With its welcoming community, focus on personalised learning and some pretty awesome classrooms that put kids first, Nexus is doing things differently. Meet new Principal Judy Cooper, who’s leading the way.
Nexus International School Singapore is one of those places you visit and realise instantly that you click with its philosophy, respectful approach towards children and commitment to personalised education. Here, students are called ‘learners’ to drive purpose; classrooms are designed so that kids can learn the way they learn best; teachers work closely with kids to bring out their unique gifts; and technology is a natural part of everyday learning to encourage curiosity and innovation. New Principal Judy Cooper – whose own children are at the school, had a chat with us about ‘the Nexus Way’ and why she finds the Nexus community so inspiring.
See our video interview with Judy and get to know Nexus International School in our video below!
Hi Judy, please tell us a little about yourself – where is your hometown and what would your students be surprised to know?
I am originally from The Wirral near Liverpool, and moved to Hong Kong 13 years ago. I took a year off in 2012 to improve my language skills (I’m a Spanish teacher) and travel with my family. We spent half the year in Spain and the other in South America and loved it.
How is your school different to other international schools in Singapore?
We are proud of what Nexus has achieved, ‘The Nexus Way’ has been developed and refined and ensures a consistent approach across the school to ensure an inclusive, personalised approach making use of digital technologies to enhance the learning experience.
Can you tell us more about the teaching approach at Nexus?
The teaching approach at Nexus is very much about ownership of learning. We take a collaborative approach as much as possible in the classroom and you won’t see teachers ‘leading’ lessons from the front. Classrooms are flexible spaces: you won’t see lines of desks in classrooms. I am excited to learn more about the school’s ‘restorative approach’, which is all about helping each student make good choices to support their learning.
What’s your personal philosophy towards education?
Every teacher should inspire learning. You need to find passion and innovate, and what we offer goes beyond academics. Every child is unique, so we need to personalise what happens in the classroom. This ensures each learner reaches their full potential no matter what their strengths are.
Tell us about your school’s community: what do parents tell you they value about the school?
There is a real sense of community in the school – everyone works together to support the learners. The school welcomes parents and they even have their own space so they can meet each other and offer support. The parents I have spoken to feel that their teachers really know their children and that they care for them. There is a positive vibe around the school and we have happy learners – that is certainly valued by the parents.
What do you think are the greatest challenges young people face today? And the greatest opportunities you feel are open to them?
Young people are faced with a rapidly changing world, we can’t predict what it will look like when our learners leave Nexus, especially the little ones who will leave us in 2032! This is also really exciting as our learners get to create the future. We need to ensure they are equipped with all the transferable skills that mean they can achieve whatever they are passionate about.
Can you share any lessons you’ve learned about communicating and connecting with kids throughout your years in education?
The most important thing is to invest in getting to know them as the unique people they are and give them the time to listen to them. Believe that they can do whatever they aspire to do – because they can. As a mum myself, I see what excites our learners, and they are inspired by the teachers that believe in them.
What do you love most about leading this school?
Nexus is at an exciting point in its development with outstanding teachers really embedded in the Nexus Way. We have a strong reputation in the community and a buzz around the new campus. I love the diversity that this brings to my role. I love meeting new people, supporting them to develop their passion and then watching amazing things happen.
Read more inside stories about Nexus International School:
How city kids can improve their motor skills with Andrea Webb of Nexus International School
A spectacular new campus for Nexus is coming in 2020
Why personalised learning matters at Nexus International School