A guide to: expat schools in the Karen area

If you are a parent moving to Nairobi, then where you live is largely dictated by where your kids are going to go to school as traffic prohibits travel. Through hours of googling and a little local help, we highlighted 4 schools for our kids and visited them all on our recce trip here. Our decision was easy, the school we chose seemed to fit like a glove and we are happy with the decision ever since, but below are my purely subjective thoughts on schools within the Karen area.  I would strongly advise you visit them all.

1. Brookhouse: literally Hogwarts grandeur in appearance with NASA/LAMDA/Disneyland facilities I cant calculate how much money was spent on the building and the result is very impressive but for ourselves we felt that the person who showed us round was more keen to talk about the facilities and less interested in our kids, which was a red light.

2. Hillcrest (Jnr) the very lovely head of the junior school who showed us round presented us with an image of a warm, loving school with great teachers, good facilities and lots of very happy children. In fact this was our top choice until we visited Banda.  However, upon speaking  to people in the area we discovered that the school has had a number of problems recently and whilst the high school was very well thought of people were less enthusiastic about the lower school.

3. Braeburn, Ill be honest I was really sick for this show round, the school seemed nice but it was very urban being north of Lavington and we liked the more country feel of the Karen based schools.

4. Banda – the school we chose for our kids. When we went without our three children all of the many teachers we met all had been briefed on our situation and our children. The Head and her staff spent hours with us talking about our expectations and needs, which we were super impressed with given this was just a show round with no commitment on our part. The school has a warm, sporty, friendly vibe, with lots of love enveloping a steely ‘traditional british prep school’ backbone. The kids love it, we love it, they have been there 4 months now and have come on so far in terms of academic ability and the range of sports to which they have been introduced.

We were aware of but didn’t visit:

5. International School Kenya (ISK) which we disregarded because it had a US curriculum.

6. Peponi, well regarded school in Lavington but there were no spaces. You may also want to check out far north schools Brookhouse Runda campus (newly opening) and Braburn Garden Estate

Entrance to Banda school
Sports kits for the start of term

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