HOS New Year Talk JBS

  1. As a Head of School, what are your responsibilities? As Head of School I am ultimately responsible for the daily management of the school. I collaborate with the administrators, operations team, and teachers to ensure that the academic curriculum is written and planned better than any other. I am responsible for recruiting outstanding teachers to join our team and to work with the team of teachers to ensure the highest quality of the delivery of the curriculum that supported by the best possible resources. Next to this, I am responsible for keeping our school environment joyful and safe. The result of my work translates into raising the standards of our students’ learning to the highest international levels.
  2. What have you completed in the first term and what is your plan for 2024?

    I started a project called ‘A day in the life of a BISB student’. With this project I sought to better understand how our students experience our school life through the lens of a student, in order to better support the school development for our students. The concept is to shadow each grade level for an entire day – from “drop off” to “pick-up” including all classes, breaks, recess, and other daily activities.  So far I have been “a student” for Grades 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5. In the second term I plan to shadow students from Grade 4 to Nursery. While I have shared some of these experiences with our community in newsletters and in person, I plan to create a blog giving more insights into “a day”.

    As part of our process to ensure teaching quality, I conducted formal lesson observations in of all teachers in their first year. After each lesson observation I met with the teacher to reflect on our experience and set professional growth goals. In the second term I plan to conduct formal lesson observations and reflection meetings with all teachers in their second year. On a daily basis I do short class visits of up to five minutes to see how our students and teachers are doing. This helps me keep a pulse on the school and on each class and is something I’ll continue throughout the year.

    As part of our management protocols, I implemented the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and Academic Leadership Team (ALT) meetings. In these meetings we talk about how our students are doing and what we need to do to further support them. We also discuss the curriculum, resources, assessments, communications and what actions are needed to continue to improve our standards. We also talk about scheduled events and how the Academic leadership team can support students and/or parents in order to ensure they are exceptional. In November, we appointed a Subject Lead model.  With this, we appointed leaders in different subject areas whom are responsible for meeting with their department teachers to reflect on the curriculum and implementation and to discuss actions that we can take as an organization to help sustain and improve our practices. Subject leads also support the organization of field trips and other special events connected to the curriculum.

    In collaborating with our College Counselors, Ms. Kate and Dr. Nat, we are enhancing the College Counselor program and support for our students to help them navigate the complicated process of deciding subjects, examinations and ultimately university applications. Specific to Thailand, we have developed components of this program that include a series of guest speakers who come to campus to share their subject expertise with students, create opportunities for student internships at different companies across Bangkok and help to build student portfolios starting in Grade 8 and Grade 9 will start with this Academic Year.

    Beyond these Academic Leadership endeavors, I also enjoy supporting sports, arts and cultural events. Besides that, I regularly meet with students and parents individually to better understand their school experience and see if there is any need for more support in school improvement.

  3. We heard that you were a CIS inspector, how’s that experience help with your current job as HOS?

    As a CIS Visiting Team member, I visited and accredited international schools around the globe as part of team of professional international educators. We studied the evidence that schools submitted to prove the efficiency of their actions and systems rated against standards of international education. We then made school visits in order to verify the school self-rating, during which we met with all stakeholders to discuss the submitted evidence and observe school practices before coming to an accreditation conclusion. With this experience I am very well aware of the standards of international education in large the schools and the roles all stakeholders that are involved. This has become part of one of my guiding principles and I always refer to standards, expectations, and stakeholders in to ensure that what we do is verified, accepted and accountable in a broader global context.

  4. What progress do you see with each of our sections (Early Years, Primary, Middle School, High School)? Could you please share with us what’s completed and what the school is working on?

    EY: The curriculum is aligned, rigorous and established with both verticle (between grade levels) and horizontal (between classes at the same grade level) alignment. It is definitely not a Play Based Learning model, but a concrete curriculum including lesson outcomes, in an accelerated academic environment that spirals up to Grade 1.  Kindergarten graduates are fully equipped and ready to be successful for our Primary School, which will then translate into success in subsequent years. We will keep working on delivering the program meet or exceed the expectations of the pace and time.PS: The LET – SET model is working efficiently in all classes in all Grades. Our first task in 2024 is to collaborate on the review of the delivery our phonics program called of Logic of English.  This is a critical step to help ensure we have consistency in the delivery of the curriculum as our school continues to grow in the coming years.

    MS: Our students experience a rich and unique curriculum, including Physics, Biology and Chemistry taught as individual subjects. We will keep supporting our students getting through the fast pace curriculum and setting them up for exam success.  This year we have achieved an excellent balance between academic rigor and extra activities by incorporating Arts, Music and other activities into the day through our IAMS (SPELLING?) program.  I think this has helped support our young athletes and artists as we have extended our sports and music programs with the addition of multiple sports teams, bands, and other artistic endeavors on campus.

    HS: The College Counselling program has been launched and will be further developed, expanded and improved on. We will continue to inspire our students and support them in making informed decisions. During her visit scheduled in March 2024, Ms. Kate will meet with students and parents in person individually. We hosted our first speaker as part of the Guest Speaker Series and this served as an inspiration for our students to hear about some practical work and life experience “after the classroom”.    Most importantly, we began to implement the Advanced Placement (AP) program with our Grade 9 students who are now taking Advanced Placement World History Modern and Advanced Placement Physics 1 classes.  This is a major accomplishment for them and it has been wonderful to see them rise to the challenge of this difficult coursework.

  5. This year is the first time for AP and AP exam, what’s going on with that?Our Grade 9 students will sit for AP World History Modern and AP Physics 1 exams. From my observations and teacher/student feedback, our students are on track against internal metrics to help ensure they have a successful completion of these courses.  This is a big challenge for our pioneering class but we know they are well prepared and will be ready to rise to the occasion.  Advanced Placement expert Vice-President, Mr. Toby Walker, will visit our school early next semester again to support in the preparation for the AP exams.
  6. Any message you’d like to leave us with?

    I would like to thank all of our parents, students, and other members of the BASIS Community who have helped to make my transition to Head of School at BASIS such a smooth and wonderful experience.  I would also like to specifically thank all our parents for their trust in and support of the school and their active participation in the Community – you have really helped to make BASIS a wonderful place to teach, work and be a part of.  I wish everyone a safe and beautiful Winter Break, a Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you all back at school from Monday the 8th of January 2024.