How many international English schools in Phnom Penh as of 2019? There are more than 50 private English schools in the Cambodian capital city.
The reason I write this review of international English schools in Phnom Penh is simple. I live and raise two kids in the city. Before enrolling them, I have to do some research, talking with friends who have sent their kids to school. As you can see, I’ve written more details about some schools than others as my kids have studied there.
If you’re looking for the best English school for your children, this is the mini guide written for you.
When searching for an international school for my kid, I spent days for my research. As a result, I compiled this list of the top international English schools in Phnom Penh. So you don’t have you to.
In Phnom Penh, there are many international English schools. Parents have many choices for kindergarten or pre-school education than ever before. Most of these schools are well-established, reputable, and internationally recognized. I also included links to the schools’ website for more details and latest updates.
The Giving Tree School, an English school in the heart of Phnom Penh
A play-based English school in Phnom Penh, The Giving Tree School has opened since 2008. The international preschool is open to little and growing learners, from the age of 1 year to 10 years old. Although it’s not affiliated with the Montessori education, the Giving Tree’s approach to nurturing young children is play.
This Giving Tree school offers children a playground to grow and learn about the world through their discovery. It is a preschool where children have the space to imagine and express themselves. So that they can gain confidence and understanding. When the morning starts, children can enjoy arts, music, gym, yoga, swimming, and cooking. We all know how important it is to give our kids time and space to explore and experience the world around them.
In addition to play-based learning approach to nurture young kids to learn, it’s the space, the setup, and the environment for the kids to become more self-independent. From changing their clothes for water-play to eating, the boys and girls learn to be on their own. Most of the time, children tend to rely on their the adults to side with them and support them. But the teachers and the assistants know their way very well.
You’d also have a chance to meet with your child’s teacher and the parents of your child’s classmates. It’s called Monday Night, when you can get a better understanding of your child in the classroom. This is when you’d feel excited about asking the teacher about your young learner. You’ll have a chance to get to know other parents as well. While this is a chance to have a chat with the teacher in person, it’s not the end.
The teacher communicates with the parents regularly, which gives you daily mini report about your child. It’s like a debrief of the activity and behavior of your son or daughter day in day out. The teacher also shares with us parents weekly updates through a blog with notes, photos, and announcements. Every week, you also receive email newsletter from the school principal.
The Giving Tree School engages with parents through community events. This would allow everyone to take part, share, and enjoy the school space. The community here also means diversity. You’d be surprised to learn that the teachers and the pupils come from many many parts of the world. They share one thing in common: educating and learning with joy and fun.
The Giving Tree School teachers also take the pupils out for field trips.
Strong Spirit of Community
The Giving Tree School tends to engage with the parents and form a community. The school has worked to organize the After School Activities. The school space is more open and accessible to everyone in the community and the public.
The Giving Tree School open to us parents during non-school hours. There are times when you want to spend quality time with your children during the weekend. So you may have to take your kids to the swimming pool or to mega mall AEON or Kids City Edutainment Center. But the school is an ideal outdoor place to take your kids to. Unlike other schools, The Giving Tree School had dedicated space for outdoor activities. In short, the school is the open space playground.
What’s the IPC?
The school’s primary program follows the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). It’s a curriculum with a clear process of learning and with learning goals for every subject. It’s an educational system for 3-12 year olds. Until now, the IPC is being used by schools in more than 90 countries around the world.
The nursery class’s annual fee is about $2,380. The kindergarten has classes such as Monkeys (3-4 years), Owls (4-5 years), and Elephants (5-6 years): the fee starts from $2792 to $4040. In each school year (see calendar), there are 4 terms. The school usually starts in August and concludes in July.
One of the most important things about choosing a school for children is the school location. For those living in the Cambodian capital, in BKK 1, you may notice a few of The Giving Tree School branches in the area. The main branch is close to Chea Sim Boeung Keng Kang High School or a few walk from City Villa Hotel Phnom Penh. Its two other branches (pre-school and nursery) are also in this area. Also to the location in BKK 1, The Giving Tree also has a more spacious school branch in Toul Kork.
The Giving Tree School Toul Kork branch: sand, swing, and swimming pool among other kid friendly stuff in a spacious playground-like environment.
Visit The Giving Tree School’s official site here:
Footprints International Schools (FIS) in Phnom Penh: Review
Footprints International School offers both English and Khmer to the pupils. The primary 4 disciplines are mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies. FIS also includes basic technology, health, arts, music, swimming, and physical education. The school believes that “children learn better when new skills and ideas are taught to them using a theme or a topic to help them learn.”
The school was first started out in 2007. It is an example of how a small school has grown to become internationally-recognized. In 2016, FIS has 4 branches in major parts of Cambodia’s Phnom Penh: Tumnub Teuk I & II, Toul Tom Poung, Beoung Keng Kang, and Tuol Kork district.
Licensed by the Cambodian Ministry, FIS was accredited with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. For its primary and secondary programs, the school is registered with Cambridge International Examinations.
FIS has more than 200 personnel. Foreign teachers come from The United States of America, England, Australia, and Indonesia. While the majority of the students is Cambodian, the rest comes from Japan, Canada, and France. This is very remarkable for a locally-run school that has grown over the past years.
The Footprints International School’s Toul Kork campus is very spacious. It has a swimming pool, an outdoor playground, a technology lab, and a library. The Tuol Kork branch serves from nursery to grade 5.
One important thing to note, though, is that the FIS increases its tuition fee by 10% annually. Which frustrates most parents.
Footprints International School’s official website:
How to Find the Right Private English School or Kindergarten in Phnom Penh for Your Kids
- All schools have their website. You can learn more about the school, its location, tuition fees, and more. This saves much of your busy time before making direct contact with the school for details.
- Compare locations and travel time from school to your home.
- Visit each of the choices for kindergarten schools during an open house.
- Find a kindergarten with a low child-to-teacher ratio.
- Ask the teachers what the children learn every day.
- Talk to parents whose children either attended the school in the past or attend the school now.
- The annual tuition fee is very important. Find out before hand how the school increases its annual fee.
A List of the Best International English Schools & Kindergartens in Phnom Penh
Footprints International School (FIS)
Golden Gate American School
Gecko Garden Pre-School
Home of English
Preschool: starting from $5,040; Kindergarten – Year 5: $10,020
#532, Street Try Heng 3,
Sangkat Krang Thnong,
Khan Sen Sok, Phnom Penh
+855 12 550 522
Logos International School
International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP)
Northbridge International School of Cambodia (NISC)
Kindergarten & Grade 1: $12495
Ocarina School: French language
Zion International School
Why do so many Cambodians speak Chinese?
Phnom Penh’s Chinese Mandarin Language Schools
As more and more Chinese business people continue to establish their shops in Cambodia, the language is, with no doubt, getting popular among local Cambodians. So not surprisingly, China is top of list of investors in Cambodia.
In tourism, Chinese tourists are second on the list of foreign visitors to the kingdom of Cambodia. What’s more? Chinese financial aid is growing, too. There is also another reason. Cambodian-Chinese families prefer to send their children to Chinese schools.
Since the early 1990s, the Chinese presence in Cambodia has increased drastically. Learn the Mandarin language, get a job or do a business with people from China.
For example, even in Cambodia’s higher education institution, you can also find a department of Chinese language. At Cambodia’s Royal University of Phnom Penh, there are currently 3 training aspects: Chinese education, economic and trade, and tourism management.
So, if it’s not in English as a second language, then it’s Chinese after Khmer. Some may say One Belt One Road also inspires Chinese education in a country like Cambodia. This news article, Learning Chinese on the Rise in Cambodia, in 2013 said that “for ambitious young Cambodians, Chinese is becoming the obvious second language to master.”
In this post, you’ll find a list of Chinese schools in Phnom Penh as well as other parts of Cambodia. Are you ready to go through this list to find out more for your kids?
A List of Phnom Penh’s Chinese Mandarin Language Schools
Tuan Hua Chinese School (or Dwan Hwa)
One of the oldest, Tuan Hua Chinese School is top of the list.
Chhong Cheng Chinese School 崇正学校
Leep Khon Khmer Chinese English School
Min Sheng Chinese School
Chip Seng Chinese School
Jing Fa Chinese School
EEDO Chinese School
American Chinese International School
Chong San Chinese School (Siem Reap)
The Guang Zhao School of Cambodia
Seng Meng Chinese School, Kampong Cham