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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.