CIA First at a Glance

globe_newheightsEstablished: 2004
Motto: New Heights of Achievement
Nationality of staff:
Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, U.K., Estonia, Germany, Rumania, USA, Sweden, India, Philippines, Australia, Ghana, Nigeria, Ireland, Taiwan, China
Nationality of students:
America, Bangladesh, Cambodia, U.K., Thailand, Nigeria, India, USA, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, China, Spain, Korea, Philippines, Kasakhstan


 CIA FIRST International School International School’s curricular program emphasizes the development of long-term transferable understandings rather than purely acquisition of knowledge and skills. The curricula are embedded with  authentic performance tasks which assess the students’ abilities to apply their understandings to real-world situations in addition to more traditional assessment methods. Through the use of overarching enduring understandings and essential questions, teaching and learning always focuses on the ‘big ideas’ and long-term transfer goals. The school aims to equip its students with the tools necessary for them to succeed in further education and beyond, both in the local and international contexts.CIA FIRST International School believes in educating and developing the “whole child”. Our kindergarten campus includes a playful learning space, basketball court, a play ground, a pool and a computer lab. All spacious classrooms designed for 24 students are equipped with Wi-fi, computers and LCD projectors. At our new campus the facilities include a 25 m pool, a pool for non-swimmers, a 4 story canteen, 10 computer labs with 240 work stations, 2 science labs, 2 libraries with e-library access, 2 soccer pitches and 2 basketball fields. We offer Chinese, Khmer for foreigners and French classes to students who enroll in the full-time international classes. In addition, Drama, Music, Band and Art are offered. Afternoon activities at CIA FIRST include: Yoga, Reading Club, WAVE Dance and Music Club, Global Citizenship Club, Chess Club, Science Club, and Fencing Club.

FIRST International School
offers online Northwest Evaluation Association M.A.P. (Measures of Academic Progress) testing twice per year.

FIRST International School
offers language assistance programs to students, staff, family, and community members.
  • General English Program (GEP)– enrollment is open to anyone to learn English from basic to advanced
  • English as a Foreign Language (EFL) intensive support program – for students with low English proficiency for the general education classes
  • Intensive Learning Program (ILP) – taught by an education specialist who is trained in supporting students with particular learning needs
  • CIA FIRST offers free Khmer language lessons for staff who are non-native Khmer speakers

One 5th grade student wrote about being inspired at CIA FIRST International School because, “ the students are confident enough to share their ideas with other students… My classmates are really friendly…. CIA FIRST International School gives the students a good education. For me, CIA is the best school in Phnom Penh.”