The first international school to be awarded the Gold EAL Quality Mark
The International School @ ParkCity in Kuala Lumpur is the first international school to be awarded the EAL Quality Mark. It achieved a very well deserved Gold Award in testing circumstances, with Malaysia going into its third national lockdown just ten days before the virtual EAL Quality Mark visit.
The international School @ ParkCity has an approximate ratio of 49% Malaysian students and 51% students from across 54 other nationalities. Malaysia is a diverse country and the almost half of the school’s intake that are Malaysian reflects that diversity. Other significant nationality groups represented are Chinese, Korean and British students alongside slightly smaller numbers from Japan, Australia and America.
I was expecting the school to be good. It had submitted a very impressive and well organised body of evidence. Two of its EAL team had been outstanding students on our accredited online EAL course. The school’s commitment to celebrating its own diversity is evident on its YouTube Channel, which also provides evidence that this high achieving school has a lot of fun too.
What I found on my visit was even better than my expectation. What the school manages most impressively is the ability to combine high quality support for specific pupils from its EAL team with EAL focused teaching from all of its teachers. Across the full age range lessons are planned with sensitivity to the needs of pupils at all stages of developing their English. Modelling and a range of scaffolds support EAL learners. Generous staffing levels allow the school to pinpoint small issues with individual learners. Nothing is missed. What was very striking from my conversations with teachers was the high level of autonomy they have. The school has clear policies and systems that include a high level of accountability, but they support teacher autonomy rather than restricting it.
What does a school with outstanding EAL provision do next? In the case of The International School @ ParkCity, it understands the need to keep improving. So a key focus over the next year will be advanced EAL learners, proficiency code D and E students seeking places at prestigious universities and needing sophisticated English oral and literacy skills to gain entrance and to flourish as undergraduates.
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