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Kuala Lumpur Alice Smith School Malaysia 3 - 18
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Kuala Lumpur Alice Smith School
Kuala Lumpur
700 pupils, ages 11-18 | Mixed | Day

Secondary

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Our View

Founded in 1946 by Alice Fairfield-Smith, an expat who couldn’t find anywhere suitable to educate her children in KL, the Kuala Lumpur Alice Smith School (known as KLASS) is a co-ed day school with a rich heritage. The oldest British school in Malaysia, today it’s owned by the not-for-profit Alice Smith Schools Association. Regarded as one of the top choices in the region, it is a progressive, forward-thinking place with happy, confident students – and delivers superb academic results year on year.

Where?

KLASS is on two separate, equally impressive, 25-acre sites: the primary campus (for pre-school to Year 6) is closer to the city centre, while the secondary school (Years 7 to 13) is further out. A direct highway means it’s only 20 minutes between the two (handy for families with children at both).

The secondary section of the school was established in the 1990s and has its own campus in Equine Park. Everything is centred around a lovely green central area that has a covered walkway around it with trees in the middle. There has been an ongoing programme of refurbishment and most recently development of the KLASS Hub, a multi-purpose space, providing new and improved facilities for students, parents and staff. There are bright, airy and modern classrooms with glass sides (on which students and teachers can write during lessons) and communal break-out areas.

Most children travel to and from school by bus, and lots of routes serve the residential areas around the school (a Bus Buddy app means that parents can track which bus their child is on). There’s no charge for those travelling home by bus after extracurricular activities.

Head

We were hugely inspired by head of school Sian May, a passionate educator and clear leader with a strong track record of strategic success in developing exciting education provision across a range of international schools. She is highly motivated to make her mark on the Alice Smith community, and told us that she feels a responsibility to make a real difference to her students’ lives. Before joining KLASS in July 2022, she held teaching and leadership positions in the UK, Hong Kong, and Switzerland.

The secondary principal is Dr Maria Osoweicki, who has been at the school since 2015. Until 2023, the two sites had separate leadership teams but these have now been combined and feel more unified.

Admissions

KLASS is non-selective, with rolling admissions and wait lists for some year groups. There are three stages to the process: a helpful online application that includes an age-grade calculator to confirm the year group students will be entering, assessment and (for some) face-to-face interviews. Pupils must have age-appropriate English; those with known behavioural issues or SEN requirements are considered on a case-by-case basis. The school accepts students under the Malaysia My Second Home scheme: a government-run programme that allows foreigners who meet certain criteria to stay in the country for long periods of time with a 10-year, multiple-entry, social-visit visa.

The school offers a ‘Reach for the Stars’ scholarship for external candidates at IGCSE and A-level, which gives a 50 per cent discount on tuition fees. It is academic or for an outstanding talent in sports or the arts, and the recipient is expected to contribute scholastically to KLASS. It is largely aimed at high-achieving local Malaysian pupils with limited financial means. There is also a Principal’s Scholarship awarded at the end of year 11, based on academic achievement, for current pupils only. No bursaries are available.

Academic

One of the reasons KLASS is a top choice with parents is because it offers the British curriculum. In Years 7 to 9 of secondary school, pupils study 14 subjects including maths, science and two languages (the choices are Malay, Mandarin, Spanish and French). The approach is holistic and collaborative, encouraging pupils to own their own learning. From Year 9, pupils begin gearing up for IGCSEs with a curriculum that includes two elective themed subjects that reflect their interests, such as printmaking, D&T, extended computer and business and enterprise. Most pupils take nine to 11 IGCSEs; in 2022, 76 per cent achieved an A*-A grade. After secondary, pupils automatically move up to the sixth form. 

For SEN pupils, KLASS can provide support on a case-by-case basis. A team of SEN teachers and assistants work across the two sites and offer one-to-one support as well as group sessions (all students are assigned a key worker). Additional external SEN support is also available for speech and language difficulties, occupational therapy and dyslexia. If a pupil’s needs are high, by sixth form the school might suggest other opportunities for them. There is a supportive EAL programme (for an additional fee) for non-native English speakers, with a limited number of places for each age group. Run by three EAL members of staff, it consists of one-to-one and group sessions that happen during the school day.

Students begin to explore their university journey in Year 10 with parental forums (the KLASS Speaker Series) to ensure that everyone feels involved. KLASS's fantastic higher education team were nominated as one of the finalists for the Pathways to Continued and University Education Award in the International School Awards 2022 – and overseen by three full time professionals working with teaching staff, alumni and other providers, the school's Future Pathways initiatives aim to grow both higher education and career advice in Sixth Form and beyond. The alumni connections are especially useful, with students able to ask for advice on where their A-level subject combinations have led them. 

Co-curricular

There is a great D&T lab and digital media studio. Music is really strong – one of many talented musicians at the school won the COBIS Music Award. The school recently launched a Young Musician of the Year award, and there is an orchestra, jazz band, fabulous recording studio and lessons in instruments ranging from the cello to African drums. Superb drama too, with pupils regularly taking part in FOBISIA theatre competitions with other major international schools across Asia.

The secondary school has its own excellent sports facilities that include the only IAAF-approved 400-metre running track in Malaysia, a 50m pool, an Astro turf for hockey, tennis courts, basketball courts, a dance studio with a spring floor and a bouldering and climbing wall. Students can compete locally and internationally. KLASS teams are regularly in the top leagues and play very competitively in sports such as football, basketball and swimming. Recent successes include the SEASAC 2023 swimming event for east Asia and the annual FOBISIA games. We like the sport-for-all ethos that runs through PE lessons and extracurricular activities.

There are more than 100 extracurricular activities each week (some have a fee). The school offers DofE, as well as lots of leadership opportunities and community work, expeditions, cultural days and personal challenge awards – it is very proud of its enrichment programme. This includes the new, very popular Exploration Pathways, designed to cultivate a growth mindset and described to us as a ‘low-stake sampler’ of things that pupils may then decide to do with greater emphasis as they progress through the school. They are split into four exciting routes: Our Futures, Our Creativity, Our Health and Wellbeing and A Better World.

School community

This is a very strong community. Among pupils, there are 47 nationalities, with just over 40 per cent from Malaysia (as an international school, there is no quota or cap on how many Malaysian students KLASS must have) and 22 per cent from the UK. The school has a very good reputation on the teaching circuit, and really wants to inspire and look after them (more than 80 per cent of teachers are from the UK, and many bring international experience with them too). It also partly explains why pupil movement to other KL schools is minimal and decreasing year on year (children leaving before graduation are usually transitional international families).

There’s a buddy system for new students. The school runs a secondary PSHE programme called ACHIEVE – Awareness, Connections, Happy & Health, Independent, Emotion, Value, Engaged & Enriched – and this is a big part of school culture. We hear that academics and pastoral care are not separate entities and that the latter is threaded through daily school life. Mental health is taken very seriously, with two full-time counsellors and lots of student sessions on meditation and mindfulness. Pupils are also offered one-to-one mentoring. Recent surveys indicated that everyone was able to identify a member of staff they feel comfortable speaking to if any issues arise. Expectations for behaviour are high, as are uniform standards. 

The school places a huge emphasis on ensuring that parents feel welcome on campus and involved in their children’s educational journey. In secondary, that means workshops for parents – not just about the curriculum but also on topics such as the teenage brain (great for kickstarting tricky conversations). The very active PTA organises many events for the community throughout the year and also has a welcoming committee to support new families in their transition to both the school and Kuala Lumpur in general.  

The School Foundation was launched in 2018 to establish a route for alumni, parents, students, staff and friends to ‘contribute meaningfully’ to a wider local community. In 2022, it received a CASE Circle of Excellence Award, winning a bronze in the category of targeted campaigns and appeals (Covid-related) for the #BuildKindness – Support the Urban Poor fundraising campaign, benefiting Kechara Soup Kitchen Malaysia. It is the only school to have been recognised in this category worldwide – a brilliant achievement.

While the current dining space is being updated to form the KLASS Hub, pupils can buy food from the school coffee shop (we like the sound of the Vircle payment system, which allows parents to monitor healthy purchasing).

And finally....

Without doubt, KLASS is considered one of the top international schools in KL. Yes, it’s more expensive than some of the others, but it has bigger, smarter campuses and brilliant teachers with a great leader at the helm. Plus, it’s not-for-profit, so fees go straight back into tuition and the upkeep of the buildings.

Gallery

Kuala Lumpur Alice Smith School  gallery image
Kuala Lumpur Alice Smith School  gallery image
Kuala Lumpur Alice Smith School  gallery image
  • Admissions

    Enrolment is not automatic. Alice Smith School is not selective however students will need to demonstrate the capacity and capability to benefit from our curriculum. All applicants are required to complete an assessment (which varies according to the age of the student) prior to the offer of a place. This is to ensure their needs can be met within our school setting, in an age appropriate class. Secondary applicants are required to provide evidence of prior academic attainment.
  • Academic results

  • University Destinations

    % of last year's leavers who went on to universities in Australia: 8%
    % of last year's leavers who went on to universities in the UK: 64%
    % of last year's leavers who went on to universities in the USA: 5%
    % of last year's leavers who went on to other overseas universities: 23%
    % of last year's leavers who went to medical school: 14%
    % of last year's leavers who went on to creative arts or vocational courses: 14%
    % of last year's leavers who went on to their first-choice university: 95%


    - 95% of students gained their first choice universities worldwide - 73% of students gained entry at their top universities/course - 14% of students went to universities in the Times Global Top 30 - Ivy League universities are also popular
  • Sports

    Athletics
    Badminton
    Basketball
    Climbing
    Cross country
    Dance
    Fencing
    Gymnastics
    Hockey
    Martial Arts
    Netball
    Rugby
    Soccer
    Softball
    Swimming
    Tennis
    Trampolining
    Volleyball
    Frisbee
  • Fees

    Day fees per annum
    From 93,600.00 Malaysian Ringgits to 101,910.00 Malaysian Ringgits







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  • SEND

    6 staff
    Sen co-ordinator: Ray Jennings
    ep-learning-support@alice-smith.edu.my

    This school currently provides the following support for pupils' mental health needs:
    The school has two onsite Counsellors at the Secondary School who are available to students, who can self refer, as well as families and staff. Mental-health needs are built into the curriculum for all pupils through the school's bespoke 'ACHIEVE' programme which stands for the seven empirically validated elements of wellbeing and essential skills which together describe a flourishing individual. Each learning experience within the ACHIEVE programme is tailored to suit each child’s needs, strengths and preferences, with the aim of nurturing wellbeing, character, personal awareness and self-confidence within a challenging, vibrant and supportive environment. The ACHIEVE programme for all students from Years 7 to Sixth Form are distinct timetabled lessons held once a week.


  • School Updates

    • View from the Top: Sian May on why it is so important for pupils to find their own purpose

Essentials

Address
No. 3 Jalan Equine, Taman Equine, Seri Kembangan, Selangor Darul Ehsan Malaysia 43300

Contact
admissions.ep@alice-smith.edu.my
(+603) 9543 3688

Website
alice-smith.edu.my/learn/secondary/secondary-overview

Fees

Term Dates

Open Days

Inspection report

Admissions




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