International School Brunei

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International School Brunei
International School Brunei Logo.png
Jalan Utama Salambigar


Coordinates4°57′43″N 114°59′29″E / 4.96194°N 114.99139°E / 4.96194; 114.99139Coordinates: 4°57′43″N 114°59′29″E / 4.96194°N 114.99139°E / 4.96194; 114.99139
School typeInternational
MottoEveryone Excels
ISB Executive PrincipalDr Stephen Kendall-Jones
Average class size20
LanguageEnglish (main)
Hours in school day7

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 Seria in the Belait district. It is the first international school to be set up in Brunei. The current executive principal is Dr Stephen Kendall-Jones. The school has four sections: pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, primary, and, secondary.

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.


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 had 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 enrollment 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).


Upper Secondary Subject Options[edit]

ISB classifies the subjects on offer into 3 blocks and core subjects students must take. The ISB CORE consists of English, Languages, Mathematics and Science. These are subjects that students must take. The three option blocks (X, Y & Z) are the students choice of subjects to choose from. Students are only allowed one subject from each block and they cannot pick the same one.

Block Code Subject Notes
English CIE 0475 Cambridge IGCSE Literature in English The Cambridge IGCSE Literature in English course are people who are capable of doing English First Language (0500) very well. This course is offered for people in set/class 3, 2, and 1.
CIE 0500 Cambridge IGCSE English First Language
Mathematics CIE 0580 Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics This course will no longer be continued at ISB since the Cambridge IGCSE International Mathematics is a better course for preparation for IB Mathematics since in IB and this course will use Graphical calculators. The last international examination for this course is in 2022.
CIE 0607 Cambridge IGCSE International Mathematics Cambridge IGCSE International Mathematics (0607) is a newer mathematics course at ISB. The first examination will be in 2023 and onwards.
CIE 0606 Cambridge IGCSE Additional Mathematics Those students who are in top set/class in the maths will take Cambridge IGCSE International Mathematics (0607) and Cambridge Additional Mathematics (0606)
Sciences CIE 0610 Cambridge IGCSE Biology These three subjects are taken together (these subjects are referred to as triple Science). Students taking these subjects are exempted from taking a subject in either Option Block X or Option Block Y. Students taking Triple will have 8 science lessons per week.
CIE 0620 Cambridge IGCSE Chemistry
CIE 0625 Cambridge IGCSE Physics
CIE 0654 Cambridge IGCSE Co-ordinated Sciences (Double Award)
Languages 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 another language course.
CIE 0520 Cambridge IGCSE French Foreign Language
CIE 0546 Cambridge IGCSE Malay Foreign Language
CIE 0547 Cambridge IGCSE Mandarin Foreign Language
CIE 1201 Cambridge O Level Malay Language (Brunei)
Option Block X CIE 0400 Cambridge IGCSE Art and Design
CIE 0450 Cambridge IGCSE Business Studies
CIE 0411 Cambridge IGCSE Drama
CIE 0478 Cambridge IGCSE Computer Science
CIE 0413 Cambridge IGCSE Physical Education
CIE 0610, CIE 0620 & CIE 0625 Cambridge IGCSE Biology, Cambridge IGCSE Chemistry & Cambridge IGCSE Physics (Triple Science)
Option Block Y CIE 0400 Cambridge IGCSE Art and Design
CIE 0450 Cambridge IGCSE Business Studies
AQA 8236 AQA GCSE Dance
CIE 0455 Cambridge IGCSE Economics
CIE 0470 Cambridge IGCSE History
AQA 4810 AQA GCSE Media Studies
CIE 0460 Cambridge IGCSE Geography
Option Block Z CIE 0445 Cambridge IGCSE Design and Technology Resistant Materials
CIE 0445 Cambridge IGCSE Design and Technology Graphics
CIE 0460 Cambridge IGCSE Geography
EdEx 1MU0 EdExcel GCSE Music
AQA 8182 AQA GCSE Psychology
CIE 0610, CIE 0620 & CIE 0625 Cambridge IGCSE Biology, Cambridge IGCSE Chemistry & Cambridge IGCSE Physics (Triple Science)

IB Diploma Subject Options[edit]

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 Yes
Mandarin B Yes Yes
French B Yes Yes
Spanish ab initio 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 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 Yes
5 Mathematics Yes Yes HL and SL students are split.
Mathematical Studies Yes
6 Film Yes Yes
Drama Yes Yes
Theatre Yes Yes
Visual Arts Yes Yes


External links[edit]