The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) has been shortlisted for the prestigious International School Leader Awards in the category Initiative for Inclusion for its unique Life-Centered Education (LCE) program.

ISKL’s LCE program supports the needs of students with diagnosed intellectual or developmental differences and provides customised instruction and support from a team of highly trained special educators, counselors and educational psychologists. The program began in Middle School in 2015, expanded into High School in 2018 and is being developed in Elementary School to create a fully inclusive school. The High School LCE program is the only one of its kind available to older students in Kuala Lumpur.

A student in the LCE program, Aisha Jamaluddin Aziz explains the philosophy, “in a big school we should all behave like a family, and it doesn’t matter if someone has a learning difference”. ISKL’s Head of School, Dr. Norma Hudson agrees with Aisha, “ISKL is indeed like a big family and our mission is to support each and every student in becoming a highly successful, spirited, socially responsible global citizen. Our whole community has benefited from becoming an inclusive school. The program builds our students’ self-esteem and self-advocacy as well social and academic skills. Our wider school community has benefited by developing greater understanding, respect and acceptance of differences and diversity. The program has had a ripple effect throughout the school and enriched the ISKL family in so many ways”.  

The primary focus of LCE is on teaching literacy, mathematics, social skills, and life skills in the least restrictive and most integrated environment possible. Students accessing the LCE program spend at least half of their schedule with peers in mainstream classes and are integrated into all aspects of school life from academics to after school activities to ISKL’s Global Action Program (GAP increases students’ awareness of emerging global issues by involving them in a range of cultural, environmental, and service opportunities within Southeast Asia). Where needed, individualised direct intervention is provided in the areas of need including reading comprehension, writing, social skills and independent living skills are provided in specially designed LCE classrooms at ISKL’s new Ampang Hilir campus which opened in August 2018. 

ISKL’s philosophy of inclusion extends throughout the school with a dedicated Learning Resource team providing support to students with mild to moderate learning differences including dyslexia, ADHD, learning differences in literacy and numeracy, and challenges in executive functioning. 

The International School Awards are hosted by the UK’s International School Leader Magazine with the support of ISC Research. The winner will be announced in London on 21 January 2019. The International School Awards, formerly the British International School Awards, provide the opportunity for international schools to share best practice, creative endeavours, community participation and innovation.