The POWIIS Project

by André Double

Last Friday, Leading Your International School visited PRINCE OF WALES ISLAND INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, Penang and the School’s Deputy Principal Samuel Hodge FCCT. The visit focused on the incredible work the school has been carrying out about sustainability. Here, is a summary of our visit.

Sustainability is a key school priority and the school’s curriculum, extracurricular and wider stakeholder activities all support this priority.

The school has been on a remarkable journey of developing the importance of oracy. They have some amazing public speakers, storytellers and performers, a lot of which is due to Darren Lim Jen Zen and his work with the World Scholars Cup. Darren was Coach of the Year in 2015.

POWIIS is committed to developing the ‘soft skills’ of its students. According to Sam, when you talk to students, “the awareness of who they are, their strengths and areas of development are phenomenal”. The school has developed 4 committees that help drive forward the work in meeting the SDGs. There are

1.  Humanitarian Wellbeing

2. Sustainable Development

3. Eco Committee, and 

4. Soft Skills

Sustainability is embedded in every facet of the school’s operations, curriculum and culture.

∙ The school currently draws over 30% of their entire electricity demand from solar.
∙ It processes all of its own food waste.
∙ Through its ‘POWIIS Project’ programme the school collects, recycles and repurposes thousands of tonnes of plastic waste each year in what has become a scaled operation.

I talked to one of the Year 9 students responsible for leading and managing the project. He deals with procurement, and resources and even sends invoices to companies. They’ve even received orders from local hotel groups for their recycled coffee coasters.

plastic recycling

“The beauty of what we provide here is a lot of student advocacy”, said Sam. There are 30 school projects available for students to choose from each Friday afternoon. “Each project is linked to a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)” adds Sam. The school production for example is shared back with the local community, who might not otherwise experience such opportunities.

Students are testing their invention-an electric car

The work that POWIIS works within the community supports some of the most deprived communities in Penang, for example, working with groups of local refugees and preparing food banks – all researched and prepared by students.

POWIIS really is a home for the heart.

Leading Your International School extends its warm appreciation to Samuel Hodge and PRINCE OF WALES ISLAND INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL for the time, organisation and sheer effort in making our visit such a vibrant and experiential one.

LYIS is proud to partner with WildChina Education

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