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ITS EDUCATION ASIA ARTICLE


HEAD OF EDUCATION SPOTLIGHT - DAVID EDWARDS, GEMS WORLD ACADEMY (SINGAPORE)


David Edwards

Hear from David Edwards, Head of Education at GEMS World Academy (Singapore), about the school’s commitment to excellence and how people are at the heart of all they do.

 “We aspire to be an acknowledged leader of excellence in international education across Asia”. 

David Edwards

1. Would you mind sharing your experience with being involved with international schools in Asia?
I’ve been working within the Asian international education sector for 15 years, including a stint in Hong Kong and for the past 12 years in Singapore. Whilst based here, I have been involved in a variety of projects across Asia, including school developments in Malaysia, Korea, Hong Kong, China, India and Thailand. As well as supporting the development of new schools, I’ve been a member of the IB Educator Network providing consultancy support, conducting school inspections and delivering teacher training across the region. Beyond the project management type of work, I have been in a variety of educational leadership positions and had membership on a number of school boards.

2. What are your own personal plans for GWA?
The plans for GWA  are simple in purpose, yet require complete dedication from all
staff. We aspire to be an acknowledged leader of excellence in international education across Asia. This includes ensuring that our students, their parents and all of our staff are consistently being presented with wonderful learning opportunities. We will continue to achieve this aspiration through our environment of mutual respect, transparency and engagement. My role is to ensure that these values and goals are clarified across the organisation, that road-blocks are removed, and that excellent people are given every support to achieve extraordinary levels of success.

3. In your opinion, what makes GWA unique in comparison to other international schools in Singapore?
A school is not about the buildings. In Singapore, all of the leading schools have great facilities. The difference between the good and the great international schools are the people who commit to the organisation, as well as the opportunities provided to students, parents and staff. Our staff are deeply committed to every family. Our students are being provided a learning environment and curriculum which best supports their needs. Parents are partners with the school in the education of their children. Beyond this, the manner in which GWA staff’ interact with families on a daily basis is one of respect, support and transparency. We are known very well for caring about the unique circumstances of each family and in being connected with parents. This is very different to many of the existing schools across the region.

4. How do you feel your teachers truly contribute to the growth of the school?
Teachers are at the core of our success. They, in addition to parents and students, are great
ambassadors for the organisation. We need to remember that beyond the parent, it is the teacher who has the greatest impact on student learning. Without our committed teachers, who continue to go above and beyond the normal standards of international education, we quite simply would not be able to have an outstanding rating as an international learning institution.

5. Tell us a bit about your role- what does your day-to-day routine look like?
I’m an early riser and generally am out the door no later than 5am to get in some exercise, prior to leaving home by 7am to get to the office. Every day sees me walking the grounds, talking with teachers, students and parents. I like to get into classrooms to get a better understanding of what is happening with teaching and learning, and I try to do this every day. Beyond many meetings with vendors, corporate partners, colleagues and stakeholders, I try to listen to one new podcast every day. These podcasts range from motivation, to sports science, to new theories in education, as well as leadership case studies. I normally leave the campus around 6pm; get in another short round of exercise in the evening, then after dinner spend another hour or two clearing out emails and work. As a member of GEMS Education, it’s not uncommon to have the nights spent developing and supporting projects which drive global education initiatives.

 David Edwards

MORE ABOUT GWA   
GWA prides itself on its world-class international education environment for Pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 students. Find out more about the school, experience exactly what David Edwards says it delivers first-hand by visiting the school, where you can experience the true success of the school! 
www.gwa.edu.sg/


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