A good school embraces what the latest research reveals about how children can reach their maximum potential. This includes providing a space that not only lets students do well in exams, but enriches their minds, body and soul too.
Having the right facilities matter. An aspiring musician can’t practise on a second-hand, untuned instrument. Future Olympians can’t be made if there aren’t fields for them to practise according to global standards. Tomorrow’s scientists need a well-equipped lab to prepare to make the next ground-breaking discovery.
Pair cutting-edge amenities with skilled teachers and staff and you have the combination that can shape students to become changemakers. In Asia, there are some schools that do this best. Here are three boarding schools in Brunei, Malaysia and Thailand that offer outstanding environments and excellence:
Jerudong International School
Jerudong International School (JISBrunei) has the campus and the people that transform children into success stories.
The safe, secure, green campus environment of JISBrunei was a key factor in maintaining the health and welfare of over 220 boarding students during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. At its award-winning 10,000 metre-squared Outdoor Discovery Centre (ODC), boarding students were able to escape from the pandemic and immerse themselves in nature – harvesting honey from the stingless beehives, observing and listening to the myriad of wildlife, working together in teams to create compost, plant trees and appreciate this lush haven of tranquillity.
“We encourage and nurture a love and respect for the outdoors in our students, to provide them with a tool for physical and mental well-being,” says Principal Nicholas Sheehan.
Recently, the school was awarded Green Flag status by the Global Eco Schools – the culmination of JISBrunei’s consistently outstanding efforts to be as sustainable as possible in terms of its campus, community, and curriculum. Over at the ODC, opened in 2017 by the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the school community is focusing on in-school paper recycling, House Green Businesses, and volunteering, among others.
“We want our students to be well-educated, well-rounded, socially and environmentally responsible when they leave JIS,” says Principal Sheehan. “Boarders are especially able to take full advantage of this outstanding and unique environment. We are proud to see alumni going on to university well-prepared for the challenges ahead and able to make a genuine difference.”
British International School Phuket
The British International School, Phuket is an English-medium, co-educational, day and boarding school in Phuket, Thailand. Everything BISP does is designed to make learning enjoyable and to give every child the opportunity to develop a sense of confidence in themselves. The school delivers high standards of teaching and learning to an international community.
Here, faculty members teach an extensive and stimulating curriculum covering a wide range of subjects and skills. With a model for holistic learning aimed to develop the whole child, students are instilled with a lifelong love of learning through active engagement from early years to primary and secondary school. BIS Phuket students pursue a rigorous and challenging course of academic study that prepares them for success in the most competitive colleges and universities.
The school’s community is diverse and facilities are enviable; art rooms, science labs, workshops, sports hall, gym and so forth — all set on a 44-acre campus. Beyond the classroom, BIS Phuket teaches its students to be responsible and caring, both inside the school, and as citizens of the city, nation, and world.
Marlborough College Malaysia
Marlborough College Malaysia (MCM) provides a British education tailored to stimulate, challenge and support students in discovering and developing their talents in various areas.
Set on a safe and spacious 90-acre estate, Marlborough College Malaysia (MCM) is guided by principles of compassion, companionship and conversation. Here, students join the faculty in pursuing questions, not simply answers; in discovering ideas, not merely facts; and in appreciating the journey, not solely the destination.
Highly rigorous academics, a caring community, qualified teachers, student-focused learning, and college-preparatory courses — these are the features that ensure student success at MCM. Academic programmes here offer students myriad opportunities and challenges in a supportive environment. The school’s IGCSEs and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme opens the doors to many of the world’s finest universities.
What sets the college apart is its range of co-curricular opportunities. From sport to music and art, each and all provide challenge and comfort as a critical part of a meaningful holistic education. They develop a pupil’s understanding of global issues and their responsibilities as global citizens. “The provision of co-curricular activities is a real strength of the college,” according to COBIS Report 2021.
“With our shared DNA and close links with Marlborough UK, we value and instil breadth of experience, intellectual rigour, creative joy and sporting excellence,” says Alan Stevens
Master of Marlborough College Malaysia. MCM students engage with a broad range of activities outside the classroom — from sports, music and art to drama, activities, outreach and educational trips.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International