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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Sekolah Sri KDU Info Day to be held on 16 October 2018

We attended Sekolah Sri KDU's Mandarin Open Day recently. It was very well organized. It is always interesting to listen to the insights and views of academicians, principals and teachers, not to mention the students themselves who were there to give parents guided tours of the school.

Below are our insights and thoughts on the school. This is a long post but readers are encouraged to read to the end including the most important part which is the Summary at the end of the post.

About the Open Day

Firstly, we'll walk you through the Open Day as it happened so you know what to expect at the school's Open Day. We note that it is advisable to attend the Open Day from start to end so that you get the full picture and do not miss out on any of the planned or organized activities.

The Open Day started at 10 am with the rousing performance by the primary school's 24 Seasons Drum troupe. This was in the school hall where primary school teachers and secondary school teachers were seated to personally talk to parents. You can speak to the teachers one-to-one here and ask them any questions you have about the school.

The school had organized talks by the primary school principal at 10.30 am and secondary school principal at 11.30 am. The talks were about 45 minutes each. You can ask questions during the talk or privately afterwards. You can tour the school at any time with the help of the student ambassadors.

About Sekolah Sri KDU

We attended all the talks and spoke to academicians of both the primary and secondary schools and we will share with you what we have learned.

Two Schools Under One Roof

Sri KDU schools is made up of two schools under one roof.

1. Sekolah Sri KDU is a private school doing the Malaysian National Curriculum (KSSR/KSSM)

2. Sri KDU International School is an international school using the National Curriculum of England followed by the Cambridge IGCSE.

The Open Day we attended is for Sekolah Sri KDU which is the private school that is using the Malaysian National Curriculum (KSSR/KSSM) so that is what we will talk about in this post. Let's start with some questions that immediately come to mind.

Q1. What Makes Sekolah Sri KDU Different From A Public School If It Runs The Same Syllabus?

- The schooling hours are from 8.00 am to 3.30 pm for Mondays to Thursdays and from 8 am to 12.30 pm on Fridays. For the secondary school, the schooling hours are from 7.50 am to 3.40 pm for Mondays to Thursdays and from 7.50 am to 12.30 pm on Fridays.

- It incorporates Singapore and Cambridge curricula into our local syllabus. In this way, it combines and makes use of the best in both worlds - the detailed content in the local syllabus plus the pedagogy of the international curriculum with more emphasis on higher order thinking skills.

- In addition to the local syllabus, students learn coding and performance arts making them more rounded individuals.

Q2. Why are the hours so long?

- Compulsory co-curricular activities of one sport and one uniformed unit/club are included during schooling hours.

- There are some additional compulsory subjects including Mandarin, Cambridge ICT Starters/ Computer Science (Coding), and Structured Performing Arts Programme.

- Students need to take 2 activities under the Structured Performing Arts Programme
Assigned one from Musical Theatre, Dance, Vocals and pick one from Musical Instruments (Primary: Violin, Ukelele or Piano; Secondary: Acoustic Guitar or Drums) or assigned two from Musical Theatre, Dance, Vocals if they do not want to take any Musical Instruments.

- For subjects like Maths and Science, the hours may be longer than those required by the Ministry of Education by an extra 4 periods each. This makes it possible for students to study both local and other syllabi including the Singapore and Cambridge curricula.

Q3. Why the extended periods for Maths and Science?

Although the primary school conducts the local syllabus, it incorporates the Singapore and Cambridge Primary Curricula for English, Maths and Science.

In secondary school, the Cambridge Secondary 1 Curriculum is used for English, Mathematics and Science. Form 3 students can opt to sit for the Cambridge Checkpoint Test in addition to PT3 which acts as a diagnostic test to gauge if students understand the syllabus.

Below are some of the curriculum and co-curricular activities that may interest you.

Now, let's go on a mini "tour" around the school. I was taken on a tour by two delightful girls from the primary school and a teen boy and teen girl from the secondary school. Below are some pictures I managed to snap.

Sekolah Sri KDU which does the local syllabus and Sri KDU International School share the same campus with separate buildings for both schools including separate buildings for primary and secondary schools. Certain facilities like canteens and libraries are separate while others like the swimming pool and multi-purpose hall are shared.

This is the corridor of the primary school classrooms. There are about 5-8 classes for each level in primary school with each class having a maximum of 28 students. Each class has a homeroom teacher and assistant homeroom teacher while Primary 1 classes have additional academic assistants.

These nice lockers are located just right outside the classroom. Books can be easily accessible. No need to worry about heavy bag loads.

This is the primary school canteen. Food can be catered for the lower primary school children. Teachers will be present to make sure they finish their food.

This is the primary school library. There is a cosy corner (not included in the picture) for weekly storytelling activities. The language teachers will tell stories in English, BM and Mandarin (once a week for each language) during lunch breaks.


The primary school library includes a section with computers for doing research.

This is the secondary school building. The classrooms are similar to the primary school classrooms but in a different colour scheme and with lockers provided as well. There are about 7-10 secondary classes with up to 28 students per class. 

This is the secondary school field. The primary school has its own school field. However, sports day events are often big events that are held at the stadium. 

These are some of the sports day decor done by the secondary school students. They look really awesome. I also noticed other props from the students' theatrical production which are just as impressive. Every year the students put up a production and handle all stages of production independently.

This is the swimming pool which is one of the shared facilities. It is compulsory for all students to learn swimming from P1 onwards with the exception of those with medical issues.


This is the secondary school library.

This section is also part of the secondary school library. Sometimes, the teachers may bring the students to the library for lessons or they may use it for Tutor Time. Tutor Time is a form of additional support that is initiated by the school when needed and is given to students until they show improvement.

The library is stocked with English, Chinese and Malay books. This is because Sekolah Sri KDU is a trilingual school. They use the national KSSR/KSSM syllabus where most of the subjects are taught in BM. They are a DLP school which means that Math and Science is conducted in English. In addition to that they use the Cambridge Secondary 1 Curriculum for English, Maths and Science.

Mandarin is a compulsory subject for P1 to Secondary 3 and an elective subject for Upper Secondary. (Secondary 4 & 5). Students can also opt to sit for Mandarin in PT3 and SPM. Mandarin classes are divided into basic, intermediate and advanced offering listening and speaking skills and advancing to reading and writing skills especially for those who come from SJKC schools (local Chinese schools).

This is the amphitheatre for the secondary school.

This is the dance room where students can learn Latin dance and more. Other facilities include science laboratories, music rooms, sewing room, cookery lab, ICT Labs, art rooms etc. I was not able to take clear photos of those so I won't be sharing those.

This is the secondary school cafeteria. According to a student, they are able to order freshly cooked food for lunch. Students, both primary and secondary carry an ID card which they can top up with cash and use it to purchase food.


Sekolah Sri KDU offers a unique learning environment that is very versatile. This is why we think so.

1. If offers the teaching and learning of Mandarin for families who want their children to learn Mandarin but prefers not to send their kids to SJKC.

2. It offers those who has had 6 years of learning Mandarin in SJKC to have some form of continuity in learning Mandarin during the secondary years without the stress of taking exams so that they do not lose touch with the language. They are encouraged to take the exams if possible.

3. It offers a cheaper alternative to international school. The trilingual environment means that students are frequently exposed to English which would improve their fluency in the language. Some students join Sekolah Sri KDU in primary and switch to Sri KDU International school in secondary.

4. It offers ICT for the whole of primary and secondary and computer science (coding) for primary as part of its curriculum. These are compulsory subjects.

5. It encourages holistic learning. The performing arts, speech, drama, dancing, singing and music is encouraged and included in the curriculum during schooling hours.

6. Since the national syllabus is taught at Sekolah Sri KDU, parents can opt to move their children back to SK at any time if the situation calls for it.

Fees start from RM21,000. If you need more information on the fees or other information not included here, you can visit the school during the Sekolah Sri KDU Info Day on 16 October 2018, 9:00a.m. to 12:30p.m. This is during a weekday when classes are ongoing so you can see the school in action. The best time to visit a school is during school days so you can see the students and teachers going about their day to day routine and visualize if your child will fit in the school.

Happy school hunting everyone!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Jalan Alor Bukit Bintang Street Art

One of the latest things you can do in KL is to take a walk along the back lanes of Jalan Alor and Bukit Bintang area. A project by DBKL is slowly turning these once dirty back lanes and side lanes into works of art.

According to a Star Paper article dated 27 February 2018,

"Jalan Alor’s surroundings was identified for potential regeneration and work is currently under way there. It covers Jalan Tong Shin, Tengkat Tong Shin, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Jalan Berangan and Jalan Alor. This comprises side lanes, back lanes, alleys and service lanes in between buildings, as well as pocket parks within Bukit Bintang.

The work will be carried out in two phases, where the first involves repainting old buildings with colourful murals, re-tiling and repaving walkways, upgrading drainage and piping as well as relocating light poles and cables within Jalan Alor covering about 3km at a cost of RM1mil."

You can read more about the project here.

During the recent 4 day weekend, we decided to take a look. We asked around but no one seemed to know where it was. There are no signboards to show the way. It's not too hard to find it though, just walk around Jalan Alor back streets.

We managed to find the "entrance" to the 3D waterfall and stream artwork at the end of these red buildings. 

At the end of the red buildings, you will see the owl painting.

Enter the lane and the first thing that greets you is the "Jalan Alor stream" and rain forest with puffy clouds.

Make a turn to the right and you will be greeted by the blue bird painting

This is followed by a child blowing bubbles graphics

The blue bird graffiti art close up

Close up of the boy blowing bubbles

A turn to the left brings you to colourful butterflies lining up a wall

To the right is someone with a peace sign.

Colourful modern street art covers this lane

Finally, we exited here at the Restoran Food Village.

There's more to it but we missed them. Hopefully, the project continues and gets completed soon so we can pay another visit.

Where to park?

Upon exiting, we noticed that there is a public car park at the Kuala Lumpur Baptist Church as shown in the map below.

You can also park at any of the nearby shopping complexes like Sungei Want, Plaza Low Yat, Lot 10 etc. We parked at Pavilion and enjoyed walking among the tourists.

Below is the map from the star article on the total project site.

After all that walking, you may feel hungry. One good place to head to is Lot 10 Hutong Food court where you will find plenty of varieties of food. From street level,  you go down the escalator to food glorious food.

The walk from Jalan Alor Street Art to Lot 10 Hutong Food Court takes just 6 minutes.

We have another long weekend ahead of us. Perhaps you can visit and share your pictures too.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Malaysia School Holidays and Public Holidays 2019

The Malaysia Public Holidays and School Holidays 2019 is out on the Ministry of Education website. Every year, parents wait for these dates eagerly because they plan for their vacations ahead of time by buying cheap deals in travel fairs.

Some have even gone ahead to buy air tickets and made plans ahead of time by guessing the dates of the holidays. Are you one of them? Did you guess the dates correctly? We noticed a slight change in this year's calendar. We'll talk about the changes at the end of this post.

In the meantime, let's have a look at the calendar or school terms and holidays for 2019.

1. School term and holidays for 2019 for schools in group A, Kedah, Johor, Kelantan and Terengganu
 2.  School term and holidays for 2019 for schools in group B, Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya
Source: Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia website (website is down at the point of writing) Note that while the above was uploaded at the Moe website, it has not yet been shared at the FB page of the Moe so it may still be subject to changes. We will update this post for any changes if any.

Note that this calendar is not complete as there is another part ie the Cuti Perayaan or Festive Holiday which usually comes out a little later.

You may also like to know the public holidays for 2019.

1. Malaysia National Public Holidays 2019 for the whole country

 2. Malaysia State Public Holidays 2019 for specific states

Source: Laman Web Rasmi Bahagian Kabinet, Perlembagaan dan Perhubungan antara Kerjaan, Jabatan Perdana Menteri

Differences between the school term dates of 2018 and 2019

The school terms is made up of two semesters with a 2 week break in the middle of the year. Each semester has a mid-term break of 1 week in the middle of the semester. That has not changed.

What has changed is the duration of the semesters before and after the breaks. Let's have a look.


First Semester = 12 weeks
Mid Semester break = 1 week
2nd half of First Semester = 8 weeks *
Mid Year Break = 2 weeks
Second Semester = 9 weeks
Mid Semester break = 1 week
2nd half of Second Semester = 14 weeks
Year-end break = 5 weeks


First Semester = 11 weeks
Mid Semester break = 1 week
2nd half of First Semester = 11 weeks *
Mid Year Break = 2 weeks
Second Semester = 8 weeks
Mid Semester break = 1 week
2nd half of Second Semester = 13 weeks
Year-end break = 5 weeks

The changes have been highlighted using different coloured fonts. Did you notice that the first semester is now shorter? 1st Semester is 12 + 8 = 20 weeks in 2019 vs 11 + 11 = 22 weeks in 2018.  It is shortened by 3 weeks in the second half of the first semester ie 8 weeks in 2019 vs 11 weeks in 2019. Did you guess the dates correctly when buying air tickets and travel deals? What do you think of the new term dates?

Monday, September 03, 2018

British Council Malaysia New Term Starts 22 - 23 September 2018

Hi there parents,

We have some news for parents who are looking for information on English language courses for kids at the British Council Malaysia. This post is about the new term starting soon and the courses available.

When is the new term at British Council Malaysia starting?

For those of you who are not familiar, the term at British Council starts in September. For the year 2018, the new term dates are 22 - 23 September 2018. The course duration are 2 hours per week for 10 weeks.

What courses are available for the new term?

The British Council’s courses introduce children to essential life skills such as  independence, team-working and problem solving while they learn to communicate confidently in English.  These skills are essential building blocks for the higher order thinking skills (HOTS) that young learners are expected to demonstrate throughout their school lives, through to university, and even in future jobs.  

The courses available for the new term staring in September 2018 include the following.

  1. Primary Plus course for students aged 5 - 11
  2. Upper Primary course for students aged 10 - 12
  3. Lower Secondary course for students aged 13 - 15
  4. Upper Secondary course for students aged 16 - 17
  5. Secondary Plus course for those interested in taking the iGCSE exam

What do the courses focus on?

1. The Primary Plus course for children aged 5 to 11 encourage children to use English confidently and fluently in an environment where they feel supported and motivated. These courses focus on continued development of foundational skills while introducing more challenging and creative tasks. Parents will receive weekly emails to update them on their children's progress. They can also support their children at home using the British Council online portal.

2. The Upper Primary course for children aged 10 to 12 help prepare children for Secondary learning with the introduction of  more academically-focused tasks, such as writing a review or giving a presentation. Students are given fun projects that are longer term in nature, such as creating a class newspaper, in order to develop their ability to concentrate and learn creatively.

3 & 4. The Secondary courses including the Lower Secondary course for students aged 13-15, and Upper Secondary course for those aged 16-17, lay the groundwork for higher education through the use of high-quality materials to offer students development of language and academic skills. Topics such as confidence, anti-bullying, and effective studying, are used to develop language skills within the given themes.

5. The Secondary Plus course is designed for students who are interested in taking the iGCSE exam, It combines the Secondary courses with iGCSE syllabus content to help students build the confidence and skills to prepare for the iGCSE exam. Exam-orientated tasks are given to nurture their ability to communicate confidently in both speaking and writing. (Note: The Secondary Plus course is available only at The Curve)

Where will the courses be held?

All the courses mentioned above will be held at all of British Council Malaysia's centers at Kuala Lumpur, The Curve and Penang. Below are the contact information for the centers.

How do I register for the courses?

Your child will need to sit for a placement test to determine the most suitable course for them. You can visit the British Council Malaysia website for further details or to book for a placement test online.

This post was brought to you by the British Council Malaysia.

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