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Providing A Balanced Curriculum in Secondary School - Part 2

Samuel Gipson
Samuel Gipson (12 posts) Head of Secondary View Profile

My previous blog focused on the the drive within the school to offer a balanced curriculum that allows children opportunities to flourish in as many subjects and specialist areas as possible. 

Mr. Fazakerley talked about the work going on in the Music Department to support this philosophy.

As part of NAE’s world-renowned collaboration programme, four of our students travelled to MIT in Boston, USA last April 2019.The trip is linked to the NAIS Manila STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) initiative.

Below, Mr. McGuinness (Head of Science), Miss Wright (Head of Maths) and Miss Stefhanie Teodoro (Head of Art) give a brief insight into the work going on to support this initiative.

 - Mr. Sherratt

Head of Secondary


Maths is a key part of a balanced curriculum.

Through maths, pupils learn problem solving and logic as well as developing their resilience. The skills that pupils obtain support them in many other subjects from learning sequencing to support music to learning about graphs to support geography.

At NAIS Manila, we are dedicated to provide Maths as part of a STEAM curriculum. It has been an exciting year for the Maths Department, with lots of opportunities for students to show off their knowledge both in and out of the classroom.

We had 17 students take part in SEAMC (Southeast Asia Maths Challenge). This internationally recognised competition was formidable and one of the pupils managed to qualify for the next round in Bangkok. Macky Cabangon travelled there last September 2018 and won a medal for “Outstanding Performance in a Team Challenge”.

MangaHigh’s Rockstar’s of Asia competition is another example of the students being ambitious and pushing themselves in Maths. Out of 65 schools, most with much bigger schools and student population, NAIS Manila came 5th with a fantastic effort across the student body.

27 pupils earned either Gold or Legend medals showcasing their dedication as well as four students receiving special awards for individually scoring over 1,000 points.

mangahigh poster


mangahigh medals

Pi Day was another example of an extra-curricular stretch and challenge Maths opportunity. 

Through Inter-House Maths, as well as lots of different activities, pupils were able to engage with each other and develop their reasoning skills.

interhouse maths

Some pupils also learning Pi to as many digits as possible. Seven pupils learnt over 100, with Maka Carpio and Sebastian Lim getting to 225 places!

- Miss Wright

Head of Mathematics



The Science Department has also been supporting the schools more holistic approach to a balanced curriculum by pushing more STEAM based projects into our lessons.

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics, and evolved from the original STEM subjects. It was developed due to a need to add creativity into the more logical subjects. Adding an opportunity for the students to be creative in science helps the students develop a deeper understanding of the material and take more pride in their work. This has led to highly motivated students who enjoy their lessons and want to push their understanding to greater levels!

To complement our more holistic curriculum, we have been sending some of our best students to international STEAM festivals. This has allowed them to meet like-minded people and collaborate on team projects.

Last academic year we sent four students to Cambodia, where they designed and  built a fully functioning superhero costume that could be used to solve a world problem which is close to their heart.

steam cambodia 1

And again last 28th April 2019, we sent four more students to the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, Boston. This university has been responsible for some of the most important modern inventions, including the first air-conditioned building, email, nuclear fission, the first solar powered house, and even the World Wide Web.

- Mr. McGuinness

Head of Science


  • mit 2
  • mit 1
  • mit 3



I am grateful to teach Art to our lovely and talented students in NAIS Manila. The students’ positive attitude towards learning and the learning environment that we have in school let them enjoy their school life.

Through this, having an age appropriate, well-structured and balanced Art curriculum will add another excitement into their learning experiences.

As the Art journey begins in school this year, we notice the creativity, passion, enthusiasm, talents and skills of each and every student in our school. As our students’ creative minds and skillful hands work, they create wonderful, creative and unique masterpieces.

For the students to have a continuous learning and progressive development, we give them various interesting activities that will make them appreciate Art more. We provide exposure trips such as attending the Philippines Art Fair, visiting Art in Island and other museums. We also give them an opportunity to meet, greet and have an interaction with professional artists through one-day workshops for each level.

art in island 1

Moreover, we encourage them to join different Art contest such as the Global Art contest and other outside school events, which are organized by a certain group of artists.

art wall 1

The famous cubism artist Pablo Picasso once said,

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain artists once he grows up”.

As we follow what he said, we are not just creating successful students in the future but we create more successful human beings because we begin to inculcate Art to them.

 - Miss Stefhanie Teodoro

Head of Art