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Department in Focus: Growth in Secondary School

Our Deputy Head of Secondary, Mr. Sam Gipson, talks about the growth of Secondary School since joining Nord Anglia Education eighteen months ago.

Eighteen months is a long time, especially in the life of a school.

Students come and go, teachers depart and new ones join, new experiences are had, new stories are written and new adventures shared.

For the NAIS Manila Secondary School, this could not be truer.

A little more than eighteen months ago NAIS Manila Secondary School was less than half its current size, only open up until Year 9, and was without many of the elements commonly associated with a secondary school. So much has changed in eighteen months through the hard work and collaboration of everyone in the school community, from parents, to students, teachers and everyone else who contributes to making a school such as NAIS Manila so exceptional.

Recently two exciting things occurred in our Secondary School, first we finalised arrangements for the upcoming 2020 Activities Week (in which we have students visiting Japan, China and locations here in the Philippines) and second, Miss Wright and Miss Lian attended a conference organised by Cambridge Assessment International Examinations discussing the IGCSE and A-Level qualifications and exciting opportunities for pathways to university study for our students.

collage 1
As a Year 10 Student, I am so excited that our school is offering the IGCSEs and I really looking forward to the A-Levels program that will be launched next year. Julianne, Year 10 Student

Why both these events are exciting is that eighteen months ago, they would not have been possible, nor would they have been on our radar.  The two exciting events of the last week prompted a moment of reflection on how far we as a school community have come in such a short space of time.

Academically we have gone from strength to strength, with the growth of the Science, Maths, Humanities and English departments into multi-personnel departments providing opportunities for extended learning and extra student support, the direct result of which has been a significant up-turn in academic attainment.

We have embraced the Juilliard Collaboration and approach to performing arts in Music, PE (in the form of Dance) and Drama in preparation for launching the IGCSE qualification for that subject in 2020-21 school year.

We have also developed an articulated learning support program for students with varying academic needs and seen all students taking Mandarin successfully complete the HSK qualification, opening doors for an international future.

collage 2

The new opportunities for extended learning, performance and competition, embedded in our school over the last eighteen months have also been nothing short of incredible, with students almost endlessly traversing the globe in pursuit of new knowledge and experiences.

From debating at the United Nations Head Quarters in New York, to the performing on stage at our sister school in Hanoi, to competing in swimming in Kuala Lumpur, to listening to lectures at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and solving the world’s problems through STEAM in Thailand, participating in Model United Nations festivals across Manila, and of course to learning in the classrooms of our wonderful school. New opportunities to learn are abundant and new opportunities continue to be offered.

The changes within our school community is really paving the road towards a bright future for all of us. All the great opportunities such as the Model UN and STEAM trips are giving us a chance to always improve. Angela, Year 9 Student
  • hanoi PA festival
  • mit thailand
  • un 1
  • MUN Team 2019

Other huge changes in the last year and a half have included the development of our Wellbeing Program and implementation our Be Ambitious – Be Better approach to student social and emotional development.

The results of which have been a significant reduction of wellbeing concerns in the school through teaching students coping strategies and self-management techniques.

Underpinning our wellbeing program has been an emphasis on reflection, both academically and socially, the results of which have seen a measurable increase in overall enjoyment of school and life satisfaction reported by students.

From the Year 7 transition Surf Camp, to the highly successful secondary Basketball and Swimming Teams, to the very active Student Parliament and amazing achievements in STEAM.

The incredible things that have occurred are testament not only to the hard work of our staff, both teaching and administration, but more importantly to the incredible work of our students and the hard work, commitment and contribution of the amazing parent community that underpins everything we do at NAIS Manila.

surf trip 2019

We as a school could not have achieved these things without the amazing collaboration that occurs between all facets of our community. We can’t wait to see where we are as a school in another eighteen months’ time!

We thank you for your contributions to all that has taken place and we look forward to sharing the journey ahead with you!


sam g photo

Sam Gipson

Deputy Head of Secondary