The Sri Lankan International School Riyadh is a not-for-profit school set up to support the Sri Lankan community in Saudi Arabia. There are two further branches in Jeddah and Dammam.
Located in Riyadh’s popular Al Malaz District’s Jarir Street neighbourhood, the Sri Lankan International School – Riyadh (SLISR) is an independent, non-profit, community school set up in 1988 and now celebrating its 35th year. There are two further schools in Jeddah and Dammam.
SLISR was the first international school to be established globally under the patronage of the Sri Lankan Government, starting life as the Sri Lankan Embassy International School and opening with 11 students and four teachers.
It is now open for Nursery aged children (from 18 months) to students in Grade 12 and has more than 800 students and 70 staff members. Approximately 80 percent of students are Sri Lankans, with the remainder coming from a range of countries including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Jordan, Kenya, Eritrea, and Sudan among others.
The school says that it offers an enriched blend of the British and Sri Lankan curricula and is a Pearson Edexcel Learning and Examination Centre, producing some of the best academic results in the region. Although the school follows the British curriculum, it retains the April to March academic year.
The Vision of SLISR is “Cultivating excellence in every student, to become tomorrow’s leaders who are able to respond successfully to challenges in the world”. Its Mission is to “Empower students to become critical thinkers and socially responsible individuals motivated by moral values and a belief in tolerance, diversity and harmony”.
The school is led by Principal Rukshan Razak who took on the role in December 2015 and is now in his eighth year at SLISR.
SLISR offers the National Curriculum for England (NCfE) as the core of its programme with students following the Pearson Edexcel Examination Board curriculum for IGCSE, AS Level and A Level public examinaitons .
The Preschool (Early Years) and the Primary School use the National Curriculum of England and the International Primary Curriculum (an internationalised version in terms of content for the NCfE).
In the Early Years section, play based education and hands on learning is considered the best way to nurture curiosity, imagination and creativity in children between the ages of 2 ½ to 5 ½ years. As children move on towards the Primary section, they are engaged in interdisciplinary studies, combining the basics of Reading, Writing and Arithmetic with the Sciences and the study of Geography and World Ecology. In recognition of the ever more digitalised world, Computer studies has been introduced to the curriculum from Grade 3 onwards.
The school does not, however, focus purely on the academic. It notes that “Making your children independent and respectful of themselves in order to boost confidence is of prime importance to us. We at SLISR Primary Early Years strive to incorporate grace and courtesy at a young age laying the foundation of respect for self and others”.
The school aims to encourage children to be integrated, well rounded, problem solving leaders and team members. SLISR also believes that Primary students should have the opportunity to develop skills to support their social and emotional skills. Teachers at SLISR guide students’ learning based on a sound knowledge and understanding of children’s social, emotional and cognitive development.
Once students complete their education in the Primary school (at the end of Grade 7), they follow the Edexcel International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) curriculum. The school offers the curriculum over a three year period (from Grades 8 through 10). In many international schools IGCSE is a two year programme. The three year period allows students to reinforce their learning whilst taking the curriculum at a slightly slower pace. IGCSE subjects at SLISR include Accounting, Business Studies, Economics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, English Language, English Literature, ICT, Arabic, Tamil, Sinhala and Islamic Studies.
A fundamental part of the NCfE is the focus on problem solving skills, critical thinking, and achieving in depth knowledge which will subsequently allow students to be successful at the next stage of their education – at International Advance Levels (IAS / IAL, a two part public exam process in Grades 11 and 12) or the increasingly popular and highly regarded IB Diploma.
International AS Level/International A Level Science stream students are required to select a minimum of three mandatory subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics and are required to select an optional subject such as English, Statistics, or Internet Communication Technology (ICT). The fourth subject is usually dropped at the end of Grade 11. Students of the Commerce Stream can choose three from among the mandatory subjects of Accounts, Business Studies, Economics and Mathematics with Statistics, Internet Communication Technology (ICT) and English Language or Literature as optional subjects.
For students who may require English as an Additional Language support, SLISR assesses, during the application process, each prospective student’s ability to access the curriculum, including language ability. The school offers English language support for students, but in general, only accepts children with limited English abilities in the Primary School.
In Middle School and High School, English proficiency requirements are stricter and are determined on a case-by-case basis since students are prepared for English as First Language for the Board Exams.
Although there is clearly a strong focus on the academic, SLISR also aims to offer students a variety of sporting and co-scholastic activities.
Sports opportunities include Soccer, Badminton, Netball, Cricket, Athletics, Basketball, and Table Tennis. Co-scholastic options include Debate, Poetry, Oratory, Recitations, Mental Mathematics, Quranic Quiz Competition, Poetry Competition, Oratorical Contest, Qirath Competition, Spelling Bee Contest, Quiz Competition, Essay Competition, Inter House Debates, and writing articles for the annual school magazine, WISDOM. Recently introduced clubs reflecting the interests of students include Media, Photography, Young Inventors, and Arabic.
Many competitions take place under the school’s House system -named Mahaweli, Kelani and Walawe – named after the three longest rivers in Sri Lanka.
The school publishes the results of its IGCSE, AS and A Level exam results on its website – the presentation of the results make it difficult to determine exactly how well students do. However, we applaud SLISR for making their results public – this is a rarity in our experience for schools in KSA.
According to SLISR, on completion of High school programmes students achieve entry into competitive colleges and universities worldwide in North America, Europe, and beyond.
SLISR operates three separate but co-located campuses for girls, boys, and the kindergarten which are managed by a Board of Directors elected from among the parent body.
The three buildings are split between the Boys Wing, Girls Wing and the Primary Section. The school has three Science laboratories – Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and a Science Room as well as two Computer Laboratories and two well equipped libraries.
There are separate play areas for boys and girls. The School has a relatively newly built mini indoor play area which facilitates indoor games such as Badminton, Table Tennis and Basketball. The play area is equipped with floodlights and is used at night under the supervision of a PE teacher.
SLISR clearly wants to engage all members of its community and to offer both students and parents a range of ways in which they can support the school. There is a Student Association where students take on a range of leadership roles as prefects.
The Parents Teachers’ Association (PTA) functions as a supporting body helping the school in carrying out extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. The PTA is governed by its own constitution deriving its powers from the school constitution.
If you are a parent, teacher or senior student at Sri Lankan International School Riyadh, please share your opinions and experience with other potential members of your community and complete our Survey.
SLISR has a two tier fee system for Sri Lankan nationals and students of other nationalities.
Fees for Sri-Lankan students from pre-school to Grade 2 are 1,638 SAR per term (three payments), whilst for students in Grades 3 to 7, they are 1,755 SAR per term. Students in Grades 8 to 12 are charged 1,872 SAR per term. These fees apply to the first child enrolled with reductions available for siblings.
Fees for non Sri-Lankan students are 2,430 SAR, 2,520 SAR and 2,637 SAR per term for the respective grades mentioned above.
One time admission fees are 1,200 SAR for the first child for Sri Lankan students with reductions to 1,000 SAR for the second child 800 SAR for the third child; no admission fee is charged for the fourth child.
Non Sri-Lankan national pay 2,500 SAR per student irrespective of siblings.
The school also requires a Deposit payment for students from Lower KG to Grade 12 in the amount of 1,000 SAR for Sri Lankan students and 2,000 SAR for non Sri Lankan students. All parents are required to pay an annual fee of 50 SAR for membership of the Parent Teacher Association and a further 60 SAR for Mograsys.
If you are the owner or the principal of the school and note any inaccuracies, or would like to update data, you can now open an account with us. You will also be able to add admissions availability per year group, and advertise current job vacancies. This is a free service. Please help us keep prospective parents up to date with your latest information.
Are you looking for a place for your child, and want help from our school consultants? If so, click on the link below, and we will forward your request for information to the school or schools of the same type that we are confident have availability. This is a free service for our readers. Request Information