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Sibu’s first international school opens in April next year

by Raymond Tan, reporters@theborneopost.com. Posted on November 12, 2012, Monday

A VISIONARY PLAN: The campus of Woodlands International School is near completion.

SIBU: Woodlands International School, the first international school here, will open its doors on April 1 next year.

This nearly-completed 66-classroom campus sits on a five-acre plot next to Laila Taib College at the junction of Teku and Wawasan Roads.

The school’s spokeswoman told a press conference on Saturday that the school came about from the local’s taste for fine education and the aspiration of the government to turn Sibu into an education hub.

“Under Pine Harvest Sdn Bhd, the aspiration is advancing, and Woodlands International School will be a dream come true for children in the region.”

It would boast an IT suite stacked with computers, a library, a multi-purpose hall, a gymnasium, drama teaching rooms, language, music, art and science laboratories, an audio-visual room, counselling facilities, tennis, basketball, volleyball and netball courts, two swimming pools, a pool for kindergarten children, a kitchen and a dining hall.

The spokeswoman said apart from highly-qualified teachers, all kindergarten and lower primary classes would have full time teacher assistants too.

She said all senior management staff and teachers were hired from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and the UK, with locals hand-picked to ensure they would contribute to the school’s philosophy that “not everyone can be the best, but we can all do our best.”

“Woodlands is designed for 1,600 students, progressing eventually from kindergarten (for those three years old) to A Level (19 years old).

“The emphasis will be on the delivery of a well-rounded and holistic education at all levels. Class size will be limited to a maximum of 25 students.”

Accredited by Cambridge, she said the school would offer the internationally recognised gold standard Cambridge International Curriculum at both primary and secondary levels, adding it would also include the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) in kindergarten and primary classes.

“While lessons will be taught in English, students will also be learning Mandarin, Bahasa Malaysia, PE, music, drama and rich co-curricular activity programmes.”

She added that the standard of the facilities and resources would set a new benchmark of excellence in the region.

“All teaching areas will be air-conditioned, with each classroom having computers, printers, projectors and interactive white boards.”

She said there would be annual budgets for classroom and teaching resources and access to high quality professional development for teachers.

As parents were vital partners in children’s education, she said they would place a premium on effective and regular communication with them through daily student diaries, weekly newsletters, pastoral care reports, twice-per-annum formal progress and achievement reports, parent-teacher interviews, Parent Support Group meetings, and special information meetings with parents.

“We believe every student can be motivated to achieve their potential. Learning tasks for them will be active, engaging, relevant, interesting and challenging.”

She said children would be supported to develop enquiry, adaptability, cooperation, tolerance, mutual respect and resilience, adding they must also have opportunities to learn through asking, researching and presenting evidence of their learning in interesting ways.

“We want students to think independently and voice their opinions, but with respect and tolerance for others’ opinions.”

She said a premium would be placed on acknowledging and celebrating every child’s progress and contribution to the school community.

“Our ultimate goal is to produce confident, articulate, self-directed, independent life-long learners.”

She said they would be pleased to meet interested parents on an individual or small group basis to answer all enquiries.

As places at the school will be limited for the first intake,  parents should register their children early.

All enquiries can be made to woodlandsinternational@yahoo.com or call 016-8661655 or 017-4020800.

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