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A Very Successful Year

David Kirkham
David Kirkham (21 posts) Former Principal, NAIS Manila View Profile

The holidays this year have felt different. They are always disrupted by readying classrooms, exam results and anticipation of new starts in August but this year they have become merged with educational politics and national scrutiny.

This has led to much discussion and debate at a time when there is usually relaxation and replenishment.

When the pandemic first reached the Philippines, we launched our online learning here at NAIS Manila, I wrote an article on this blog with the title THE NORD ANGLIA VIRTUAL SCHOOL EXPERIENCE (VSE)

It outlined what we proposed to offer, based on collaborations with our other NAE schools and fellow NAE teaching professionals within the region and around the globe, who had their schools closed earlier than us. We were made aware of the possible pitfalls and mistakes they had made to ensure we got our VSE offering right for our students.

We set out a carefully planned curriculum to be delivered through our VSE ensuring that learning would not be interrupted and that students would not fall behind if they attended the timetabled sessions. From an educationalist's point of view, we firmly believed everything was in place for our students to succeed.

Naturally, there were parents who, in some cases, quite rightly said their children were struggling with VSE or they were struggling with the language barrier. Some parents also felt that there wasn't enough on-screen time for their children, some parents felt there was too much. I think it's important to remember, parents for probably the first time since preschool was fully immersed in their child's education and this was a huge adjustment they had to make under the constraints of lockdown and for many running their businesses from home.

As we stand at this time in the new academic year we are still in lockdown and unable to deliver face to face lessons.

Was VSE successful?

For the students who did attend VSE last year was it the success that we firmly believed it would be? The short answer to that is YES. Our end of year assessments and secondary exam results speak volumes for the students and the staff who stuck with it.


Via our independently marked Primary GL Assessments in English, Maths, and Science, results show our students continued to outperform schools in the same age groups in the UK. It is something I normally highlight at our end of year celebrations but unfortunately, that was cancelled last academic term. This is not a one-off set of results; the students have continued to outperform their age groups in the UK since I arrived here five years ago.


Our first-ever cohort of IGCSE students gained a remarkable 94% A*-C pass rate, 55% receiving A*A results, 70% receiving A*-B results, 100% Students taking Mandarin achieved A*, even our Year 10 student taking her Mathematics exam a year early, achieved A*.

Results speak louder than words and all schools are judged on results.

2019-20 igsce results

So, what has changed this year to our Virtual School Experience

We listened to parents and we have increased on-screen time where applicable and appropriate across the school. There is now more 1:1 session for children with specific needs. We have added SPLAT and Discovery bags that can be picked up to help parents with resources at home. These are just a couple of the improvements we have implemented and we will continue to make adjustments and further additions to our online offering throughout this first term.

Please check out the Head of Primary Blog on Virtual School and the Head of Secondary Blog for more subject-specific improvements.

Head of Primary Blog - Off to a Good Start

Head of Secondary Blog - NAIS Manila's first IGCSE cohort delivers amazing results

vse collage 1
What does the future hold for Education in a virtual setting?

The versatility, adaptability, and innovation of the teachers at Nord Anglia International School Manila have meant that the impact of lockdown on our students has been considerably softened but as a result of lockdown, there are many exciting ways that we can adapt towards and lead the way education looks in the future.

We see the potential. Huge potential for our school in the following areas.

  • Continuing with our personalised learning journeys
  • Flexible scheduling to help support parents and students
  • A Rejuvenated curriculum
  • Integrated & modernised technology into our learning
  • A differentiated approach to assessment that allows for personal strengths to be utilised rather than penalising learners in the form of endless summative exams.

We also see a potential decluttering of a curriculum that allows for the growth of important learning that has been proved necessary by this crisis:

  • Life skills
  • Empathy
  • Social responsibility

If you are still having doubts about whether VSE can help with your child's learning then please contact us, we would be happy to talk things through with you.

- David

If you want to learn more about how NAIS Manila delivers our Virtual School Experience, you may enquire or meet online with our Admissions Team through our Virtual Discovery Meeting. Click the link below for more information.

NAIS Manila Virtual Discovery Meeting

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