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The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 3 - 18
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The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL)
55000 Kuala Lumpur
378 pupils, ages 11-14 | Mixed | Day

Middle School

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Our View

Founded in 1965 by Robert Fendley, with just 48 pupils, this private, not-for-profit school was Malaysia’s first accredited IB World School and today offers a blend of the US and international curricula. The community feel here is exceptionally strong: this is a school where students are put front and centre and given every opportunity to shine.

Where?

Since 2018, the International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) has been on a 25-acre campus in Ampang, in eastern Kuala Lumpur, three kilometres from the city centre with fabulous views across to the Petronas Twin Towers. The school is split into elementary (which covers three classes of prep in early childhood, plus Grades 1 to 5), middle school (Grades 6 to 8) and high school (Grades 9 to 12). These are based in either the Southern (elementary) or Northern Spine (middle and high), with very smart sporting facilities to the front in a gentle curve and plenty of large open spaces. The emphasis is on collaborative learning and the layout of the school is conducive to this.

ISKL has achieved Platinum status in Malaysia’s Green Building Index – the first school in the country to do so. Future development plans for the school include enhancing the design technology provision and developing more performance spaces.

Families tend to live close to the school in Ampang Hilir, in neighbouring Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) or around Mont Kiara, Sri Hartamas, Bangsar and Damansara. These areas are served by the school bus (used by about 50 per cent of pupils). Public bus stations are a five-minute walk from the school, and an MRT station is a 25-minute walk away.

Head

Head of school is Rami Madani who has been at ISKL for more than 14 years, and in charge for the past four (his previous position here was director of learning). Damascus-born Mr Madani moved to Germany to study and perform music and then eventually started his path in education. A calm, gently spoken and genuine man, he is evidently passionate about education and the school. Mr Madani tells us that he wants learning to happen everywhere, not just within the classroom or campus.

The middle-school principal is Peter Casey,  an international educator with over 30 years of experience in over six different countries, who was appointed in 2016.

Admissions

Pupil numbers are currently over 1,600, with some waiting lists in several grades. This is a non-selective school, with an holistic admissions process guided by ISKL’s mission and vision and a strong emphasis on the importance of the school/parent partnership (parents sign a ‘partnership agreement’ prior to children starting at the school). ISKL has a rolling admissions policy. ISKL pupils cannot apply for a student visa (unlike at other schools in Malaysia); instead, they have to be on a dependent visa and must be living with one parent in Malaysia. 

There may be placement testing to check language and academic ability to ensure that pupils are placed into the correct grade (the majority will remain in their current grade but some applicants coming from countries where the academic calendar differs may do an additional semester in a grade level). Although there is no government requirement for a set percentage of local pupils, the board of directors has agreed that there won’t be more than 25 per cent of any single nationality. 

The ISKL Pathways Scholarship is awarded to two Malaysian students each year; this is merit and needs based, and covers full tuition and exam fees over four years.

Academics

The school offers a mix of the US and international curricula for elementary and middle schools. In middle school, required courses include maths, science, humanities, physical education and world language. For English and maths, ISKL follows US Common Core State Standards and, for the sciences, Next Generation Science Standards. English language is integrated with humanities from middle school. Malay passport holders have to learn Bahasa Malaysia and, if they are Muslim, they must attend a specific religious studies class. Chinese and Spanish are part of the curriculum from prep senior to Grade 5, and French is introduced in middle school. There are a maximum of 24 pupils per class.

There is a real emphasis on children owning their own education, evidenced through the daily WIN (What I Need), a 30-minute session where pupils receive individual assistance on areas of their education that they would like to improve, giving them agency over their own learning. Pupils and parents have access to PowerSchool, an app that keeps track of assessments, grades and attendance. Overall, parents are happy with the academics and say that their children really flourish. They tell us there is a huge jump in the workload from middle to high school, but counsellors are on hand to guide students through this transition. 

This is an inclusive school and parents describe the SEN provision as outstanding. ISKL serves a wide range of student-learning needs, including a recently developed Life-Centred Education (LCE), a new special-needs programme that covers literacy, maths, social skills and life skills. Everyone has an individual SSP (Student Success Programme) which means that every pupil’s school day looks different based on their strengths and needs. Goals on the SSP are progress monitored and there are regular progress reports from academic classes, whether modified instruction or mainstream courses. LCE support happens in classrooms but there are also specialist LCE classrooms, as well as multisensory rooms. ISKL’s efforts have been recognised: it won the International School Leader Awards in the Initiative for Inclusion category for this programme in 2019.

EAL in elementary school is a programme that supports learning (in class and small groups) for those whose first language is not English. In middle and high school, English language learners are supported both in mainstream classes and through an EAP (English for Academic Purposes) class, which targets vocabulary and reading skills for academic language acquisition.

Co-curricular

There are lots of opportunities to get involved in music, from jazz to Philharmonic Junior Orchestra and music ensembles. On the arts front, a special mention must go to the superb ceramics studio: a large dedicated space, as opposed to a small corner of an art room.  For more than 40 years, ISKL has hosted SEA Forensics, an annual competition for debating and public speaking. 

Sporting facilities are outstanding for a city school. They include an Olympic-size athletics track encircling rugby and football pitches, two gymnasiums and an outdoor aquatics centre. The offering is impressive with 13 sports covered over three terms. ISKL belongs to IASAS (Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asia Schools), the top athletics and activities schools league. A massive number of teams take part in all kinds of disciplines, from rugby and softball to golf. Pupils also compete in arts events (such as dance performances, Model United Nations, debates) and tell us that these are highlights of the school calendar and result in solid friendships with those from the other schools.

The Performing Arts Centre has a 700-seat theatre and open-air amphitheatre. Future development plans include a black box theatre and concert recital hall. 

Co-curricular activities are split into four categories: performing and visual arts; service/academic; sports, games and leisure; and athletics/league play – and there’s a huge variety. Standout activities for middle school include taekwondo and the Black Cat Attack Jazz Club. Grades 6 to 8 also participate in Malaysia Week, a five-day trip to either an ocean or forest location.

School community

There are more than 65 nationalities here: 20 per cent are American, followed by Malaysian, Korean, Chinese and Indian. Pastoral care is excellent: there are ‘Peer Helpers’ who buddy up with new pupils to help with their transition, and the school won the Wellbeing Award at the International School Awards 2021 for creating a virtual newsroom for students and staff during the lockdown campus closures. 

The school also has STAR (Student Admissions Representatives), who show prospective families around the campus. There are nine full-time counsellors to provide emotional and social support, two educational physiologists for academic support (open to families as well as students) and two nurses on site. Wellbeing seminars are also available to families.

There is a house system in both the middle and high schools, with friendly competitions throughout the year in a bid to win the all-important end-of-year house cup. Each house is named after a Malaysian animal or bird. Multigrade home groups mean that pupils can form friendships and buddies in different year groups too.

As well as achieving green status for its campus, the school has a great eco-drive. There is a recycling centre (pupils can bring food waste from home for compost too), a community edible garden and, for elementary, an eco-garden with many plants that are indigenous to Malaysia. We like the fact that there is also a sustainability office with an exterior vertical garden.

Parents tell us that they love the school’s warm and friendly atmosphere. They are automatically enrolled in the very active PTA – there are all kinds of ways to get involved, from coffee mornings to dinner dances, and welcoming new families. New parents receive a QR code that directs them to the New Panthers site (members of the school community are known as ‘panthers’) and tells them all they need to know – not only about ISKL, but about life in Ampang too. 

There are two separate dining halls: one for elementary pupils, the other for middle and high school and both offer a buffet-lunch menu of Asian and Western choices. ISKL employs a dietitian who provides advice on nutrition and we hear from pupils that the food is exceptionally good.

And finally....

This is a great all-rounder, with solid teaching and pastoral care at its core. Every member of the community matters; educating for life and making the world a better place is paramount.

Gallery See All

The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) gallery image
The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) gallery image
The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) gallery image
The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) gallery image
The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) gallery image
The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) gallery image
The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) gallery image
  • Admissions

    The registration process for ISKL involves submitting an online application with all of the required documents. The application will then be reviewed.
  • Academic results

    International Baccalaureate % 36-45 points: 80%
  • Sports

    Athletics
    Badminton
    Baseball
    Basketball
    Climbing
    Cross country
    Dance
    Golf
    Rugby
    Soccer
    Softball
    Swimming
    Tennis
    Volleyball
  • Fees

    Day fees per annum
    From 116,200.00 Malaysian Ringgits to 116,200.00 Malaysian Ringgits







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  • SEND

    8 staff
    Sen co-ordinator: Trina Cobbledick
    tcobbledick@iskl.edu.my

    This school currently supports the following kinds of learning needs, health needs and physical disabilities:
    Mild to moderate learning needs

    This school currently provides the following support for pupils' mental health needs:
    Counselors, Educational Psychologist

    This school currently delivers the following interventions to pupils in class and outside class to support their learning, health and/or physical needs:
    Support for Tier 1 to Tier 3 services at all grade levels; Life Centered Education (LCE) for intensive learning needs, fully accessible campus for physical disabilities (elevators, restrooms), EAL, Speech and Language Therapy

  • Transport Links

    Nearest international airport: Kuala Lumpur
  • Parents tell us



    ‘We chose this school because it offers both a Pursuits Programme and an IB Programme for High School students. This is important because we have three children and their needs are different. We also love how many sports and activities are offered. They provide more than other international schools in our area. The school is big enough to provide a diverse population of students and families.  

    Upon applying, we were met with a personal admissions representative, with whom we were in contact with throughout the process. It was nice to be communicating with one person who came to know our particular family, children and situation well.  

    Each of our three children have had positive experiences with specific teachers. The teachers have encouraged them one-on-one, and successfully expressed the strengths which they see in them. This has made our children more confident and engaged when it comes to their schoolwork. It has also shown them which areas they excel at, which is so important.  

    ISKL is very transparent when it comes to communication. They share pertinent information in a timely manner, and do not shy away from hard topics. The teachers can be brilliant at communicating positives, negatives, strengths and constructive criticism with regards to student work.  

    The school is just as dedicated to a students’ well-being as they are to their academic education. They believe in the development of the whole child for their future as a citizen. My children will be well prepared for university, whether they do the Pursuits or IB Programme! They are learning how to learn, gaining independence, and exploring their curiosities.  

    Our school community is very connected and interested in celebrating the diversity of the school. The PTA has programmes in place to welcome new families and make sure that they become connected quickly. We have regular meet ups and events to develop our community connections.  

    ISKL has totally lived up to my expectations.’ 

    ‘The main reason I chose ISKL is because they agreed to put my son in a year group based on his abilities (I chose to hold him back), rather than his age. Other schools refused to do this.  

    I am very impressed by Rami Madani, the headteacher. Alex Lancia also stands out as a wonderful teacher for my child to have in Grade 2; especially his attention to detail and finding ways to make learning fun. A number of others have really given my kids a reason to love going to school every single day. The counsellors and staff are attentive and respond well to the children’s needs.  

    I feel very involved in my children’s education. I think anytime you switch curriculums it is a transition period, and ISKL helped all three of my kids to transition from five years of British curriculum to the American system smoothly. The school is definitely preparing my child for the next stage of their education, 110%. 

    I tell all of my friends who are interested in moving to Kuala Lumpur that ISKL is a must. It has lived up to my expectations and I am happy to be here for another year.’ 

    ‘We chose ISKL because it was good at identifying learning gaps and providing extra support.  

    The headteacher understands my child, whose needs are met. Ms Thompson and Mrs Pasquini are both learning support teachers who have made a particular difference to my child’s time at the school. They are superstars! 

    The school communicates well, especially during tough times. The school community is as close knit as it could be; the PTA is very active and hold as many parent events as possible.  

    Our kids have counselling sessions in health, and the school talks a lot about current mental health issues. This is great for my child to hear.  

    The school has gone beyond our expectations!’ 

    ‘We chose this school because it is very international, has committed teachers, is willing to listen to parents and is non-profit. The school really cares for the children and their health. 

    The school communicates well. It is really up to the parents whether they want to get involved or not. I personally do, and I am happy with that. The PTA is strong.  

    There is a very good counselling team which prepares the children for the next stage of their education.’  

    ‘I chose this school because I liked its key points, the attitudes of the teachers towards the pupils and myself, and the students’ optimism. I am also familiar with the American education system.  

    The admissions process was straightforward: I signed up on the website, the admissions office contacted me, and the children had to pass an interview.  

    The headteacher is always on campus and gets along with his colleagues like friends.  

    Any question I have, gets a response. The school has a psychological teacher who pays attentions to the psychological construction of the children.  

    The school’s PTA works well and there are always activities. There are meetings for new students and parents to help them learn about the school quickly.  

    Trust the school, trust the teachers and the children will come away with a lot of knowledge and interests.’ 
  • Pupils tell us



    ‘The best things about my school are the sense of community, and acceptance of all cultures and backgrounds. ISKL provides opportunities so that everyone can pursue what they are passionate about, whether that is academia, sports or other. The school has some of the most advanced facilities that I have seen in any school, which really helps me to work, learn and compete at the highest level that I can.  

    During the admissions process I had to do a few placement tests so that the school could further understand my learning levels. It wasn’t anything too strenuous and it resulted in me being able to integrate into school life very easily. I did not have an interview but upon arrival, I was able to meet and speak to my counsellor about the school and about how I could make the most of my time at ISKL.  

    Before I joined, I wish I had known how diverse ISKL was. I felt very anxious due to the fact that I had never been a part of an international community. To any new student, I suggest you jump into any activity that you are interested in as you will definitely find someone with similar interests. 

    All of my classmates were really friendly, so it only took me around a week to settle in. I found a friend group really early on.  

    Mr Madani has a very positive and friendly vibe. I have had several teachers who have really enriched my learning and my life outside of school, by providing opportunities for me to strive. One example was in Grade 6 – I was struggling a bit emotionally and my humanities teacher, Ms Williams, helped me through this. She found where I was struggling and made it really simple for me to get through it, without spoon-feeding me.  

    We have a lot of school spirit and it is normal for many people to watch a game, or to participate in a lot of activities.  

    ISKL has helped me to become a global citizen. I am considering many paths for my future including college or the military. I think the school has done really well at preparing me for anything.’ 

    ‘The best things about ISKL are that there are people from many different nationalities, the teachers are very helpful, and the school has some really good facilities that maximise student experience.  

    Because I joined in Grade 5, there wasn’t really anything too formal in the admissions process.  

    I would advise new students to try out new things and be open to them.  

    It actually took me quite a long time to settle in, because I had never lived abroad. Also, to move from a pretty average school to such a prestigious one with so many different types of people made it harder to adjust and adapt. I went to my counsellor or friends when I had problems.  

    Our headteacher is a very nice and humble person. I particularly remember a conversation with him once where he was talking about how he had worked at a school in Mumbai. That is where I am originally. It was really nice to be able to talk about it, knowing he has been there.  

    During the seven years I have been at ISKL, a lot of teachers have made a particular difference to my time here. What these teachers had in common was that they knew me at a level that other teachers before hadn’t, and I could really connect with them. I always talk to them freely and never have issues in their classes.  

    ISKL have a variety of traditions. First of all there’s a really huge sporting even called IASAS,  where six different schools from Southeast Asia compete in a variety of sports. Another is international fest. This is probably one of the most unique and fun events I have ever experienced. It is a day when we celebrate all of the different nationalities which attend our school. This event consists of performances, food stalls, games and much more! 

    I am aiming to go to college and this school has definitely prepared me. As well as IB classes, the school has taught me how to be a global citizen; studying in a place where you are surrounded by different nationalities really opens your eyes to a whole new perspective. It teaches you a lot of things about how interactions between people differ.  

    ISKL has given me, and continues to give everyone, countless amounts of opportunities to express who you are. This school has definitely changed my life for the better.’

     

  • School Updates

    • ISKL’S 2024-2025 SCHOLARSHIP AWARD CEREMONY

      Two Malaysian students were awarded four-year scholarships to study at The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) at a special award ceremony held on April 22, 2024.
    • VOX ISKL: Leveraging Language Learning

      With a student body representing more than 70 nationalities and well over 30 languages spoken, multilingualism is fundamental to creating connection and inclusion at The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL).
    • ISKL’s 44th Annual SEA Forensics and Debate Tournament Celebrates Passion and Connections

      The International School of Kuala Lumpur’s (ISKL) 44th Annual Southeast Asia (SEA) Forensics and Debate Tournament was held at its campus in Ampang Hilir from January 25 to 27, 2024.
    • Creating a Better World at ISKL: From Empathy to Impact

      The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) hosted a thought-provoking VOX ISKL event titled 'Creating a Better World: From Empathy to Impact,' marking the ninth installment in the VOX ISKL series, a platform specially created to inspire, inform, and ignite conversations both within the school itself and the wider community about topics that matter.
    • ISKL Celebrates Athletic Artistry with National Danish Performance Team Visit

      The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) recently witnessed an extraordinary display of athletic prowess and cultural exchange when the National Danish Performance Team (NDPT) visited its state-of-the-art campus!
    • VOX ISKL: Approaches to Build and Repair Relationships

      The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) hosted a VOX ISKL event entitled ‘Communication and Conflict: Approaches to Build and Repair Relationships,’ the eighth in the VOX ISKL series, a platform specially created to inspire, inform, and ignite conversations both within the school itself and the wider community about topics that matter.
    • Community, Joy, and Sun-Kissed Fun: ISKL's Back to School Bash 2023!

      It was a sun-kissed Saturday that brought together The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) community members at the annual Back to School Bash!
    • A Memorable Summer of Discovery at ISKL!

      The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) recently held an exciting and enriching three-week Summer Program, offering students from Prep Reception to Grade 12 a unique platform to explore hobbies, uncover fresh interests, and above all, have fun with their peers in a safe, supportive environment.
    • ISKL celebrates student achievements in IB and AP exam results

      Students at The International School of Kuala Lumpur received outstanding results in this year’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
    • ISKL Wins 2023 Excellence in Education Award: Spotlight on Transition Care

      The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) is delighted to announce that it has been honored with the 2023 Excellence in Education award at the recent Think Global People and Relocate award ceremony held in the UK.
    • WATCH: 10 Questions for the Head!

      We've headed over to Malaysia to hear from the head of The International School of Kuala Lumpur, the country's very first IB accredited IB World School. Watch the video below!
    • More Than Just Locks!

      At The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL), we are guided by our vision to ‘know yourself, care for all, and create a better world.’ This was exemplified recently when four Grade 3 students, Emma, Lino, Minseo, and Angela decided to run a hair donation campaign.
    • The Highly Anticipated IASAS at ISKL!

      The International School of Kuala Lumpur recently hosted the Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asia Schools (IASAS) Swimming Championships and the IASAS Cultural Convention.
    • ISKL's 2023-2024 Scholarship Award Ceremony

      Two Malaysian students were awarded four-year scholarships to study at The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) at a special award ceremony held on February 20, 2023
    • Why Transition Matters

      The International School of Kuala Lumpur is an educational institution built upon the ethics of understanding transition, whether it be between countries, grades, departments, or campuses.
    • Building Social and Emotional Learning at ISKL

      The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) recently held a workshop facilitated by experts from the Institute for Social and Emotional Learning (IFSEL) as part of its VOX ISKL series.
    • A Discussion of Equity and Inclusion at ISKL

      In line with the 2022 Inclusive Schools Week theme, Unity Within Our Community, The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) held a special VOX ISKL panel discussion centering on equity and inclusion. VOX ISKL is a platform that inspires, ignites, and informs others of current issues and trends.
    • Why You Should Consider A Holistic Approach For Your Child

      Most of us are familiar with the traditional schooling environment that usually delivers a results-oriented approach to learning. In this system, teachers dictate the pace and goals of a class while students listen and absorb course material to regurgitate it in exams.
    • Celebrating Cultural Diversity at ISKL!

      Excitement was in the air during The International School of Kuala Lumpur’s (ISKL) annual iFest event! Organized by the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), there were many cultural activities on the day, such as a flag parade and performances that left audiences in awe.
    • Experiential Learning in the Great Outdoors!

      Since its inception in 2009, the Global Action Program (GAP) has been part of The International School of Kuala Lumpur’s (ISKL) High School core curriculum for Grade 9-11 students. They participate in an experiential program where they immerse themselves in various cultural backgrounds and embark on outdoor adventures while sharpening their skills in community partnerships such as service and social entrepreneurship.
    • An Evening of Creativity, Passion, and Talent at ISKL!

      Applauses and praises filled The International School of Kuala Lumpur’s (ISKL) Melawati Theatre during the High School Talent Show!
    • ISKL Welcomes New Academic Year With A Bash!

      A Saturday filled with joyous laughter and cheerful smiles saw the return of The International School of Kuala Lumpur’s (ISKL) much-beloved community tradition to kick off the new academic year: the Back to School Bash!
    • The International School of Kuala Lumpur Announced as Joint Winner in malaysiaGBC’s Leadership In Sustainability Awards 2022

    • Outstanding International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement results for The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL)

    • Find Yourself at ISKL’s Open Day This September!

    • ISKL’S 2022-2023 Scholarship Award Ceremony

      Four Malaysian students were awarded scholarships to study at The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) at an award ceremony on May 23, 2022.
    • Empowering Young Changemakers at ISKL!

      The air is positively buzzing with inspiration for the Grade 5 students at The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) as they attend the annual Red Hats Social Changemaker's Conference! Every Grade 5 student has the opportunity to serve on the Red Hat Leadership Team, where they become role models for fellow friends as they follow The Melawati Way.
    • ISKL Pupil Editors: rethinking recycling

    • BUZZING SCHOOL LIFE AT ISKL!

      Excitement filled the air at The International School of Kuala Lumpur’s (ISKL) 25-acre campus, which is positively buzzing with student events happening across divisions!
    • VOX ISKL hosts talk about how Identity-Centered Learning makes a difference for students

Essentials

Address
No. 2, Lorong Kelab Polo Di Raja, Ampang Hilir, 55000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Contact
admissions@iskl.edu.my
(+60) 3 4813 5000

Website
iskl.edu.my/learning-at-iskl/middle-school/

Fees

Term Dates

Open Days

Admissions




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