A snapshot overview of schooling in the Riyadh area, plus very general info on schools considered (although not necessarily chosen) by expats. Our Riyadh editor has determined that the schools with the banner warrant full write-ups*. Those write-ups are underway and will be published as completed.
* By full blown GSGI write-ups, we mean the school reviews that are completely selected, researched, visited and written by our own editors.
Advanced Learning Schools
IB PYP and MYP curriculum; IB Diploma, girls and boys section, independent day school, ages 3-18; 600 students.
ALS is one of 18 independent Saudi schools in the Kingdom given permission to deviate from the Saudi National Curriculum. English is the primary language of instruction, although classes related to Arabic and Islamic studies are taught in Arabic (20% of the curriculum). As a favourite school of the royal elite (over 60% of the students are Al Sauds), the student body is overwhelmingly Saudi, but the school welcomes students from the international community.
The American International School Riyadh (-pending)
P.O. Box 990
11421 (Northeast Riyadh)
American Curriculum; IB diploma; American Diploma, Co-ed Independent day school, 3-18, 1088 students, accredited by New England Association of Colleges and CIS.
Established in 1963, with a large, lively campus with theatre, 2 libraries and excellent sports facilities. Highly diverse student body, with 53 nationalities represented, of which 41% carry American or Canadian passports. Stringent security in place.
British International School Riyadh (-pending)
P.O. Box 85769
adjacent to Al Hamra Compound, Exit 9
National Curriculum of England and Wales; GCSE and A levels; independent co-ed day school; ages 3-19, 1055 students.
The only choice for parents seeking a classic British education in Riyadh, the school is located next to the Al Hamra compound. In 2008, the school added a 6th form, housed in a shiny new building (featuring its own Starbucks, no less!). Although non selective, preference is given to children who carry British or Dutch passports and spaces can be difficult to secure. The school also has a branch campus primary school at the Salwa compound, to accommodate the children of MOD and BAE employees.
King Abdulaziz International School (KAIS)
P.O. Box 68629
Tel.: +966 1 473 8555
Fax: +966) 1 473 1318
SABIS (Chouai Fat) Curriculum, girls and boys sections, ages 3-18, 1300 students, non selective.
A large part of the student body comes from Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. Part of an international network of SABIS schools, KAIS follows the rigorous and highly results oriented Chouai Fat curriculum, named after the village in Lebanon where it first originated. Strong in maths and sciences, but like most Middle Eastern schools, light on extra curricular activity and sports.
King Faisal School
PO Box 94558
Saudi Curriculum; MYP curriculum, IB Diploma; American Diploma, co-ed kindergarten; boys only, 6-18, 850 students.
If Saudi Arabia had an Eton, this would be it. With a beautiful and lush campus set in the DQ and state of the art facilities, KFS is where the Saudi elite send their sons to be educated. As with Advanced Learning School, KFS has been granted permission to deviate from the National Curriculum, and remains fully committed to the recently adopted IB, despite teething pains. The majority of students head off to American or English universities upon graduation. Girls may now attend up to the age of 6, and there are plans for a girl's school in the near future.
Saud International School (SIS)
Hamdan Street, Sulaimaniyah district
PO BOX 59772 Riyadh 11535
Western Australian/American Curriculum (grades 1-5),British curriculum, IGSCE (grades 6-12), girls and boys sections, ages 3-18.
Works in coordination with the Saudi Ministry of Education, Principal: Clive Hunt (Australian).
The Saudi Arabian International School, Riyadh,
Multi National Division (-pending)
Tel: +966 1 275 1751 or 275 6650
Fax: +966 1 275 1750 or 275 6650
Australian National Curriculum; IGSCE; A Levels, co-ed day school, ages 3-18. SEN.
Originally designed to meet the needs of international expats who might not have their own community schools, the school has become the favourite choice for Antipodean and Canadian expats. Although academics are very strong, the `Multinational School' has a more relaxed approach than its counterparts at BISR and AISR, and offers excellent learning support and special needs programs.