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THE STAR, TUESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2018

A tradition of excellence
FOUNDED in 1987, elc
International School has
developed a quiet reputation
for its affordability and dedication
to outstanding academic
achievement. and the pursuit of excellence what our students are thinking, has been accredited with the students, teachers focus on pastoral
Chief executive officer and among teachers and students.” what their interests are, and what International Schools Quality Mark care, preparedness for university,
founder Margaret Kaloo believes Margaret adds, “Developing they need to accomplish their by the Education Development leadership, social skills and
that its success can be attributed to skills and nurturing inquiring goals.” Trust (EDT). employability.
three core values. attitudes are at the heart of elc International School students At this year’s International This is achieved through sports
These values are “excellence everything we do. We work are subject to high expectations General Certificate of Secondary competitions, workshops on life
in everything we do”, “loyalty to hard to provide students with an both in and out of the classroom. Education (IGCSE) examinations, skills, one-on-one discussions with
each other and the school” and atmosphere conducive to real Head of secondary for elc 77% of elc International School students, counselling services,
“commitment to continuous learning. International School Sungai Buloh students achieved distinctions extracurricular activities, service
improvement”. “We believe that the perfect campus Chong Soh Nee shares, (A*/A) and 99% achieved results projects, the prefectorial board, the
Principal of elc International environment depends less on “Hard work, commitment and between A* and C. Interact Club, the Junior Award
School Sungai Buloh campus expensive facilities and more on perseverance are reinforced, and This is well above world Scheme for Schools, and The Duke
Sheela Raghu says, “The school’s the atmosphere that we, as a structured system of nurturing standards and among the highest of Edinburgh’s International
ethos is steeped in what we teachers, cultivate. We students is provided. IGCSE averages in Asia. Award.
consider to be the best of British are aware that creating “Courtesy, concern for others Over the last 10 years, the The school is a member of
and Asian values, and we such an atmosphere and care for the environment are school’s average distinction level the Federation of British
actively encourage self- involves being actively encouraged while a firm is 74%, with 98% of all students International Schools in Asia,
discipline, integrity aware stand is taken against negative achieving results between A* Association of International
of social behaviour. and C. Malaysian Schools and
“These values are important to Head of secondary for elc International Schools Athletics
us and form part of the foundation International School Cyberjaya Conference, giving it access to
of success on which we have campus Kothai Chidambaram myriad staff development and
painstakingly believes that the school’s focus on student enrichment options.
built.” values develops students who are Class sizes are kept small
Director of curriculum and willing to work for success, (about 20 students in each) with
assessment Chris Patterson resulting in consistent, excellent a teacher-student ratio of about
acknowledges that the use of academic results. one to nine.
the word “traditional” in elc International School achieves All in all, it is hard to
education circles generally these successes with average comprehend how a school with so
comes with negative annual fees of around RM25,000 in much to offer and so rich a history
connotations. an industry where it is common is not better known. Perhaps that is
elc International School However, he tempers for annual fees to exceed the secret of its success.
students are supported by this misconception by RM60,000.
a holistic system that enables them highlighting the fact that Director of student welfare n For more information, visit
to become well-rounded individuals. elc International School Kumar Nagappan ensures that, for www.elc.edu.my

Equal opportunities in education


By IRINA MYRIAM and services for individuals with
disabilities. There are four distinct
HER eyes grew bright and she sat types of education currently
up straight when asked if equal available for children with special
opportunities are available for educational needs as listed below.
children with special needs in l Full-inclusion system –
Malaysia. All children are placed in a general
“My answer to that is yes,” she classroom. Children with special
says. “I believe that we are on our educational needs are supported
way there, but I would like to with existing school resources and
follow that up with an important a special education teacher or
question – do you think that special shadow-aide.
needs kids receive equal results?” l Partial-inclusion system –
These are the words of All students are placed in a general
Jacqueline Vincent, special classroom but children with special
education teacher and co-founder educational needs are removed
of BridginGaps, an organisation from that environment for one-on-
that trains teachers and parents in one instruction, which is carried
special educational needs skills. out by a special education teacher
“In terms of education, we want or specialist. The children in this
equal opportunity, but what we system join other children in the
really need to look at are the class for certain activities.
outcomes (for children with special l Special Education Integrated
educational needs),” explains Programme – A special needs
Jacqueline. education class is attached to a
Do Malaysians know what is The special educational needs of children have to be met if Malaysia wants to achieve a thriving, functioning society. mainstream school. Children with
happening in our schools and the special educational needs have
lives of children who learn educated about special needs these can influence an individual’s participation of persons with access to social activities with
differently? days. ability to learn. disabilities in society. It recognises children in the mainstream
What is being made available “When more people are aware, She shares that having special that they are not to be excluded education system.
for students with special needs, more initiatives blossom, people educational needs can affect areas from the general education l Special needs education
and what are the issues faced start working together and more such as behaviour, reading and system,” says Chu. school or residential school/
in providing all children with schools begin to accommodate the writing, comprehension, She points out that there have centre – Children placed in these
access to equal opportunity in special educational needs of some concentration, and physical and been other developments in local schools are completely separated
education? children,” shares Jacqueline. social ability. special education provision. and do not usually interact with
We need to recognise that in our “In recent years, much attention For example, the Education children from mainstream schools.
society, every member – young or
Opening our eyes and focus are being placed on (Special Education) Regulations
old, neurotypical or not – plays a
role that affects the masses. If we Chu Shi Wei, assistant professor
special needs education in
Malaysia. Improved access to
2013 was implemented and special
education was given due
Not child’s play
want a bright future, solid of special and inclusive education quality education was detailed in prominence in the Malaysia Although there have been many
economy and everyone to and programme coordinator of MA the Persons with Disabilities Act Education Blueprint (2013-2025). improvements in accessibility of
contribute to a functional society, (Special and Inclusive Education) 2008. In the blueprint, a commitment education for children with special
we must realise the potential of at University of Nottingham “The act represented a to inclusive education was needs in Malaysia, there are still
every individual. This starts with Malaysia, explains that the term paradigm shift from a welfare emphasised. issues that surface in practice.
education. “special needs” refers to the model to a human rights model, In Malaysia, there exists a
“More people are aware and atypical needs or disabilities that which propagates full and equal continuum of placement options > TURN TO PAGE 2
2 Bright Kids THE STAR, TUESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2018

Accommodating children with special educational needs


> FROM PAGE 1 in examinations place low one of acceptance – where implementation of Response to

As the Government aims to


emphasis on testing
accommodations and alternative
diversity is welcome, valued and
respected,
Intervention, and a continuum
of support services for behavioural
Inclusive
establish a more inclusive assessment structures for students so what are the actions that should and academic needs are essential education is
becoming more
education system – a hot topic with special educational needs.” be undertaken to equip children to allow all students access to equal
in the education sphere – She feels the current setup of with the learning opportunities opportunity.
complications are arising during
application.
having separate preparation
programmes for special education
needed to achieve equal outcomes?
Policies on inclusive education
On top of this, training that
provides teachers with the
common. However,
Chu says, “There may be
constraints faced by schools in
and mainstream education does for all schools in Malaysia will
be important to support the
knowledge and skills to manage we must prepare
the school system in
little to encourage inclusivity. the pedagogical challenges
providing education for all, implementation of inclusion encountered in inclusive education
especially for children with more
severe disabilities. Community-
Working together for the from an administrative
perspective.
is fundamental.
“The collaboration involving terms of teachers’
based rehabilitation centres and
non-governmental organisations
children Chu adds that support for
inclusion such as funding, facilities,
special education teachers,
mainstream teachers and other
skills and knowledge,
are alternatives for these children. Malaysia has a goal to reach in teaching materials, assistant stakeholders is one of the main school culture,
“Inclusive education is becoming
more common. However, we must
inclusive education as outlined in
the Malaysia Education Blueprint
teachers for children with special
educational needs, curricula based
factors for successful
implementation of inclusive and policies and
prepare the school system in terms
of teachers’ skills and knowledge,
(2013-2025) but it is important to
note that inclusivity is more than
on Universal
Design for
education,” says Chu.
Even though we have come a
practices to create
school culture, and policies and just children with different abilities Learning, long way, stigma remains a major a truly inclusive
practices to create a truly inclusive
environment for all students.
learning together in the same
physical setting.
issue for the special needs
community. environment for all
“Examination-based school
systems that reward schools
Inclusivity has evolved into a
significant philosophy –
Jacqueline shares, “I think
inclusive education is extremely
students.
based on their excellence important to eliminate stigma Chu Shi Wei
against students with special
needs.
There are differences even skills of each child. We should
among neurotypical children, so focus on their abilities, not
why must we have a separate disabilities,” says Chu.
system for children with special Jacqueline is happy to share one
needs?” of her favourite quotes – “I am
Perhaps by creating awareness different, not less.” The quote is by
of different types of special needs Temple Grandin – an individual
and encouraging positive attitudes with autism who is a respected
among the community, a great professor of animal science. It
wave of change can wash over the serves to remind us to not look
education industry. The state of down on or neglect anyone just
equal opportunity in education for because they are different.
all children in Malaysia is far from “We are all different. If we have
perfect, but we can remain the resources to provide help to
positive. those with special educational
“When all children have equal needs, then why are we not doing
opportunity, we can discover it? Nothing is impossible,” says
the potential and develop the Jacqueline.
THE STAR, TUESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2018 Bright Kids 3

DEDICATED to a culture of
excellence, Taylor’s International
School (TIS) continuously strives
for improvements in the learning
experiences offered.
As part of this continuum, TIS
has formed a partnership with
Quantum Learning Network from
the United States to obtain
Quantum Learning certification,
which supports the school’s
professional development needs.
Quantum Learning is a dynamic
learning model that complements
and enhances the UK-based
international curriculum offered
by TIS.
The Quantum Learning system is
a proven model that enhances
learning and promotes life skills,
resulting in lifelong learning
excellence.
To develop the school’s own
certified team at its campuses,
Mark Reardon, senior education
consultant from Quantum
Learning Education in the United
States, joined TIS to coach and

Striving for effective learning


mentor TIS Quantum Learning
facilitators and lead teachers to
strengthen their professional
practices.
“Quantum Learning helps
teachers see the quality of their
instruction and student learning.
It is about joyful, meaningful and remember the content. As a partnership with Quantum Tajudin from TIS Kuala Lumpur a small element, it is important.
vibrant learning. In Quantum result, it improves the students’ Learning is helping us to further agrees that engaging teaching in a When you get the students in the
Learning, we teach the child as a outcome.” enhance our teaching and learning supportive environment right state to learn, you can
whole. We teach that developing Emphasising the need for – working with teachers and maximises a student’s acquisition manage the class better and
character is just as important as teachers to continuously develop students to deliver excellence in of knowledge, skills and learning can be optimised,” says
developing the brain,” says themselves, TIS Kuala Lumpur’s and out of the classroom.” understanding. Tan.
Reardon. principal Peter Wells says, “When Feedback from teachers According to TIS Puchong’s Visit TIS’ Kuala Lumpur or
“There is a direct relationship teachers aim for excellence, they regarding the initiative has been teacher Valerie Tan Vee Yen, Puchong campus to catch a glimpse
between the teacher’s quality of want to make improvements positive. Quantum Learning is helping of the school’s excellent teaching
teaching and the effectiveness of a because they want their students For example, Pavithrah her achieve mastery in the and learning methods.
student’s learning. to learn to the best of their Thirumoothy from TIS Puchong classroom.
“The teacher is the orchestrator abilities.” finds that the new, engaging “It is important to get learners n For more information or to make
of learning. The better teachers David Flint, principal of TIS techniques facilitate learning more ready by shifting their thinking, an appointment, call 03-9200 9898
know how to orchestrate learning, Puchong, adds, “Based on effectively. feeling and what they are doing (Kuala Lumpur) or 03-5879 5000
the better students know and established pedagogy, our Teacher Fatmawati Mohd before we teach. Although it is just (Puchong).
4 Bright Kids THE STAR, TUESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2018

Continuous
learning
assessments
MUCH of education assessment in Malaysia and strategies that are based on each
is examination-focused. It is thought that assessment style.
students who do well in their examinations Assessment for learning and assessment
from kindergarten receive better academic as learning are intended to provide students
placements to pursue higher education. with the opportunity to reflect upon and
Moving away from this, Sunway apply what they learn. These methods
International School (SIS) focuses on provide formative feedback and insight to
students’ continuous development through students and teachers regarding everyday
coursework assessment and evaluation learning.
throughout the semester. SIS is the only To this end, diagnostic quizzes,
school in Malaysia that offers the Canadian brainstorming sessions, presentation
school curriculum. exercises, reflective journals, exit cards and
The principal purpose of assessment and peer assessments are commonly
evaluation is to improve student learning. To incorporated into learning strategies.
ensure that this is achieved, teachers use Assessment of learning is a summative
practices and procedures that are fair and approach that provides students with marks
transparent to all students. that will inform them about their
Lessons are planned in relation to achievements in respect to course curricula.
curriculum expectations and learning goals, This assessment serves to evaluate students’
which are communicated clearly to students learning of each unit and form a benchmark
and parents at the beginning of each year or against which students’ progress can be
semester. Events such as Meet the Teachers compared.
or Curriculum Night that are held at SIS at These Ontario learning assessment styles
the beginning of each semester are the best do not only cater to parents’ and students’
platforms for teachers to share their plans needs, they also provide interpretative
for the semester or year. information to teachers and school leaders
about their impact on students.
A different approach Educators can gain accurate information
about further steps to take and how they
To provide students with multiple need to change or adapt their teaching
opportunities to demonstrate the full range practices. This process of seeking and
of their learning capabilities, assessments interpreting evidence by learners allows
must be ongoing, varied and administered teachers to decide where students are in
over a certain period. At the same time, their learning journey, which direction
teachers are expected to provide ongoing, they need to head in and how best to get
descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, there.
meaningful and timely to support improved When assessment is continuous, students
learning and achievements. are given a constant stream of opportunities
All in all, assessments should help students to prove their mastery of each learning
develop self-monitoring skills to enable them outcome. Assessment becomes embedded in
to evaluate their own learning, set specific the flow of learning, and students can
goals, and plan the next steps in their demonstrate their individual prowess as
learning journey. quickly as they choose to.
Assessment and evaluation at SIS mirrors With these strategies at SIS, the path to
the guidelines set by the Ontario Ministry of progress becomes clear and students’ lives
Education in Canada. It is based on three become increasingly orientated towards real
styles – assessment for learning, assessment learning.
as learning and assessment of learning. Visit SIS’ Parent Info Session on Sept 22
It is vital for students to monitor their own from 10am to 1pm at its Sunway City and
learning progress as part of their scholastic Sunway Iskandar campuses.
responsibility. Aligned with the expectations
of the Canadian curriculum, teachers at SIS n For more information, visit
incorporate a variety of teaching practices www.sis.sunway.edu.my