We sat down with the new Head of School at GEMS World Academy (Singapore) to find out what makes him tick, and what makes this international school so special!
There’s some exciting news coming out of GEMS World Academy (Singapore), mama: in April it welcomed a new Head of School, Richard Henry! With nearly 30 years’ experience working in the educational sector across four continents, the Scotland-born, Australia-bred educator brings a worldly, multi-cultural perspective that’s a perfect fit for GEMS Singapore.
What’s more, he’s got particularly extensive experience with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme, having worked for the IB in both Europe and the USA to implement and evaluate IB programmes at various schools as well as engage with government ministries and higher education institutions. He also has firsthand experience implementing all three IB programmes (PYP, MYP and DP) during his time as Principal and Head of School at a prominent international school in Jakarta, Indonesia. In short, families and students can look forward to even more success with the IB framework at GEMS Singapore!
We sat down with Mr. Henry to find out more about this educational philosophy, what makes GEMS stand out on Singapore’s international schools scene, and his passion for promoting truly high-quality teaching. Read on for more, mama!
What drew you to this position at GEMS Singapore?
Several factors drew me to the school:
- The continuum of an IB education for children throughout all grades in the school, including The Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and The Diploma Programme (DP).
- The truly international nature of the student cohort in which there are 70 countries represented and not one country dominates the community.
- The GEMS educational philosophy and values are aligned with my own. This is a renowned educational group that has students and teachers at the heart of its endeavours.
What sets GEMS (and its students) apart from other schools you’ve worked at (or with) in the past?
As mentioned above, the truly international nature of the school community is a valuable quality not always found in international schools. There exists a spirit of creativity and innovation which I am fortunate to be able to foster in the years ahead.
What does ‘High-Quality Teaching’ look like to you?
High quality teaching is evident in its outcomes — that is, the students. Measuring success in schools is always a challenge as there are so many parameters, some of them are not quantifiable. But a high quality education ensures that each child is supported in a unique way which ensures they are able to achieve their best in a broad range of areas covering their academic, physical, social and emotional well-being.
Have you ever lived in Singapore before? What do you think so far?
I have not lived in Singapore before but I have visited many times. I’m estimating that I would have been here about 50 times over the past 17 years. After leaving Australia and then living in Indonesia, The Netherlands and the USA , this has been the easiest transition for me so far. Singapore is a vibrant city that welcomes people like myself. You could definitely say that the city is “internationally minded”.
Five years from now, where would you like to see GEMS Singapore on the international school scene?
In five years’ time I would like GEMS World Academy (Singapore) to be seen as an exemplary school across all areas of the educational landscape. As with the aim for our students to be well rounded citizens of the world with the capacity to lead change for good, I would hope that GEMS (Singapore) will also be seen as a well rounded educational institution that is able to lead other GEMS schools so that they, too can provide a quality education. This is in line with one of the goals of the Varkey Foundation: that education should be of quality and equality for all children.
Thank you, Mr. Henry! To find out more about the high quality teaching and educational opportunities available at GEMS World Academy (Singapore), mama, visit an upcoming Open Day held on Tuesdays and Saturdays!
GEMS World Academy (Singapore), 2 Yishun Street 42, Singapore 768039, Tel: (+65) 6808 7300, www.gwa.edu.sg