No two children are the same, even if they are brought up in the same home and have the same biological parents. Similarly, no two children learn the same way, which is why Nord Anglia Education’s personalised learning works best for children around the world. With 82 schools in 33 countries and 70,000+ students worldwide, Nord Anglia Education is the world’s leading premium international school organisation. Founded in 2014, Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong (NAISHK) is part of Nord Anglia Education’s global family that spans continents and cultures. The school has dedicated Early Years and Primary campuses. In August 2021, it opened a brand-new Secondary Campus. All NAISHK campuses follow the curriculum frameworks of EYFS, IGCSE and IBDP.
“We promise the parents that their child will succeed through our individualised approach in a safe, caring, happy environment. Our students will be encouraged to have self-respect and respect for others and to contribute as global citizens. They will be able to discover and nurture interests and talents,” assures Mr Kenny Duncan, Principal, NAISHK. Personalised learning is at the core of everything that happens at NAISHK. Mr Duncan adds, “In line with our values as a school, NAISHK offers a personalised approach to university and careers guidance.”
An Inspirational Team of Global Teachers
Nord Anglia Education’s global scale enables NAISHK to recruit and retain the best teachers in the world. “We have an amazing team of inspirational teachers, all of whom are committed to nurturing and inspiring every child and ensuring each of our students makes exceptional progress,” shares Mr Duncan. In fact, the school receives 40-50 applications for every position and recruits only the best teachers. Mr Duncan adds, “Nord Anglia University connects our teachers worldwide and offers training and support forums. We also have Bespoke leadership courses with our partners Kings College London for our teachers to get a Master Degree.”
NAISHK teachers have many opportunities for professional development, including in-person sessions with Juilliard curriculum specialists in their schools and through workshops designed and led by Juilliard experts both regionally and at The Juilliard School in New York. This ensures that the level of teaching at NAISHK remains at the highest standard, energising and encouraging students to develop and pursue a love for the performing arts.
“Our STEAM teachers participate in workshops at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that expose them to the forefront of STEAM research and thinking,” says Mr Duncan. Every summer, NAISHK teachers visit MIT to receive hands-on training from MIT researchers and renowned academics and participate in activities that include discussions and workshops with leading engineers and scientists about topics like climate change, bio-engineering and space exploration.
Working with Juilliard & MIT
Nord Anglia Education partners with prestigious organisations like MIT and the Juilliard School in New York. For instance, postgraduates and professors at MIT design around six project-based challenges a year, which NAISHK students have taken to enthusiastically. One recent topic was extreme weather and the impact of more severe storms, floods, heat waves, and prolonged droughts. The basic task, suitably adjusted for pupils at different levels, was to investigate what contributes to global warming and how to find solutions.
“The approach taken by Year 2 in Hong Kong was to design a building better able to withstand hurricanes or typhoons. They built a model, presented their ideas to the MIT team, and filmed their presentation,” shares Mr Duncan. The connection with MIT has also opened the door to contacts with Apple, who are expected to collaborate on an upcoming “digital Nord Anglia” series of professional development courses for ed-tech teachers, and to NASA for a project about the space station in which a former astronaut spoke from Houston via video-link.
Mr Duncan explains, “STEAM teaching has always been a big part of our work. This initiative has given our students new kinds of experience and helps our teachers in terms of knowledge and understanding.” MIT provided NAISHK with the materials and worksheets about living on the space station, so primary students could look at how to freeze food, grow plants, and save water. They also use their clout to enrich the challenges they set, which are layered into other subject areas.
“The benefits of working with Juilliard are similarly impressive. Firstly, their lecturers train Nord Anglia’s specialist drama, dance and music teachers in New York or virtually. When possible, they visit to conduct 3- or 4-day workshops for students, teachers and parents. And they have written a bespoke curriculum for the creative and performing arts, guaranteeing consistency and quality,” says Mr Duncan. A drama workshop might look at a particular play, perhaps something within the taught syllabus, and expand on themes, characters and motivations. The schools also conduct workshops for musicians where, for instance, a brass specialist takes a quartet or band and focuses on interpretation or composition. “The programme has been very well received and may even offer a pathway into a really exclusive conservatory,” adds Mr Duncan.
Drama, music and performance have always been a core strength of NAISHK. The school has built a new state-of-the-art studio to cultivate and inspire creativity. The studio has been designed to maximise acoustics and ensure the audience can connect with shows and performances. It gives a rehearsal space to students to not only hone their acting skills but learn the technicalities of lighting and sound rigs.
A Safe and Creative Campus
NAISHK is committed to creating and maintaining a safe, happy, child-centred environment in which children are inspired to become purposeful lifelong learners. The classrooms are networked with access to specialist rooms throughout the school, including Juilliard suites and recording studios ideal for creative music and media lessons. Wireless access allows students to access the internet for research wherever they are.
“Our classrooms are fitted with smart board technology, and we encourage students to utilise presentation software and internet evidence when delivering their work to the class,” shares Mr Duncan. At NAISHK, Information Technology & Computing is a core subject. Besides, the designated computer labs in secondary school and portable laptop trolleys for classrooms in primary school enable each student to explore different technology platforms using the latest hardware and software. “Technology is always changing, and we enable our students and teachers to change with it,” adds Mr Duncan. NAISHK has specialist laboratories equipped for all science disciplines.
The school’s libraries are open and inviting spaces where children browse books and other resources. By mixing the age groups, children can read together and explore the fantastic range of literature. “Our friendly team are always on hand to help find what you are looking for, and parents are welcome to join and take books out as well,” says Mr Duncan. NAISHK also has extensive campus facilities, including a gymnasium, 25-metre swimming pools, sports halls, outdoor basketball courts, rock climbing walls, and athletics facilities. In a nutshell, NAISHK has created an excellent platform for students to enhance personalised learning with unique global opportunities.
For More Info: https://www.nordangliaeducation.com/our-schools/hong-kong
About Mr Kenny Duncan, Principal
Mr Kenny Duncan is an educator with more than three decades of experience, specialising in academic excellence, collaboration and community cohesion and was a highly experienced school leader and a Principal of two schools before joining Nord Anglia International School, Hong Kong. Mr Duncan completed his teacher training in Scotland, holding a Bachelor of Education from Edinburgh University. He also has a Masters Degree in Education from Bath University, specialising in educational leadership, partnership and development of educational networks, and completed his National Professional Qualification for Headship in 2011.
A pioneer in the teaching of technology, Mr Duncan led collaborations with leaders in industry and academia, including the University of Bristol, Rolls-Royce, and British Aerospace, to design an innovative STEAM programme for primary and secondary schools across the UK. These collaborations helped to develop essential teaching techniques to educate UK students for the future, ensuring they acquire the skills and mindsets to thrive in a changing world. Mr Duncan is a strong advocate for community involvement and parent collaboration. He considers this crucial in supporting young people as they continue their academic journey. He is an enthusiastic member and supporter of our vibrant PTA, enabling wider opportunities for parents to collaborate and participate in the life of the school.