Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
16 February, 2024

Message from the Principal

Message from the Principal - Message from the Principal

At this time of year around the world, many international schools are busy planning for the year ahead. One of the key aspects of that is recruitment. Schools are looking to add to their teams, trying to find the right people and make their school stronger. I particularly enjoy this time of year. I love getting to know people, unpicking what they have to offer. Looking to see if they could be a good fit for our team. Do they have the right qualities, the right attributes to be able to teach our children to give them more of an advantage?

By the time candidates are getting to me, they have already been through a few other processes. They have made it to this point, because they have the right experience and the right qualifications. So for me, a large part of the process is unpicking them as a person. They well may be very intelligent; they might be highly qualified, but that isn’t enough. That doesn’t make them the best candidate. Can they communicate effectively, can they demonstrate empathy – can they see what it is like through the eyes of the students they teach? Are they able to take feedback and constructive criticism, how do they deal with things when they don’t go the way they expected, and how flexible and adaptable are they? Do their values match those of our school? Do they bring other experiences and expertise that will spark something in our students?


During this process it makes me reflect on what we do for our students in our school. How are we making them the best person for their future roles? It’s not just about getting the right qualifications. Of course, this is the first step. It gets their foot in the door. But to be successful, they need to show that ‘well-roundedness’. When I stop and take note, I can see that there is so much we offer for this. There are many opportunities to grow and nurture talent and develop, what my parents would call, ‘character building’. The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, the Open Mic sessions, School Production, Juilliard, Diploma, the broad CCA offer, the international trips, the partnerships with BSME, the UN, MIT and Juliard. We connect with world themes like sustainability, world poverty and the rights of the child. The BISAD Diploma helps students to begin to keep a reflective log of their wider engagement and successes. All good practice for when they have to write that personal statement or letter of application and of course something to draw on at an interview.


This week, we have had the pleasure of an Educational Consultant visiting our school and reviewing the quality of teaching and provision in some areas of the school. Part of this process involves the students and using their voice. They don’t hold back. They give it to you warts and all! What was so impressive is how well-rounded they are. They are able to communicate effectively, to follow a line of enquiry, to provide evidence, to problem solve and give solutions. They are able to empathise, work collaboratively and co-construct. Our students are not only developing their intelligence and ability to achieve academic results, but are well on the way to being very well-rounded talented individuals who will be successful in their futures.


Alan Cocker



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