The best education isn’t just about choosing a school with the best academic outcomes, but one that also doesn’t take the fun out of learning. That’s something The Alice Smith School in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia agrees with. Drawing on its 75 years of experience, there is little wonder why international and domestic students from all academic backgrounds join the school at various levels and instantly feel the love.
Despite the pandemic, students have remained engaged while learning from home, staying entertained and cared for while keeping up with their classes and reminiscing about the campus they know and care for.
Attesting to this is The Alice Smith School’s Vice-Principal of Community and Operations, Gavin Lazaro, a father of two alumni. Both his children have looked back at their studies with pride and have successfully matriculated to a UK university.
Over the years, Gavin has seen his children — who spent their primary years in Bangkok — make a seamless switch to The Alice Smith that has added to their skill sets. Throughout it all, they’ve acquired more than just robust education — they’ve also developed their character, emotional intelligence, and grit.
It wouldn’t have been possible without positive discomfort – what every student is bound to feel when making their debut at The Alice Smith School. However, faculty members are ever-ready to remind them that it’s what they do that matters the most.
“We want our children to have some challenges,” says Gavin. “If it was all easy, we’re not pushing them hard enough. Going from another school to ours gives students the skills they will need for a lifetime of success. At The Alice Smith School, every transition is seen as an opportunity and support is instilled throughout.”
Families are welcome to enjoy an inside look to truly discover what’s piquing the interests of this vibrant student body. School visits can be scheduled throughout the year too. “All prospective families get personalised attention from a member of the senior leadership team,” Gavin explains.
“It’s incredibly important because we’re an amazing school for the vast majority of families, but we may not quite suit some of them. Ours isn’t a school that focuses purely on academic results, we’re a school that’s holistic. Yes, students evolve into excellent scholars, but that’s not all. They might also graduate as fantastic badminton players, convincing debaters, or captivating performers.”
And the journey begins with the right companionship. Every new student is paired with a buddy that will guide them to where they need to go. The school prioritises a strong introduction to digital learning to ensure each learner is familiar with the systems used. After extensive feedback, students — from both local and international schools — have concluded that a week is all they needed to feel “incredibly comfortable” at The Alice Smith School. In time, they were aiming high and making inquisitive decisions independently.
Students can also be assured of a quality education. The Alice Smith School utilises a model based on the British National Curriculum to ensure its learners receive an internationally recognised education that will prepare them for any and every aspiration.
The model is widely recognised, which means graduates enjoy a seamless transition in advancing to esteemed colleges or universities in the UK, North America, Australia, Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world.
Schools worldwide have had a challenging few years, but despite this, the effectiveness of the school’s methods has consistently shined through. In 2020, students celebrated an exceptional set of examination results with 76% of all (I)GCSE grades at A* or A (grades 9-7) and 62% of all A level grades at A* or A. In 2021, its Sixth Form cohort achieved a 100% pass rate with 67% of all grades at A* or A and 82% at A* to B. Overall, 95% of graduates receive acceptance from their first choice of university. Considering the school is non-selective, these are remarkable results.
The Alice Smith School’s emphasis on fostering a connected community ensures parents aren’t just involved when results call for celebration. “We’re not just about teaching students, we teach parents as well,” Gavin explains. Through coffee mornings, workshops and other gatherings, they stay in the know and up-to-date on school happenings and the skills required to successfully navigate parenting in today’s world.
With enough support to go around, it’s unsurprising that many alumni members have made careers out of helping others. They can be found leading governments, impactful businesses, or NGOs. Others are making a difference through practising medicine or law. These aspirations and others first came to be in the school that made them.
“Ultimately, we want our students to flourish,” says Gavin. “If they really get a kick out of supporting others, we give them more opportunities to do so at school. If gymnastics or swimming is their thing, we will teach them the value of it. Studying here isn’t just about preparing students to enter university, it’s about ensuring they know what to do when exiting as well.”