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International Schools in Trinidad & Tobago

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on: May 23, 2017

Summary: Expats in Trinidad & Tobago have shared their experiences at several of the more popular schools in Trinidad & Tobago.

Expats in Trinidad & Tobago - International Schools in Trinidad and Tobago

International School of Port of Spain (ISPS)

The International School of Port of Spain (ISPS) is the most popular international school in Trinidad. The International School of Port-of-Spain is a private, not for profit coeducational day school which offers an educational program for students in prekindergarten through grade 12. The School opened in September 1994. The school year comprises 2 semesters extending from late August to mid-January and mid January to late June. They welcome over 400 students from 30 countries. Parents' reviews of ISPS are mixed, but most say that it's the only school where the majority of students are expats. One parent with children at the International School of Port-of-Spain said, "the facilities are fantastic and the school offers a multitude of extra-curricular activities. It looks like an American school, has a/c, etc. The classes have a max of 12, so they give individual attention and have specialists. Great school. Receptive and friendly. Mostly expatriates. Other schools have mostly local students. A good PTA." Another parent said, "the school has switched to the International Baccalaureate program and we've found that our child is falling behind his peers back home. Our experience has really only been with the grade school. Our child is getting behind academically and we've been frustrated by the religious teachings being taught, without parents' knowledge, in the youngest grades. Many parents assure us that other International Schools are much better. I certainly hope that is true."

Maple Leaf International School

Maple Leaf International School in Port of Spain, Trinidad is a K-12 international school that follows the Canadian (Ontario) system. An expat whose children attended Maple Leaf International School said, "facilities are just about adequate. Nothing impressive. Grades K-2 are in a separate building which is good, but the facilities are quite limited. Grade 3-12 fare somewhat better. Extra-curricular is not very good. Limited choice and some strange hours, probably due to lack of space. It's generally a good school. The school doesn't deal with children with any sort of learning diffculties (such as dyslexia) and although we were not affected, I was surprised at this. My main concern is that most of the students are Trinidadian. I thought this would be a good thing, helping us to integrate with this society, but I was very surprised at how reserved Trinidadians were (not their first impression, though, which is quite friendly). So even though my children are very extrovert and friendly, we are finding that their classmates are not encouraged to socialise with non-Trinidadians. Only with their extended family members or old family friends.

The British Academy

The British Academy in Port of Spain follows the UK National curriculum. The British Academy opened in 2006 with the goal of providing a new option in Trinidad & Tobago for co-ed, secondary education. They currently offer classes from Standard 3 through A levels. A parent with kids at The British Academy explained, "if I had the choice over again, I would have left my child at a UK independent school. The school and the teaching staff have by no means delivered the key factors, set out in the schools ethos. In fact, the ethos to bring a British way of teaching to TT, has been very much lost in the choice of teaching staff by the school governors. The PTA is very much up and running and at times keeps the school going. They hold a meet and greet once a year. The school is basic, but on that note was only opend in September 2006. Most afternoons there are club activities - music, football, rugby, drama, cricket. The facilities are very basic and a lot is expected from the PTA to fund the school's day-to-day running."

St. Andrew's Private School

St. Andrew's Private School is in Port of Spain and follows the British curriculum. The serves students from Prep 1 to Primary 5. A parent with children at St. Andrew's Private School said, "it is a very good school for somebody who comes from the British system. They have plenty of extra curricular activities i.e football, cricket, ballet etc. The school has a remedial class for pupils who needs an extra support. Contact the school and make an appoitment to visit before enrolling and ask as many question as you may have to the principal."

Schools in Tobago

There are a limited number of schools on the much less populated island of Tobago. St. Nicholas Primary School is an independent primary school located in Mt. Marie, Tobago. Wikipedia also has an extensive list of schools in Trinidad & Tobago.

Pre-Schools in Trinidad & Tobago

The Montessori Academy is one option. One expat mom said, "my 3 1/2 year old started there before he was 2 and I have loved it so much. I am American and many of my English friends and other expats have their kids there as well and we are all really happy with it. It is run by Heather Rahael (who is from California and has a speech pathologist background) and she is amazing. They have Montessori trainers come out from Florida a few times a year to continue their teacher training and also do workshops with parents on the discipline they use so we can be on the same page. I can't say enough good things about them. You can email Heather at Montessori Academy montessoriacademytt@gmail.com for more info.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 6 Best Places to Live in Costa Rica, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and 7 Tips for Obtaining Residence in Italy. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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Comments about this Article

llcotton
May 23, 2017 11:31

Tobago International Academy is a new private school in Tobago. It's focused on small class sizes for personalized education and for providing a global perspective for the students. The student body is culturally diverse and the PTA is heavily involved. It's a great school. I'm from the U.S. and my daughter attends school there and I am very pleased. Many parents work in tourism and so our students' field trips are reef tours, mangrove excursions, and the like. You can check out more info on the Facebook site and at www.tobagointernationalacademy.com

First Published: Jan 10, 2015

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