Finding Your Path in the World With ISKL

The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) nurtures students' interests, aspirations, and passions through its innovative educational programs. Find out more about what makes ISKL inspirational, inclusive, and empowering, whether one is a student, a parent, or a Panther.

Students outdoors a ISKL
Think Global People Winter Issue 2022
This article is taken from the latest issue of Think Global People magazine.
Click on the cover to access the digital edition.
What is the purpose of schooling? There are differing views on the topic; some schools will say their primary focus is on grades and exams to ensure students get into university; others look beyond that timeline and view their role as preparing students for life.Here at The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL), ensuring that students understand that they can make a positive change in the world and learn how to make that difference is an essential part of the learning experience. In a world where self-directedness, creative thinking, critical reasoning, and effective communication are essential for success, it is important to stay true to who you are.ISKL students find that tailoring their educational program to their interests, aspirations, and passions enables them to leverage global opportunities. This sentiment holds true when our Alumni share how their experiences at ISKL have influenced their university choices and inspired their careers and life post-graduation.Haziq Khairi (Class of 2017) shared how his Grade 10 History teacher, Mr. Fisher, challenged him to find his passion through a simple but inspiring message in his report card. After taking a technical drawing class that same year, Haziq’s interest in drawing and architecture turned into the realization that this could be a possible career path. Haziq says, “Today, I really can’t see myself pursuing anything other than architecture, and Mr. Fisher’s words gave me the inspiration and desire to find this passion.”Quoting ISKL’s flexible course offerings and co-curricular activities as formative experiences, Ed Moline (Class of ‘03), who currently works in the film industry, says, “ISKL was brilliant in letting me explore a lot of interests I had. By the time I finished school, I had thought I wanted to either go into something to do with politics/international relations or something related to storytelling and performance. I was active in Model United Nations (MUN), debate, and Student Council, which fostered my political interests. As for storytelling, a big part of my interest grew out of time spent in the theater getting the chance to work backstage, perform, and even write and direct my one-act plays. I learned a lot from an elective photography course and an independent study course in filmmaking… It’s safe to say, without the experiences and education gained through ISKL, I would not be where I am today… ISKL instilled an attitude in me that if you wanted something to be different in the world, you should go out and make that difference yourself.”These are just a few examples of what our ISKL Alumni have to say about how their journey at school shaped their path to university. The flexibility and innovative nature of our curriculum and programs mean we can further support all our learners’ differing needs and goals. This is why ISKL’s approach focuses on nurturing the individual instead of a one-size-fits-all manner when it comes to education. Why? Because every student learns differently, and ISKL aims to provide every learner with the flexibility to choose the pathway best suited to their abilities, interests, and aspirations.The hallmarks of its High School program are quality, choice, and flexibility. ISKL is unique in offering a combination of wide-ranging, high-quality academic pathways designed to enable every learner to choose the curriculum best suited to them - a ‘best fit’ approach.
ISKL Praxis 2030
As students enter Grade 9, they can elect to learn in one of two classroom settings. First, they can be enrolled in a conventional classroom setting where each subject is taught on a stand-alone basis. Alternatively, they can enroll in PRAXIS 2030, the innovative interdisciplinary two-year program that reimagines the classroom experience. Featuring smaller learning communities, PRAXIS 2030 focuses on problem-based learning.“The PRAXIS 2030 program allows students opportunities they might not have in the traditional classroom. Getting out to the community, having real-world experiences, bringing mentors into work with them during their team projects, having guest speakers and professionals in their field to share their expertise and knowledge - these are some things students can expect from the PRAXIS program”, Amber Kotcher, Head of Department, PRAXIS 2030In Grade 11 and 12, students can opt between the full two-year International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) or combine individual IB, Advanced Placement (AP), and High School Diploma courses via the ISKL Pursuits Program customized to meet specific individual needs of every learner. Access to these two distinctive pathways creates flexibility for every learner to pursue any number of post-secondary opportunities worldwide.The IBDP academic experience at ISKL provides a challenging two-year pre-university curriculum. It prioritizes learners at the center of the model. Teaching and learning go hand in hand, while the concept of international-mindedness is woven throughout the program. To earn the IB Diploma, students must enroll in 6 different subject areas that will form the bulk of their academic rigors. In addition to that, they will also be required to do what is called ‘the Core.’ These are three areas that complement their educational experience more holistically. IB students are constantly absorbed in original and challenging academic work. Such learning is not done by memorizing facts and figures. It is instead accomplished by being inquisitive and taking intellectual risks, the hallmarks of 21st-century education.On the other hand, the alternative learning pathway is ISKL’s Pursuits Program. This two-year course of study for Grade 11 and 12 students allows them to personalize a learning experience for themselves based on an area of interest. It is tailored for those keen to sample a career-related field of study. The program’s syllabus is built upon three pillars, draws from the wide range of courses we already offer at ISKL, and facilitates the student experience to take a deep dive into areas of distinction, very much like choosing a major in college. Pursuits encourage students to pursue their dreams and explore opportunities that emphasize their interests and strengths. This personalized learning experience allows them to pursue their career aspirations.According to Pursuits student Evelynn S. (Class of 22’), she chose to pursue the Pursuits Program because she could focus on the area she is passionate about. “All my ISKL  teachers have been very willing and excited to help me learn, which I think has been great both for them and for me to have that mentor-mentee relationship. My mentor for the Pursuits Project, Ms. Becky Naughton helped me focus on the areas I wanted to learn, how to better organize and figure out problem-solving obstacles,” she said.At ISKL, we are committed to helping equip every student with the future-ready skills they need to succeed in the increasingly complex and competitive world that awaits them. As our mission states, we aim to challenge students to develop the knowledge, understanding, and skills to help them on their journey to becoming successful, spirited, socially responsible global citizens. The ability to be resilient, agile, and possess critical thinking skills is paramount in preparing our students for life after High School. We want to help each student find the best path forward while empowering them to contribute and change conditions for themselves, others, and the world.If you are interested in learning more about ISKL’s High School pathways, we invite you to join ISKL’s webinar with ReLocate entitled, Admission done well: success for everyone with ISKL’s Director of Admissions, Julia Love that is happening soon. Check out ISKL’s blog and follow ISKL on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter to keep up with other news! Find Yourself at ISKL today, choose the best pathway for you to become all you can be.

Watch the webinars


Redefining a School’s Purpose: Forging Innovative Pathways to Meet the Needs of Every Student, with Jeff Farrington, High School Principal, The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL)

Admissions Done Well: Success for Everyone webinar

Admission done well: success for everyone, with Julia Love, Director of Admissions, The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) 

About ISKLEstablished in 1965, The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) has become known as a centre of excellence in the world of international education. ISKL is a co-educational, private, not-for-profit school responsible for the learning journey of over 1,500 students aged 3-18 years from more than 65 countries, located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.ISKL offers a robust international curriculum that combines leading North American educational frameworks with global best practice. The curriculum recognizes that students are on a lifelong learning journey and is driven by ISKL’s mission to challenge each student to ‘Be All You Are’ and develop the attitudes, skills, knowledge, and understanding to become a highly successful, spirited, socially responsible global citizen.ISKL offers a range of high-quality, transdisciplinary pathways that enable every learner to choose the curriculum best suited to their abilities, interests, and aspirations. In 2020-2021 two new innovative High School options, PRAXIS 2030 (Grade 9 and 10) and the Pursuits Program (Grade 11 and 12) were added to the curriculum. Both focus on enhancing student agency and self-directed learning.In Grade 11, students can choose to undertake the full two-year International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), or combine individual IB, Advanced Placement (AP), and High School Diploma courses via the ISKL Pursuits Program to create a customized program that meets the specific individual needs of each student.As the longest-running World IB School in Malaysia, ISKL has seen more than 1,500 students graduate with an IB Diploma over the past 30 years, representing a ninety-seven percent pass rate. This flexibility creates further education opportunities with ISKL students receiving acceptances from leading universities worldwide.ISKL is accredited internationally through the Council of International Schools (CIS), and in the United States through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). ISKL has a strong focus on service and sustainability across its divisions and is a member of the Eco-Schools organization and the Green Schools Alliance.
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