Q+A: The International School @ ParkCity, Kuala Lumpur
The International School @ ParkCity, Kuala Lumpur, provides an international education for students aged three to 18 years. Here the school answers our questions and takes us on a virtual tour...
What happens when parents visit the school?
When parents visit The International School @ ParkCity (ISP), they will first of all be guided by our admissions staff on the enrolment process. They will then be taken for a tour around the school, and will get an opportunity to meet the Principal or Head of Schools. Arrangements will also be made for the parents to meet the academic staff if they require more information about the curriculum.
How old is the school?
The school started operations in September 2011. We are now into our sixth academic year.
How many students do you have?
We have close to 1,000 students.
What accreditations do you have?
We are working closely with the Education Development Trust of the UK as a candidate school for accreditation. We hope to achieve the International Schools Quality Mark (ISQM) in 2017.
The school is also a member of the Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA) and the Association of International Malaysian Schools (AIMS). Our Principal, Mr Andrew Dalton, is the current Chairman of AIMS.
ISP is also recognised by Apple as a Distinguished School for innovation, leadership and educational excellence.
In 2015, the Private Education Sector of the Malaysian Ministry of Education graded ISP in the highest category of a 'five-star' school, an achievement that the school is very proud of.
What facilities do you offer?
Students at ISP have access to state-of-the-art teaching, learning and sports amenities, located in and around the school campus, to nurture their mental and physical wellbeing. On-campus facilities include an Apple Regional Training Centre, a well-equipped library, an Astro Turf courtyard, performing arts (music, drama and dance) studios, creative arts rooms and a café located in the main boulevard walkway. Students can also use off-campus amenities in the ParkCity Sports Centre, including a multi-purpose hall, badminton courts, a lap pool and a fun pool, as well as a FIFA-size football field and two basketball courts.
Can you give me a breakdown of where your students come from?
54% of our students are Malaysian. The top five countries where our foreign students come from are South Korea, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia and Singapore. Altogether, we have students from 45 countries.
What curriculum do you follow?
ISP offers a challenging programme of study, which is broadly based upon the English National Curriculum, while incorporating the flexibility to effectively respond to global change in an international setting.
The younger children follow the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), which creates a solid foundation for progression into the Secondary School, where the Cambridge IGCSE programme is taught. In the Sixth Form, all our students study for the Cambridge AS and A Levels across a broad range of subjects, alongside the AQA Baccalaureate.
The AQA Baccalaureate ensures that the students maintain a breadth of knowledge and learning, and provides them with the opportunity to be rewarded for community, conservation, personal and work-related learning through its enrichment scheme.
What is your teaching philosophy?
With children from more than 45 countries, ISP is a place where internationally minded and culturally aware students are encouraged to pursue both academic excellence and personal development, thus preparing them to take a leading role in tomorrow’s ever-changing global community. In addition to nurturing students to be equipped for the challenges of our ever-changing world, ISP inspires its students to be active, compassionate and responsible citizens.
Together with the highly experienced team of teachers and support staff, ISP offers a bright and engaging environment that encourages enquiry and independent learning. As the children grow and achieve new heights in the academic sphere, they will concurrently develop self-awareness, confidence, creativity, critical thinking and interpersonal skills.
How large are the classes in your school?
We have 24 students in a class.
Do you offer a wide range of field trips?
Yes, students from every year group go on field trips throughout the academic year.
Are there any residential trips throughout the year?
Yes, students from Year 3 and above will have residential trips, normally in Term 3 of the Academic Year.
Do you do much work in the community?
Principal Dalton believes that the partnership of child, parent, school and community is helping ISP to progress towards achieving its vision of being Malaysia’s premier international school, by offering excellence in the academic sphere, on the sporting field, in the arts and beyond.
By including all stakeholders, and the local community whenever possible, we create and stimulate a ‘family’ environment, where all feel welcomed, valued and committed to preparing the students for a secure future in a fast-changing world. This will continue to evolve over time, with contributions from the students, parents, teachers and the local community. The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is already a well-established feature of the school.
A good example of how the school works well together as a community to help those in need, was when Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. The whole of ISP set to work, with everyone chipping in to bring in emergency supplies, ranging from blankets, sleeping mats, tents, mosquito nets, clothes and foodstuffs to toiletries and hygienic products. Cooking utensils and first-aid kits were sent in as well. The PTA made a valiant effort to ensure that every single box of supplies was well wrapped, labelled and ready to withstand the journey to the Philippines, in coordination with the Philippine Red Cross.
How can parents get involved?
Most parents are involved through the PTA-led activities, that support the school and promote the welfare of the students. Activities organised by the PTA include the Welcome Picnic for new parents, the year-end PTA Mingle, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and car boot sales.
There are also frequent coffee mornings held with parents, the Principal and Head of Schools, where a wide range of topics are discussed.
How often are parents invited to attend assemblies?
Parents can attend our school assemblies every Friday.
What extra-curricular activities do you offer in the school?
In keeping with ISP’s philosophy of providing all children with a well-rounded education, the school’s extensive co-curricular programme enables children to participate in activities outside the academic sphere. These activities give students a wonderful opportunity to try something new, or to receive expert coaching in their chosen area. It also enables students to spend time with children from different Year groups who share similar interests.
Most activities are led by ISP staff, with some provided by external specialists. The activities are grouped into the areas of sport, creative arts, languages, technology, environmental awareness and community. Such groupings ensure a good cross-section of activities for all students, with the intention of offering something to suit everyone.
Do you have a school orchestra?
Yes, the school orchestra had the honour of performing at the launch of the GREAT BRITISH EDUCATION event held recently at a University in Putrajaya.
Do you arrange for guest speakers, such as authors and experts to come to the school?
We've often invited speakers to our school. During Book Week we had Maxine Rennard, author of ‘The Snail Ate The Mail’, and many other local and expatriate authors. We were also privileged to have Nigel Redman, a former rugby union British Lion and mentor to many top coaches in the UK, to launch our Sports Enrichment programme. For the older students we also have careers talks given by distinguished guests and parents too. Paul Rennie OBE, the Deputy High Commissioner of the UK to Malaysia, has also given an interesting talk to our Secondary students.
Is there a school bus service?
Students at ISP travel from different parts of the Klang Valley. The School has engaged JPR Transport Sdn Bhd to provide bus/mini-bus services from home to school.
All buses are air-conditioned and fitted with seat belts and CCTV to record the trip. Students must wear their seat belts, and remain seated at all times during the journey. An attendant accompanies the bus driver to ensure a safe and pleasant journey.
Do you have a cafeteria?
Yes, we have a school canteen and there is also the Parents' Café. Both are used by students during break and lunch.
Do you have a wide range of food options?
ISP believes in providing a choice of healthy, nutritional and well-balanced meals in a pleasant and comfortable environment.
The school has engaged Petite Café, a school canteen operator with more than 10 years experience, to provide the meals at our canteen. Headed by Chef Hakimi, Petite Café offers a choice of Asian, Western and vegetarian meals. The menus are updated every month and can be viewed on our school blog. Petite Café also runs the Parents’ Café.
Do most children bring in packed lunches or eat from the canteen?
Most children eat their lunch from the school canteen. We do allow packed lunches, and there are a few parents who drop off their child's lunch at the school.
How do parents pay if they want children to take school meals?
Meal vouchers can be bought at the canteen or café.
Is there anywhere to buy snacks at break times?
Meals or snacks are served during morning break, lunch break and at the end of the teaching day, for those who stay on the premises to attend after-school activities.
All images: The International School @ ParkCity
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