TWO Malaysian international schools — Alice Smith School and the International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) are winners of the 2019 International School Awards.
Over 200 senior leaders from international schools and education organisations around the world attended the gala event in London, which was sponsored by Pearson and hosted by International School Leader Magazine and ISC Research.
ISC Research which provides data and intelligence on the world’s international schools market, said in a statement that the awards recognised a number of exceptional initiatives led by international schools globally.
ISKL won the Outstanding Inclusion Initiative for its programme to integrate students of all abilities into all aspects of school life including after-school and elective options.
The award was accepted by former ISKL board member Helene Seiler and Nina Fuad, Class of 2015 who is in her final year at the London School of Economics.
ISKL head of school Dr Norma Hudson expressed her delight at receiving the award.
“ISKL and our Life-Centred Education (LCE) team are proud to be recognised by our peers.
“It is especially exciting as this is the first year the awards have been open to all international schools,” she said.
Dr Hudson said LCE is the culmination of many years of planning and hard work and is an integral component in achieving the mission to be an inclusive school.
In addition to developing social and academic skills, she said the programme builds self-esteem, independence and self-advocacy preparing students for the future.
“Our approach to inclusivity has also benefited our entire school community by fostering greater understanding, respect and acceptance of differences and diversity,” she said.
Alice Smith School, Primary Campus, Kuala Lumpur won the Outstanding Pastoral Initiative for its student-led positive playtimes initiative, with its Year Six students developed as playground leaders supported by teaching assistants.
Head of School Roger Schultz said there is excellent pastoral care.
“Through the opportunities and guidance provided by our dedicated and caring teachers, our students develop their individual strengths and abilities in a safe and supportive school environment.
“The student-led positive playtimes programme reflects the contextual needs of our international school playtimes and shows us that we have a body of students that want to make a difference to their school,” he said.
“Listening to our students about their opinions and views and encouraging and supporting student leadership, are of paramount importance at the school.
“Having children closely involved in developing and looking after their playtime equipment and environment has further developed their sense of belonging, participation and respect for each other and adults,” said Primary principal Tom Verity.
The International School of the Year 2019 was awarded to British School Muscat, Oman. The school was a finalist in two of this year’s categories, which attracted over 230 nominations from international schools across the world.
British School Muscat won the award for the Outstanding Strategic Leadership Initiative for its teacher and teacher assistant training programme for Omani nationals, which provides professional development to British international school standards, for educators in the school and within the wider community. The programme has resulted in the successful appointment of 11 new Omani nationals at the school, and eight new interns.
The school was also a finalist for the Creativity in Learning Award as a result of its innovative “Discovery Learning” teaching initiative, which provides a child-centred, enquiry-based approach to children in Key Stages One and Two.
British School Muscat principal Kai Vacher received the overall International School of the Year 2019 award from Pearson senior vice president Sharon Hague.
The other category winners were Dulwich College Seoul, British International School Riyadh; Dulwich College Beijing; GEMS Jumeirah Primary School, Dubai; British School New Delhi, India; Shrewsbury International School Bangkok; JESS Dubai and the British School in Tokyo. A special award was presented to Corona Secondary School in Nigeria.
There are now over 10,000 international schools around the world teaching over five million children.