International Schools Review
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Alice Smith School

Alice Smith School

Postby Cwlcymro » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:52 pm

Does anyone have any experience of the Alice Smith School in Kuala Lumpur? Especially the primary campus. The reviews in the main ISR section seem very positive.

How about KL as a city as well, good place to live? Comfortable living on a teacher salary?
Thanks in advance to anyone who can help!
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Postby ChoirGuy » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:04 am

Hi,
I'm actually flying to KL today to interview for Secondary (a different campus), but the word is that the Primary campus has had problems. I'd love to hear as well (as I have a child who will attend if I get a job there), and I've tried to read up on it on the TES website, but the threads continue to get pulled almost as soon as they are put on there.
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Well

Postby PsyGuy » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:33 am

The PYP has had problems I've heard but he problems are minor when compared to outside the school. Over all the school Is run very well, a little but of a corporate mentally but of the people I've talked too it's been generally pretty good.

KL is a great city to live in, kind of the same way Singapore is a great city to live in in that it's easy, lots of conveniences, but it still has a very distinct culture and society. I've been there and really enjoyed it, though it's a city with very polorized wealthy, your never going to really be the top of the social food chain.
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Postby guru » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:11 am

@pguy The PYP has had problems I've heard but he problems are minor when compared to outside the school.

The primary would have big problems with the PYP seeing as they are UK national curriculum school and currently want nothing to do with PYP.
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Postby ChoirGuy » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:02 am

Surprised by the PYP comment as well...I just interviewed (about an hour ago) and it was all about their school being about British excellence. That WAS in the Secondary, but still a bit surprised about PYP.
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Sorry

Postby PsyGuy » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:12 am

I'm sorry, its been a long night of Guinness appreciation day. I'm a junior admin in an IB word school, and I've been involved and working with the IBO for a while now, and cognitively I just associate PYP with primary I'm very sorry, but I did mean their primary (elementary) division/school, and not to imply any affiliation with the IB's PYP program.

Again, many humble pardons, and I'm sorry for the confusion and misunderstanding.
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Postby stellalocal » Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:23 pm

The primary school has had some problems this year. I was considering applying there as I'd always known of it as a good school, but was advised against it by a current member of staff.

The problem, from what I was told, has been with the new primary head. She's upset a lot of staff members, taking away leadership posts and making people reapply for them, which was all a bit odd as this was done mid year. She also had some bizarre online blog in which she was complaining about staff members. Staff morale has been low and quite a few people were leaving. Saying all that, as a new member of staff you wouldn't necessarily feel it as much as an old member, what difference would it make to you in September if the Head of Music had changed this year? It's not your friends involved, you'd be new and with a new crowd.

From what I heard the governors are aware of the problems and have been trying to work things out.

Like I say it always had a good reputation, it just seems to be going through a rocky patch this year.
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Postby ChoirGuy » Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:47 pm

Hi Stella...I guess I was asking because my daughter will be attending the Primary school and I'd rather she had a group of motivated and happy teachers working with her...BUT, I also know that no matter how happy or motivated they are down there, there could always be some that AREN'T, so I'm probably just overthinking it.

In any case, the Head of Music IS changing. I know this because that's the post for which I interviewed! :)
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Postby stellalocal » Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:07 pm

Ultimately the teachers are still good and professional teachers, they've not been the happiest this year but they're still doing their jobs well. I think it would be fine for your daughter, and like I say with a new crowd of teachers coming in, that haven't been affected by the changes this year, I would have thought morale would pick up.

I was still considering applying, despite being advised against, but got a job elsewhere.

Re. the music post, that was just a random one I chose, I don't know if it actually changed this year. It was basically just a case of a new head coming in and taking positions of responsibility away from staff and making them reapply for them. It was odd because it was early in the year and so contracts had been signed and staff still had to be paid the full amount even if losing their post. Maybe it was just a Head trying to make their mark. As for the blog, well who knows what was going on in her head there, I never read it so don't know how bad it was, I just know what I heard from staff a couple of months ago. Hopefully someone will come on and clear things up for you. I did see a couple of posts on TES but they disappeared pretty swiftly.
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Postby Cwlcymro » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:04 pm

Thanks for the info and the balanced opinion stella! Really helps!
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Postby ChoirGuy » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:17 pm

Thanks Stella...very helpful and sensible. Will be weighing a lot of factors over the next two weeks while the schools in question - Harrow Beijing and Alice Smith, as well as a mystery third option - come to their senses and offer me the job! :D
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Postby stellalocal » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:39 am

Sometimes I think all this information actually makes it harder knowing what to do. When I first came overseas I happily applied anywhere and when I got offered a job with a decent salary I just accepted it and considered it a new adventure. At interviews you'd get talking to others about the 'best' schools to get into, but that was about it. Now, with all these forums I do often find myself overthinking things, asking myself is that just some bitter teacher, an admin hyping the school up, a troll etc.

Good luck, hopefully you both get something good.
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All in All

Postby PsyGuy » Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:52 am

Every school every where has issues. Theres always someone whos unhappy, and there will always be people who are unhappy with change. Making decisions over what amount to as personality issues among a small group of people, would mean youd never work anywhere. Second, your looking at this from the teacher/staff point of view. Even if some teachers are disgruntled, im sure they put on their happy work face in the classroom. A teacher that spent class time complaining about the principal wouldnt last long at all, and would probably be terminated very quickly. So whatever issues there are they are highly unlikely to be anything your daughter would be exposed too.
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Postby ChoirGuy » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:42 pm

Thanks again...Psyguy, you're absolutely right, I'm sure...now I just need someone to offer me a job! :?
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Observation

Postby PsyGuy » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:12 pm

It will come, April sees an increase in hiring and so does June. A lot of europe doesnt open up until april/may due to labor law requirements.
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