With each child treated as a unique individual, the key aim at the Nord Anglia International School (NAIS) and early learning campuses in Hong Kong is to ensure that every student is provided with the most personalised learning experience possible.
NAIS principal Brian Cooklin says the recently opened Nord Anglia Early Years campus located in Sai Kung and Tai Tam and the Lam Tin primary and secondary school offer an attractive education proposition to parents that value their children learning in a holistic environment where the focus is not exclusively on academic progress, but also on personal and social development. “What sets us apart is our efforts to recognise every student as an individual, building their confidence and setting individual targets for their progress,” Mr Cooklin explains. This philosophy is strengthened by offering a “through-train” education pathway that enables students to study within the Nord Anglia system from the age of three to 18-years old. “Our new early learning facilities offer a smooth transition pathway to the Lam Tin primary and secondary school,” adds Mr Cooklin who was speaking at the recent Sai Kung Community Education Event: UK Early Years Foundation Stages organised by Top Schools Hong Kong.
Highlighting additional defining characteristics the NAIS education proposition offers, Mr Cooklin says small class sizes allow teachers to get to know every student individually and respond to their strengths. From the age of three, students are taught art, music, drama, PE and Mandarin by specialist teachers. Mr Cooklin says this high performance learning approach supports every child on their path to becoming a high performance student, while developing their confidence and character. To achieve this NAIS believes that education must be broad, balanced and relevant to a student’s life. By offering a broad mix of more than 70 extra-curricular activities and more than 50 sports teams, students are able to expand their self-esteem, strengthen friendships and discover hidden talents, explains Mr Cooklin. A good example, he says is the way NAIS students aged three to 18 years old are able to learn about music through iconic works and regular connections with practicing musicians through a programme developed in collaboration with the Juilliard School, widely regarded as one of the world’s leading music and dance and performing arts schools.
Considered crucial to equip and prepare today’s students for the rigours and challenges of the 21st Century, another defining NAIS characteristic is the way that STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Arts) education is offered. Recognising that many of today’s innovations emerge from the intersection of different subjects; from art and engineering to technology and science, STEAM topics are integrated across all areas of study. “At NAIS STEAM hits that goal in every respect” says Mr Cooklin who adds that NAIS has established collaborative programmes with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), considered one of the world’s leading research and technology education institutions. By treating STEAM more as a philosophy than an acronym, students are encouraged to think creatively and adapt their thinking to a fast-changing world. In April, primary school students from NAIS will attend the MIT Fair in Massachusetts where they will meet leading MIT scientists, build and experiment in workshops and immerse themselves in a culture of hands-on problem-solving. “It is important for us to help our students to become lifelong learners, critical thinkers, action-takers and global citizens,” says Mr Cooklin.
While he can wax lyrical about NAIS and its education proposition, Mr Cooklin encourages parents to see for themselves. Whether it’s the Early Years campuses in Sai Kung and Tai Tam or Lam Tin primary and secondary school, parents can arrange a school visit where they will be greeted by smiles from the students while they happily engage with teachers and their studies.