In many top international schools, the Principal goes away on the same school holidays as their academic staff. It is accepted in these schools that foreigners need to return to their home nations during the school holidays. HWA is probably a school that bucks the trend, because the Principal is a local (albeit one who has plenty of international experience) and thus follows a different leave scheme.
The school holidays is a great time for a Principal to catch up on administrative work, and to reflect on many matters of importance to the proper administration of an entity as complex as a school. It has been just two days into the week, but I continue to see prospective students stream in both days for interviews for admission to an inclusive school that prides itself on being the paragon of Chinese culture in Singapore.
Our strength in Chinese culture can be seen in the awards our students get. I attended the awards ceremony of the Inaugural International Chinese Competition (Singapore and Malaysia) last week, organized by the Confucius Centre (a Chinese-government sponsored cultural centre). The school has won the Overall First Prize and a lovely Grade 6 Indonesian student Evelyn went on stage with me to accept the award. Several of our students received personal awards, ranging from Second Prize to Encouragement Prizes. I am so proud of them.
HWA has also started to gain a reputation as the school that turns out students with the academic ability to gain entry into the local school system (one notorious for being difficult to get into, with chances as low as 5% of thousands of applicants vying for a school placement). Two of the students at the ceremony are now studying in local schools, one of them in a top class. I was very glad to hear reports that their time in HWA has prepared them very well and they are happily studying in their new schools.
Our students go through different seasons in their lives. International schools, unlike local schools, have to deal with student turnover. As parents get expatriated and repatriated, as the educational needs and aspirations of the student change over time, we see students come and go. As an international school educator at so many schools for so many years, I am used to this.
As a school and as an educator, I think we have done our job when we can give our students the very best during that season of their life they were here with us.
Till the next time…
在许多顶尖的国际学校，校长会在学校假期时与老师们一样休假。 外教在他乡，需要在学校假期回国是可以理解的。 HWA国际学校是个特例，因为校长是一个本地人（虽然有很多国际经验），因此是遵循不同的休假计划。
对于校长来说学校假期恰恰是一个梳理行政工作的好时机，并且反思、改善对整个学校至关重要的行政工作。 虽然这周才刚刚过去两天，但是我看到许多学生陆陆续续的来参观学校和进行面试，以进入我们这个在新加坡以中华文化特色而出名且独具包容性学校 。
HWA国际学校在中国文化方面的实力，可以在HWA学生最近获得的奖项中体现出来。 几天前，我参加了由新加坡科思达孔子课堂（中国政府赞助的文化中心）组织的第一届国际汉语大赛（新加坡和马来西亚）颁奖仪式。 HWA国际学校赢得了团体一等奖，我们6年级印度尼西亚学生Evelyn和我一起上台领奖。 HWA的其他几位学生分别获得从二等奖到鼓励奖等等个人奖项 。 我为他们取得的成就而感到骄傲。
HWA学校的声望也不断的提升，因为在HWA学习的学生学术能力获得本地政府学校的认可，并有机会进入政府学校就读（众所周知，外国学生的录取几率非常低、只有低于5％的学生可以成功录取）。 颁奖仪式上的其中两名HWA学生已经进入本地政府学校学习，其中一名学生还进入了最好的班级。 我很高兴听到他们提到在HWA学习的时间里为他们打下了坚实的基础，而现在他们可以在新的学校开心的学习。
我们的学生们在生活中经历了各种不同的阶段。 国际学校与本地学校不同，需要面对学生的流动。我们看到学生进进出出，有些学生因为父母工作而外派到其他国家或是回到祖国，有些则是因为学生的教育需求和抱负随着时间的推移而改变。 在国际学校这么多年的工作经历，让我对这些已经习以为常。
Michael Chan 曾俊成
Hillside World Academy