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best international schools in Riyadh,Saudi Arabia

A snapshot overview of schools in Riyadh that are considered (although not necessarily chosen) by English-speaking expat parents.

If there is no ribbon, pending or otherwise, it means we are aware of the school but have elected not to review it at this time. This could be for a number of reasons, but we continually update information and add or remove reviews as deemed appropriate.

Schools selected for full GSGI review are noted with next to their names. "Pending" means that we are planning to review that school.

By full GSGI review, we mean the school write-ups that are completely selected, researched, visited and written by our own editors. Our final write-ups take the good with the bad, warts and all, but we look for a preponderance of good before we drill down for in-depth details descend on the school for an exhaustive visit.


American International School Riyadh  (pending)

American High School Diploma/IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,600 students

Formerly the American Preparatory School of Riyadh started by parents in 1963 and after several name changes now provides a US education to students from over 50 different countries. Located since 2014 on a new campus in the north of Riyadh. Majority of students opt for the IB Diploma. Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

British International School Riyadh  (pending)

National Curriculum for England/IGCSEs/A-Levels; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1.450 pupils

Originally founded as the Riyadh Continental school in 1979. On its present campus and under its present name since 1995, together with a satellite primary school (with automatic transition to BISR in year 7), for BAE families in Salwa. Apart from excellent results 37 per cent A*-A at A-Level and 50 per cent 9-7 at IGCSE in 2018, it apparently boasts a ‘Paul’ café onsite. Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Council of British International Schools (COBIS).

The schools below have been brought to our attention, but until we have more reports from parents, we are unable to consider reviewing them.

Advanced Learning Schools

PYP/MYP/IB Diploma; ages 3-18; girls and boys section; day; independent; privately owned; 600 pupils

One of the independent schools in the Kingdom given permission to deviate from the Saudi National Curriculum. Classes taught in English except for Arabic and Islamic studies (20% of the curriculum). Over 60 per cent of the students are Al Sauds (members of the royal family) and the student body is overwhelmingly Saudi although welcoming expats. Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS).

King Faisal School

PYP/MYP/IB Diploma; ages 3-18 (boys), 3-6 (girls); day; independent; privatel non-profit; 1,400 pupils

Launched in 1991 as part of the King Faisal Foundation with Prince Saud Al-Faisal as the current chairman of the board of directors. Adopted the IB programme in 2007 and has recently inaugurated PSATs and set up a university preparation programme in collaboration with Brown University. 40 per cent of graduates continue their education at Alfaisal University with a large percentage moving on to US alternatives.

Abdulaziz International Schools - Al Sulaimanaih

SABIS (Choueifat) curriculum; ages 3-18; girls and boys sections; day; independent; privately owned; 1,300 pupils

An international education management business which sprang out of the International School of Choueifat in Lebanon. Now owned by SABIS Educational Systems based in Minnesota and associated as licensor and operator of schools in 20 countries including fifteen in the USA and several in the Middle East. The schools follow the Sabis Educational System, stated as ‘an integrated, comprehensive kindergarten through twelfth grade academic program’.

SABIS School Abdulaziz International Al-Sulaimaniah, Riyadh

SABIS School Abdulaziz International Al-Wadi, Riyadh

SABIS School Abdulaziz International Rabigh, Jeddah

SABIS School Jeddah International Academy

Saud International School (SIS)

American curriculum/IGCSEs/A-Levels; ages 3-18; girls and boys sections; day; independent; privately owned

International, English speaking school in the Sulaimaniyah district of Riyadh.

Multinational School, Riyadh

Australian National Curriculum/IGSCEs/A-Levels; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 1,600 pupils

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.

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