Alice Smith School

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Alice Smith School
Motto Sic Itur Ad Astra ("In This Way You Shall Go To The Stars")
Established 1946
Type Mixed, Day British International School
Location Malaysia Coordinates: 3°07′41″N 101°42′01″E / 3.1281°N 101.7003°E / 3.1281; 101.7003
Students Approximately 1,600 students
Gender Co-educational
Ages 3–18
Houses Muir (yellow), Fleming (red), Fairfield (blue), Scott (green)
Colours White and Dark Green
Website Alice Smith School

The Alice Smith School, established since 1946 in Kuala Lumpur is one of the oldest British international schools in Asia. The school is a not-for-profit educational foundation. The Alice Smith School follows the English National Curriculum with a strong international flavour. In 2011, the school was one of the first in Asia to be fully accredited as a British School Overseas by the Department for Education in London.[citation needed]

Its three-year rolling average for A Level A*-B results is 73% and the school's value-add score for academic attainment puts it in the top 6% tier of schools worldwide. At GCSE level, the three-year rolling average of A*-A is 60%.

The school's admissions policy is broadly non-selective. Priority for admissions is given to students of the founding trustee nations - British, Australian, New Zealand, and Irish students. These nationalities make up slightly under half of the student population. The school has around one-third Malaysians and 40 other nationalities represented.


The Alice Smith School started in 1946 as a stop-gap home school in Kuala Lumpur. At that stage, the expatriate schools in the cooler highlands that had been operating in Malaya before the Second World War had not yet re-opened. In 1975, Patricia Lee, former headmistress of the school from 1964 to 1989, described the motivation behind the school's inception:

People's ideas about living in the tropics began to change as the war had shown them that they had more resistance to the heat than they had imagined and they began to feel it was no longer imperative to send children back to temperate climates at a very early age. One person who held this view was Alice Fairfield Smith, whose husband Hugh was the Statistician at the Rubber Research Institute. In 1946, she decided to keep her daughter Lindsay with her and to teach the child herself. When three months later, there were enough children for two classes, Mrs. Smith realised that this was not going to be the temporary project she imagined, and the Eaton Road School was registered with the Department of Education.[1][2][3]

The school was initially located in Mrs. Smith's home on Eaton Road until the classrooms began to encroach upon the dining room, and Hugh Smith decided to take over a larger house and surrender the entire ground floor to the school. Even this space proved insufficient, and by 1949 the school had moved to the Masonic Hall in Damansara Road, an event recorded by the Straits Times in its series entitled "The Passing Scene." [4] Numbers grew to 70, and fees were $60 a term. Classes were taught by qualified teachers who were supported by a group of volunteer mothers. Mrs Smith never gave herself a salary, and her staff were not paid for school holidays. It is recorded that she said "We do not want to make a profit," and though other things have changed, this principle is as true today as it was then.[5]

In 1949, Mrs. Smith informed a saddened group of parents that she would be leaving Malaya the following year, and she put forward a suggestion that some suitable arrangements should be worked out by parents so that the school could continue. Parents were anxious to take over the responsibility for the administration of the school, and they decided to form an Association that would place the responsibility for the administration of the school in the hands of a Council of Governors. The school was renamed the Alice Smith School, and the new headmistress was Mrs Anne Lilley, who had founded her own school in Penang.

In the early months of 1950, Mrs. Smith finally left Malaya. When she returned for a visit in 1960, the Malay Mail described her [6] as a "highly impressed but slightly bewildered visitor" who, with undisguised astonishment, surveyed the school she had started with two pupils, a blackboard, and a box of chalk. In her absence, the school had moved to a new location on Bellamy Road, about two years after the left. The new location consisted of a hall and two wings, known today as the North and West wings. At the time of Mrs Smith's visit, the school had approximately 250 pupils, and Mrs. Smith could hardly associate the busy establishment of 1960 with what she described as "the itinerant caravan of 10 years ago."

Mrs. Lilley was succeeded by Mrs. Doris Muir, who was then followed by Mrs. G. Whitmore and then Miss Denise Fleming. In this time span, two more blocks were added to the original school, along with the building that presently houses the kindergarten and the East Wing. Following this expansion, the Nursery was brought back from St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church Hall where it had been located but was subsequently disbanded when there was pressure for places for school age children.

In the mid-1960s, under the leadership of headmistress Ms. Patricia Lee, the school had the South Wing erected, which consisted of six classrooms, shortly followed by the library and the practical math room. A discussion also began about increasing the age of students allowed at the school, and around 1968, the Council of Governors, ever responsive to the needs of the children, decided to go ahead with the opening of the school for an older group of students. The Preparatory Building for older students was opened in January 1971. This step was taken with a certain amount of apprehension but with the knowledge that if the project failed, the classrooms could still be used for a lower age level. However, by the end of the year, more classes were being added to the Department.

Since 1950, the school has been administered by a Council of Governors made up of parents and friends of the school. This has always been voluntary work.

In the mid-1990s, there was much discussion about opening classes all the way up to Advanced Level examinations, traditionally taken by students at 18 years of age. However, there was not enough space at the current site to expand, so the school had to locate a new greenfield site, south of the city on the multimedia development corridor to Putrajaya. Funds were raised and on the September 11, 1997, the secondary campus opened at Equine Park. Prince Edward, the youngest son of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, officially opened the campus on Friday, September 12, 1998 by unveiling a plaque in the school assembly hall.

The Principals of the Alice Smith School, Jalan Bellamy include[7]

  • Alice Smith 1946-1949
  • Anne Lilley 1949-1951
  • Doris Muir 1951-1959
  • Mrs. E. Whitmore 1959-1961
  • Mrs. D. Fleming 1961-1964
  • Patricia Lee 1964-1989
  • Joe Eales 1989-1992
  • Sue de Bohun 1992-1997
  • Antony Richards 1997-1999
  • Steve Caulfield 1999-2011
  • Kate Fuller 2011-Present

The Principals of the Alice Smith School, Equine Park Secondary Campus include[7]

  • Andrew Homden 1996-2000
  • Stephen Murray 2000-2003
  • Nikolas Bishop 2003-2007
  • Richard Dyer 2007-2009
  • Valerie Thomas-Peter 2009-2010
  • Roger Schultz 2010-2014
  • Sarah Howling 2014-Present

There have been two Director of School who have overseen both campuses. The Director of School include

  • Andrew Homden 1996-2002
  • Valerie Thomas-Peter 2008-2014

The current Head of School for both campuses is Roger Schultz, 2014-Present.

The first chairman of the Alice Smith Schools Association Council of Governors was Mr G.G.C. Wilson.[8] The current Chair is Lorien Holland.[9]


The school operates at two sites: the Primary Campus is in a wooded area adjacent to the old Istana Negara (Royal Palace) on Jalan Bellamy. This is close to the centre of Kuala Lumpur. The facilities at the Primary Campus include interactive whiteboards throughout, a virtual learning platform (Frog) three libraries, a hall, a double-storey gym, swimming pool, three computer suites (PC & Mac), a performing arts centre, a sports field, two sets of adventure play equipment and three play grounds.[10]. The latest additional is the One-stop centre for parents and dedicated dining hall for students.

The Secondary Campus at Equine Park is approximately 40 minutes south of Kuala Lumpur. It opened in 1997 and the development of facilities has followed and the site includes a swimming pool, indoor sports hall, rugby and football pitches, an outdoor basketball court and four tennis courts. The school uses the virtual learning platform (Frog), further amplified through the universal use of interactive whiteboards. The performing arts centre includes two theater halls, six practice rooms and a recording studio. The expanded art space has been the site of exhibitions, recently expanded to allow exploration of other artistic mediums such as Digital Photography. The school boasts Business, Media & Technology as well as Science centres.[11]


The school is in the top tier of educational establishments in Kuala Lumpur. The fees shown below are Tuition Fees per term (RM), excluding the building fee and parental deposit.

  • Pre-school 9,880
  • Reception 14,170
  • Year 1 14,920
  • Year 2 14,920
  • Year 3 15,350
  • Year 4 15,350
  • Year 5 15,350
  • Year 6 15,350
  • Year 7 19,210
  • Year 8 19,210
  • Year 9 19,210
  • Year 10 22,190
  • Year 11 22,190
  • Year 12 23,040
  • Year 13 23,040 [11]


The school motto is Sic Itur Ad Astra (Latin: "In this way, you shall go to the stars").

School affiliations[edit]

The school is a member of the Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA), South East Asia Student Activity Conference (SEASAC), Independent Schools Council (ISC), Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Council of British International Schools (COBIS). They are now also associated with ISAC (International Schools Athletics Conference).


  1. ^ Report of the Council of Governors at the 25th Annual General Meeting of the Alice Smith Schools Association, 31 March 1975
  2. ^ The Alice Smith Schools Association Circular to Parents, February 1951
  3. ^ The Alice Smith Schools Association List of Parent Members 14 November 1950
  4. ^ Straits Times newspaper "The Passing Scene" 1949
  5. ^ ?
  6. ^ Malay Mail newspaper, August 12, 1960
  7. ^ a b Alice Smith Schools Association AGM documentation
  8. ^ Alice Smith School Association Annual General Meeting November 1951
  9. ^ Malaysian Companies Registrar
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ a b [2]

External links[edit]