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Secondary School Update on Learning

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

From the start of Virtual Schooling, the Secondary Teaching and Leadership Team has listened to student and parent feedback linked to what the school is providing in terms of pastoral provision and teaching, and learning opportunities via Virtual School.



After a review of Term 2 Virtual Schooling, the Team decided to focus on three key areas for Virtual School enhancement.

Sec Group Call

Students were finding a full six-lesson day sitting in front of laptops and iPads challenging. As a result, we introduced a new ‘Virtual Timetable’ with wellbeing at the forefront of the change.

We introduced a House Registration period at the start of every day. The purpose of these sessions is to allow House Tutors to facilitate increased student interaction. Furthermore, having two House Tutors per class has allowed teachers to monitor student wellbeing through regular and confidential surveys and to provide a support network for those experiencing anxieties or concerns.

House Registration gives us a chance to express our thoughts and chat about current news with all of our peers.

I find it refreshing to talk to students from different year groups. It calms and puts me at ease before a challenging day of virtual school, and helps me feel a sense of community and togetherness despite being stuck at home. Lia, Year 11 and Head Student

To support the implementation of increased student interaction, teachers have been meeting daily to share good practice amongst colleagues to increase opportunities for student interaction between peers.

student group call

In History, Mr Gipson facilitated a Harkness discussion between students based on the question ‘Is Globalization the main reason for the rapid spread of the COVID-19.


This was something we took as a key focus area based on our first Student Voice Survey.

After dedicating a Staff Inset to discuss various proposals to work towards achieving this goal, we implemented our ‘Be Ambitious - Be Better (BABB)’ Challenges.

As an alternative to an afternoon curriculum lesson, each week of virtual school, a series of  BABB Challenges were set by subject-specific departments within the Secondary School to ‘stretch and challenge’ students beyond their comfort zone, with a focus away from the screen and aiming to extend learning and develop key learning skills.


  • bookweek dress up Sec
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Virtual Events and Collaborations

I have been delighted with the overwhelmingly positive and resilient attitude of the NAIS Manila school community since schooling switched from face-to-face learning to virtual.

One thing we highlighted early was a desire to do all we could to ensure that students and parents were still able to stay connected to the school while remotely isolated.  I am delighted that a number of key events and collaborations have continued to thrive despite having to ‘go virtual’. 

  • Assemblies - On Monday 4th May, our very first ‘Virtual Assembly’ took place, with 55 Secondary students logging onto a live video call and presentation by the Head of Secondary.
  • Leadership Opportunities - Within House Registration periods, leaders are nominated to lead House activity sessions such as quizzes and discussion forums.
  • Whole School Events - Week beginning 25th May, Mr. Campbell worked alongside a number of teachers within both the Secondary and Primary phase of the school in preparation for NAIS Manila's Virtual Book Week.  Year 11 students have also played an integral part in the preparations, including presenting to Secondary students from their respective Houses, outlining the key initiatives and competitions taking place. The event promises to be an exciting week, providing students with a variety of challenges that cater to a range of interests and skills.
  • Collaborations - Despite the difficulties students have had to overcome recently, it has been fantastic to see that the enthusiasm for the many NAE collaboration opportunities has continued. There have been a number of MIT - STEAM Global competitions that NAIS Manila students have fully embraced. 

As a school, we accepted the MIT Reveal Challenge - A Different Lens set by MIT science photographer Felice Frankel.

The challenge was simple. Just take a photograph of something that makes you think about science or technology. We were blown away by the number of participants and the quality of the work that they produced. We even received photographs from participating parents! It was amazing to see just how much science and technology the students could find, even while on lockdown.

The winning photos as judged by Ms. Willerton, Ms. Wright, and Mr. Gipson were as follows:

Year 8 has also been working on a classic MIT Challenge from 2017: Street Smart - Navigating Tomorrow.

In this challenge, the students researched how self-driving cars could impact our lives in the future. They learned about artificial intelligence (AI) involved in self-driving cars and tried their hand at the coding required to run these cars. They also looked at the safety and ethics that the AI’s would need to follow, and how AI could teach itself using “Machine Learning”.


While the previous few months have been a challenging period of time for everyone, I am immensely proud of the NAIS Manila students' positive, resilient and ‘Be Ambitious’ approach to the situation. Thank you, students, and well done. Please keep it up

- Simon Sherratt

Head of Secondary


If you want to know more about our Secondary School Programme, we are currently offering Virtual Discovery Meetings.

Make an appointment today to speak with our Admissions Team online, discuss with them your child’s learning needs and how we can meet them, and enjoy a multi-media introduction to our teachers, students, and facilities.

Click the link below to book your Virtual Discovery Meeting today.

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Our Virtual School Experience

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