North­bridge In­ter­na­tional School Cam­bo­dia prides it­self on its aca­demic suc­cess. But it is also acutely aware that its teach­ing man­date tran­scends the tra­di­tional class­room set­ting

Southeast Asia Globe - - Education Special -

“For most of us, the prob­lem isn't that we aim too high and fail,” writes the ed­u­ca­tor Ken Robin­son in his New York Times best­seller The El­e­ment: How Find­ing Your Pas­sion Changes Ev­ery­thing, “it's just the op­po­site: we aim too low and suc­ceed”.

As­tute as ever, the self-pro­claimed cre­ativ­ity ex­pert's words are likely to ring true for many adults who feel they have not lived life to their full po­ten­tial. In a TED talk that has been watched on­line by over 60 mil­lion peo­ple, Robin­son blames our lack of am­bi­tion on an ed­u­ca­tion that taught us to fear mak­ing mis­takes and, by ex­ten­sion, “ed­u­cated us out of [our] creative ca­pac­i­ties”.

For­tu­nately, the same can­not be said for North­bridge In­ter­na­tional School Cam­bo­dia's ed­u­ca­tional phi­los­o­phy.

Set among twenty acres of green­ery on the out­skirts of Cam­bo­dia's chaotic cap­i­tal, the school is a keen ad­vo­cate of teach­ing stu­dents “how to think, not what to think”, a phi­los­o­phy re­flected in its hands-on, in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary ap­proach to teach­ing sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing, arts and math­e­mat­ics (STEAM).

De­vel­oped in con­junc­tion with the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy (MIT), the school's STEAM cur­ricu­lum tests stu­dents in real-life sit­u­a­tions so as to pro­mote crit­i­cal think­ing, cre­ativ­ity and prob­lem-solv­ing, skills that the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum claimed in 2015 would be the three most sought af­ter work­place skills in 2020 as a re­sult of in­creas­ing au­to­ma­tion.

Break­ing from tra­di­tion has paid div­i­dends. Last year's co­hort achieved the best In­ter­na­tional Bac­calau­re­ate (IB) re­sults in the school's his­tory, reg­is­ter­ing a 96% pass rate and an av­er­age score four points higher than the global av­er­age, a set of re­sults the school's prin­ci­pal Richard Vaughan cred­its to “the qual­ity of the teach­ing and learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that ex­ists at North­bridge”, as well as “the com­mit­ment of staff across the whole school and how be­ing part of Nord Anglia Ed­u­ca­tion has sup­ported our fac­ulty in at­tain­ing the school's high­est aca­demic out­comes to date”.

“These IB Diploma re­sults mark our school's break­through to sit­ting 4 points above the ‘global av­er­age' for DP scores and 16% above the ‘over­all global pass rate'. This places the school amongst the high­est per­form­ing IB schools around the world. The stu­dents in this grad­u­at­ing co­hort have ex­pe­ri­enced our full IB con­tin­uum cur­ricu­lum of phases from the Pri­mary Years Pro­gram to the Mid­dle Years Pro­gram, and on to the Diploma Pro­gram, build­ing on the strengths of the teach­ing and learn­ing that is tak­ing place across the whole school”, he adds.

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