    Hi Julia 🙂 wow ! You got into BSKL through scholarship program, congrat ! You must be a real hardworking student. Which school did you go before joining BSKL ? I understand that Mandarin is a compulsory subject in BSKL, how do you like it and how is the standard like ?
    Do you mind to tell me more about the school ? Thanks.

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  21. We have decided to enrol our 4 year into reception at BSKL and was wondering if anyone knew what the Assessment process was and if they have any additional feedback re the school

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  22. Thanks Shen Li.
    Hi Philip, I visited BSKL recently, met up with the head of foundation.If I remembered correctly, is more of an informal assessment. I think one of the points that they are looking for is that the kids are independent when separated from the parents. You may call the school and arrange a meeting with the head of foundation ( she is very friendly) & get more details regarding assessment.
    Overall I like BSKL, they seem to have good music department, place emphasis on mandarin/disciplines etc. ,even assitant teachers are 90% expatriates. the minor point which hold me back is the compulsory lunch , it comes with juices and I am really particular about pure healthy juice ( whereas theirs are not freshly squeezed & I m worried that might be sugar/flavors added).
    I was shocked to see a reception teacher ( not sure if she is a teacher or assistant teacher) was sliding the plastic spoons to the kids. The other 2 teachers were distributing the spoons properly by going near to the kids.
    If I am not mistaken, it seem to have many Malaysian students in the school .
    May I know why did u finally decide on BSKL?What are the main things which attract you? Thanks.

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  23. Hi Joyce, thanks for the congrats. I was from a local government chinese school before i was enrolled in BSKL. I really love it there and Yes, mandarin is a compulsary subject at BSKL. So far, i find the classes quite fun and challenging.

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  24. Hi Joyce
    My daughter will be joining reception in BSKL in Sept 2013 and our final choices were between AS and BSKL due to its usage of the British national curriculum. There are a few factors that helped us make that decision:-
    1. Distance to/fro our home and time spent commuting to school.
    We worked out that our 4 year old would have to spend nearly 1.45 – 2 hours commuting to primary school alone if we selected the former
    2. The children at BSKL seemed very happy even when learning (very different from the Malaysian system I was brought up in)
    3. The campus and the facilities were good (a little bit small as they are nearly at full capacity in their current building but with the new building due to open very soon, this should not be too much of an issue)
    4. My daughter seemed to really like the school and the teachers during the assessment;and the first successful step of any learning in my humble opinion, is for the child to want to be there!

    I was told that the student nationality ratio is about 40% malaysian followed by British and other nationalities.

    Both schools seem like great schools and the feedback we’ve received on both have been very favourable.

    For play school, my daughter attends children’s house in Damansara heights, which I feel is a nice start for a child’s educational journey. It’s Montessori based and children are a mix of both expats and locals.

    Thanks Shen Li for letting us provide feedback on the various int schools in KL and hope that your little one is enjoying his schooling life in GIS

    Joyce, hopefully I will get to see you there if you decide to enroll your child there. Good luck with your decision.

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  25. Hi we moving to KL in August and looking for a good school for our 3 yr old . I was interested in the International or British school. I will be getting an appointment for an assesment for nursery at the British school.. Does anyone here how it’s done

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  26. Hi Shen Li, I was just wondering, would you happen to know who owns British International School? Is it run by a foundation or does it have a Malaysian entity/company that owns it? Thanks

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  27. My son is in BSKL right now and we can’t wait to pull him out at the end of this academic year. The teaching staff is 40% fresh grads, which we find unacceptable. We find some of the teacher are far from professional and the level of Mandarin is rather low. There is no proper supervision of the kids and my son has just picked up nasty habbits in the school.

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