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April 2013

The motivated school Visual Arts at UWCSEA Looking for learning on East Campus

comes from engagement and appropriate feedback, empowerment from structure and stimulation.

Affirmation through engagement and feedback Engagement is based on the quality of the relationships between the teacher and the student and between students and their peers. The Personal and Social Education (PSE) programme at UWCSEA is founded on building these positive relationships, based on the mantra of “trust, honesty and mutual respect.” There is an adage in teaching; “the students don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” Experience over time demonstrates that this is the case. It is our job at UWCSEA to ensure that students feel that we do care, so that they are more engaged with us and with their learning.

The motivated school By Julian Whiteley Head of College It is reassuring when a coherent set of practices, rooted in a particular educational philosophy that seems intuitively to make sense, is subsequently validated by research. Over the years, the UWC movement has developed a set of practices based on the educational philosophy of Kurt Hahn; these practices have been validated by the research conducted in schools in 2003 and 2009, by Alan McLean, an eminent psychologist. His books The Motivated School 1 and Motivating Every Learner 2 have become key reference points for education authorities in the UK who are promoting positive behaviours in schools. Looking at the research, it is clear that many of the elements that make up a motivated school and classroom are embedded in the educational philosophy and our everyday practice at UWCSEA. Hahn had a tremendous belief in the good of the young, that education was a preparation for life not just for university, and that service should play a central role in that education. His view was that education should be about personal growth and development in all areas: intellectual, physical, spiritual 2

and emotional, and students should be encouraged to take on genuine responsibility at an early age. Education therefore had a much broader remit than just focusing on academic achievement. At UWCSEA, our aspiration is that when our students graduate they will have developed into independent human beings, able to make decisions by themselves within a strong set of values which will guide that process. We achieve this in a number of ways, both within and outside the classroom, and our work on curriculum articulation is ensuring that those values, embodied in the UWCSEA learner profile3 and underpinned by the learning principles,4 are embedded in all five elements of our learning programme. Developing self-motivated students, who engage in tasks for their intrinsic value and not for extrinsic reward, is an important, if complex, part of developing the habits of learning that will serve students well throughout life. McLean’s research showed that for students to become self-motivated they needed to feel affirmed (valued and respected as human beings) and empowered (taking responsibility for their actions and their learning). According to McLean, affirmation

Equally, the PSE programme helps students to identify ways to positively engage with one another. One of these ways is outside of the classroom, through the Service and Activities programmes. It is interesting to note that research conducted in the US demonstrates that properly structured service-learning programmes in schools greatly enhance the quality of student interactions, as the focus of their attention is shifted from self to other.5 If student engagement is predicated on positive relationships, it also requires regular feedback. According to McLean, the feedback should involve genuine praise of effort while providing strategies for improvement. With a College-wide focus on assessment, this kind of feedback is being built into everyday practice in a more planned, consistent way, which will help students to be successful, not only against curricular standards and benchmarks, but also against their own personal definition of success.

Empowerment through structure and stimulation While students are affirmed through positive relationships and regular feedback, teachers empower them by providing a clear structure, communicating explicitly how they can achieve desired goals and outcomes. In setting boundaries,


Undemanding school


Destructive school

Motivating school

• trust and autonomy • creativity and humour • sense of being valued • climate of self-improvement • clarity of purpose and goals • consistency • emphasis on personal success • encouragement and genuine praise

Exposing school

• low expectations • forced learning • oppressive structure • personal blame • plastic praise • focus on what students do wrong

• a ‘prove yourself’ climate • uncertainty • chaotic structure • contaminated praise • mean with praise • performance orientated • more interested in results than student welfare


• overprotective and restrictive climate • undemanding curriculum • low expectations • praise for easy work • overdependency on external rewards


the focus is on learning rather than control and discipline, with every situation viewed as an opportunity for growth. Students are also empowered through stimulation, which is strongly connected to the quality of teaching and learning that takes place across all five elements of the learning programme. Teachers need to ensure that no matter what the circumstances, tasks are relevant and interesting. They also need to provide an appropriate level of challenge so that the students feel stretched but not overwhelmed; stress induced from inappropriate pressure to perform hinders rather than enhances learning. McLean drew together the ideas of affirmation (through positive relationships and regular feedback) and empowerment (through structure and stimulation) and summarised them by characterising four types of schools. As the diagram above shows, schools that are operating largely in the upper right hand quadrant are helping students to develop the intrinsic motivation that will become a habit for life. In reviewing the characteristics of the schools, I was greatly reassured by the congruence with our guiding statements, in particular our learning principles.

If our goal is to educate individuals to embrace challenge and take responsibility for shaping a better world, then we need to provide them with the appropriate environment that will develop their intrinsic motivation. This means accepting that mistakes are part of the learning process, that mastery of an area and a desire to keep improving are more important than performance, and that an educated person is someone who learns from every new experience. It means gradually passing over the locus of control to the students and asking them to take responsibility for themselves, their actions and their learning. It means accepting that the focus should be on the long term, not the short term as so often seems to be the case in life today: there are no short cuts. If, through our learning programme and a motivated environment, we can develop skills and qualities in our students that are described in the UWCSEA profile, then we can certainly claim to be providing them with a good preparation, not just for university, but for life. Sage, 2003. Sage, 2009. 3 Dunia, pg. 4–5, June 2012. 4 Dunia, pg. 6–7, June 2012. 5 Hart et al 2007, Schmidt et al 2007.

Many articles in this edition have expanded content on eDunia ( Look for the symbol as you read the magazine and visit eDunia for more photos, video and expanded content. Other stories featured only in eDunia:

Primary School Language Idols on East Competition celebrates the skills of Grade 5 language students Shoebox morning tea A showcase of photos from the morning

Middle School Genetics in Grade 8 One of the lead scientists who created ‘Dolly the sheep’ shared his experiences with students ACSIS swimming success East Campus girls take the trophy

High School The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui A student perspective on the first East Campus High School production Global Perspectives Student films achieve an invitation to the THIMUN Qatar Film Festival

Community Growing Gap Year Learn more about the destinations of the Class of 2012 Family Festival Fun Enjoy the fun of the festival through our slideshow feature



Front cover: Image of art service artwork auctioned by Dover students in Grades 3, 4, 5 and 9. 3

Professional development fosters cross-campus collaboration By Sue Bradshaw Deputy Head and Curriculum Director Dover Campus The East Campus hosted the first UWCSEA cross-campus teacher professional development day on Friday, 8 February. Both campuses were closed to students, and members of the community may be wondering just what the teachers were doing in there! The answer is that we were working together on a day of professional learning, further developing our knowledge and skills. The whole day was based around cross-campus collaboration, with specific sessions linked to current ‘whole College’ initiatives such as iLearn, the College language policy and the further development of the College-wide K–12 learning programme. Professional development days provide teachers with specialised training that supports the implementation of the College’s strategic plan. The College’s strategic plan aims to enhance the learning of our students and improve their experiences at the school. It is vital, of course, that the teachers who put that strategic plan into action in their daily contact with students receive the training they need to make these initiatives a success. We know from


many educational research studies that the work that teachers do with students has a bigger impact on learning than anything else, and it is therefore our responsibility to invest in the learning of our teachers through days such as this.

“Just brilliant to give time to working with departments across two campuses— professionally excellent.”

On this particular professional development day, the morning was spent learning about web-based resources and improving our digital research skills in order to better support the development of these skills in our students. This was followed by working lunches and afternoon sessions covering areas such as the Service programme, boarding, languages, and the development of the K–12 curriculum in Humanities, PE, Art, Drama, Music and Personal and Social Education. Primary School teachers also worked together in grade-level teams, and the Middle and High School departments made the most of the opportunity to work together for the last part of the day. All of the sessions were run in cross-campus groups, and it was a fully ‘in-house’ day, drawing on the expertise of the teaching body with all sessions run by teachers for their colleagues.

fortunate because each of us has a group of colleagues, and sometimes an exact counterpart, on the other campus, facing very similar challenges, and we can be great professional resources for each other. As one teacher put it in their evaluation of the day, “Working with colleagues from the other campus brings a freshness and open minds to your own department so the work-sharing sessions worked very well.”

The day was extremely successful, and teachers found working with colleagues from across the campuses especially useful. Teachers at UWCSEA are very

All in all, the day contributed greatly to continuing to build personal professional relationships across the two campuses, while at the same time giving us much needed time to focus on areas where the College is working to enhance the student experience. To give the last word to a teacher, “It was very recharging to see the College working together as a whole in doing things better for our students.”

Research skills for the 21st century By Andrew McCarthy Digital Literacy Coach Dover Campus When we begin a simple Internet search to find flights for a holiday, accommodation options or places to visit, we use our intuition to sort through the good and bad, to dig deeper or to find opinions on social networks. As educators at UWCSEA, we hope to make the search skills of information literacy explicit to our students and embedded in our curriculum. As described in the UWCSEA learner profile,1 we want students to use information critically to solve problems and take action. Over time, we want our students to utilise authentic, peer-reviewed material to support their lifelong learning, and to leverage technology where it is most effective in the research process. To support this thinking, part of a recent staff professional learning day looked at the topic of research as a cross-subject skill. This was the first cross-campus session for many staff, and was a great opportunity to share best practices.

“Really great to focus on a specific skill like research skills in such detail— I learned loads.”

The sessions were planned by their peers, including the teacher librarians and the digital literacy coaches, and led participating staff through a set of activities in small groups. The staff initially looked at search skills and more advanced ways to use Google to filter search results and to be more precise by using search operators. The session then went beyond Google, to explore the concept of the ‘Deep Web,’ and highlighted databases that UWCSEA currently subscribes to and that are available through our website portal. We also touched on what is freely available from the Singapore National Libraries eResources section. This session provided staff with an overview of the information landscape and a chance to reflect on what is appropriate and useful in their grade or subject. The day introduced a spectrum of applications that help students aggregate their research, from Google Docs in the Primary School to options such as Diigo and Zotero, which are more suitable to older students. These advanced tools help students develop bibliographies and in-text citations. The ongoing task for teachers and the curriculum articulation team is to look at where, how and when we teach these

skills to students. We want to have a clear progression of information literacy from the Primary School into Middle and then onto the High School. Our graduates will hopefully leave UWCSEA with a literacy skill that supports them as lifelong learners who will use information critically to solve real world problems. During the day we also relaunched several research portals that support our students. Our main libraries site contains an overview of all physical and digital resources that students can access. There are also links to our two Research Hubs for Primary and Secondary students. These are two important resources for students that are being developed and introduced as part of the digital literacy programme at the College. These hubs are a valuable tool for our students, with many applications. For example, earlier this year Grade 11 students were introduced to the Secondary hub as part of their preparation for the Extended Essay. These sites summarise the research process and house lessons ideas, quizzes and quick tutorials. Feel free to explore these resources with your child: 1

Dunia, pg. 4–5, June 2012.


Looking for learning on East Campus By Nick Alchin High School Principal East Campus I heard that taxi drivers in centrallyplanned communist Russia were incentivised by rewarding them per mile driven. It stands to reason—after all, the further a taxi has driven, the better it must be serving the passengers, right? Wrong. The taxi drivers jacked up their cars, put a brick on the accelerator, and went for a smoke. It is hard to think of a worse outcome for the passengers, the taxpayers, the environment and even the taxi drivers who ended up going through more cigarettes due to more time and money. It’s hard to see how this simple incentive ended up benefiting anyone other than the tobacco companies. This is an admittedly extreme example to show that people respond to changes by changing their behaviour, not always in ways that are predictable or desirable. We all respond to incentives in ways that makes sense to us—but when people have different agendas, a reasonable response may look totally


different from one person to another. That’s probably familiar to anyone who has ever been appraised at work. If you know that your boss is looking for a certain result (miles for the taxi drivers) then you may feel compelled to do whatever it takes to get that result— even if that’s in no one’s long-term interests. That’s as true for institutions as it is for individuals; in the UK, when the government started publishing exam results in a particular way, some schools sent students home if they thought they would score poorly. When surgeons were assessed according to the death rates of patients under their care, they modified their behaviour to meet their targets and started accepting only patients with easy to treat conditions. Other patients found it very hard to get treatment at all. This may sound ridiculous, but there are two things here which actually make a lot of sense. Firstly, it is a good thing that we are trying to measure the things that are important. Would we really want to undergo an operation if we thought no one was counting how many people died during similar

procedures? Secondly, it is a good thing that people respond to the incentives they have (albeit in ways we are often not smart enough to predict). If this were not true, how could we even try to change behaviour and improve anything? So let’s turn to education and the incentives for teachers. Firstly, we should tread with care—our teachers love what they are doing, and came into teaching to share their passion for their subject with students; unlike some taxi drivers, they won’t be off for a quick smoke. But still, they are only human and cannot help but respond to the structures and systems the school puts in place (nor should they). Lesson observations are one such traditional method system. A senior teacher visits a classroom, watches the teacher, does his or her best not to interrupt the lesson by distracting or otherwise interacting with students, perhaps looks at a few pieces of student work, makes some judgments and then meets with the teacher afterwards to tell them how it went.

That may sound sensible, but in fact it is misguided and has some undesirable consequences. Like measuring the taxi driver’s performance by how many miles he or she has driven, it is not measuring the right thing. Because, teaching is not the same as learning. If it were, we would never need to assess or sit exams—we would just keep a record of what we had taught. The desired outcome of a lesson is better student knowledge or understanding; that is, learning, some change in the student’s mind. Watching the teacher is at best a proxy for that, and may in fact be unrelated. So an observer may see what he or she thinks is a wonderful explanation, some engaging stories, and the best use of technology he or she has ever seen; but if the students didn’t learn anything, then really, it was a bad lesson. And the tragedy here is that by having observation systems like this, teachers are incentivised to focus on what they are doing, and how they are performing; when the focus should always be on what the students are learning;

where they currently are in their understanding, and how to best move them on to the next stage. This needs to be done on an individual basis, and with more than a handful of students in the class, it’s extremely difficult to do, and needs laser-like discipline to accomplish. Across the East Campus in all grades, we have been working to use a system of lesson observations that does exactly that; it’s a very simple idea called Looking for Learning, and it replaces the system I describe with one where teachers visit each other’s lessons and do not just watch the teacher. In fact, they do their best to ignore the teacher, and simply talk with a few students, and ask them questions like what are you learning? Do you understand the lessons? What helps you learn? What gets in the way of learning? The observer notes down the responses, and these form the basis of a conversation between observer and teacher afterwards. The teacher thinks about what he or she thinks the students would say, and then considers what

they actually said; the degree of convergence or divergence then informs thinking about how best to help students learn in the future. So the lovely thing about this system is that it tries to measure exactly what is important—learning, and it does not provide summary judgment on a teacher. It is a tool used by teachers to improve. In this sense, it is completely in line with good classroom practice and what we, as teachers, should always be doing for our students. I think it is good for parents and students to understand this process, which is usually internal to schools, and hidden from everyone but the teachers. Thinking through everything for the first time in High School, from individual lessons to common place educational practices, is extraordinarily timeconsuming and difficult. But we have the chance to go back to first principles, to re-examine the latest evidence and to act accordingly. And we are making the most of it; I know the students will see the benefit.


people in the world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened. I invest in you because you make things happen.” These words not only made me evaluate my role in our world, but also to hold on to my dreams and persist in them.

Shelby Davis inspires On 21 February, Shelby Davis, philanthropist and founder of the Davis UWC Scholars Program visited UWCSEA with his wife Gale. Wyclife Onyango Omondi (Grade 12) shares his experience of the visit: The much-anticipated Shelby Davis visit coincided with Mother Language Day. Dressed in our cultural costumes, a group of UWCSEA Dover students and staff welcomed Shelby and Gale Davis with a lunch at the Nelson Mandela Library.

I was greatly inspired by his story. His first encounter with the UWC movement was when he met two boys—one Israeli, one Palestinian— discussing their countries’ conflict at UWC-USA. This was his inspiration to embark on an exciting but challenging journey—launching the Davis UWC Scholars Program. At the student presentation after the lunch, Mr Davis stood up and held the attention of all in the room with his first words, “There are three types of

Mr Davis is a great leader and mentor to our community. Not only a generous donor who has helped many of us to achieve quality education regardless of our backgrounds, he is also a role model to students, reminding us of the power of determination in helping us make positive changes to our communities. Over 12 years, 233 UWCSEA students have received scholarships to US universities through the programme. Since its establishment in 2000, 4,843 scholars from 147 countries have been provided with scholarships to 90 different US universities and colleges. Visit to learn more, and visit eDunia to watch a video of Shelby Davis explaining his commitment to the programme.

Minister for Education visits the Dover Infant School Maintaining strong connections with Singapore is an ongoing focus for the College. In the last edition of Dunia, we wrote about the K2-One bridging programme for Singaporean children, which was being supported by teachers and students in K1 on Dover. Partly as a result of these connections, the Director of Pre-School Education at the Ministry of Education (MOE) became interested in the UWCSEA approach to learning in early childhood, and on Thursday, 28 February Minister Heng Swee Keat, and a group of his colleagues visited the Dover Campus Infant School to find out more. The Minister first listened to a short presentation outlining the UWCSEA learning programme, including some examples of how it is implemented in the Infant School. The Minister and his 8

colleagues were particularly interested in Writing Workshop and the College’s approach to literacy, as well as our approach to service learning. They also had a lot of questions on managing parent expectations and ensuring that the work that happens at school is supported at home. But the main point of the visit was a walk-around to see the programme in action. The Minister visited several classrooms and engaged directly with students, asking them questions about their learning, sitting with them to do some mathematics puzzles and talking to them about their writing. This is when the conversations really got interesting! Of course, our students did us proud, and provided the Minister with plenty to think about, both in terms of their learning, but also in terms

of their reflections on their learning. According to Allison Saradetch from the Ministry, the “senior management were very interested in the different curriculum offered at UWCSEA and were impressed with the children’s learning in the classroom.” We hope this dialogue with the MOE about learning in early childhood will continue.

Outdoor Education

G2 trip to zoo The Outdoor Education programme is a powerful part of the UWCSEA educational experience. Kurt Hahn, who inspired the UWC movement, believed that education should have the effect of drawing from students a greater range of skills and talents than they knew they possessed. His motto was ‘Plus est en vous’—there is more in you than you think. This is one of the foundations of adventure-based learning. Outdoor education experiences at UWCSEA begin in Grade 1 and, through careful planning and building of skills, understanding and confidence, culminate in all Grade 11 students undertaking their own personal, independent expedition during Project Week. The Grade 2 overnight trip to the zoo reflects a progression in the outdoor education experience, moving students from the familiar classroom (but unfamiliar experience of staying in it overnight!) to a new location. The programme layers the level of independence and challenge in an authentic context, equipping students with skills and qualities that support their learning, such as learning to make decisions without adults. These skills and qualities that students acquire through the Outdoor Education programme are applied in all other areas of the learning programme.

In an age-appropriate way, the trip is designed to challenge students to move beyond their comfort zone and to enhance their teambuilding and leadership skills, resulting in greater confidence, empathy and self-awareness. The Grade 2 trip is carefully planned to address clear learning objectives, connecting back to elements of the learning programme, particularly in the Personal and Social Education (PSE) programme, as well as in some academic areas such as art and the Unit of Inquiry. The students worked on sketching techniques, as well as undertaking a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the insect house, which helped them to apply the process of ‘scientific observation’ in a real world context. In the weeks leading up to the camp, students spent time examining ways in which they cooperate together as a community, and looking at themselves and their behaviour in the context of being part of an organisation (the school). During assemblies and through in-class activities, students were encouraged to develop self-awareness and skills in self-management. The expedition also helped the students to take risks in a safe environment, and, through activities such as tent pitching, provided opportunity to reinforce

teamwork and leadership skills. These are all elements of a successful PSE programme. Further information about other grade-level outdoor education expeditions, as well as Project Week, can be found in eDunia.



Developing the idea of art The recent High School Visual Art exhibition on Dover Campus was a showcase of art in a variety of forms, including portraiture, sculpture, installation, drawing and more. Filled to almost overflowing, the Main Hall was transformed into a gallery by students in Grades 9 to 12 exhibiting their work. While in past years the exhibition has asked students to respond to the question, ‘What is your philosophy?’ this year further developed the idea to provide more than simply an opportunity for students to display their finished work. As hinted at by the exhibition title ‘The Journey is the Destination,’ the exhibition encouraged each student to explain their creative process, by describing the ways in which they take their ideas from inception to a fully formed work. All students in the College take art as a double period each week until Grade 8. In the High School, the curriculum then offers options for students to pursue in depth art courses in both the (I)GCSE and the IBDP. An emphasis in these courses is on analysis, both written and visual, as key phases in the creation and execution of ideas. Students are encouraged to break their ideas into individual elements, and to look at the sequence of creation, including final evaluation. Peer review and critique is also a critical part of the course; students are encouraged to receive and incorporate feedback from peers as part of the development of their projects. This is important, as it attempts to approximate ‘real world’ situations, in which artists need to consider ‘does this idea work for these people, in this situation, at this time?’ and ‘how can I further refine it to make meaning?’


A portraits and painting unit in Grade 9 leads to more varied art forms in Grade 10 and beyond, as students are encouraged to move away from more traditional mediums. This helps develop the idea of divergent and convergent problem solving, which is introduced to students in Grade 10, as students consider options for mediums for realising their ideas. The IBDP Art course in Grade 11 and 12 is a highly personal one; students are able to individualise the curriculum by pursuing and exploring their ideas. Head of Visual Art at UWCSEA Dover John Widder believes that the success of the Visual Art programme is interrelated with the strength of the rest of the educational programme offered at UWCSEA. The way in which the programme develops thinking and open-mindedness enables students to engage in the art programme in a way that supports them in developing

skills in analysis, and development of individualised expression. He cites the examples of the strong English and Drama programmes, among others, as key to helping to inform students about the world around them, and engage them in thinking about process and message. As a teacher of visual art, it is easy to teach about colours; the more challenging part of the process is encouraging students to think about the ‘why,’ and this is one of the areas that the other elements of the UWCSEA learning programme contributes to so effectively. The success of the Visual Art programme is evident in the high success rate of acceptances into leading art schools around the world; however the course also leads to other fields— in recent years, there has been a trend for UWCSEA Dover art students to pursue architecture.

Reading Rocks! By Deborah Diaz Teacher Librarian East Campus

The annual Book Week events on our campuses celebrate reading through fun and educational activities. On East Campus this year, one of our Red Dot shortlisted books, Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes, inspired our theme ‘Reading Rocks!’

Middle School masterpieces As in High School, the Visual Art programme in Middle School seeks to develop students’ abilities both practically and aesthetically. Students explore art history and theory while also learning and practising skills and techniques in the creation of art. Projects on East Campus this year included studying the art of the Renaissance period and the history of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci in Grade 6. Students’ practice was then to re-create this famous work into a new cultural or modern scene. Grade 7 students have learnt about the Pop Art movement of the 1960s, studying the works of Jasper John and Andy Warhol. They experimented with new painting techniques by applying coloured wax and layering with acrylic paint using rollers and brushes. Students also created photomontage works using Photoshop and 3D sculptures using paper maché. Finally, through studying the work of artist Vincent Van Gogh, Grade 8 students have learned about proportion of the face and new painting application techniques using impasto gel and acrylic paint. Throughout the Middle School, these projects that combine art history, theory and practice are producing remarkable works. For a slideshow of East Middle School students’ artwork, please visit eDunia.

While Primary School students continued to enjoy the daily themes and dress up days such as ‘Poem in Your Pocket Tuesday’ and ‘Book Character Dress up Friday,’ this year’s Book Week brought the entire community together in new ways as parents and older students were involved in sharing the joy of reading and celebrating mother languages. To follow on from Mother Language Day, parent volunteers read books in a variety of languages to students during lunchtime. In addition, a number of staff members were guest readers in Primary School classes, and Middle and High School mentor groups paired up with Primary School classes for buddy reading. These interactions build connections across school sections and inspire younger students to continue to develop their reading skills. Other highlights included a special visit from Australian author/photographer Jan Latta, a bookmark competition and ‘Book Nooks’ set up around campus by Grade 3 students—with pillows, bean bags and favourite books for students to enjoy reading outdoors during break times. The ‘Reading Rocks!’ week ended with a fitting live performance of Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes, complete with a teacher band. Their rendition of I Wanna Read, a modified version of the 1980s song I Wanna Rock by Twisted Sister, got the audience rocking with them to celebrate the love of books and reading. 11

Annual Report highlights The 2011–2012 Annual Report was recently published. Charles Ormiston, UWCSEA Board Chair, commented in his letter at the front of the report, “Another year of commitment from our whole community to the mission, vision and values of the College has resulted in outstanding student achievement and purposeful institutional progress.” Included in the report are: brief descriptions of Board activity during 2011–2012; sections on student achievement in each element of the learning programme and our community; an update on the strategic plan; the business report

incorporating HR, Admissions, and the financial statements for the College; and a summary of the activity in College Advancement during 2011–2012. As well as providing descriptive overviews of activity, the report includes a whole series of statistics that describe the breadth and depth of the programme. Below is a selection of those statistics.



Students on both campuses

Global Concerns across the College

ia h e aSt aS UWC SoUntnUal RepoRt a 2011-2012

The full report can be read online at If you would like a printed copy of the report, please contact Farhani Alias, Communications and Marketing Assistant, on

4,557 74


1,995 Clients interacting with UWCSEA students through local service

76 $930,950 Nationalities

Raised by students across the College


Outdoor education

318 238







Number of events each week across the College* *Senior School was for Dover Campus only


585,622 Student hours spent overseas

IB Diploma May 2012 78.4%




Pass rate


28% UWCSEA students receiving a bilingual diploma






Human Resources

52 Posts advertised




Teaching applications received

Average diploma score

Average subject grade

Gap Year – 10% National Service – 4% Asia – 6%


Average years of experience of College teachers

Europe – 3%


North America – 47% Australia – 8%

5.85% Worldwide

UK – 22%

Students receiving 40+ points

17 71

Destinations of Class of 2012

IBDP Examiners

Financials Central Admin – 1% Depreciation – 6% Boarding exp – 4% Maintenance and Operations – 5% Marketing and Communications – 1% Educational resources – 4%

Central Admin – 0.5% Depreciation – 4% Boarding exp – 1% Maintenance and Operations – 11% Marketing and Communications – 1% Educational resources – 7%

Administration salary and benefits – 6% Boarding salary and benefits – 1% Educational support salary and benefits – 9%

Dover expenditure

East expenditure Administration salary and benefits – 5% Boarding salary and benefits – 0.5% Educational support salary and benefits – 10%

Teachers salary and benefits – 64% Teachers salary and benefits – 60%



Game changers

Learning in Minecraft By Keri-Lee Beasley, Seán McHugh and Jeff Plaman Digital Literacy Coaches “Minecraft is a combination of frustration, excitement and pure adrenaline. It widens your perspective, and you can get inspired very easily from other people’s creations. Players also learn various tips from more experienced players which can make you an overall better player. But most of all, you just have fun. This game has also awakened my inner architect.” – Victoria, Grade 8 No doubt many parents are wondering, “Why are students using Minecraft at school?” The simple answer is that we always strive to provide a variety of opportunities for our students to develop the skills and qualities of the UWCSEA profile. Through games like Minecraft, students explore and refine problem-solving and decisionmaking skills through logical thinking, sequencing and strategy-making. In this article, we examine how Minecraft can contribute to development of some of the skills and qualities necessary for the 21st century.

Critical thinker and problem solver Game-based learning researcher James Paul Gee argues that playing a game is like a continuous stream of assessment. If you fail to work out what steps need to be taken, and in which order, you will not progress further in the game. The

Minecraft stats and terms

Creating a balance

Popularity: 20 million copies across all platforms Game modes: Creative or Survival Creative: unlimited access to all materials Survival: materials need to be sourced and protected Spawn: appearing in the world Building: laying down one brick at a time of particular material selected by the player Mining: breaking blocks of material that become part of your chest Crafting: combining elements to create something new in the game (i.e., a sign with text)

Set limits: as with anything (TV, bed time, etc.) it is appropriate to a set limit on the amount of time your child spends gaming.

sense of achievement a player feels as they complete a level or figure out how to complete a task is quite remarkable. The combination of critical thinking and problem-solving skills, together with this sort of engagement, meant that Minecraft was an appropriate tool for the UWCSEA East Grade 6 Mathematics teachers to use in their unit on ratio and proportion. Students

Be aware of ‘flow’: no doubt these games have a high level of engagement—think of how you feel when you’re approaching the last chapter of a really compelling novel! Give some warning and allow players time to get to a stopping point. Variety: promote a range of activities for your child to engage with such as sport, unstructured outdoor play, music, photography and reading.

were asked to create a structural idea, develop a scaled floor plan, then construct a virtual model in Minecraft. Upon completion, students shared their learning by creating a virtual tour, explaining the related mathematics concepts and demonstrating their understanding of how ratio and proportion have been applied in the process of construction.

Nancy Fairburn and Lizzie Bray. “Skills and qualities for the 21st Century.” pg. 4 Dunia magazine, June 2012. Amy Erin Borovoy. “Big Thinkers: James Paul Gee on Grading with Games | Edutopia.” 2011. 7 March 2013 ( 3 Tom Chatfield. “Why playing in the virtual world has an awful lot to teach children.” 2010 ( 12 March 2013. 4 “Community of practice – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” 2003. 8 March 2013 ( 1



Collaborative Minecraft (and indeed all games) provide leadership and peer-learning opportunities. Games really level the playing field. Tom Chatfield notes that, “A virtual world is a tremendous leveller in terms of wealth, age, appearance, ethnicity and such like …” It means a child can be an expert; a student can be the most knowledgeable source of information. What a powerful concept for a young person—I have something of value to offer my peers and teachers. We are combining people of all ages to work together using the same resources to create something special. The students who participate together in the activities we offer are part of a very supportive community, keen to help newcomers (such as their teachers) develop their understanding of the game. This fits in beautifully with Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger’s Communities of Practice theory of learning, where, “It is through the process of sharing information and experiences with the group that the members learn from each other, and have an opportunity to develop themselves personally and professionally.”



Creative and innovative James Paul Gee states in his video for Edutopia, “Kids want to produce, they don’t just want to consume.” This is the entire premise of Minecraft—users creating their own game environments. The best way for parents to appreciate the creative potential of Minecraft is to actually play yourself. Ask your child to teach you how, and then build something together. Sit next to your child and ask them to explain what they’re doing, why it’s important to them, how and why they create things, and what they’re learning. Doing so will likely reveal a level of sophisticated thought that was not obvious before. Minecraft allows our students to access areas of the UWCSEA profile in an engaging, playful way. The key is, as with anything, to find the appropriate balance of this and other activities. It’s also important to recognise that learning doesn’t require teaching. By exploring Minecraft, our children are learning how to collaborate and plan, be creative and responsive to challenges, all while building one block at a time.

Undoubtedly the highlight on the music calendar at the Dover Campus, the annual OPUS concert at the Esplanade Concert Hall involves months of practice and planning in order to provide an unparalleled opportunity for students to perform in a world class venue. What many may not realise is that it is, in fact, a culmination of years of planning by the Music Department, and that many facets of musical activity at the campus lead ultimately to the goal of being able to stage such a large-scale concert each year. In order to be able to bring together the symphonic band or orchestra, for example, students must be provided with opportunities to learn a wide array of instruments from a young age, so that they can develop the skills necessary to perform at this level. The Instrumental Teaching Programme provides opportunities for students to learn all types of instruments, such as flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cornet and euphonium, from Primary School, and to participate in regular performances and workshops to further develop their skills. This year’s OPUS saw many students on stage not for the first time but for the third, fourth and even fifth time, as they have been active participants in the College’s music programme since Primary School. Learn more about OPUS and its place in the music programme by watching a specially produced video on eDunia.


More to S The South East Asian Student Activity Conference (SEASAC) is a multi-faceted programme allowing students from participating schools across the region to compete against their peers at a high level. Teams of High School students travel to host schools throughout the region to compete in a programme of sports and other activities.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak addresses TechLIFE conference It’s amazing what passion and fearlessness can help 13-year-olds to achieve. When Grade 8 students Marius Smits, Victoria Ivory Birrell and Michelle Tay returned from the StuCon technology conference in Hong Kong last year, they decided they wanted to organise a conference of their own at UWCSEA East. With support from UWCSEA’s Centre for International Education staff, they recruited a planning team of fellow students and set to work developing their concept and agenda for the conference. The result was TechLIFE, a 24-hour student-led technology conference for students, by students. The student organisers utilised connections through UWCSEA parents at Google, Apple, Microsoft and other companies to find speakers and technology ‘gurus’ to lead workshop sessions in addition to planning their own student-led workshops. When it came to selecting the featured speaker, they went for the biggest name they could think of: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Wozniak’s team responded quickly and enthusiastically to their request. While his schedule and their budget didn’t allow for him to attend in person, Wozniak, a keen supporter of education and youth in technology, graciously agreed to speak with participants via Skype. During the TechLIFE conference, which ran from 6pm Friday, 8 March to 6pm the next day, the Skype call took place at 2am local time with Wozniak 16

who is based in California. When the familiar tones of the Skype call rang in, the assembled students erupted with cheers and applause knowing that they were about to have a live video conversation with one of their technology idols. The planning team had solicited questions from registered participants in advance, selected the best ones and submitted them to Wozniak. During the 30-minute video call, Marius and Victoria took turns posing the questions to him. Wozniak shared some of his early experiences in starting Apple Computers as well as some inspiration. He encouraged the students to follow their passion and to “write their own book” when it comes to learning. Pointing out the young age at which the founders of companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Google and Facebook got started, he was optimistic that among the nearly 100 student participants, there could be the founder of one of the next great technology companies. Following the call, the energy in the room was palpable despite the 2.30am hour. Marius and Victoria were visibly thrilled by the outcome of their labour. “I’m so proud of what we accomplished,” Victoria said. The conference was well received by the participants and adult coaches who attended from seven different international schools in Singapore. Marius, Victoria and Michelle have already begun planning for TechLIFE 2014.

The annual SEASAC calendar runs through Terms 1 and 2, with the 13 member schools taking turn to host events each year. Dover Campus this year hosted the boys Football in November and Gymnastics in the new facilities in March. East Campus hosted its first SEASAC competition at the end of March, with the girls Softball contested on campus. A founding member of SEASAC, UWCSEA Dover fields teams in many of the sporting championships. UWCSEA East has enjoyed early success in its first year of competition, with the girls Swimming team recently placing first, and placings in individual events at the Gymnastics tournament. While SEASAC sports competitions have been a regular feature on the representative sports calendar at Dover Campus for many years, this year the East Campus was also able to send teams to two other SEASAC events—the Model United Nations and the Arts Convention.

o SEASAC than sports SEASAC MUN Model United Nations at UWCSEA East only began operating in August. The High School has worked hard to train delegates to represent a particular country’s perspective on a range of topical United Nations issues. The highlight was taking 27 delegates to the SEASAC MUN conference, which was held at NIST in Bangkok. During the conference, many contemporary issues were debated ranging from the rights of girls to an education, managing the growing threat of cyber warfare and establishing systems to effectively manage pandemics. Some students also took part in a simulation of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), contesting the cases of sovereignty of the Falkland Islands between the UK and Argentina, and Australia’s case against Japan for the alleged breach of international obligations over whaling. UWCSEA East students were soon seen as a force to be reckoned with amongst the 300 delegates from 11 international schools. Our ICJ students won their case, and Tristan O’Brien was awarded the ‘Best Delegate’ of their committee. The conference was enjoyed by all who took part, and we are immensely proud of the success of such a young club and its delegates.

SEASAC Arts Convention In February, 17 UWCSEA East students attended the 2013 SEASAC Arts Convention at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong. Students participated in workshop sessions facilitated by teaching professionals in the arts including music, drama, dance and visual art. This year, the event was themed ‘Once upon a time,’ and the courses inspired committed participation from our students. The weekend culminated in a performance event on the Sunday where students took the opportunity to showcase their newly learned skills. Congratulations to all SEASAC participants! 17

Personal and social education

Raising happy children By Naomi Kelly Head of Counselling East Campus Following two successful parent workshops on ‘Raising Happy Boys’ and ‘Raising Happy Girls’ held on East Campus recently, we asked Naomi Kelly, Head of Counselling, to share some of the relevant insights and resources here. Happiness is highly sought after. Positive Psychologist Dr Barbara Friedrickson defines happiness as, “the fuel to thrive and to flourish, and to leave this world in better shape than you found it.” For many parents, Friedrickson’s message fits well with the dreams and aspirations that they have for their sons and daughters. How then do we raise happy children? How do we nurture our boys and girls— and do we approach things differently because of their gender?

Gender differences in brain development When considering gender differences, we need to first look at our own expectations and biases. Are males and females different and if so, why?


Is it due to varying rates of brain development or is it a result of differing societal expectations and responses? Medina (2008) states that male and female brains are different, and that those differences are a result of complex interactions between nature and nurture. Considering our own expectations, as well as knowing about the differences in brain development, can help to explain some of the practical differences between genders.

Your child is watching you There is a network of nerve cells running alongside our motor nerves called mirror neurons. Their role in development is to imitate (or mirror) everything that we see. In simple terms, our children will become like the adults that they have grown up around. No matter what their age, if we know that our children and young people are watching us, then we need to take a critical look at ourselves. Are we modelling what we would like them to be?

Do you laugh a lot? Do you swear a lot? Do you exercise? Do you really listen? Do you show empathy? Do you know how to make and keep good friends? Do you know how to relax? Do you know how to keep your promises? Do you know how to keep going when the road is hard and long? How do you express your feelings? Are you happy? Whether it is in relation to self-esteem, confidence or making friends, the better we know ourselves, our own anxieties, feelings and desires, the less likely we are to force our children into a rigid mould or transfer our biases and anxieties onto them.

Resource books Some useful resources for parents include: Medina (2008) Brain Rules Biddulph (2008: 2013) Raising Happy Boys, Raising Happy Girls Kindlon and Thomson (2000) Raising Cain Wiseman (2002) Queen Bees and Wannabees

Service “It’s about giving from your heart.” By Tracy Jochmann Head of Grade 1 East Campus As Grade 1 students began their shoebox project for Chinese New Year this year, both parents and teachers helped to provide a rewarding service experience for them. This was the first year that a group of parents helped to make decisions and source the items for the shoeboxes for Happy Lodge. It felt like a true collaboration between students, parents and teachers bringing it all together—and the project was all the more successful because of it!

Thanks to the generosity and ingenuity of a number of parents, the donations came in, and the remaining items needed were negotiated at a great deal from Giant. Students not only learned about giving, they also practised their mathematics by ‘purchasing’ the items for their shoeboxes at different ‘shops’ in the G1 pod area. Children were given tokens to the value of $2 each and a list of items that needed to go into each box. They had to purchase the items, handing over the appropriate number of tokens to the parent volunteers helping out as shop assistants. Once they had filled their boxes, the children returned to their classrooms and wrapped them in paper they had made earlier in the week.

The children also invited a group of residents from Happy Lodge for morning tea. They sang a few songs, some individual children performed on the piano and violin, and they served tea, coffee and snacks. The smiles and thanks from the residents were overwhelming and truly made it an amazing experience for all. Thank you to all the parents and staff who made the Chinese New Year service projects with our friends at Happy Lodge so rewarding for our students and the residents. As Grade 1 student Amairah said following the morning tea, “It’s about giving from your heart.”

A personal reflection on the Green Gecko Project By George Brereton Grade 4, Dover Campus When I got to Green Gecko, I met Doug who is a volunteer. He talked to us about who Green Gecko are and what they do. He told us that the kids at Green Gecko had originally been begging on the streets of Siem Reap.

While we were there, we saw the library which has English and Khmer books. We also saw the children’s wooden playground which has some slides, monkey bars and a climbing frame, as well as their sports field, which was made from a rice paddy behind their house. We also met some of the older children having English lessons. We spoke to a

girl who told us that she was very happy with her companions at Green Gecko, who felt like family to her. After my visit to Green Gecko, I felt that I wanted to help the Green Gecko Project. I thought I could help by writing this article, so more people would know about them and support them.

College service group creates Infant Sound Garden By Advait and Elisa, Grade 5 and Ayona, Aarohi and Julienne, Grade 4 East Campus A group of Grade 4 and 5 students spent five months working together to create the Infant Sound Garden. Made entirely out of recycled materials, this sound garden was a complete recycling success! The credit should not be given to the students alone, but also to the parents and teachers who graciously donated all the materials used in building the sound garden. Without them, this service could not have been

possible. Thanks to the great ideas of Ms Imogen, Mr Betts and Uncle Ronald, the garden was officially opened on 14 January—sort of a New Year’s present to the Infant School students. This process involved lots of donations, hard work in planning the design and loads of creativity on everyone’s part. We did not finish the garden in one session. It required a lot of concentration, care and thought to make an especially effective impact on how the children would learn to use it. We tried to think carefully about how

the children would react not only to how we built it, but also to each other. It also took a long time to finalise the project plan. Gathering materials, making the themed signs and building the sound garden itself required all of our patience and effort. We tried to make it as fun for the children as we could, and looking at it now it looks like a complete success! For photos and additional student reflections on the sound garden project, please visit eDunia. 19

All the fun of the Community Fair By GC Executive Dover Campus

A huge thank you to the PA for their efforts to make the Fair such a success.

The Community Fair is the crème de la crème of the UWCSEA Global Concerns fundraising events as a collective, bringing all parts of the UWCSEA community together. It is an opportunity for local vendors and entrepreneurs to show off their products, for Global Concerns groups to sell their merchandise and promote their messages to parents, and for students to take part in the school and community spirit.

It truly is a ‘community’ fair in that there is no other event where the student body, the Global Concerns projects, the PA, local entrepreneurs and parents come together in one spot. This is why it is an anticipated event on the annual calendar—it reminds us that Global Concerns and its spirit of sustainable living, integrity and service to others resonates not only within the campus but also around it. We saw teachers frantically looking for change at the Tabitha wallet sale, students digging into their pile of campaign t-shirts, long lines for the newest PA investment (the ice kachang machine), parents sweeping second hand books into their complimentary recyclable bags and children eagerly lining up for various amusement stalls. This year, the environment GCs introduced biodegradable cornware to the fair which was well supported by the entire community.

The Community Fair planning does not fall to the Global Concerns Executive group, and in the weeks before the event, we finally understood why! The magnitude of work and planning that goes into the Community Fair requires more than students have time to achieve; the ‘heavy-lifters’ are not only Susan Edwards (Head of Global Concerns, UWCSEA Dover) but also the Dover Parents’ Association (PA). Their assistance proved to be invaluable.


The amount of involvement by students of all grades on the day was absolutely exemplary. The opportunity for hands-on experience running the stall on the day was provided to students in Grades 9 to 12. The commitment, sweaty foreheads and spectrum of involvement that we saw was enough for us to believe that the Community Fair is the essence of the UWC spirit, not only bringing the students together but also their families and our extended community. It is the epitome of what we stand for: working as one to make a difference, but enjoying it all the while.

Community Careers Fair opens students’ eyes to the future By Kamal Sidhwa Taraporevala Parents’ Association East The annual Careers Fair for High School students was held on East Campus for the first time this year. With more than 90 volunteer participants from the parent community, several UWCSEA alumni and a few external volunteers, students were able to speak directly with professionals from fields as diverse as commodities trading and art therapy. Organised by the Parents’ Association East, the event provided students with practical advice to assist them in their study and career path choices through both one-on-one interactions and presentations. Ten speakers gave 15-minute presentations on careers such as minerals exploration, architecture, working in the not-for-profit sector, film directing, biosciences and engineering. The talks proved quite popular as some were standing room only.

While students benefited from the presentations and conversations with professionals, the professionals were equally impressed by our students. Many expressed how well prepared and thoughtful the students’ questions were. David Neidel, from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Department of Biological Sciences, NUS, said, “I just kept thinking to myself that I really could have benefited from something like this when I was in High School …” Students appreciated the opportunity to talk with professionals from so many diverse careers and left the event with new insight and inspiration. “The professionals were all really supportive and insightful … I walked out of the Careers Fair confident and motivated to work hard to achieve my desired career path,” said Kathleen Guan

(Grade 11). Sanchita Bhatia (Grade 10) said, “Talking to [the professionals] not only inspired me with their passion about what they do, but also reminded me that I don’t need to have everything figured out right now—life will lead me where I need to be as long as I keep on doing what I love.” For more photos of the Careers Fair and a blog post by Istvan Cselotei (Grade 11), please see eDunia.

Meet the Boarders event builds community By Ana Sánchez Chico Spanish National Committee scholar Grade 11, East Campus To foster relationships and understanding, Parents’ Association (PA) East and Tampines House coorganised the ‘Meet the Boarders: Latin American Fiesta’ event held Sunday, 24 February. Meet the Boarders was a wonderful experience. The Tampines House community on East Campus hosted a Latino party; around 20 families from the UWCSEA East community participated. Everyone in the house got involved, and we planned different activities such as dancing, cooking, boarding house tours, piñatas and more. We really appreciated having their company because we had the chance to show them where we live, opening the doors of our house to them. We got

to know the families and this allowed us to form bonds. They were also able to learn more about our daily lives and empathise with us. I think we all loved the idea of sharing our time with the families, having amazing food and good music. Moreover, we could share part of our culture. I think the most beautiful part of this experience was that both sides were benefited: the boarders by having kids around that always bring joy to the boarding house as well as getting to know some parents, and the families because they got to know about us, our stories, cultures and experiences. It also brought our boarding community together as we practised dances and spent time with each other to prepare for the party. It was a fantastic Sunday of fun and bonding. The guests were amazing,

and we would love to have them over again. The whole community worked together; it was like a family event and we absolutely loved it!


Ambassador programmes boost the UWCSEA Foundation By Libby Orr Communications Manager UWCSEA Foundation The Foundation has been working to support UWCSEA’s vision of being a leader in international education since 2008. It plays a key role in enhancing the educational experience for current and future students through four key objectives: • increasing scholar numbers • investing in key curriculum initiatives • improving facilities on both campuses • supporting exemplary staff development Support through gifts of time, money or expertise have shown enormous benefit to College life, and this was the catalyst for the launch of the Foundation’s Ambassador programmes earlier this year.

Parent Ambassador programme Over 30 enthusiastic parents from across both campuses are playing a crucial role in enhancing the reputation of UWCSEA through the Parent Ambassador programme. Their aim is to raise awareness of the

achievements and positive impact of the Foundation’s activities. A ‘friendraising role’ not a fundraising one, the group represents the Foundation at events through networking and hosting awareness sessions, and by suggesting promotional platforms.

Corporate Ambassador programme This programme focuses on engaging business leaders from our parent, alumni and corporate community in the work of the Foundation. From developing student mentoring initiatives, sharing expertise and experience, providing corporate sponsorship of programmes, to setting up matched giving arrangements; there are a number of ways that businesses—big and small— can contribute. Attended by over 60 influential individuals, the first event was a great success, with further events planned later this year.

CASE honours Julian Whiteley The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) presented their 2012 CASE Asia-Pacific Chief Executive Leadership Award to Julian Whiteley at a special event on 21 March 2013 at the annual conference in Singapore. The prestigious award recognises outstanding leadership in promoting and supporting education and institutional advancement, and in the past has been awarded to University Presidents and Vice Chancellors, as well as school Heads and Chief Executive Officers. Julian won the award for his visionary leadership, exemplified through the opening of the East Campus, the establishment of the UWCSEA Foundation and the development of the learning programme at the College.

Alumni Ambassador Programme

Charles Ormiston, Chair of the UWCSEA Board of Governors, said in a letter in support of Julian’s nomination, “There is now an incredible amount of energy being unleashed at UWCSEA—to take on the challenge of not just delivering a great education experience in Singapore, but to influence outcomes in the rest of the world.”

A third programme, to harness the support and passion of alumni who wish to remain involved with the College, will be launched in the near future.

Please visit eDunia to view the video shown at the award ceremony, showcasing the developments at the College over the past eight years. Congratulations to Julian on his achievement.


What if...

What if... The making of an ad campaign When the College decided to design a new advertising campaign, we had three main objectives: • make members of the current community proud by reminding them of the UWC mission, the UWCSEA learning programme and the extraordinary (and ordinary) individuals who are making it happen • increase understanding of the uniqueness of our offering. This is especially important in light of the new admissions policy, which has removed the long wait lists and requires families to apply annually. • support the larger institutional focus on developing a more engaged community of advocates for the College Campaign development began as a series of conversations with a small group of parents and students, who helped us to identify some of the elements of the UWCSEA experience that made them most proud. They kept coming back to the idea of community, and the fact that the UWCSEA community is full of committed individuals who bring our mission to life every day. We wanted a way to tell some of these stories in a thought-

provoking way, highlighting their extraordinary nature. We started with two stories. The first was of Ella McAuliffe, who had raised enough money to build a school in Cambodia. The second was an email from a parent, writing about the impact that meeting one of our scholars had had on her son; she talked about how her son, Liam, felt proud to be at the same school as Miguel, the scholar, who was a hero in his eyes. The aspirational phrase ‘What if…’ seemed to tie both these stories together, emphasising that at UWCSEA, remarkable things happen. We then went looking for more stories, the problem quickly became which ones to do first! We elected to launch with a showcase of the five elements of the learning programme and our alumni. These provided us with the opportunity to create visual juxtapositions showing the hidden depths of our community members: a construction worker sits in a classroom; a clown reads in the library; a man in full arctic gear orders food in the canteen; a student glimpses a superhero in the library; a group of students sit at desks in a jungle. Ideas were not difficult, but execution was another matter. Bringing 16

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Grade 9 students to the jungle near Tampines, along with the paraphernalia to make it look like a real classroom was one challenge; keeping the monkeys at bay while shooting was quite another! Finding a superhero costume for Miguel and persuading himself and Liam to take shot after shot was easy compared to asking Tim Jarvis to wear a huge snow jacket and snow mittens in 40 degree heat (despite his experience extracting his own teeth in the Antarctic!). But all our participants were incredibly good-natured and supportive. Once we had the first set of eight ads, and their accompanying video stories, we ran a teaser campaign on the campuses to raise awareness among students, staff and parents. Our team members came in on a Sunday and hung lots of mobiles, and placed stickers and planter signs around the College; and then stood back and took note of everyone’s reactions the next day. Like the building of the UWCSEA community itself, the ad campaign was the result of the efforts of some ordinary individuals doing extraordinary things: Gregory Parker (art director), Tom Soper (photographer), Ryan Bollhorn (videographer), Jayanath Fernando (web developer), Parul Shah (parent consultant) and Tina Tsai and Hani Alias (logistics) helped the concept come to life. We have had fun, and we are not finished! Connections to the curriculum in Grade 3 and 9 are further involving students with the campaign, and there are many more ads in the pipeline …

Middle School students break character between shots.


Aperture 7–9 March 2013 UWCSEA Dover’s annual Dance Show is a student directed production showcasing the skills and creativity of our students undertaking performing arts courses at the College. This year, the production drew inspiration from the myth of ‘Pandora’s Box’ exploring the uncertainty, isolation, chaos and then resolution of human interactions across cultures, all revolving around the consequences of opening and closing the ‘box’ of infinite possibility.

Dunia is published by UWC South East Asia. Reproduction in any manner in English or any other language is prohibited without written consent. Please send feedback to Editors: Sinéad Collins, Kate Woodford and Courtney Carlson Design: Gregory Parker Photography: Ryan Bollhorn and members of the UWCSEA community 064COM-1213

Printed on 100% recycled paper with environmentally friendly inks. UWCSEA Dover is registered by the CPE CPE Registration No. 197000825H CPE Registration Period 18 July 2011–17 July 2017 Charity Registration No. 00142 UWCSEA East is registered by the CPE CPE Registration No. 200801795N CPE Registration Period 10 March 2011–9 March 2017 Charity Registration No. 002104 MICA (P) 210/04/2012

DUNIA - Apr 2013  
DUNIA - Apr 2013