In this series of webinars with parents of OWIS Nanyang students, Mark Renie, Head of School, gave a background about his professional qualifications and interests and laid out his vision for the different grade levels. Watch an excerpt from his webinar for parents of our Primary students. The transcript is below the video.
“I have been in Asia for about 20 years now and have worked and led schools in South Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam and now Singapore. One of my specialities, which was honed in Shanghai, is bilingual education, and it’s something I am very passionate about. So you can be assured of my support for the Chinese-English Bilingual Programme at OWIS. The programmes I developed for bilingual education in my previous stints are now being used across 10 to 15 schools in China.
I also have an interest in teacher training and mentoring. So a part of what I do is ensure that our teachers are supported and have the capacity to deliver outstanding education opportunities to all the children in our school.
Further, I have a specialism in well-being and inclusion. So it is very important to me that we support our children and their social-emotional development, whether that be by teaching them about growth mindset or by embedding mindfulness practices into the curriculum. This is something I want to work towards building at OWIS over the coming years.
I would like to add that I have a special affinity for Primary, because I am a Primary-qualified teacher, and I’ve spent most of my career teaching Grade 1 and 2. But I have also had the opportunity to teach all age groups – from Early Childhood all the way to Grade 12, to whom I taught Theory of Knowledge and I was the Coordinator as well.
Since coming in, I’ve been meeting all our community stakeholders. I meet the teachers every day so I can give them the support they need for them to reach their highest calibre within their subject specialism. I’ve also been to mostly all the classrooms to meet the students (though there are a couple I still need to go to). I’ve talked to students in every class in Primary and have encouraged them to share with me what they want from OWIS.
I firmly believe OWIS has great bones – there are outstanding teachers, a great curriculum, and wonderful students. What we are aiming for now is to be outstanding. So that is what I have been asking students and our community – how can we make OWIS even better than what it is? That is what I have been doing over the past few weeks.
What you will see over the coming months is a decentralisation of how OWIS is structured. It’s very important that Primary has its own leadership team and its own identity. So Mr. Linden and his team will have a greater involvement in implementing their vision for Primary, with support from all of us.”
In his wrap-up, Mr. Renie assured school parents of his accessibility: “I would like to end by saying that this isn’t the only time you will get to chat with me. This is going to be the norm going forward. I want to be transparent and accessible.
I want to thank you for welcoming me to the OWIS community. I am very excited to work with you, the teachers, the leadership team and the children to make sure OWIS is an outstanding school.”