international schools
Source: Tanglin Trust School

When a school is recognised for its good work, we pay attention. Such recognition comes in the form of results and, in the case of an international school, the results are students with a global mindset who go onto top-rank universities. 

Another handy tool that parents may use to assess a school’s merits is top accolades, such as the International School of the Year award by ISC Research. Just last year, 260 schools from 48 countries were nominated for this award, giving parents across the globe a wide array of choices for their children. 

This is an indication of the many opportunities that an international school provides – and how far your child can go with their brand of globally-recognised education. From hands-on learning and state-of-the-art facilities to developing a global perspective, these schools prove that they have what it takes to set students on a path to succeed in university and beyond: 

Tanglin Trust School

international schools

Tanglin Trust School is an award-winning international school in Singapore that offers British-based learning with an international perspective.

In 2023, Tanglin Trust School was named International School of the Year 2023 by ISC Research, which supplies the most comprehensive, current and objective data and intelligence on the world’s international schools. The coveted title came with the Ethical Values Education Award, for embedding the rights of children into the school’s ethos and culture as part of UNICEF’s Rights Respecting Schools accreditation, and a nomination in the Strategic Leadership Category.

These awards recognise outstanding initiatives taking place in English-medium international schools around the world. Tanglin beat 291 entries from international schools in 61 countries – the latest showing in the strings of awards that the oldest British international school in Southeast Asia has amassed since its founding in 1925.

In a recent single inspection process by the UK Ofsted British Schools Overseas, Tanglin was awarded the highest possible grade: “outstanding.” This was the first time Tanglin had undertaken the process as one school, having previously been inspected as individual infant, junior and senior units. The rating demonstrates that the inspectors recognised the skill, care and quality of staff, and the coherence and communication between the key stages of a Tanglin education.

Such “high standards” are due to several distinctive offerings at Tanglin. It provides the English National Curriculum with an international perspective to children from 3 to 18 years, and is the only school in Singapore to offer students the choice of studying the IBDP or A-Levels. The campus is home to 2,800 students representing over 50 nationalities. From Nursery right through to Sixth Form, children have a unique learning environment that prepares them for university and beyond with confidence. Although grades aren’t the singular focus here, Tanglin students regularly do better than their peers in Singapore and globally. In 2023, the school achieved a 100% pass rate for A Levels and 100% successful achievement of the IB Diploma. Around 97% of graduates typically get into their first or second choice university, which is amongst the best in the world. To learn more about this award-winning international school, click here.

Bangkok Patana School

international schools

At Bangkok Patana School, students are prepared to make a positive difference in the world from a young age. Source: Bangkok Patana School

In 2022, Bangkok Patana School students achieved a 99% IB Diploma pass rate with 28% achieving 40 points or higher and an average score of 37 amongst students who passed. Amongst IGCSE test-takers, 98% scored A* to C grades while 75% achieved an average of of A* to A grades. Its Student Achievement book has more examples of outstanding results and accolades like these.

Much of this is due to the school’s focus on global citizenship. As an international school in Bangkok, a city that is as diverse and accepting of modernity as ever, exposing students to the wonders and challenges of the wider world is a given. This, on top of its reputation as being one of the best 100 private schools in the world, attracts a myriad of over  2,200 students from around 65 countries to its extensive campus every year.

Global Citizenship is one of the school’s three core values and is integrated into the learning throughout the school. Bangkok Patana defines the attributes of global citizenship as being conscientious role models; committed to integrity and equity; diverse and inclusive; ethical and informed and active stewards of the environment and our communities.

Students in Years 10 and 11 take a dedicated course on Global Citizenship. The course is scheduled for one double period a week (120 minutes) and is focused on salient discussions and questions. Over three modules, students are challenged to explore the perspectives they hold and then recognise the frameworks of understanding of other people. 

Singapore American School 

international schools

Singapore American School is home to students and staff with no shortage of recognition. Source: Singapore American School

Singapore American School (SAS) may have been established even before the country gained independence, but it’s more than well-equipped to prepare students for the 21st century. Its students are top of the class, with results to show for it: 97% of SAS students’ 1,724 AP exams received 3s, 4s, and 5s in 2021 and 4.1 is the mean score for students who took an AP exam in 2021. Recently, Bianca Neri (high school PLC coach and humanities teacher) and Hanako Sawada Lacerda (elementary school music teacher) were both welcomed into this year’s cohort of emerging leaders by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

Fusing exemplary American educational experience with an international perspective, SAS is home to students and staff with no shortage of recognition. It’s a result of SAS’s commitment to putting children on a path to success in school, university and beyond. 

It’s no small feat but what began with just 105 students in colonial-style bungalows experimenting in a makeshift science lab in the garage and listening to assemblies in the dining room is now a 36-acre campus that’s home to over 4,000 students and state-of-the-art facilities. And that’s just one facet of what the school has and can achieve. 

Here, students do more than just get good grades. They learn to unlock their full potential academically, individually and socially. With a focus on in-depth and personalised learning, students are nurtured to think critically, solve real-world problems and collaborate with peers from diverse backgrounds

This is a foundation that’s paved the way for the school to place among the 97th percentile or higher in all MAP testing subjects worldwide, with its students soaring to the world’s top universities and careers.

United World College USA (UWC-USA)

international schools

Source: United World College USA/Facebook

Few schools offer an education that unites people, nations and cultures the way UWC-USA does. Here, over 200 students from more than 90 countries live, study and adventure together in a change-making community that aims to make a difference in the world.

“I’m proud that for many years that we have recruited refugee scholars and have been successful in supporting them to become advocates for peace and to become leaders in their own communities,” says Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, President of UWC.

Such impact is thanks to the school’s Constructive Engagement of Conflict programme, designed to give students the tools to work across cultures, languages, and ethnicities to build teams and partnerships desperately needed to solve the world’s most challenging problems. Each year, students contribute over 17,000 volunteer hours to community service, pushing them to build peacemaking skills, conflict resolution, goal-setting and collaboration.

Located on the edge of the Pecos Wilderness, UWC-USA provides the ideal setting for students to learn how to lead in the outdoors and build a strong sense of stewardship for the natural world through the Wilderness Programme. They also learn sustainable agriculture and contribute to the community, as seen in their activities, clubs and service opportunities.

Pair the school’s values-based social engagement with rigorous IB academics, and students here emerge with a stronger sense of self and all they need to lead a meaningful life. Their IB credentials are not only accepted at more than 600 universities and colleges in nearly 50 countries; every year, many impress admissions officers at Ivy League and other highly selective universities with their intellectual curiosity, solid academic fundamentals, and capacity for living in a diverse environment too.

Graduate Andrea Parry can confirm this: “This is the education I have been seeking my entire life. The open-mindedness to diverse perspectives, critical thinking, and personal challenges are perhaps the key qualities underlying the mission of the UWC movement.” Click here to learn more about how students at UWC-USA are working to become agents for change.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International