A co-ed day school that teaches the Early Years Foundation Stage through to IGCSEs in Year 11, the International School of Samui is very much a British school with a British ethos.
Along with public schools such as Harrow and Shrewsbury, the International School of Samui sets itself apart from other British schools in Thailand. Here's a school that doesn't just follow the National Curriculum for England, it promises to deliver a more elite education that is based on the British independent school model.
In the school's own words,
"IIS is a positive and dynamic forward-thinking school that is highly regarded and that has a uniquely British independent school ethos."
ISS has a student population of more than 250 children from over 35 different countries, and it brings everything from a rigorous UK syllabus to a student house system into the diverse international community of Koh Samui. Teachers from the UK follow the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum for England to educate students from nursery level through to Year 11; students take their IGCSEs in Year 11, after which they need to find another school that offers a college education.
As you'd expect at any British school, the primary and secondary curriculum covers the core subjects, history, geography, art, design and technology, PE, IT, wellbeing and PSHE, and music. It has been enhanced slightly to include Thai, Mandarin, and Spanish; robotics; team sports and swimming; and international studies. Subjects taught at IGCSE level include maths, further maths, English literature, English language, history, geography, computing, biology, physics, chemistry, art, business studies, Thai, Mandarin, and Spanish.
There's a strong focus on sport and extra-curricular activities here, which the school says, "foster team building and cooperation"; this includes the opportunity to have private tuition in a wide variety of musical instruments and disciplines.
ISS was founded in 2007 by Jeremy Lees, who is currently the head teacher. The school is a member of the Council of British International Schools (COBIS), which offers some reassurance that it meets the high standards and ethos expected of a British private school. More importantly, the school has a strong academic record – in 2017, 91% of IGCSE students were graded A* – C and 30% were graded A*/A grades. It also received an outstanding rating from OPEC, the Office of the Private Education Commission of Thailand, at its 2016 inspection.
As you'd expect from this calibre of school, ISS has an impressive campus that's spread over two acres in Koh Samui. Facilities include a black box theatre, library, cooking studio, sports hall, science lab, 25m swimming pool, design and technology room, and student common rooms.
A full review will be posted shortly.
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