Get Real

Learn­ing how ‘real life’ works is one of the most im­por­tant lessons a child can get

Expatriate Lifestyle - - Contents - Words by Ta­nia Jay­ati­laka Photo by Alice Smith and Gar­den In­ter­na­tional School

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a clichéd but rel­e­vant ques­tion to ask a stu­dent in sec­ondary school. And it’s al­ways re­fresh­ing when the re­sponse is more than just an un­en­thu­si­as­tic shrug or a blank ex­pres­sion.

Con­ver­sa­tions about the ‘real’ work­ing world can be tough for kids who haven’t de­cided where their vo­ca­tional in­ter­ests lie. Some find it hard to in­ter­nalise the fact that ac­ing an exam isn’t ac­tu­ally a paid oc­cu­pa­tion in the fu­ture (not legally, any­way). So the­ory aside, school is an ideal place for kids to ear­mark their po­ten­tial area of in­ter­est early.

Thanks to a wide range of in­ter­na­tional school sub­jects that pre­pare stu­dents for var­i­ous in­dus­tries, this is an eas­ier feat to ac­com­plish than it was years ago. We look at just a few of the many ex­cit­ing sub­jects on of­fer.

Per­sonal, So­cial, Health and Eco­nomics Ed­u­ca­tion (PSHE)

Per­sonal, So­cial, Health and Eco­nomics Ed­u­ca­tion is a holis­tic pro­gramme in pri­mary and sec­ondary school. Its three core themes are health, re­la­tion­ships and life in the wider world. The lat­ter theme cov­ers eco­nomics, ca­reers, ed­u­ca­tion, and other ac­ces­si­ble lessons that some­what de­mys­tify work­ing life for stu­dents. Among its many ev­i­dence-backed ben­e­fits, PSHE is known to boost em­ploy­a­bil­ity, so­cial mo­bil­ity and even aca­demic achieve­ment.

Tenby In­ter­na­tional Schools across the coun­try teach top­ics like in­ter­per­sonal skills, per­sonal health and hy­giene, cur­rent events, so­cial is­sues and more through PSHE lessons. At the Bri­tish In­ter­na­tional School of Kuala Lumpur, stu­dents have to par­tic­i­pate in var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties as part of their PSHE sub­jects, in­clud­ing a num­ber of char­ity ini­tia­tives.

De­sign Tech­nol­ogy

At Alice Smith School, De­sign Tech­nol­ogy (an English Na­tional Cur­ricu­lum sub­ject) is meant to in­tro­duce stu­dents to the prod­uct de­sign in­dus­try. The sub­ject cov­ers wood and metal ap­pli­ca­tions, fash­ion and tex­tile de­sign, graphic de­sign, and sys­tems engi­neer­ing. Ac­cord­ing to David Potts, Vice Prin­ci­pal of Learn­ing and Teach­ing (Sec­ondary Cam­pus) at Alice Smith School, the stu­dents get to work with lead­ing com­pa­nies, get­ting a first-hand look at cur­rent pro­duc­tion tech­nolo­gies.

School is an ideal place for kids to ear­mark their po­ten­tial area of in­ter­est early”

Tenby In­ter­na­tional School Miri’s Sec­ondary School Co­or­di­na­tor Martin Shel­ley says Tenby’s De­sign Tech­nol­ogy sub­ject (com­pul­sory for Years 7 to 9 and op­tional for IGCSE and A-lev­els) in­volves us­ing var­i­ous soft­ware and tools for stu­dent projects, 3D print­ers and laser cut­ters in­cluded.

Gar­den In­ter­na­tional School’s De­sign and Tech­nol­ogy team has a pro­fes­sional res­i­dent de­signer who works with the stu­dents in a spa­cious de­sign fac­ulty equipped with in­dus­try-grade ma­chin­ery and other tools.

Com­puter Stud­ies And Busi­ness

The Se­nior School Com­puter Sci­ence depart­ment at Marl­bor­ough Col­lege in Malaysia of­fers com­pre­hen­sive pro­grammes cov­er­ing mo­bile apps de­vel­op­ment, ro­bot­ics and other tech­nolo­gies that shape so­ci­ety to­day. Com­puter Sci­ence is a core IGCSE sub­ject in Year 9 that cov­ers web­site de­sign, com­puter pro­gramme de­vel­op­ment and the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of tech­nol­ogy. In Years 10 and 11, stu­dents take the Edex­cel GCSE Com­puter Sci­ence Course, or choose an in-depth Com­puter Sci­ence course at IB pro­gramme level later on.

Nexus In­ter­na­tional School of­fers IGCSE sub­jects in Busi­ness Stud­ies, which in­tro­duces busi­ness or­gan­i­sa­tions, reg­u­la­tions in pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors, how to fi­nance a busi­ness and more. Eco­nomics as a sub­ject looks at ba­sic the­o­ries and ter­mi­nol­ogy as well as data anal­y­sis.

Help­ful on­line re­sources like the St Joseph’s In­sti­tu­tion In­ter­na­tional Malaysia’s IB Diploma Pro­gramme Hand­book cat­e­gorises var­i­ous IB Diploma Pro­gramme sub­jects ac­cord­ing to spe­cific univer­sity spe­cial­i­sa­tions and cor­re­spond­ing ca­reer op­tions.

Art and Lan­guages

Eddy Moore, Head of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and Ca­reers at Ep­som Col­lege in Malaysia, says the Art depart­ment at the school is pop­u­lar with stu­dents who as­pire to pur­sue their ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion at pres­ti­gious arts col­leges in the UK. The chance to ex­plore the arts and other cre­ative sub­jects is pro­vided by co-cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­ity op­tions at Ep­som Col­lege in Malaysia.

Art and De­sign is a Year 9 Na­tional Cur­ricu­lum sub­ject at the In­ter­na­tional School@parkc­ity, pro­vid­ing a struc­tured and com­pre­hen­sive foun­da­tion in painting (oil, acrylic, pas­tel), char­coal, pa­pier-mâché, mixed me­dia, and dig­i­tal ma­nip­u­la­tion.

As Moore notes, com­pe­tency in any aca­demic or tech­ni­cal ca­reer starts with the abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate pro­fi­ciently, whether in English or other lan­guages like Man­darin (via Ep­som Col­lege’s Hanyu Shup­ing Kaoshi (HSK) cer­ti­fi­ca­tion) or French at the French School of Kuala Lumpur. EL In­ter­est­ing School Com­pe­ti­tions in Malaysia Th­ese global, re­gional and na­tional-level com­pe­ti­tions are a test of tech­ni­cal skills, crit­i­cal think­ing and team­work.

- F1 In Schools Malaysia: A global mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary stu­dent com­pe­ti­tion on the use of CAD/CAM soft­ware to de­sign, man­u­fac­ture and race minia­ture com­pressed air-pow­ered balsa wood F1 cars; for ages nine to 19 years

- The Na­tional Ro­botic Com­pe­ti­tion: A ro­bot­ics com­pe­ti­tion or­gan­ised by the Malaysian Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and ed­u­ca­tional pub­lisher SASBADI Sdn Bhd; for ages seven to 18 years old.

- The FOBISIA Games: An an­nual sports com­pe­ti­tion by the Fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish In­ter­na­tional Schools in Asia cov­er­ing four sports with par­tic­i­pants from across the re­gion; for ages nine to 15

- The KL Novel Knock­out Com­pe­ti­tion: An an­nual lit­er­ary com­pe­ti­tion by the Kuala Lumpur Li­brary Net­work test­ing stu­dents’ knowl­edge of con­tem­po­rary and clas­sic lit­er­a­ture; for ages nine to 19 years

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