Meet the new Head of School at OWIS Nanyang and Suntec and discover how the welcoming and diverse OWIS community and holistic curriculum help students thrive.
Looking for a school that prepares your child to become a citizen of the world? We chat with the new Head of School at OWIS Nanyang and Suntec, Mr. James Sweeney, about how the vibrant, multicultural community of students and well-rounded IB curriculum nurtures a love of learning and creates an inclusive atmosphere for students to pursue their dreams and reach their full potential. Read all about how Mr. Sweeney plans to include additional opportunities for students and why he’s so confident you’ll love OWIS if you see it for yourself.
How did you come to be Head of School at OWIS?
From the onset of my career, I’ve always been deeply rooted in education, fully aware of its significant role in shaping our world. My journey began in England and extended to South Korea, where I gathered a wealth of experiences that moulded my perspectives. Over the past eight years, I’ve been privileged to lead an international school in Beijing, an experience that further solidified my commitment to global education. When the opportunity arose to join OWIS, I was immediately drawn to the prospect, given its reputation for fostering diversity and academic excellence.
In the short time since you joined, what do you love about the school?
Since joining, what has truly stood out for me about OWIS is the vibrant and welcoming community. I’ve been thoroughly impressed by our students’ confidence and competence. Their warm reception, coupled with the strong community spirit, has made me feel incredibly welcome. The diversity within the school is a unique asset, which adds to the depth of our learning experiences. Participating in unit shares, I have been struck by how well students articulate their learning journey. Assisting Grade 10 students as they transition into the IBDP, their enthusiasm for their subjects has been infectious. I have also had the pleasure of meeting many parents, who are not only welcoming, but brimming with pride for our school.
What will be your focus areas at OWIS Nanyang and Suntec?
My initial focus at OWIS, encompassing both the Nanyang and Suntec campuses, will be to immerse myself in the learning environment, closely observing and interacting with students, parents, and teachers. I’m keen to understand our strengths, why they work, and where we could potentially enhance our offering. I firmly believe that improvement is a collective endeavour, and I look forward to working collaboratively with the entire community towards this goal. Beyond academics, I’m passionate about broadening students’ horizons with additional opportunities – whether it’s through competitions, internships, or other means. It’s about creating a holistic learning experience that prepares our students for all aspects of life.
What is one fun fact about you?
I am actually a qualified speed boat instructor. It’s quite an unexpected development, as I inadvertently signed up for a course during my university years. It was an adventurous twist in my path, and I ended up with a license! However, life took its course, and somewhat ironically, I’ve not had the opportunity to be in a speed boat since then.
How does OWIS differ from other schools that offer the IB?
While there are numerous exceptional IB schools across Singapore, I believe OWIS stands out due to the richness of its diverse community. We bring together students, parents, and staff from all corners of the world, and this multicultural tapestry fosters an environment of robust collaboration and collective achievement. The community here is uniquely supportive and closely knit, creating an enabling atmosphere for our students to pursue their ambitions and reach their full potential. This ethos, where we not only educate but also empower, is what makes OWIS truly distinct.
What stands out about the facilities at OWIS Nanyang and Suntec?
Our campuses at OWIS offer two distinct but equally impressive experiences. Suntec, situated right in the heart of Singapore, is in a unique urban setting. The location grants us state-of-the-art facilities and easy connectivity to various organisations, opening doors to numerous opportunities.
On the other hand, Nanyang is nestled in a green, spacious setting that fosters open thinking and interaction with nature. The sporting facilities are exceptional, offering a platform for our students to hone their athletic talents and develop a sense of teamwork and sportsmanship. I’m truly excited to see our students thrive in these wonderful environments.
If you had to make an elevator pitch to parents about OWIS, what are the three points you would say?
Rather than giving a standard elevator pitch, I would instead extend an open invitation to parents to experience OWIS firsthand. Come witness our students engaged in learning, interact with them, and let them illustrate what makes OWIS special. They are our best ambassadors, embodying our values and ethos. So, if you’re considering OWIS, come visit our campuses at your convenience. Meet our exceptional students, listen to their experiences, and gain a true understanding of our vibrant, inclusive, and collaborative learning environment.
Want to see OWIS for yourself? Sign up for a virtual or on-campus tour.
OWIS Nanyang and Suntec welcome new students all year round.