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Southbridge Int. School of Cambodia

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:52 pm
by Anton Chigurh
Hi all,

Can any of you speak intelligently on the merits of this new school opening up across the Chbar Ampov bridge? www.sisc.edu.kh

Are they trying to market off of the Northbridge brand?

We've got a little one headed to 1st grade and it would be nice to have this school as an option as it is close to our home.

Money is not an option but many of the known suspect, top-tier schools are way the hell across town so as I said, it would be nice to have this one as an option.

I don't see much in the way of accreditation and whatnot. But they are brand new.

Anyway, we will be out to speak with them next week but figured I'd ask here and attempt to receive a no song and dance opinion.

Either way, I'll report back with any noteworthy findings.

Cheers

Southbridge Int. School of Cambodia

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:55 pm
by Rama
Little I know it's that the head used to be head of New Gateway International School (International, but pretty low down the order. So, I'd guess he wasn't internationally recruited, and he's probably therefore not being paid anywhere near the CEO type salaries of other international school heads.)
They were going to offer IB, but swapped to the cheaper IPC.
Fees position them at the cheap end of the 'real' international school options.
Nice campus design, but as their website says they're mainly targeting families in the Peng Hout Borey, so expect a majority of the students to be Cambodian.

If money is not an option ISPP isn't really that much further away.

Re: Southbridge Int. School of Cambodia

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:25 pm
by gavinmac
Anton Chigurh wrote: Are they trying to market off of the Northbridge brand?
It certainly looks to me like "Southbridge International School Cambodia" is trying to market off the brand of Northbridge International School Cambodia. I can't think of any other reason why they would have chosen that name. If I had a kid, I wouldn't send the kid to a parasitic school that was leeching off the name of a more successful school and trying to create confusion about it's association with that school.


The mission statement on the school's website is a cut and paste job, you can find those exact words in other school mission statements, including here:

http://www.rusd.org/janes/mission

Re: Southbridge Int. School of Cambodia

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:29 pm
by Jessb52
It's ran/owned by the same guy who set up Northbridge.

Yes, they will be doing IPC, but that only goes upto 11 years old. They might do the IMYC which is by the same people who design the IPC. But even that only goes to about 13 iirrc, so they may choose to do IB after.

Re: Southbridge Int. School of Cambodia

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:32 pm
by gavinmac
Jessb52 wrote:It's ran/owned by the same guy who set up Northbridge.

Yes, they will be doing IPC, but that only goes upto 11 years old. They might do the IMYC which is by the same people who design the IPC. But even that only goes to about 13 iirrc, so they may choose to do IB after.
He sold Northbridge to Nord Anglia and is now setting up a competing school called Southbridge?

Re: Southbridge Int. School of Cambodia

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:38 pm
by Anton Chigurh
Cheers gents,

That's some worthwhile info Rama, thanks. I had my heart set on Northbridge but Mak-Mak would perish the thought of the little one going so far away for school at this age.

Come to think of it, ISPP really isn't a bad haul from where we are. We shall see.

Either way, you both saved me a wasted trip out to Southbridge's admin offices. Plagiarizing a mission statement is pretty skeevy in my book.

Southbridge Int. School of Cambodia

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:48 pm
by starkmonster
I'm also keeping an eye on this school for a high school option for when mine finish middle school at iCAN. I also live in the south so the location is convenient.

The default option is ISPP, which is no doubt a good school but not a good value proposition for those paying school fees out of their own pocket.

I think Phnom Penh needs a high school that follows the iCAN model of very low student turnover and lower fees on the back of that efficiency but still top quality in terms of staff and facilities.

Re: Southbridge Int. School of Cambodia

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:20 pm
by springrain
starkmonster, do you wish your child to take IGCSE's & A Levels or do you wish him/her to take IB?

Don't worry, I'm absolutely not going to mention any schools as options, I'm just genuinely curious. Tell me to mind my own business, if you want. I'm not trying to derail this thread or anything.

You have a child at iCAN, so that explains your reluctance to see that place criticised. It's a wonderful thing if a parent is happy with a school, so I'd like to wish you all the best with your child's education.

My own impression - and it is merely a humble opinion - is that A Levels are tougher as they are highly specialised, whereas IB is more eclectic and demonstrative of all-round ability.

After a quick glance at their website, what Jessb52 said is right - they only go up to 11/12 yo. Perhaps they will go into the upper-secondary stream if they are successful.

Re: Southbridge Int. School of Cambodia

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:29 pm
by vladimir
gavinmac wrote:If I had a kid, I wouldn't send the kid to a parasitic school that was leeching off the name of a more successful school and trying to create confusion about it's association with that school.
Hahaha, how about 'international', 'gate', 'bridge' et al? Goddamn, Cambodia is cut and paste city for school names.

Having said that, how original are school/uni names/themes in the US?

I bet no one copies stuff there, right? :lol: :-)

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:44 pm
by LexusSchmexus
Isn't Northridge's majority shareholder The Royal Group now? Either way, I agree with Gavin. Even if it's a good school I would be put off by their obvious attempt at giving a similar sounding name to another well established school.

Re:

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:55 pm
by vladimir
LexusSchmexus wrote:Isn't Northridge's majority shareholder The Royal Group now? Either way, I agree with Gavin. Even if it's a good school I would be put off by their obvious attempt at giving a similar sounding name to another well established school.
1. Yes.

2. How many variations would you like? Would you prefer the Mickey Mouse International School?

Or would you base your kid's education on the curriculum/ quality of teachers? (perish the thought)

What was the name of the high school you/gavinmac attended? Was it original?

Post it, and let's see.

We're not holding our breath.

Southbridge Int. School of Cambodia

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:35 pm
by starkmonster
springrain wrote:starkmonster, do you wish your child to take IGCSE's & A Levels or do you wish him/her to take IB?

Don't worry, I'm absolutely not going to mention any schools as options, I'm just genuinely curious. Tell me to mind my own business, if you want. I'm not trying to derail this thread or anything.

You have a child at iCAN, so that explains your reluctance to see that place criticised. It's a wonderful thing if a parent is happy with a school, so I'd like to wish you all the best with your child's education.

My own impression - and it is merely a humble opinion - is that A Levels are tougher as they are highly specialised, whereas IB is more eclectic and demonstrative of all-round ability.

After a quick glance at their website, what Jessb52 said is right - they only go up to 11/12 yo. Perhaps they will go into the upper-secondary stream if they are successful.
To be honest I don't care what system they follow as long as the grades from that system will get them into their chosen university back home and they enjoy attending school.

Both the IPC and IMC allow them to seamlessly move back into a British primary/middle school if we were to return and would give them the foundation to move into an IB school like ISPP or a regular British high school doing GCSE's.

I personally think iCAN is first rate, if I didn't I wouldn't send my kids there. I look at culture before I look at a syllabus and the culture at iCAN is excellent.

The best thing about iCAN for me is that my kids have 75% of the kids they started school with in nursery still in their class. If they were at ISPP or Northridge they would be very lucky if they still had 25%.

Re: Re:

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:49 pm
by DonCalzone
vladimir wrote:
LexusSchmexus wrote:Isn't Northridge's majority shareholder The Royal Group now? Either way, I agree with Gavin. Even if it's a good school I would be put off by their obvious attempt at giving a similar sounding name to another well established school.
1. Yes.

2. How many variations would you like? Would you prefer the Mickey Mouse International School?

Or would you base your kid's education on the curriculum/ quality of teachers? (perish the thought)

What was the name of the high school you/gavinmac attended? Was it original?

Post it, and let's see.

We're not holding our breath.
Northbridge was recently acquired by Nord Anglia Education, so not owned by Royal Group anymore. Southbridge however is: http://www.royalgroup.com.kh/southbridg ... -cambodia/

Re: Southbridge Int. School of Cambodia

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 2:29 am
by KPTIC
The Royal Group turned a nice profit selling Northbridge to Nord Anglia, so they want to do it again.

OP, ISPP is the best school in Phnom Penh, and Northbridge, now Nord Anglia, is second. My daughter is young, so Montessori works fine for now, but when she is a bit older, I would only consider those two schools. ISPP or Northbridge.

Southbridge Int. School of Cambodia

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:09 am
by starkmonster
Northridge and ISPP are fine schools but the high school portion of their business is crying out to be disrupted. At the primary level which is less capital intensive for upstarts it's already happened and now unlike a few years back we have some great alternatives.

With The Canadian International School already up and running and Southbridge on the way hopefully in a couple of years we'll also have some solid alternatives for high schooling too.

New schools can easily disrupt on price without sacrificing quality. The reason being that schools that service the embassy and overseas posting set have a high student turnover and must have places ready for new arrivals. These empty chairs are an inefficiency, the cost of which is shared by the chairs that are filled.

This model has already been proven at the primary level. I mention iCAN a lot because I'm familiar with it, their lower years have a two year waiting list and as a result can offer a comparable product for 30% less than their main competition.

There is now easily a large enough market amongst long term expats (western and East Asian) and upwardly mobile Khmers to service a high school following the same model.