November 06, 2017
By Matthew Corbett
Head of Secondary, Garden International School Malaysia
An opportunity exists to join one of the most reputable schools in South East Asia. Founded on the key principle of ‘Bringing out the Best’ in our students and teachers; Garden International School lives and breathes this motto each and every day.
Our school is about affording all students all opportunities, to allow individuals to find their areas of passion and harness their strengths. While it is important to recognise and work on our areas for improvement, the more chances we have to activate our strengths will ultimately lead to increased productivity, motivation and of course, success. The IGCSE and A Level programmes at GIS allow students to have ample choice regarding the subjects they take in their exam years. The A Level (‘Advanced Level’) two-year course for Year 12 and 13 students allows them to study three or four subjects and enables them to capitalise on their strengths. By choosing only 3 or 4 subjects at A Level, students are able to specialise, which can be a tremendous advantage especially in today’s increasingly competitive university application climate. A Level graduates are well prepared and positioned to tackle the demands of the most challenging universities and disciplines.
Our history of impressive academic results speaks for itself. But rather than rest on our laurels, we recognise that typical examination courses can sometimes be content heavy at the expense of teaching and applying soft skills, or, ‘people skills’. It is one thing to understand a scientific theory, but to apply it in an unfamiliar environment is another. Furthermore, to challenge this theory, and present one’s arguments to an audience requires a whole new set of skills. Tony Wagner, expert in Residence at Harvard University’s Innovation Lab explains in his book ‘The Global Education Gap’, “Work, learning, and citizenship in the twenty-first century demand that we all know how to think—to reason, analyse, weigh evidence, problem-solve—and to communicate effectively.”
So what are we doing at GIS to ensure our students have these skills?
Over the past few years, the GIS community has been formulating and embedding a set of bespoke GIS Skills. We recognise the importance of our students having key points of difference when they graduate and our skills programme offers student the chance to harness these skills and demonstrate progression in these via an online portfolio platform – the first of its kind anywhere. Our GIS Skills are being mapped into both our curriculum and wider life programmes and are transferable across all facets of a student’s experience at the school. In addition, our award-winning GIS Enquiry Week offers students a chance to apply these skills in a context where the goal is to develop something authentic and tangible as an individual or team for a specific audience.
Our sixth form GIS Diploma is also aimed at setting our students apart. In addition to succeeding academically, our Diploma challenges students to make a difference in the community by working towards achieving the Community Sports Leaders Award or the International Award (Gold). In addition, our students are required to complete a two-year Enrichment course or Extended Project Qualification, both of which aim at developing research, written and communication skills in an area of passion. Our vision for the Sixth Form continues to be driven by our determination to provide all students with opportunities that will prepare them for higher education and the workforce.
Community service and experiential learning opportunities also play a key part in developing an individual’s soft skills. WIth over 150 co-curricular opportunities offered each term as well as a year group camp, numerous subject trips and a week-long community service project, quite simply, our students have every avenue to continue to be the best they can be.
When asking parents and students what sets GIS apart, they will often use the word ‘community’. The personalised approach to teaching and learning, coupled with our well-being programme which focuses on ensuring regular meaningful conversations with every individual and importantly our relationship with all parents is what really sets us apart.
To join our community of learners, please apply through https://www.gardenschool.edu.my/enquirenow/scholarships/ or contact admissions department at +603 6209 6888.