Last week, Mrs Hewlett and I had the privilege of attending the 23rd Student Leaders’ Convention at the Hwa Chong Institution in Singapore. We are the only school from New Zealand who has this opportunity and our students were able to share their thoughts, views and experiences with students from India, Hong Kong, China, Australia and Singapore. The theme of the conference was “Amity – Achieve As One” and delegates explored various sub-themes ranging from cyber wellness to elitism and racial discrimination. These themes were presented after two days of workshops to the judges and finalists announced at a festive finale.
I was incredibly impressed by Singapore and Hwa Chong Institution. The school and the government agree that much of their success has been achieved by finding solutions to problems that are unique and perhaps may not work in other societies – context must be considered. However the ideas of “win-win” or both parties being prepared to compromise if there is disagreement and a strong sense of community where consideration is shown to the environment and those less fortunate than others resonated powerfully with our own values.
I believe we and our students emerged better from the experience and I express my appreciation to Mrs Hewlett for her time and effort and to our students for their impeccable behaviour – they were true ambassadors of our school and our country.
By virtue of our strong association with Hwa Chong Institution three teachers have been invited to an international conference as members of SWIFT (Schools with an interest in future technologies). This provides us with an opportunity to share our experiences with schools from other countries which maintains our innovative approaches to learning.
Growing greatness – kia mana ake