British education has a worldwide reputation for quality and is recognised and respected around the world. For over seven decades, the Alice Smith School has provided an outstanding British education in Malaysia, its school ethos encapsulated in the tremendous richness and diversity of school life that is such an outstanding feature of the school.
So what makes an outstanding British education and why is it such a good fit for a child’s education? According to Head of School at the Alice Smith School, Roger Schultz, with a significant and increasing number of British curriculum schools worldwide, one of the huge benefits certainly is its transferability. Students are able to move seamlessly from country to country or back to the UK, and this is appealing to families who live and work abroad. Also, the formal qualifications students receive after completing examinations at age 16 and above are well known internationally and provide a smooth pathway to post-16 and higher education.
The National Curriculum for England is a broad and balanced curriculum framework inclusive all of the major arts, sciences and humanities subjects. This wide and diverse scope for learning is coupled with a systematic and rigorous approach for keeping track of progress and encouraging achievement, all the way from primary school to university level.
It has been designed to give students, parents and teachers a clear overview of a child’s progress with their learning at every educational stage, helping them to identify, work towards and achieve their academic goals. It can be adapted to meet the needs of all students through differentiated teaching and learning activities, whatever their interests or ability.
Photo: Alice Smith School
The benefits of a British curriculum education extend well beyond academic rigour and achievement. Learning through the formal curriculum is essential, but not enough in itself. It is also renowned for concerning itself with the development of the whole child, their character and personality, and their social and emotional welfare. Young people develop their potential to explore and discover the world around them, to think for themselves and form opinions, to relate to others, to develop their bodies through sport and physical education, and to gain experience in taking responsibility.
A British international education encourages students to learn by debating, discussing, questioning and solving problems, developing their higher order analytical skills. Mastery of subject matter is liberated by independent thought and brought to life through self-confidence, collaboration and creative thinking. Ultimately, this is a curriculum designed to help young people flourish academically and personally with an appropriate skill set to meet the challenges of a changing world.
One of the most essential life skills is developing an understanding of, and a respect for, others. This is embraced through nurturing and fostering respect for one another within both a school’s immediate community and beyond this to the wider community and the region. Children are encouraged to identify similarities rather than differences among cultures and to celebrate and respect other people’s beliefs, opinions and customs. In many schools, this responsibility towards others extends to outreach and charity work.