Australian International School Malaysia (AISM), the only Australian international school in Malaysia, celebrated its expansion with the opening of its new Junior School complex on its existing 7.5-acre campus recently. The opening ceremony was officiated by Y. B. Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching in the presence of H.E. Mr. Rod Smith, the new Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia, and other distinguished guests.
Australian International School Malaysia, a member of the Taylor’s Education Group, has grown steadily since its inception 14 years ago, and with this amazing new facility, the school can now cater for 1,000 students. Currently, AISM has more than 600 students from 32 different nationalities and offers the Australian curriculum to students from preschool to Year 12 matriculation.
“The Australian curriculum is known for its distinctive teaching and learning approach, which emphasises individualised and explicit instruction in learning skills, highorder thinking, problem solving and values education, all of which are necessary to succeed in today’s 21st-century world,” said Mr. David Kilpatrick, Principal of AISM.
“The new Junior School offers exactly that, a 21st-century learning environment with open and modern teaching spaces to create flexible and collaborative learning opportunities that truly happen beyond the classroom.”
“Every part of the building and new facilities has been designed with children in mind and built for the purposes of learning. We do not want students sitting in classrooms all of the time and have constructed spaces where they are given opportunities to acquire knowledge themselves, innovate and create ideas. The design of our new Junior School and modern facilities helps us to achieve this,” added Kilpatrick.
Students at AISM are given ample space and opportunity to learn and discover on their own under the guidance of teachers or in groups with their peers. The school has a well-established gifted education programme for students with high cognitive capacity who are taught using their own Individual Learning Plan (ILP), aided greatly by this differentiated learning approach practised by teachers at AISM.
“The integration of 21st-century learning spaces and technology to complement teaching and learning methods has become inevitable. Gone are the days where we could rely on students having access to computer labs once every week. Information is accessible anytime and anywhere, forcing us to reinvent and change the way students learn and the way teachers teach. The use of iPads, smart boards, Macbooks, and mobile technology has become an integral part of education, and I believe international schools and private institutions have been leading the way towards its use in classrooms,” says Y. B. Datuk Mary Yap in her officiating speech.
AISM’s new Junior School also boasts an entire floor dedicated to Performing Arts with purpose-built rooms for dance, drama, music, orchestra and even black box theatre. Guests were treated to a 15-minute drama production written and directed by the students themselves during the opening ceremony.
Besides this, the library was abuzz with activity with a visiting British poet and illustrator conducting workshops for students in the library’s mini-amphitheatre. The library is well-equipped with books and ICT resources, and it has an area equipped with even LCD Screens for students to work together in areas of multimedia and music. Other facilities in the new Junior School that student’s benefit from are a junior art room, science and technology room and an upcoming food and technology room for the budding Masterchef Australia aspirants.
“Taylor’s Education Group has always been a strong advocate of Australian education. I believe with the addition of these new facilities, we will bring the best of Australian teaching and learning, right here in Malaysia. The new Junior School is not just a building, but signifies the essence of Australian education with its flexibility and opportunities provided for students to explore and excel”, said Mr. BK Gan, President of Taylor’s Schools. “The school has recently been awarded the 5-star rating from the Ministry of Education Malaysia, which is a testimony to its commitment to providing quality education in Malaysia,” he added. Staffed by predominantly Australian teachers, the school offers seamless transition into education pathways in Australia and provides an internationally recognised qualification for entry into top universities around the world.
AISM’s ultimate aim is to produce learners who are adaptable, resourceful and innovative, and who are capable of becoming leaders in the global community. Critical and creative thinking, ICT skills, social capabilities and intercultural as well as ethical understanding are the general capabilities taught in the Australian curriculum and coupled with the new facilities, AISM has created a truly 21stcentury learning environment in which students can explore, extend, and excel.
Source: The Expat Magazine April 2014
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