International School Brunei

International School Brunei (ISB) is an international school split over two sites, one located in the Sungai Akar area of Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei and the other located in Kuala Belait in the Belait district. It is the first international school to be set up in Brunei. The current executive principal, as of 2014, is Steven Paul Geraghty. The school has four sections: pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, primary, and secondary.

International School Brunei
Jalan Dato Haji Ahmad


Coordinates4°56′00″N 114°56′15″E
School typeInternational
MottoEveryone Excels
Head of schoolSteven Paul Geraghty
Average class size20
LanguageEnglish (main)
Hours in school day7

The school is one of several schools offering the Cambridge IGCSE qualification in Brunei (the national qualification is the Cambridge O Level) and is the earlier of the only two schools in the country to offer the IB Diploma, the other being Jerudong International School.


Datin Glass, a government officer's wife, started a tutorial group for her daughter and one or two friends in 1964 and taught them by means of a correspondence course sent out and marked by the South Australian Correspondence School. The numbers grew quite rapidly and by 1970 the school moved to a site provided by the Brunei Government at 34 Tapak Kuda and was established as a department of the South Australian Correspondence Schools, known locally as the Supervision School. By February 1971 there were 30 Kindergarten pupils and 31 Primary students.

The enrolment continued to grow and by 1974 it had reached 160. In 1976 it was decided that the school should convert to a fully independent private preparatory school, employing trained teachers and the then current principal, Mrs Bennett adopted an education based on the UK primary school principles. The School became a limited company, the International School (B) Bhd on 1 December 1976. For the first time the school had a board of Directors elected from the membership of the company.

The School continued to grow and expand to such an extent that a new site was sourced and acquired in Berakas in 1978, but was unable to move because there were no funds to erect suitable buildings. By 1980 the School had 300 pupils. ISB eventually had to leave Tapak Kuda and move to its current location in Berakas having raised funds through a combination of vigorous fund raising, debentures, bank loans and royal support. The School was officially opened by HRH Princess Masna on 9 March 1986, eight years after securing the lease. Funding for development was a perennial problem and had it not been for considerable support from an anonymous donor through the setting up of a trust fund under chairmanship of Mrs Meggie Leong, development would have been very much slower.

In 1991 the school extended its provision to lower secondary students who were able to move into their own premises on the secondary site in 1993. In 2001 the School was authorised by the International Baccalaureate Organisation to offer their prestigious Diploma programme.

In 2006 a small satellite school was opened in Kuala Belait, Belait district, catering for children from Pre Kindergarten to Year 1. This school has grown and expanded so that a second, upper site was opened in September 2012 so that the school now caters for the full Primary age range from 2–11 years.

Currently ISB caters for over 1100 students ranging in age from Pre Kindergarten (two years) to IB (pre university – eighteen years).The students represent thirty seven different nationalities and a host of cultures creating a truly multicultural environment. The School values the presence of Bruneian/PR students who currently account for forty percent of the enrolment.

ISB curriculum is based on an adapted National Curriculum for England, Years up to IGCSE level followed by the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme. Students leave ISB to attend universities around the world including Oxbridge and Ivy League.

From Year 2 onwards, Bruneian children follow Brunei Government Ugama (Islamic religious instruction) requirements and may either have lessons at school (BSB only), in the afternoon, or may continue with their preferred method of instruction elsewhere. Children attend lessons Monday to Friday, after regular school lessons finish, from 1.30 to 2.45 pm. Ugama School in ISB Bandar is run by the Guru Basar (Principal Teacher) and teachers from the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Additionally, ISB has a partnership agreement with Sunshine Coast TAFE, Australia to deliver their Community Services Early Childhood programme at Certificate III and Diploma level.

The School received international accreditation by the Council of International Schools in February 2005, is a member of the Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA) and the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS).


ISB promotes itself as offering an 'inclusive school that strives to meet every individual's needs', opening its doors to students of all faiths, cultures, races and abilities, including students with a disability or difficulty of any kind provided both parents and school conclude that their specific needs can be catered for.

The school's governance

ISB is governed by a board of directors made up of elected parent company members. ISB is a company limited by guarantee. Parents and staff may apply to become company members. Company members have the right to attend the Annual General Meeting and to stand for and vote in the election of Board members.

Green School

The International School Brunei considers itself a 'Green School'. There is an agreed whole school eco code which, following whole school discussions, was distilled into one phrase – 'Growing Green Minds'. In 2012 the school achieved the UK Eco Schools Green Flag award, only the second school outside the UK to do so.

There are a number of Eco Action teams that meet on a regular basis and involve all stakeholders. These teams are involved in guiding the school to maintain our Green Flag status, which entails carrying out periodic environmental reviews and from those reviews creating and carrying out action plans to address issues in a number of environmental areas including Energy, Water, Biodiversity, School grounds, Healthy Living, Transport, Litter and Waste.

They are also involved in ensuring that environmental education forms part of our curriculum through the implementation of a progression of skills and curriculum review to identify opportunities for links to environmental education.

They also lead the school in participation in a number of eco events during the school year linked to global events in addition to one off and ongoing projects which have included:Community recycling, Energy conservation, BADAS tree planting project, Beach clean ups, Proboscis monkey surveys, Green flag initiative with FOBISIA schools and Workshops with local schools.

The Million Trees Project

The most significant of these projects is the Million Trees project which has the stated aim to support tree planting and forest conservation projects across Borneo and beyond, but especially in the areas defined as The Heart of Borneo, with the specific aims of sustaining the livelihoods of indigenous people and the biodiversity of natural forest in perpetuity. So far the project has replanted 350,000 trees in the Heart of Borneo area.

Borneo Global Issues Conference

The annual ISB Borneo Global Issues Conference is a model United Nations-style (MUN) conference held at the International Conference Centre in Brunei Darussalam.

International Keynote Speakers included 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai; environmentalist Professor David Bellamy (OBE); Animal Planet television presenters Monty Halls and Dr. Alison Cronin; Native American Medicine Man Nathan Chasing Horse; Childs Rights Activist Kate McAlpine; Moni Pizani, Regional Programme Director, UN Women, East and SE Asia Regional Office; Hugh Evans, 2004 Young Australian of the Year, CEO, The Global Poverty Project.

ISB BGIC is a student-managed conference focusing on the knowledge of international concerns and current affairs, debating and presentation skills, as well as instilling values of global citizenship In previous years, ISB BGIC has hosted almost 300 students from Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Singapore, England, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, and Qatar, with the majority of conference delegates from local government schools in Brunei Darussalam.

After school activities

The after school activities are varied- clubs can include cricket, football, basketball, golf, netball, drama, art, fencing, hip hop, tennis, swimming and a whole host of other activities; these change every term/semester. The after school activities are usually run by teachers and sometimes parents.


Upper Secondary subject options

ISB classifies the subjects on offer into eight blocks, where students take one subject from each block (unless specified). This is such that the transition to the IB Diploma is streamlined.

Block Code Subject Notes
1 CIE 0486 Cambridge IGCSE Literature (English)
CIE 0500 Cambridge IGCSE First Language English
CIE 0510 Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language Students are exclusively placed into this course by English teachers depending on the level of their English. Students taking this subject are exempted from taking a subject in block 5.
2 CIE 0580 Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics
3 CIE 0610 Cambridge IGCSE Biology These three subjects are taken together. Students taking these subjects are exempted from taking a subject in block 8.
CIE 0620 Cambridge IGCSE Chemistry
CIE 0625 Cambridge IGCSE Physics
CIE 0654 Cambridge IGCSE Co-ordinated Sciences (Double Award)
4 CIE 0520 Cambridge IGCSE French
CIE 0546 Cambridge IGCSE Malay
CIE 0547 Cambridge IGCSE Mandarin Chinese
CIE 1201 Cambridge O Level Malay Language (Brunei)
5 CIE 0400 Cambridge IGCSE Art and Design
CIE 0410 Cambridge IGCSE Music
EdEx 2DR01 EdExcel GCSE Drama
6 CIE 0455 Cambridge IGCSE Economics
CIE 0460 Cambridge IGCSE Geography
CIE 0470 Cambridge IGCSE History
7 CIE 0445 Cambridge IGCSE Design and Technology
CIE 0413 Cambridge IGCSE Physical Education
7 or 8 AQA 4810 AQA GCSE Media Studies This subject can be taken under either block 7 or 8. The other subject must still be taken from block 7 or 8.
8 CIE 0450 Cambridge IGCSE Business Studies
EdEx 4IT0 EdExcel IGCSE Information and Communication Technology

IB Diploma/Certificate subject options

IB Group Subject HL SL Notes
1 English A: Literature Yes Yes
English A: Language and Literature Yes Yes HL and SL students are split.
Malay A: Literature Yes Yes Can be taken in the place of a Group 2 subject.
2 English B No Yes Can only be taken with Malay A: Literature.
Malay B N/A Yes
Mandarin B Yes Yes
French B Yes Yes
Spanish ab initio N/A Yes
3 Business and Management Yes Yes
Economics Yes Yes
Geography Yes Yes
History (Route 2: 20th century world history) Yes Yes
Psychology Yes Yes Can also be taken in the place of a Group 6 subject – another Group 3 subject can then be chosen.
3 & 4 Environmental Systems and Societies N/A Yes Taken as part of Group 4 – another Group 3 subject must be chosen.
4 Biology Yes Yes
Chemistry Yes Yes Taken exclusively in the place of a Group 6 subject – students will need to take a second Group 4 subject as well.
Physics Yes Yes
Design Technology Yes Yes
Sport, Exercise and Health Science N/A Yes
5 Mathematics Yes Yes HL and SL students are split.
Mathematical Studies N/A Yes
6 Film Yes Yes
Drama Yes Yes
Theatre Yes Yes
Visual Arts Yes Yes


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