A School That Welcomes Children from Every Nationality and Background

An interview with LFKL: The French School of Kuala Lumpur


The French education focuses on raising independent thinkers while allowing for children of all backgrounds and capabilities to be treated equally in their learning journey.

The Ibu team sat down with Principal Patricia Reynaud of the French School of Kuala Lumpur (LFKL) to speak about the benefits of a French education and how this school has made Malaysia its’ home for close to 6 decades.



How long has the French school been in Malaysia and what inspired you to open here?

We have been in Malaysia since 1962 and our oldest school in the world is in Germany and it’s 400 years old.


The initial aim of the French Govt and French Minister of Education is to provide education to French children all over the world, to allow the continuity of the education they would receive at home. However, it soon expanded to provide the best the French education to all students from various backgrounds, all over the world.

In some parts of the world even, the population of non-French students in a French school will surpass the French students. For example, in South America, 60% of the students in the French school are non-French students. We love that more and more non-French-speaking families are appreciating the benefits of a French education.


What is unique about your school?

The most important aspect of the French education system is the nurturing of independent thinking in the students. They’re encouraged to ask questions in class, to have 2-way dialogues with their teachers, and to make mistakes as a way of learning.

It’s important to nurture students to become world citizens who are brave enough to question the world, to be curious about everything that goes on in the world.



Many people may not be aware that the French school accepts non-French speaking students. Tell me more about the Non-French speaking students successfully mastering the French language.

What we aim for is for all students to be autonomous in their daily lessons. Our objective is not specifically for the highest fluency; however, they should be able to read, write and follow along with the lessons with ease. All our teachers understand that this is a foreign language, and they correct students gently without aiming for absolute fluency. We focus on the children being able to read French text and Literature to prepare them for the French Baccalaureate.


What do you think your teachers are doing that is effective in getting the Non-French speaking students up to par with their French-speaking peers?

Firstly, starting from 3 – 8 years old, the non-French speaking students are offered a French Bridging program where they have an additional 10 hours of French lessons each week with a specialist Language teacher. This happens outside of the regular timetable and it helps them have a link between what they learn in the Bridging program and their regular subject classes.

All subject teachers are well trained to welcome non-French speaking students in their classroom. They are equipped to identify a word or sentence a non-French speaking student is struggling with and to help teach this to point of accuracy.


We specifically chose this age group (3-8 years old) to have the bridging program because this would be the easiest age for them to pick up a new language.

After this age, (8yrs old) they get 2 hours of French Language with the specialist teacher a week and this can continue up to Middle school and further according to their needs.

We also do 5-8 hours of English a week even though the main language is French, as we recognize the need for mastery of the English language as well.

In Middle School, other languages such as Bahasa Melayu, Mandarin, German and Spanish are also offered as an option.


How are parents able to play a role in helping develop their children’s non-native language skills?

We encourage parents to approach the school for any help or advice in making language learning easier. We even encourage parents to take basic French classes at Alliance Francaise KL, so they can converse with their child at home too even in a basic way.

Besides this, we recommend the parents to have French reading books at home, or even incorporate French movies or shows into their routines.

We emphasize to parents the importance of having an environment at home that facilitates the learning of the French language so that it doesn’t feel like 2 separate worlds to the children.


Pre-pandemic we used to hold events where the non-French parents can get together and seek support from one another or discuss suggestions to further help the learning of the French language in their children.


We also have a WhatsApp parents’ group where there are 2 administrators for the group, one French-speaking and one English-speaking. Parents can use this group to ask questions about the lessons of the day if they are unclear and need to help their child with homework.





How are parents able to play a role in helping develop their children’s non-native language skills?

We encourage parents to approach the school for any help or advice in making language learning easier. We even encourage parents to take basic French classes at Alliance Francaise KL, so they can converse with their child at home too even in a basic way.

Besides this, we recommend the parents to have French reading books at home, or even incorporate French movies or shows into their routines.

We emphasize to parents the importance of having an environment at home that facilitates the learning of the French language so that it doesn’t feel like 2 separate worlds to the children.


Pre-pandemic we used to hold events where the non-French parents can get together and seek support from one another or discuss suggestions to further help the learning of the French language in their children.


We also have a WhatsApp parents’ group where there are 2 administrators for the group, one French-speaking and one English-speaking. Parents can use this group to ask questions about the lessons of the day if they are unclear and need to help their child with homework.


What would you say the learning environment in your school is like?

We always focus on the positive, so we start from where the student currently is and what they’re able to do. It’s important to us that we approach students in a positive, kind, and supportive way. So even if a student is falling behind, we work together to bring them to where they need to be.

We also have student representatives in each class in Middle and High School with whom we have regular dialogue with, and they highlight their needs or improvement suggestions for the whole school.



Tell us more about the facilities of your school.

We opened a new building which now houses our Primary School (Hevea) in July 2020, and as a result, it was necessary that our Main building also gets updated to a more modern open-spaced look.

We began the most recent renovations in April 2021 and there was a halt during the FMCO. It has now started again, and we expect it to complete in November 2021.

We also have a large soccer field, 2 swimming pools – one of which is catered for younger children in our Primary School, a climbing wall, as well as a gymnasium that’s catered for badminton and indoor sports.

An interesting note to add, we also have a French chef in our cafeteria so we offer Asian as well as French cuisines to further expose children to the French culture.



What are your current student sizes?

We have 300 students in Kindergarten and Primary up to age 9. And a balance of 273 students in Middle and High School.



Does your school support students with special needs? If yes, how is this done?

Yes, we do. We would first discuss with the parent and agree on the approach and the plan to support the child. After which, our 2 aide specialists in school will join the student in class to support them either in reading difficulty or with understanding the lesson.

Even in the e-learning sessions during the pandemic, our specialist aides have separate video conferences with the children together with their parents to ensure the children understood the lesson well.


Tell me some of the feedback you get from parents about your school. What have been the benefits they see in their children?


Many parents have told us that initially they were worried that their children will not be able to cope in a foreign language school. However, after a few months, they’re pleasantly surprised at how their children can carry on a basic conversation with ease. The parents are then confident that their children are thriving in this environment.


We have students who have joined us at the Kindergarten level and took their Baccalaureate last year. An example of this would be our recent student who got a scholarship to France, he’s Indonesian but was based here in Malaysia and now he’s moved to France on a scholarship. His parents’ till today do not speak French, so it’s very possible to be successful in the language to the point of earning a scholarship.




Tell me more about your scholarship program.

There are scholarships from the French Government for students who pass the French Baccalaureate with Honors and this scholarship covers 5 years of fees for study in France.

The French Baccalaureate is recognized in many countries around the world so our students don’t necessarily have to choose a school in France.

For those applying for the scholarship with the French Government, the school will help in the application.

For Malaysian students, The Malaysian France University Center will help students who are non-French conduct all the requirements before applying to any universities in France.

We have this support in place to ease the transition for our graduate students to further their education.


What else would you like to share with us?

Most of the parents who come to our school appreciate the multicultural aspect of our school. We have many nationalities, but everyone is united in learning the language and thriving in the school.

We want to get the word out that we encourage a multi-cultural environment, and we look forward to welcoming non-French students here as we do in every other country that has a French school.



The Ibu team thanks Principal Patricia for taking the time to meet with us and introduce the French School of KL to our community


The French School (LFKL) is having a virtual open day on Tuesday 16 November 2021 at 6 pm.

Get to know more about the French curriculum, their French support program, and their programs designed to welcome international children.


Register here for the Virtual Open day: https://www.lfkl.edu.my/virtual-open-day-3/




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