elc International School: Providing Excellence through Commitment in Education

“We operate an international school which ranks among world leaders in the academic and social development of its students.”

Founded in 1987, elc International School has developed a quiet reputation not only for its affordability but for its dedication to both academic and social excellence. The School’s CEO and Founder, Mrs Margaret Kaloo believes that elc’s success can be attributed to a focus on the three core values, which make up the name “elc— “excellence in everything we do”, “loyalty to each other and the School” and “commitment to continuous improvement”.  These values are enhanced by the school motto “Learn to Aspire”, which encourages students to seek success as they work towards reaching their personal, social and academic potential.

The school has two campuses, Sungai Buloh, and the newer Cyberjaya campus. Following in the footsteps of its sister campus, whilst Cyberjaya does not intend to directly compete with the Sungai Buloh campus, it will certainly follow the tradition of honest, hard work.

Over the years the School has unwaveringly pursued a single objective which is to make a significant contribution towards the development of its students into responsible and successful men and women of the future. The School follows the National Curriculum of England, but the subjects offered and the teaching methods have evolved in keeping with the best practices in both Britain and Malaysia.

The school works hard to provide the students with an atmosphere conducive to real learning.  They believe that the perfect environment in which to learn will depend less on expensive facilities and much more on the atmosphere and ambience for learning. On their beautiful, green campuses, class sizes are kept small at 20 students to a class and there is approximately 1 teacher for every 9 students, allowing for a personal touch to be delivered to each student when required.  All in, it is very hard to comprehend how a School with so much to offer and so rich a history is not better known.

elc’s fees average out at around RM25,000 per year, in an industry where it is typical to see annual fees well in excess of RM50,000 per year. Nevertheless, elc consistently produces outstanding academic results whilst maintaining a focus on good behaviour and values. It has also been accredited to “Gold” standard by the Consultants/Inspectors from the British Education Development Trust (EDT). In addition, elc are members of the Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA), the Association of Malaysian Schools (AIMs) and the International Schools Athletics Conference (ISAC), giving elc access to a myriad of staff development and student enrichment options.

Paving the Path towards an Extraordinary Curriculum

Mrs Sheela Raghu, the current Sungai Buloh Campus Principal, has been part of the elc team since 1998 during which time she has created a range of mentorship opportunities for students and teachers alike. Whether in her previous positions as Head of Social Science or Head of Secondary or in her current position as School Principal, she has worked towards innovating and improving the systems of checks and balances that support student learning  such as regular appraisals, Parent Guides, and the establishment of Mentors and Mentees. As the Prefect Advisor and an Award Leader for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award at elc, Mrs. Raghu has motivated students not only to excel within the classroom, but beyond it. In addition through the annual Prefect camps and Year 11 weekends she is constantly encouraging them to be leaders as well as team players. A history postgraduate and education degree holder, she has prepared students for the London O Level GCE, Edexcel IGCSE, and CAIE IGCSE exams, consistently producing A*’s and A’s at a rate well above the world cumulative percentages. Mrs. Raghu also strives to share her considerable experience with young teachers, encouraging them to excel by participating in elc‘s Cambridge International Certificate in Teaching & Learning (CIDTL) training.  Bold, impassioned, and determined, she maintains that unfaltering energy and positivity, committed teamwork and fearlessness, as well as timely decision-making, are essential to helping the school achieve its targets.

Life after elc

The school trains and prepares students to be independent both academically and socially. The School places high emphasis on producing confident students with good social skills and who are both emotionally and physically fit.  The teachers and coaches work hard to develop life skills and resilience in all their students. Guiding generation Z – the first generation born into the social media age, is challenging.  Regrettably, mental health issues are also more prevalent due to the pressure of social media and these must be addressed.  At elc therefore, life skills are taught through incremental steps that slowly build up the student’s ability to survive. This is not an exclusive program that caters for a select number of students. The solution is available to all students at elc. With this in mind, elc has conceptualized the PULSE Program. The program includes Pastoral care, University-preparedness, Leadership, Social skills, and Employability. The goal of the program is to prepare students to develop life skills, have high self-esteem and resilience that will carry them well through college and at workplace.

Initiatives to Promote Education

The distinct feature of elc’s academic program is that they aim for excellence and commitment in all that their students undertake.   Many schools today subscribe to a talent model of excellence – either the students have the talent or they don’t and their talent (probably) does not stretch across several domains. In those schools some are talented in Maths, but poor in Sports or talented in Music but poor in English.  elc school culture however promotes the idea that “hard work beats talent that doesn’t work hard.” Students are taught and guided that if anyone works hard in several disciplines, they will very likely succeed in all of them. They must give it their best shot!  As for initiatives for staff, as members of the Association of Malaysian International Schools (AIMS) and the Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA), the School has the opportunity for its staff to participate in many workshops, seminars, and general meetings in order to stay abreast of educational developments and debate their merits (or lack thereof). With regard to parents, the school also works closely with the Parents’ Association and keeps all parents updated via their websites and through email correspondence.

Encouraging International Students

The school self-imposes a 60% Malaysian and 40% Expatriate limit (although on occasion they cross that limit by 1 or 2%). elc encourages all its students to celebrate and share with others their own heritage and culture through events such as World Harmony Day and International Understanding Day. The Interact Club which is part of Rotary International is the largest and most active of the School’s extra-curricular activities (ECA’s).  The students work hard towards continually expanding within Malaysia, the network of organizations and individuals with whom they can work together to support social work and charity. Through their collaborations with The Truly Loving Company and the Rotary Club Malaysia via the School’s Interact Club, their goodwill has a reach beyond that of a solitary organization or individual.

Curriculum beyond Academics

elc International School strongly believes that students need more than just their academics to succeed in life so they are keen to provide their students with a platform to develop their extracurricular interests. As part of the school curriculum, students are required to select two different extracurricular activities every term. In addition to these allocated periods, they are also encouraged to join in various activities after school to further their interests.  Across both Sungai Buloh and Cyberjaya campuses, there is a wide range of activities to suit students’ interests and passions including performing arts, sports, debating & public speaking, computing & programming, and community service.

Students are encouraged to explore their interests and their involvement with these various activities that support their drive for academic success and in their determination to go further in life.  In addition to the staff at elc, outside providers and specialists in the areas on offer are also called in to help support the growth of the students and to prepare them for their next step in life. At the end of the day, this is what education is and what elc represents; excellence in everything they do, loyalty to each other, and commitment to continuous improvement.

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