Garden International School

Garden International School (GIS) is a private, co-educational international school in Mont Kiara, Segambut, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Founded in 1951, GIS is one of the oldest and most prestigious private schools in Malaysia.[1][2][3] GIS is part of the Taylor's Education Group and a member of the Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA).

Garden International School Malaysia

Former namesGarden School
TypeInternational school
MottoPlus est en vous
FounderMrs. Sally Watkins
PresidentBK Gan
Head teacherRobert Stitch
  •      Chancellor
  •      Crest
  •      Sultan
  •      Queen
AffiliationsCouncil of International Schools

GIS provides British-based education for students ages 3 to 18 years old, with an Early Years Centre (age 3-5), Primary School (age 5-11) and Secondary School (age 11-18). GIS is one of the biggest private co-educational schools in Malaysia, with around 2,000 students.

Accredited by the Council of International Schools, GIS offers the British National Curriculum, including providing IGCSE and A Levels examinations.



Founded in 1951 as Garden School, the school was established by Sally Watkins, the wife of Kuala Lumpur Fire Brigade Chief Lt. Col. F.F.C. Watkins, in the Lake Gardens of Kuala Lumpur. It was one of the first international schools catering for expatriates in the Federation of Malaya.[4]

Campus location

The school moved to Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur in 1955 due to a rapidly expanding roll[4] and, after several moves to locations around the Klang Valley, moved to the present location in Mont Kiara in 1996.[5]

International examinations

In 1966, Garden School was selected as the first school in Malaysia for the University of London's General Certificate of Education examination. It is fully accredited to offer both IGCSE and A Level examinations.[6] Candidates sit examinations in the May/June series of each academic year.

Academic information

Early Years Centre

Garden International School's Early Years Centre (EYC) is a preschool following the British EYFS curriculum. The bespoke centre is located in the residential community of Desa Sri Hartamas and follows the EYFS curriculum. The EYC is divided into Nursery (age 3-4) and Reception (age 4-5) classes; a flexible ‘Pre-Nursery’ enrolment option is also available for children who join the term that they turn 3, providing they are toilet trained and show school readiness.

The Centre offers a Jungle School programme, unique in Malaysia, which offers the children regular opportunities to learn and build confidence in a safe outdoor environment.

Primary school

Garden International School's Primary School provides an international curriculum based on the National Curriculum for England and Wales. Science, History, Geography and PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) are taught by classroom teachers, alongside specialist teachers supporting the teaching of Art, Design and Technology, Music, ICT, Physical Education and Modern Foreign Languages.

Secondary school

GIS' Secondary School students follow a full range of courses leading to International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) Examinations. The Key Stage 3 programme is based upon the Engish National Curriculum, with modifications to suit the school’s context.

The school offers University of Cambridge International Examinations, with students sitting the majority of IGCSE examinations at the end of Year 11. At Sixth Form, the school offers AS & A-Level (both Cambridge International Examinations & Edexcel) courses.[7] which are supplemented by bespoke subject electives and a summer professional internship programme, THRIVE.

In recent years, some subjects have chosen to take Edexcel in place of CIE, such as GCSE PE, A-Level Mathematics, Drama & Theatre Studies and Psychology.

In terms of academic performance, GIS' Secondary School is one of Asia's top performing international schools, with the majority of graduates going to the world's top 100 universities.[8][9]


The Principal of Garden International School is Robert Stitch. The Head of Secondary is Matt Corbett and the Head of Primary is Nicola Nelson.

The school employs over 80% of expatriate teachers, mostly originating from the UK.

In addition to the large academic body, the school also employs administrative staff, specialist sport coaches, counsellors and student service staff.

Notable alumni



The following subjects are available for IGCSEs in GIS:

  • Accounting
  • Business Studies
  • Economics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Coordinated Studies
  • Physics
  • Computer Science
  • ICT
  • Art & Design
  • Art & Design: Photography
  • DT (Graphics)
  • DT (Resistant Materials)
  • Drama
  • Music
  • PE
  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • English (2nd Language)
  • Geography
  • History
  • Sociology
  • French
  • Malay
  • Spanish
  • Mandarin
  • Maths
  • Additional Maths


  • Business
  • Economics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Computer Science
  • Art & Design
  • DT: Product Design
  • DT: Graphics
  • Photography
  • Music
  • Drama
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Chinese
  • Further Mathematics
  • Mathematics

Academic accreditations and awards

  • Apple Distinguished School
  • Relocate Awards (Highly Commended)
  • Global Innovative Learning Program Award by 21st Century Learning[10]
  • TES Independent School Awards 2016[11]
  • Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM)[12]

Student life


The house system is an important part of school life in GIS, promoting community spirit, active engagement and competition.

There are four houses at GIS - Chancellor, Crest, Queen and Sultan - each with their own house colour and emblem.

  • Chancellor is green, with an emblem of a horse set in front of crossed pair of keys
  • Crest is yellow, with an emblem of a soaring phoenix set in front of a letter C
  • Queen is blue, with an emblem of is a stylised Q with crown and wings
  • Sultan is red, with an emblem of a stylised S enveloping the globe whilst reaching for the stars.

All students and teaching staff are allocated into a house. Siblings will generally be allocated the same house.

In the Secondary school, there are house competitions throughout the year with the two main events being Sports Day and Eisteddfod (a creative arts competition). Other competitive house events include smaller competitions, quizzes and events that encompass artistic and creative pursuits.

In the Primary school, the House System within the GIS Primary School helps to teach pupils the value of teamwork and working towards the same goals to foster a sense of community and friendly competition. Each house has two student-elected House Captains.

Some of the house-related competitions and activities that the pupils take part in include; sports day, cross country, swimming gala, maths ninja’s, the Big Draw and reading competitions. As well as earning merits for their house, students have the opportunity to win the ‘Primary House Spirit and Values’ award each term.

Sports and Co-Curricular Activities

Garden International School has a proud sporting tradition. Representative teams come under the banner of the GIS Dragons and regularly perform at the highest levels in inter-school and regional competitions.

Dragons sports include: Football, basketball, swimming, rugby, touch rugby, cross country, netball, athletics, t-ball, tennis, golf and badminton. The Dragons’ age groups range from Under 9 to Under 18, with over 45 teams.

The school is a key member of AIMS sport, FOBISIA and SEASAC. Teams participating in weekly league fixtures, weekend tournaments in Kuala Lumpur and international competitions within Southeast Asia.

Dragons teams are also supplemented by the GISKL Sports Academy, which is run by external coaches and is open to all students.

In addition to sports, the school runs one of the largest co-curricular activity programmes in the region with over 200 activities on offer for students each term.

The school also has a well-established programme for the Duke of Edinburgh International Award. Running since 1989, over 100 students take part each year.

Student Leadership

The school offers one of the most extensive student leadership programmes in Asia, with nearly 200 students across their Primary and Secondary schools involved in leadership each academic year.

There are currently many student leadership ‘strands’ including: Learning; Well-being; House; Sports; Digital Learning; Arts; Action and Transition.

Community Service

The school has an active Community Service team, comprising teachers, parent representatives and student leaders. Fundraising, awareness campaigns and service learning are prioritised for the school’s five core charities: Jeans for Genes Day and the school’s five core charities: EPIC Homes; Make A Wish; Free Tree Society, JREC and the school’s own Street Feeding Programme for the homeless community in Kuala Lumpur. Student leadership of charity initiatives is actively encouraged throughout the school.

School calendar

Garden International School's academic year begins in late August. There are three terms, each lasting between 10 and 12 weeks. Within each term there is a mid-term break of 1–2 weeks. These usually coincide with holidays such as Hari Raya Aidil Fitri and Deepavali in the first term, and Chinese New Year in the second term.


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