My last post on researching International Schools in Kuala Lumpur has generated quite a number of comments on the quality and standards of the teaching curriculum at certain International Schools. One in particular that caught my attention was by Susie who expressed her dissatisfaction with Tenby International School because they were teaching the IPC (International Primary Curriculum) which she says is substandard. She wrote:
“GIS, TIS, Nexus even the new school in Desa Park City are all “teaching” the IPC curriculum. IPC stands for “International Primary Curriculum”. The schools will tell you that they use the National Strategies (as perscribed by the UK government) for literacy and numeracy (google national literacy and numeracy framework and it will pop up to understand what the framework is all about) and everything else comes under IPC. Let me tell you after having my children in TIS for 3 years I have had to resort to teaching my children history by myself, I have employed a science tutor as science isn’t taught as a subject, a maths tutor to tutor them in maths, my mother (former teacher) teaches my children english grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, creative writing and geography. You might think I am crazy to have to resort to this but as I find the curriculum (IPC) in TIS completely lacking and I know what the standards expected are for secondary students in a “true british curriculum school” I have to do this to save my children from starting from scratch in any secondary school when I move them.”
As she included GIS (Garden International School) in her list, I decided to look it up since we are planning to send the kids there. Based on their curriculum outline, everything appears to be in order. Then again, what’s written on a website isn’t necessarily what goes on at the school. Unfortunately, the only way to really know if the school is teaching what they are supposed to be teaching is to send your child there and monitor what they are learning at school.
If you want to know what the subjects the school is supposed to cover, the National Curriculum for 5 to 11 year olds is outlined on Directgov. Directgov also offers some useful advice on how to help your children develop literacy skills and math skills. They also offer learning aids that you can download. And if that isn’t enough, you can try Primary Resources which is a free resource site for Primary and Elementary teachers. Further information detailing exactly what the curriculum at your child’s school should cover can be found on National Curriculum (this is for British international schools). The National Curriculum website is very informative and is very specific on everything that your children should be taught outlined by subject.
So now at least we have a way of keeping tabs on the school. If there is anything amiss with the curriculum, we’ll be able to spot the problems before it’s too late.