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Partnerships and Accreditations

Richard Henry, Head of School March 1, 2019
Partnerships and Accreditations

Partnerships and New Opportunities

Recently I posted a statement on LinkedIn "True innovation in education. GEMS (Singapore) and Embry-Riddle have joined forces to offer university-level courses for high school students in Aeronautical Engineering and Aeronautics Business”. Over 7000 people have viewed this post which is more than double any post I have made before. Why are they interested?

As one follower said…” A fantastic opportunity for GEMS (Singapore) students. I love the way that educators are working to blur the difference between school and the workplace and expose students to potential careers. Well done GEMS (Singapore)". This amazing opportunity is in addition to our existing partnership with the Savannah College of Arts and Design.

Now we have two world-class universities partnering with us to deliver courses only found at GEMS (Singapore). These partnerships allow us to provide more pathways for students and, in the case of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, complete the equivalent of the Freshman year while still here in our school. A great advantage for GEMS students. This is true innovation in education and provides our students with unique opportunities that no other school in Singapore offers.

Accreditation 

Two important organisations with whom we are collaborating are accreditation bodies - the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Last week, the CIS/WASC Preparatory visit was conducted in our school. The visiting team members were with us for four days reviewing a wide range of school domains which all relate to improving student learning. The visitors were very complimentary with how open we were to share with them and the positive energy which exists in our school.

Accreditation with these organisations is a key driver for our school in terms of continuous improvement as we benchmark ourselves against the international standards of CIS and WASC. The visitors took a snapshot of where we are now and their report will provide a road map of where we need to move forward. In 12 to 18 months, a larger visiting team will conduct a more thorough review of our school in which representatives of all our community stakeholders will be involved.

Two quotes from the visitors which I would like to share:

 

Fantastic things are happening in this school; particularly as it is such a young school"

 

The culture of the school is very healthy. I had to keep reminding myself that this is a relatively new school because I saw so many things that mature schools don’t even have in place yet.

 

After we receive the final report from the CIS/WASC team, our school community will then begin preparations for the full accreditation visit. This will involve all stakeholders - parents, students, teachers and administration. Together, we will create our road map for success and build on the commendations we have already received regarding our high quality of education.

Some of the commendations from the visiting team were as follows:

Domain A - PURPOSE AND DIRECTION

C - a sincere commitment from leadership to school improvement
C - the school is true to its mission and vision
C - there exists a nurturing international community which is respectful and understanding of others

Domain B - GOVERNANCE, LEADERSHIP AND OWNERSHIP

C - proactive nature of the school in terms of financial commitment towards teaching and learning and a commitment to sustainability

Domain C - THE CURRICULUM

C - there exists a definition of high-quality learning and excellence

Domain D - TEACHING AND ASSESSING FOR LEARNING

C - high quality, student centred learning happening in classrooms. Student agency is apparent. A wide variety of formative and summative assessments were observed

Domain E - THE STUDENT’S LEARNING AND WELL-BEING

C - safe, secure, warm environment. Interactions were highly respectful and genuine. Impressive for such a young school
C - a commitment of staff to the wellness of students

Domain F - STAFFING

C - dedicated, caring, knowledgeable professionals. This was wonderful to see. Which is then reflected in how the students present themselves
C - PD allocation is very good for teachers and administration staff
C - succession planning is strong and the development of leaders. Lots of opportunities. 

Domain G - PREMISES AND PHYSICAL ACCOMMODATION

C - Innovative and purposeful learning facilities which support learning. Students engaged in learning because of the facilities 

Domain H - COMMUNITY AND HOME PARTNERSHIPS

C - parents feel that this school is not just for their children but for them as well. They feel they are learning along with their children

 

 

Richard Henry,
Head of School

 

 

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