Best International Schools in Nairobi, Kenya
Aga Khan Academy
PYP / MYP/ IB Diploma; ages 3-19; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,020 students
Established nearly 50 years ago, the main school is located in the Parklands suburb of Nairobi with the nursery school (for approximately 250 children) on a separate campus. Roughly the same number (350) in both junior and senior schools. Recently, the IB average points scored by graduates was well above the global figure. Graduates often move on to Ivies in the US, Russell Group universities in the UK or to top Kenyan universities.
National Curriculum for England/ Common Entrance; ages 1-13; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; privately owned; 400 students
In the residential suburb of Karen, opposite the Nairobi National Park, grown from an original 24 children to its present size, with facilities for 34 flexi-boarders. A Common Entrance specialist school with all leavers consistently tending to gain entry to their first choice schools. A very impressive number (often the majority) achieving scholarships to schools either in the UK or in Kenya. Awarded ‘Outstanding’ in all areas by the School Inspection Service (SIS).
Braeburn School Nairobi
National Curriculum for England/ IGCSE/ A-Level; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 870 students
Braeburn Prep was established in 1968 as Braeburn House International School by an English expat, taken over in 1979 by the Braeburn group, an international educational management company which directs nine campuses in Kenya and Tanzania. Joined by the High School in 2003 and now amalgamated on neighbouring sites, offering an all-through British education with the option of studying BTECs in conjunction with A-Levels. 15-20 per cent British students and around 25 per cent Kenyan nationals. Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), the Council of British Schools Overseas, inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) and a member of the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS).
Their other schools in Nairobi are:
Braeside School: ages 2-18; day; IGCSE; A-Level; BTEC Level 3 (BSO accredited)
Braeburn Garden Estate School; ages 2-18; weekly boarding; IGCSE; IB Diploma; IB Careers (BSO accredited)
Braeburn Imani International School: ages 2-18; full boarding; IGCSE; A-Level; BTEC Level 3
Brookhouse International Schools
Adapted National Curriculum for England /IGCSE/ A-Level; ages 2-19; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; privately owned; 700 students
Known for the primary school’s ‘castle’ design (dreamed up by the kids) and for its modern boarding facilities (separate houses for boys and girls, 200 altogether). The school is influenced by its membership of Round Square, founded by educationalist and outdoor enthusiast Kurt Hahn of Salem and Gordonstoun fame. Approximately a third of the students are European with 45 per cent African and the remainder mainly from Asian families. Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS).
Greensteds International School
National Curriculum for England/ IGCSE/ GCSE/ A-Level; ages 4-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 300 students
Founded over 80 years ago and now on a 50 acre site in Nakuru in the Rift Valley, set behind a green gate decorated with pink flamingos. Approximately 60 per cent of the students are Kenyan with the remainder coming from 20 different nationalities. Basically a boarding school (240 beds) with an element of day pupils. Alumni have regularly moved on to global universities. Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS).
Hillcrest International Schools
National Curriculum for England/ IGCSE/ A-Level; ages 18 months- 18; co-ed; day and boarding from age 10; independent; privately owned; 440 students
Three separate schools, run on British lines, on the same campus in the Nairobi suburb of Karen; Early Years; Hillcrest Preparatory; Hillcrest Secondary. Taken over in 2019 by Dubai-based GEMS Education, adding to their Kenya portfolio. Accredited by the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) and COBIS and inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). Emphasis on academics with impressive results. A co-ed boarding house rather charmingly named Toad Hall.
International School of Kenya
American Elementary & Middle School Curriculum/ American High School Diploma/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 950 students
Divided into three schools; Elementary; Middle School; High School and owned by the American Embassy and the Canadian High Commission. Well-equipped, modern, cosmopolitan school on a former coffee plantation. A truly multi-national feel with student expats from over 65 countries, as well as Kenyan families. Offering a North American accredited diploma and the IB Diploma (70% take-up). Dually accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Middle Schools Association (MSA).
Kenton College Preparatory School
National Curriculum for England/ Common Entrance; ages 6-13; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 350 students
Founded in 1924 as an all-boys boarding school and one of the oldest international schools in Kenya. Run on British preparatory school lines with a strong house system and great music department. Students from local British families are in the majority but they also come from ten other nationalities. Post Kenton destinations are schools in the UK, USA and Kenya.
National Curriculum for England/ Common Entrance; ages 2-13; co-ed; boarding; independent; private non-profit; 200 students
A conventional prep school that has been educating children for over 90 years in a rural location in the Rift Valley, two hours from Nairobi. Pupils come from the remoter parts of Kenya and from all over East Africa, many of them children of alumni. The majority of leavers after Common Entrance gain entry to top global schools, with around one third achieving scholarships or awards. A Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) member.
Peponi House Preparatory School
National Curriculum for England/ Common Entrance; ages 6-13; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; privately owned; 370 students
Established over 30 years ago in Lower Kabete, a north-western suburb of Nairobi. Teaching a traditional British curriculum to over 35 nationalities with a 50/50 gender split across the school. Aiming at Common Entrance exams for predominantly Kenyan and UK secondary schools but also incorporating Kenyan culture with Kiswahili taught from year 2. In the middle of a complete rebuild of the entire school, including a science block, music centre and outdoor learning areas.
Peponi Secondary School
National Curriculum for England/ IGCSE/ A-Level; ages 13-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; privately owned;
On a purpose-built campus, complete with four boarding houses, classroom blocks and sports pitches, set in 30 acres outside Nairobi. Although relatively young (established 1989), it was designed to provide the traditional British public school ethos for pupils from a wide variety of backgrounds. The relaxed atmosphere, full and weekly boarding options, and success in team and individual sports make it a popular choice.
Other schools include:
Nairobi Jaffery Academy
Adapted National Curriculum for England/ IGCSE/ A-Level; ages 2-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 600 students
Founded in 1998 in the Nairobi suburb of Lavington. Reasonable school fees as subsidised by the Shia Muslim community. Doors have been opened to pupils from other faiths and cultures, and the school is keen to develop a multi-cultural policy. However, girls must wear head-scarves, and there’s no music taught as it goes against the Shia Muslim religious beliefs. Academically competitive.
St Andrew’s Preparatory School Turi
Adapted National Curriculum for England/ Common Entrance; ages 5-13; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 250 students
Teaches an adapted British curriculum leading to the Common Entrance exams. On the same 450 acre estate as the senior school, to which the majority of pupils move up. The remainder continue their education either in the UK or at other African senior schools.
St Andrew’s School, Turi
Adapted National Curriculum for England/ Common Entrance/ IGCSE/ A-Level; ages 5-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 600 students
On a 300 acre estate outside Molo in the Kenyan Highlands. Now a preparatory and senior international boarding school with a sixth form college. The majority of students come from East Africa and, after impressive exam results, leave at 18 for universities in the UK and USA or East and South Africa. A BSO accredited member but not fully accredited.