MHJC is fortunate to have developed close connections with Hwa Chong International School in Singapore. As a result our Year 10 students are offered the opportunity to represent the school and New Zealand/Aotearoa in an annual Student Leaders’ Convention. We are the only Kiwi school invited to this event and we also are members of the SWIFT (Schools With an Interest in Future Technology) alliance. The schools from Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Russia each host a conference on a bi-annual basis and it was my pleasure to travel to Kazan, Tatarstan with Kate Lambert our DP Curriculum in late October. As this was the fifth conference it was an invaluable opportunity to catch up on the journeys of the schools we have come to know so well and share some of the new practices we have trialled which keep us on the cutting edge of innovation.
It was interesting to note how the schools from Singapore are shifting closer to our educational philosophy. They are very interested in how we are able to deliver the curriculum meaningfully and with purpose. The ideas of a personalised or student centred approach and emphasis on skills, values and dispositions are central to what we do but are gaining ground in systems which had been very examination and results focussed in the past. The delegates were also very interested in our holistic reporting system as it is a deviation from the traditional teacher generated comment and result format and provides students with greater ownership of their journey celebrating progress and involvement as well as achievement.
Ms Lambert and I returned with some valuable new insights but more particularly we are even more confident that the MHJC traditions of cross-curricular, authentic and relevant learning are still leading the way in terms of curriculum delivery. Our balance of academic rigour and personal inquiry with opportunities for collaboration and creativity gives everyone space to grow their greatness – kia mana ake!