HoS News February 10, 2023

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Published: Friday, 10 February, 2023

Rami-Portrait-Sml-4Thank you to the parents who joined us earlier this week (February 8) for the third in our series of Head of School & Parents In Partnership sessions when, in addition to unpacking our Learning Principles, we presented the results of the Climate Survey administered last semester.

As shared at the session and the Open Board meeting (January 31), we are enormously proud of the results across all stakeholder groups – students, parents, alumni, Board, faculty, and staff. With an average overall score of 95%, the results are truly outstanding and represent the deep collective commitment of every member of our community to our school.

We are particularly happy to see the responses to a range of statements about ISKL we asked our students and parents. The statements encompassed feelings around belonging and identity, being included and respected regardless of culture, feeling safe at school, and being nurtured by our culture of care and empathy. The responses, which ranged between 93-98% agreement with the statements, reflect all we are doing to create the optimum environment needed to fulfill our Mission to cultivate the passions, values, and competencies of our learners and build a strong school-parent partnership that supports learning.

While rewarding, these results do not mean that we will rest on our laurels and we are working on our action plan to ensure we continue to improve. The survey is a foundational component of the re-accreditation process we are undertaking with leading global agencies, CIS/WASC. Survey data will be used to aid our re-accreditation self-study process and our teams, departments, and divisions will be exploring the next steps on our path of continual improvement.

Critical factors in continual improvement include the agility to innovate. And, as a forward-thinking school, we have been exploring the possibilities and implications of ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence tool you may have read about in global media that was launched late last year. It is a tool that can be used for tasks such as providing detailed answers to questions, including essays on almost any topic which, of course, has far-reaching implications for the education sector.

Our Directors of Learning and Technology Azra Pathan and Charlotte Diller have been facilitating discussions with school leaders, our EduTech teams, and faculty to explore the potential it offers to enhance learning, better understand the implications for students and future jobs, and unpack the fears and implications associated with it. There are already some creative ways our teachers are using it to further develop critical thinking skills as well as pointing out its limitations. Our growth mindset approach of exploring possibilities for enhancing teaching and learning rather than viewing it as an unwelcome innovation is a testament to our own culture of innovation and education leadership.

As we learn more about ChatGPT and similar AI tools, we will be continuing our discussions so that we have a consistent approach and shared understanding of their use at ISKL. Our teachers are raising the awareness of students to ensure that their work is authentic and that they adhere to our academic honesty policy. Tools have also been shared with our teachers to spot any text created by AI.

Taking our parent community with us on this amazing learning opportunity will be an important component as we move forward and as always, we will keep parents informed and provide plenty of opportunities for discussion and engagement.

The critical thinking skills of over 100 students are on display at the 43rd annual SEA Forensics and Debate Tournament taking place this week at ISKL (February 9-11). In addition to teams from ISKL, high school students from the International School of Kuantan, Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar, SMK Convent Bukit Nanas, SMK Jalan Empat, SMK St. Mary, and St John’s Institution are competing across the seven disciplines. The debating, oratory, and performance skills being showcased are truly impressive as are their skills in collaboration, creative thinking, and effective communication. Skills that will ensure that they are well-placed to tackle the challenges ahead whether AI-related or otherwise!

In partnership,

Rami Signature

Rami Madani
Head of School

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