Kinabalu International School has an excellent track record in retaining its teaching staff, with the majority renewing contracts beyond the initial two year period.
What Our Teachers Say
Laura Cole, Primary Teacher
Arriving here in Kota Kinabalu in 2014 was exciting and settling, as we were all greeted by our host (a teacher from the school) who introduced us to the school as well as Kota Kinabalu as a place to live. We were supported in a variety of areas from setting up bank accounts to choosing our new home, and other staff from the school were also very supportive.
Working at KIS is positive, productive and creative, and I am enjoying my own development as a teaching professional, as well as being involved in the development of the school. In the Primary Department, lessons are centred around a different topic each term and it is wonderful to be given freedom, encouragement and acknowledgement in creating vibrant and valuable lessons in learning that are fun for both pupils and teachers. Class sizes are manageable and pupils are hardworking; we also have many supportive parents. As a team of staff, we collaborate in sharing ideas and it has been refreshing to see different ways of working, being introduced to different resources and seeing different approaches to both teaching and learning.
Kota Kinabalu is a very relaxing place to live, and a great base for visiting other places in Asia. There are many places to explore here in Borneo too, and it is great to have both jungle and beach so accessible, which many of us enjoy exploring together after a hard-working week at school.
Nicky Russell, Acting Head of Primary
Teaching at KIS is like being part of a very large family, which is why I am currently in my tenth year of teaching here. When I first arrived the school only had around ninety students, so I have seen many changes over the years, but thankfully that close knit family and community feel hasn’t changed at all, which is why I am very happy that my own children are now a part of this big family too!
The teaching team has grown rapidly over the past few years, but in Primary we all work hard to offer the students a world class education in our quiet corner of Borneo. The teaching team (teachers and TAs) work very hard to make all newcomers to KIS, both staff and students, feel welcome and a part of the community as quickly as possible.
Living and working in Kota Kinabalu for the past nine and a half years has been extremely rewarding. It is lovely to experience the wonders of the area that I live in through the eyes of the children that I have taught, whether it has been taking the children jungle trekking, snorkelling, to the local wildlife reserves to see the Orang Utans and monkeys or to the cultural museums. All of these trips have been amazing. At KIS we believe in teaching the children about their local environment as well as the wider world around them.
Simon Bryant, Secondary Teacher – English and Drama
Making the decision to move to Sabah wasn’t difficult, both my wife and I had spent hours researching the school and (in truth) drooling over countless internet images of Sabah’s azure seas, lush virgin rainforest and dramatic mountain range; but inevitably as the time for the move approached (or should I say crawled towards us!) so did the reality of our situation: What are the practicalities of living somewhere as “exotic” as Borneo? How different could life be? What if the experience was a complete disaster? It was with this mix of heady excitement and gut-wrenching trepidation that we landed into Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
We shouldn’t have been worried. From the offset we’ve been well looked after. With the assistance of members of staff, board members, estate agents and banking representatives, it was amazing how much we were able to achieve in the first week. For example; I knew that I wouldn’t get lost on the first day of term, I was going to be paid real money for working in paradise, and that we’d negotiated a good price for an apartment not too far from the school.
I’m now into my third academic year at KIS and during this time the student body has almost doubled, the staffing has inevitably increased and a wider range of subjects are being offered to those students at IGCSE, A’S and A level. Considering that the school has grown rapidly, KIS still maintains the feel of a much smaller school. As a teacher, I think that the merits of a school can be measured by how much investment and in turn satisfaction is evident across the whole school community and that sense of satisfaction is almost palpable when you arrive at KIS!