This list gives you a snapshot overview of schools in Nairobi and parts of Kenya that are considered by English-speaking expats... sometimes chosen by parents and sometimes not.
If we haven't reviewed a school, it may just mean we haven't found enough parents yet to give us the reliable reports indicating a full write-up is warranted.
Schools selected for a full GSGI review are in the pipeline, and already indicated below with .
The Aga Khan Academy
Address: 1st Parklands Avenue, Limuru Road, PO Box 44424 – 00100, Nairobi
Phone: (junior) +254 20 3740733/3745147 (senior) +254 20 3744054/3749495
Fax: (junior) +254 20 3740733 (senior) +254 20 3746886
Email: (junior) email@example.com, (senior) firstname.lastname@example.org
National Curriculum of England; IB; seniors sit IGCSE, then IB Diploma; co-ed day school; 900 pupils aged from 5 to 18, situated in the Parklands area of Nairobi’s suburbs, with reputation for strong academics: a large pupil community with a high proportion of children of Indian-origin makes for a highly competitive environment. Admission is on merit and the teacher-pupil ratio is 1:10. Students from grade 3 -9 sit ISA exams (International Student Assessments). Mix of Kenyan (predominantly) and expat teachers. Variety of extra-curricular activities, including charity work. Limited space for sports fields, but the school has its own pool and dance studio, as well as access to the nearby Aga Khan Sports Club’s facilities.
The Banda School
Address: PO Box 24722, Nairobi 00502, Kenya
(Magadi Road, off Langata Road)
National Curriculum of England; ages 1-13; co-ed day/boarding. The Banda aims high: within an informal, enjoyable and happy community atmosphere, despite their stringent academic rigour, they really develop excellence. It’s reputedly the best school in town for team sport and attracts many competitive children and parents.
Address: Garden Estate, off Thika Road, PO Box 16944- 0620
National Curriculum of England; co-ed 6th form college; 140 students from 17-19 years, almost half of them non-Kenyan. Offers A Levels, International Baccalaureate, National Diploma and Higher National Diploma, Foundation Bridging Course (KCSE to A Level) and offers a bridge between school and university. Currently phasing out boarding, so accepting no new boarders. Located in Garden Estate, convenient for the United Nations/Muthaiga side of town; situated in pleasantly spacious surrounds. Unlike many Kenyan schools, there’s no uniform and students are expected to take responsibility for their own development in a structured environment.
Braeburn High School
Mailing Address: PO Box 45112, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
Physical Address: Gitangi Road, Lavington, Kenya
National Curriculum of England; IGCSEs. Non-denominational, co-ed day school; ages 13-16. Approximately 65 students in each year group, with a maximum class size of 24. Moved to its current location in 2003, and is now situated right next to the junior school (but still manages to distinguish itself as a separate school). Excellent academics overall, and very strong 2008 IGCSE results. Uniform required.
Braeburn Prep School
Mailing Address: PO Box 45112, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
Physical Address: Gitangi Road, Lavington, Kenya
National Curriculum of England. Non-denominational, co-ed day school; ages 3-13. 634 students total, with an average class size of 20 (max. 24). The student body is culturally and racially diverse: comprised of 70 nationalities and about 30% expats, which contributes to the strong sense of community at this small school. Most pupils continue on to the high school. Uniform required.
Address: Braeside Gardens off Muthangari Road, Lavington, PO Box 25578 – 0603, Nairobi
National Curriculum of England; co-ed day school; 725 pupils aged from 2-16, up to IGCSE level (largest IGCSE centre in East Africa with 80 candidates per session). Situated in well-tended gardens (pupils are involved in tree-planting) in the quiet Nairobi suburb of Lavington, Braeside is attractively designed with a homely feel: each year group is housed in a unit in the junior school, and in the senior section each school department is housed in a unit. Plenty of extra-curricular activities on offer; good balance between academics, the arts and sport. Well-funded (part of the privately owned Braeburn group); 600 seat theatre well under construction. The office of the East African Model United Nations (EAMUN) coordinator based in Braeside High, organizing and coordinating all regional activities. Braeside also offers the 3-year Youth Leaders International course involving the exchange of ideas and culture worldwide, students travelling annually and graduating in Cambridge. The subject choice is broad for Kenyan schools. Pupils are majority Kenyan 15% from other African countries, and a few Asian and Far-eastern pupils. It should have more expatriate kids, and probably only doesn’t because of its close proximity to another good school, Braeburn, part of the same group.
Brookhouse International Schools
Mailing Address: Box 24468 (prep) Box 24987 (secondary) Karen, Nairobi
Physical Address: Magadi Road, off Langata Road, Langata, Nairobi
English National Curriculum; ages 2-18; co-ed boarding school. Well-funded, rapidly expanding school with excellent facilities: outstanding theatre and music school with auditorium; Kenyan music ace, and locally well-known stage director on staff. Spacious and modern boarding facilities. Primary section is unique castle design (dreamed up by the kids). Only British curriculum CIS accredited school in Kenya. Promotes international student and teacher exchange. Enthusiastic Australian Head, ambitious for the school.
Greensteds International School
Mailing Address: Private Bag, Nakuru 20100, Kenya
National Curriculum of England; ages 2-18; co-ed private non-profit: Homely, up-country predominantly boarding school (weekly option, but mainly full-boarders) with an element of day students. Aims for high standards in all areas in spite of non-selective entry; offers good range of subject options at senior level. Genuinely perceived by most students as being “cool” to work hard. Relaxed atmosphere, a little on the scruffy side, but plenty of new development recently. Charismatic headmaster (awarded an MBE for his work in Africa) emphasizes that the quality of private education is no different in Kenya than in UK. Prospective parents shouldn’t be put off because Greensteds is less racially mixed than some of the schools: it’s still multi-cultural and kids from many backgrounds thrive.
Mailing Address: Po Box 24819, Nairobi 00502, Kenya
Physical Address: Langata Road, Nairobi
National Curriculum of England; ages 12-18 (includes sixth form); co-ed; approx 415 students; day school with boarding facilities. Despite ongoing ownership problems, the school has somehow managed to keep full and busy. Multicultural and racially balanced with a strong academic and sporting reputation; especially popular with expat parents who live in nearby Karen and Langata. Boarding facilities have a somewhat run-down atmosphere, but they share the school’s general happily relaxed feel.
See also: Hillcrest Prep School
Address: PO Box 750 – 01000, Thika
National Curriculum of England; co-ed school; 200 pupils aged from 2 -18+ years, 60 of whom are full boarders in the fairly basic (for the boys, particularly) boarding facilities. IGCSE, AS and A2 examinations are taken, and the school also offers a bridging year for pupils from schools doing Kenyan exams, who wish to go to European universities. It has a relaxed “out of town” feel, situated in 100 acres, near Thika, about an hour’s drive north of Nairobi. The school has its own horses and plenty of space to ride them. Although the school has struggled to keep its numbers up, parents of the mainly Kenyan students (with a sprinkling of children from other African countries) seem to be happy with the fact that the school is removed from city temptations.
International School of Kenya
Mailing Address: PO Box 14103, Nairobi 00800, Kenya
Physical Address: Rosslyn end of Peponi Road
IB; American High school Diploma; ages 4-18; co-ed day school. Well-heeled, well-equipped modern and cosmopolitan day school (owned by the American Embassy and Canadian High Commission) with an American feel, but not overly. Truly multi-national with a healthy mix of global cultures. While the general atmosphere is informal, it is also high-achieving. However with a choice of graduating with different levels of diploma (up to full IB) it suits all types from the very academic, to the very artsy, to middle-of-the-road and less academic students.
Kenton College Preparatory School
Mailing Address: PO Box 30017, 00100 Nairobi, Kenya
Physical Address: Kileleshwa, convenient for Westlands, Riverside, Lavington (no sign boards or road names, so get good instructions from the office)
National Curriculum of England; ages 6-13; co-ed; Anglican day school. Small school with emphasis on all-round development. An early morning start (7.40 am) allows time for non-academic pursuits after lunch including sport, drama and other creative activities - all integral to the day. Music is especially strong.
Nairobi Jaffrey Academy
Address: PO Box 25342 Lavington, Nairobi, Kenya
National Curriculum of England; Day school; 600 pupils between 2 - 18 years up to A level, situated in the quiet Nairobi suburb of Lavington. School fees are very reasonable as the school is subsidised by the Shia Muslim community, and parents are proud that high achievement can be available at a reasonable cost. Doors have been opened in the last few years to pupils from other faiths and cultures, and the school is keen to develop a multi-cultural policy. But girls must wear head-scarves, and there’s no music taught as it goes against the Shia Muslim religion. The school is academically competitive and boasts impressive IT equipment, as well as immaculate buildings and surrounds, even if some prospective parents find them too clinical. There’s relatively little outdoor space for a Kenyan private school, but the adjoining Nairobi Jaffrey complex shares its sports facilities with the school.Peponi House
Mailing Address: PO Box 23023, Nairobi 00604, Kenya
Physical Address: Farasi Lane, Off Lower Kabete Road
National Curriculum of England; ages 6-13; co-ed; a small, caring privately owned preparatory day school with a great atmosphere and an enthusiastic and welcoming Headmaster. Convenient for parents on the Westlands/Muthaiga side of town. Nicely kept buildings and gardens, and good facilities. Well-balanced cultural mix, regarding both staff and pupils.
Mailing Address: PO Box 236, Ruiru, 00232, Kenya
Physical Address: Off Thika Road, Sukari Ranch, Ruiru
National Curriculum of England; ages 13-18; co-ed day and boarding school. Has purposefully stayed small and aims to maintain its family feel as well as its holistic, all-round approach to education. The relaxed atmosphere, full and weekly boarding options, and success in team and individual sports have resulted in Peponi’s increase in popularity over the last four years especially with expat parents. Its varied week-end and many regular outdoor pursuits make it a fun place to spend weekends. Although it’s a little way out of town those few who opt to be day pupils are also comfortable here. The surrounding large acreage and roomy boarding houses enhance the general spacious feeling and all races of pupils really seem to do well and mix happily.
Mailing Address: PO Box 31, Gilgil 20116, Kenya
Physical Address: Nyahururu Road, Gilgil
National Curriculum of England, ages 2-13; co-ed day and boarding. Only 2 hours’ drive from Nairobi in an attractive part of the Rift Valley; full-boarding allows time and space for maximum participation by children, most of whom arrive at six years old, to be quickly settled in by a caring team of staff. It’s remained a small, family orientated school much favoured by children of old boys (and nowadays old girls), parents from remoter parts of Kenya and expatriates from all over East Africa. Pembroke pupils are renowned for being a formidable force on the sporting fields, as well as for their all-round skills and delightful manners.
St Andrew’s, Turi Prep
Mailing Address: Private Bag, Molo, 20106, Kenya
Physical Address: Turi, near Molo (about 3 hours’ drive from Nairobi)
National Curriculum of England; ages 4-13; co-ed boarding school; family-orientated boarding school full of happy children with a strongly Christian ethos. Its distance from Nairobi gives it a country feeling, while its proximity to Uganda attracts quite a few Ugandan children. Sport and music are especially strong, but St Andrew’s has a very all-round feel. Some parents might feel there are not enough children of European-origin, but the expat parents are quick to point out that there are no issues of racism here.
St Andrew’s Senior School
Mailing Address: Private Bag, Molo 20106
Physical Address: Turi village, on left just before Molo town, about 3 hours’ drive from Nairobi
National Curriculum of England; ages 13-16; co-ed day and boarding school. Although currently only going up to IGCSE level, building work has begun on St Andrew’s College, planned to open in September 2010, which will offer A-level courses. Staunchly but not exclusively Christian school. Beautiful grounds and a good balance between academics, sport and the arts, all of which are strengths. Its distance from the city puts off some, but attracts many parents from Nairobi, as well as African countries (especially Uganda, which is closer than Nairobi), and enough from beyond, who want a hard-working, happy environment for their children.