The Middle School Experience – How Do We Empower Our Learners To Be Future-ready?

Empowering lifelong learners at the MS stage of education ensures that when students complete their journey at ISKL, they become global citizens ready for the future - wherever that may take them!
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Home » ISKL Blog » The Middle School Experience - How Do We Empower Our Learners To Be Future-ready?

Last January 27, 2021, ISKL hosted its second virtual Future-Ready event, “Empowering Lifelong Learners, The Middle School Experience,” where participants learned how our school prepares our Middle School (MS) students to be Future-Ready.

Introducing the virtual event, Rami Madani, ISKL’s Head of School, presented an overview of ISKL, looking at its history through facts and figures, displaying ISKL’s numerous accreditations, awards, and accolades. He continued to explain a focal point of the virtual forum – what differentiates a Future-Ready student?

He then discussed the current situation of the world today, “In moments like the pandemic that we observe, there is nothing more urgent, or more important, for schools everywhere in the world to ask themselves – what’s our purpose? What are we preparing students for? At ISKL, we believe our purpose is not only to prepare students to get good grades and go to college but to be successful in their lives.”

Rami continued to explain the focal point of the virtual forum – what differentiates a Future-Ready student? “ISKL students are not only prepared to think critically but act globally as well,” said Rami. “Our vision helps us empower students to develop passion and competencies in areas that make the world a better place.”

With the ISKL vision covered, Rami Madani was followed by MS Principal Peter Casey, who emphasized the importance of MS in student’s lives. “It’s a period of exponential growth in one’s self, thus largely influencing the impact they have on others and the environment,” shares Peter.

Peter talked about how ensuring students are ‘future-ready is a significant part of the school’s mission to nurture successful global citizens. “ISKL’s MS Experience goes beyond the expected parameters of an international school by basing learning on student ownership, where education is not done ‘to’ students, but ‘with’ them,” says Peter.

Middle School Future-Ready Presentation

Peter discussed how there are multiple elements integrated into ISKL’s MS program, such as Agency, Malaysia Week, WIN (What I Need) Time, sports, and activities that empower students to develop their voice, exercise choice, and practice “future-ready” life skills such as initiative, calculated risk-taking, and belief in oneself in a supportive environment.

The learning experience at ISKL is one of many pathways where all students are welcomed within a caring environment. Pater continues, “The inquiry-based and international curriculum challenges our students, no matter what courses they may select for their own educational path from the many that ISKL has to offer, such as our fantastic arts program or our accessible robotics and design program.”

Peter also spoke about ISKL’s highly-qualified faculty, all experts in their fields, and their focus on social and emotional learning and readily available support for various learners.

“Student Agency is one of the things that differentiates us,” he said. “What are students extremely excited about? How do we help them develop competencies and interests they’re passionate about? At ISKL, Agency is defined as students having the drive and capacity to take the initiative. That’s what we want for our students.”

Following Peter’s discussion, Doug Woodward, the MS Assistant Principal, elaborated on the MS Experience by emphasizing ISKL’s focus on growth and achievement. He explained, “Although data illustrated how ISKL’s Grade 8 students achieved stellar results in math, the same data demonstrated an increase from two data points for 90-percent of students.” Doug spoke of how growth is where we can all get excited about, “because wherever students are, how can they get better every day?”

For the final part of the evening, faculty Tanya Hawkes, ISKL’s Middle and High School (HS) Teaching and Learning Coordinator, moderated a panel of discussion with MS students and a current HS student so that the audience could hear from the students themselves.

Greta B. (G6) shared her goal-setting experience while developing student agency through fostering kittens during WIN Time. Zhi Hong C. (G7) talked about his experience in studying the Human-Centered Design cycle and the importance of the process compared to the outcome. ZY K. (G8) spoke about the various choices offered in ISKL MS that led him to develop his passion for programming and his creativity and leadership skills. Lastly, Rika S. (G9) spoke about her transition from MS to High School (HS) and how ISKL’s School-Wide Learning Results (SLRs) helped her understand what it means to be a leader.

Middle School Future-Ready Students Presentation

With diverse viewpoints from both faculty and students, the ISKL MS experience and its aspects of nurturing future-ready learners were effectively shown in the virtual event.

Empowering lifelong learners at the MS stage of education ensures that when students complete their journey at ISKL, they become global citizens ready for the future – wherever that may take them!

In case you missed the event, you can watch the full event here!

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