EtonHouse Malaysia International School: Shaping the Future through Education

“We develop confident and capable global citizens and see a child who is curious, communicative, capable, confident and respected”.

Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, EtonHouse International Pre to Primary School is a beautifully landscaped property. It had opened its doors in August 2010, but was officially launched only on 10th October 2010 as a Reggio Emilia Inspired International Pre-School.  Using the EtonHouse, Inquire, Think, Learn curriculum provide a high quality of research-based, inquiry program to the early years education for the Pre-Nursery up to Kindergarten level students.

The pre-school has established a new direction that takes the early childhood education system in Malaysia to a level that has never been experienced by children locally before.  It is unheard of that the children after settling into the school environment that they refuse to go home at the end of a school day and miss school when it closes during weekends and semester breaks.  The pre-school offers a high quality international education in a carefully resourced learning environment designed to stimulate learning and development of young children’s minds from aged 18 months to six years.

EHM decided in 2012 to embark on extending its curriculum to providing the current International Baccalaureate – Primary Years Program (IB-PYP) for Year 1 up to Year 6 children by registering the school with the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) as a candidate school.  After being officially recognized in year 2013, they underwent the rigorous process of transformation by educating the entire EHM community from the teaching faculty, parents and students.  EHM finally submitted its blueprint to IBO in early 2016 to inform them of EHM’s readiness to welcome the IBO’s visiting team to assess the status of the school.  IBO sent its visiting team of assessors to EHM in October 2016 and was informed the great news in December 2016 that EHM successfully obtained the authorized IB World School status. EHM was then officially awarded with a certificate by the IBO in January 2017.

With a beautiful glass panel wall atelier, all classrooms housed in two British colonial buildings, expansive outdoor space filled with luscious green garden and age-old trees, newly built basketball/volleyball/badminton court,  soon to be completed soccer field, a wide range of educational resources, a low child-teacher ratio, fully qualified and professionally trained, international and local educational staff, the pre and primary school indeed offers a unique education experience.

About the Torchbearer of the School

Andy Ridgway, the new HoS has recently joined the school from Scotland. Having spent 16 years at international schools in Zambia, Italy, Germany, Serbia and Tanzania Andy has already made a positive impression about his caliber. He brings with him a wealth of International Baccalaureate and indeed life experience. He is highly communicative and very warm and welcoming. Andy is a specialist in using Visual Learning strategies in the classroom, implementing the Singapore Maths Program (Maths No Problem) and he has brought a positive energy to the whole school. Indulging in weekly coffee mornings with the parents and being highly visual around the school are a combination that has had a very positive impact on the school in general. He is supported by a fabulous leadership team including Mei Tan, Gaik Im Foong, Kai Ween Lim and Eryn Sherman. “Andy embraces the Reggio Emilia approach of being a fully inclusive school. He says, we do not believe in pull out program and all EAL support and SEN support happens inclusively in the classroom setting”.

Life at EtonHouse

EHM work extensively with the Embassy’s and a variety of organizations. Upon visiting the school, it is highly visual that they have huge student diversity in their school. This is combined with a highly international staff body of over 13 different nationalities on the staff body alone and in excess of 35 different nationalities on the student body.

Children at EHM are engaged in many activities that help them to enjoy the friendly environment and motivate them to come to school. Learning through play and hands on projects explains the reason they do not want to go home at the end of a school day.  Children spend a large amount of time during the day in the greenery of the school gardens outside. The students here feel like they are listened to, are educated in a warm nurturing environment with teachers who engage them in their learning. From Nursery 1 onwards the children are learning in English, supported with a full time Mandarin speaking teacher, who is also in the classroom.  They play with friends, have fun while fully involved and engaged in their learning and finish the school day with a rich variety of sports and after school activities amongst the shade of the trees in the wonderful garden.

Distinct academic programme

EHM is proud to be an authorized IB-PYP school that provides an inquiry-led, trans-disciplinary framework known as Reggio Emilia inspired, Inquire. Think. Learn.  They have chosen the IB for its commitment to high-quality, engaging, international education, a commitment that matches their own.

The Primary years programme is designed to meet the needs of children ages 2 to 12, through a curriculum which connects students to the real world, and builds their conceptual understanding across all subject areas. Students learn English, Mandarin, Mathematics, Physical Education, Visual Arts (Draw, Paint, Design, Photography, Ceramic Artwork, Sculpture, to name but a few), Performing Arts (Music, Drama & Dance/Movement), Science, and Social Studies (Geography, History & Political Science).  Teachers at EHM also use the environment as the third teacher to aid the student learning, an approach coined by Reggio Emilia.  In addition, EHM offers EAL (English as an additional language) to support learning English to non-English mother tongue students.  All year level teachers work collaboratively and constructively to support learning connections across all disciplines.

Extra-curricular activities

EHM is particularly impressive with after school activities ranging from taekwondo to football, ballet to badminton, French to Mandarin, piano to pitch perfect, to name but a few!

EHM also embraces and celebrates the diversity in their heritage and multicultural spirit. They  celebrate annually, Diwali or Deepavali (Hindus festival of lights) , Christmas (Christian festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ), Lunar New Year (also commonly known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival) and Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Eid al-Fitr) (Muslim festival celebrating the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of Ramadan).   Non-religious festival celebration includes Book Day, Parents Day, Children’s Day and Sports Day.

Sports day is regarded as the biggest school event of the year as it brings all staff, families and students together to get a large dose of feel-good spirit by moving and getting physical.  In addition to the above, creating sports teams; annual drama/musical production and musical performances all celebrate student achievement and participation.

Promoting Education

EHM has taken numerous initiatives to promote education.  Construction of new ICT lab and improved library include more than 200 new titles. Teachers are motivated to implement new and effective educational approaches that sustain life-long learning and inquiry.  They also maintain excellent student -teacher ratios in their classrooms, so that students can develop positive relationships with teachers. A piano placed in the corridor for children to play when passing by, during break or lunch time provides an excellent avenue to spark a dialogue within the EHM community about the musical instrument, at the same time for inspiring a love of music from an early age is an excellent example of the initiatives. ‘Footnotes’ supported by visual learning guru Oliver West is taking place in the classrooms. ‘Spatial reading’ is being undertaken by teachers, helping children to grow in confidence through reading at a higher and more appropriate level in a particular way to suit the child’s reading style. ‘Maths No Problem’, the Singaporean maths approach, is also on the horizon to support the Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract approach that is happening already in mathematics.

Words of Trust

I like the school, I like the school!… and I like the garden!” –  (Serena and Dimitra, Nursery 2)

“I like to learn new stuff in EtonHouse. My teachers teach me new things and the learning is fun!” – (Henry and Mia, (Year 1B)

“I like maths, painting, making things in Visual Arts and the sand pit!” –  (Amytis and Alfie, Year 2)

“I like the school because there are lots of fun and challenging tasks………..plus there is a nice, big garden!” –  (Kotaro, Year 4)

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