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HEAD TALK with Paul Friend of North London Collegiate School (Singapore)

By ITS Education Asia

In this latest feature of our HEAD TALK series, we interviewed Mr. Paul Friend, Founding Principal of North London Collegiate School (Singapore) to learn about his plans and mission to facilitate both teachers and students to lead a fruitful and fulfilling life at this prestigious British independent school, which will open in September 2020. NCLS seeks to provide an exceptional education experience, based on the transitions, ethos and practices of North London Collegiate School, UK


What are your plans during your first year as Founding Principal?

I want us to make sure that we are building a strong and collegiate community.  Forming and strengthening relationships with, and between, our stakeholders will be a top priority for me.  I'll be spending a lot of time with parents, members of the local community, community groups, as well as students and staff, in order to engrain that sense of "family" that is so important to us.


But of course, my top priority is to ensure that, from the first day that students walk through our door, we're delivering an exceptional education to our children. This naturally means that I'll be working closely with the teachers and leaders of the school, and spending a lot of time monitoring all of the activities that take place, to ensure that the NLCS ethos is inspiring and exciting our students.

What do you feel will make NLCS (Singapore) different to other British schools in Singapore? 

Every school is different and every school has its own priorities and values.  I always advise parents to spend a lot of time talking to schools about their guiding statements, because the challenge for them lies not in finding "the best school", but in finding the best match for their child.  Singapore is lucky to have so many outstanding schools, but we'll appeal to parents who believe in academic rigour, academic stretch and challenge, and where the only constraint to learning is a child's potential.

What ethos and principles will be incorporated in NLCS (Singapore)? 

I'm genuinely inspired by the NLCS story, its values and its ethos.  I've seen, first hand, the transformational impact that it has on students' lives.  Our students will not only do well academically, but they will develop a unique "NLCS spirit" that will be invaluable for their future success.  

First and foremost, we are an academically ambitious school.  For us, "Academic Excellence" is not confined to passing exams and achieving good grades - we focus on academic scholarship.  We ask our teachers to inspire and excite the children and we take their learning well above and beyond the formal curriculum.  NLCS (Singapore) will retain this academic focus in all that it does, but our students will receive outstanding and personalised pastoral care, that is wrapped around the child from many different perspectives.   


North London Collegiate School, British-based International School in Singapore will open in August 2020 for Students age 3 to 16 years. The school is known internationally as being selective and strong on academic attainment. The all-through, co-ed day school will be the third international campus for NLCS, following NLCS Jeju in South Korea, which opened in 2011, and NLCS Dubai, which opened in 2017.

For all enquiries about NLCS (Singapore), email [email protected] or call +65 6955 1430. Learn more about NLCS, visit: https://nlcssingapore.sg



Dulwich College Singapore

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

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