Some believe that leadership is an innate skill, but The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL), firmly believes that leadership is a skill that can be fostered and nurtured in every individual. 


According to ISKL’s Head of School, Mr. Rami Madani, “Ensuring our students are future-ready is a critical component of our Vision and Mission. In a world where self-directedness, the ability to think creatively, reason critically, and communicate effectively, are essential for success, one of our most important roles at ISKL is to guide, mentor, and support students to become effective leaders. Building their leadership capacity today is one of the greatest attributes we can provide them with, in preparation for the future.”


In line with this, one of ISKL’s goals is to support students in developing the 21st-century learning skills needed to be future-ready and become socially responsible global citizens in a rapidly evolving world. Part of the unique learning experience ISKL offers is to create school-wide opportunities in a nurturing environment where students can take risks and practice the skills they will need to be effective leaders in the future.


Starting from Elementary School, all ISKL’s Grade 5 students participate in the Red Hat leadership program which is intentionally designed to develop leadership skills and create opportunities for personal growth and development. The Red Hats make the morning announcements, assist at school assemblies, and coordinate community service projects including the annual Change Makers Conference. 


Hannah A. (Class of ‘28) shared her thoughts, saying that “Being a Red Hat helped me gain confidence and overcome shyness. As a Red Hat, we are role models for the younger students.  The great part about being a leader is that people trust you and come to you for advice, and that’s how you can help others.” Rushdan S. (Class of ‘28) said that “Through the program, I’ve learned how to be independent and work better with others. Red Hats get special privileges, and I’ve learned how to use this privilege correctly because if you use it incorrectly, your leadership role will be taken away.” 


Amy Schneider, ISKL’s Grade 5 Learning Resource teacher in Elementary School who has been involved in the Red Hat program, commented, "The Middle and High School students have readily supported our Red Hats to become social change-makers. At the Red Hat orientation, older students shared why they started their clubs, what they wanted to accomplish, and how the Red Hats could support these important causes. With this in mind, the Red Hats decide which service projects work best for them. When students begin taking action in the early years, this leads to a lifetime of service.”


Students at ISKL are empowered to develop leadership skills in a variety of ways including leading and participating in clubs, service initiatives as well as community activities. In Middle School, students have the opportunity to put their leadership skills into action through the Student Council (StuCo).


Middle School student, Naiema S. (Class of ‘25) explained, “A big part of StuCo is learning how to collaborate well with others and work together to achieve a common goal… and even for those who aren’t involved in StuCo, ISKL has plenty of in-class opportunities for everyone to take charge of a particular project or even just to speak up.” 


In High School, The Student Leadership Team (SLT) comprises an elected body of student representatives who advocate for student voice in learning, to enrich the community, enhance school spirit, and create lasting memories for all ISKL students. 


High School students Jeffrey S. (Class of ‘22) and Jasmine N. (Class of ‘21) shared their experiences on the SLT. Jeffrey said, “Taking part in these leadership roles will prepare you for responsibilities later on in life, so it’s good to practice now.” Jasmine agreed, adding that “Being a leader is a helpful skill for when we move on to university and enter the workforce. Confidence and teamwork are some important skills that I have picked up through working with fellow students across different grade levels.”


In leading schools, leaders and teachers model the behavior, skills, and attitudes they want to inculcate in students. At ISKL, it is not just faculty and staff who do this with passion and conviction, but also the students. Whether affecting change in the community, demonstrating sportsmanship on the field, or being a Red Hat role model to younger learners, every day ISKL students have the opportunity to practice essential 21st-century skills that will ensure they are future-ready. 



To celebrate its 55th anniversary, ISKL is offering 55% off Family and Student Registration fees for 55 days for students applying to enroll in August 2021. To take advantage of this opportunity, applications must be submitted between November 1 and December 25, 2020. Click here for more details or contact or +603 4813 5004. T&C apply. 


About ISKL 

Established in 1965, The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) has become known as a center of excellence in the world of international education. ISKL is a co-educational, private, not-for-profit school responsible for the learning journey of 1,700 students aged 3-18 years representing more than 65 nationalities at its campus in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.


ISKL offers a robust international curriculum that combines leading North American educational frameworks with global best practice.  The curriculum recognizes that students are on a lifelong learning journey and is driven by ISKL’s mission to challenge each student to “Be All You Are” and develop the attitudes, skills, knowledge, and understanding to become a highly successful, spirited, socially responsible global citizen.


ISKL is accredited internationally through the Council of International Schools (CIS), and in the United States through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). There is a strong focus on service and sustainability across its divisions and is a member of the Eco-Schools organization and the Green Schools Alliance.