Levelling-Up International School Leadership: Insights from Alice Smith International School Kuala Lumpur

We are thrilled to share with you some exciting news about our recent visit to Alice Smith International School in Kuala Lumpur! As part of our ongoing mission to level-up international school leadership, we embarked on this journey to learn from one of the leading institutions in the region and gain some insights that will help us inspire a better world through education.

Courageous Exploration

Alice Smith International School holds a strong purpose to ‘spark courageous exploration to inspire a better world’. Their commitment to this purpose is evident in every aspect of their educational philosophy, programmes and student initiatives. During our visit, we had the privilege of experiencing first-hand how they embed purpose-driven practices.

We were warmly welcomed by the school leadership team, and Sian May – Head of School at Alice Smith International School, who generously shared her leadership expertise and experiences with us. Through a series of engaging discussions, we delved into the various aspects of leadership and learning at Alice Smith. It was truly a transformative experience that left us inspired in our efforts to level-up international school leadership. During the interview with Sian, she emphasised the significance of fostering a culture of trust and collaboration between students, teachers, and parents to create an environment conducive to student agency.

High executive function, empathy, and strong leadership skills were also identified as crucial competencies for modern international school principals. Sian highlighted that “international school leaders must be comfortable with switching between different modes, be adaptable to new challenges and opportunities, as cognitive flexibility is important in today’s rapidly changing world.” 

Sian highlights the significance of being part of a community and the need for principals to become an integral part of the school culture, while maintaining consistency and customisation to meet the diverse needs of students and stakeholders.

One of the key highlights of our visit was the emphasis on student agency. Alice Smith International School strongly believes in empowering students to take ownership of their learning journey. By providing them with opportunities for self-direction, critical thinking, and problem-solving, they are attempting to nurture the leaders of tomorrow. Our team was impressed by the innovative approaches they employ to encourage student voice and choice, enabling learners to explore their passions and make a positive impact on the world around them.

Furthermore, Alice Smith’s commitment to holistic education and learning-centred approach was evident in their comprehensive extracurricular programs, which encompass a wide range of sports, arts, and community service activities. Their dedication to fostering well-rounded individuals was truly commendable and may serve as a model for other international schools.

As we reflect on our visit to Alice Smith International School, we are reminded of the

transformative power of education and the importance of courageous exploration. Their

exemplary practices have reaffirmed our commitment to our mission of levelling-up

international school leadership and inspiring a better world.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the entire Alice Smith community for

their warm hospitality and for generously sharing their insights and experiences with us.

We are excited to continue building on the knowledge gained during our visit. Keep

following closely as we visit GEMS International School, Penang, next. If you are an

international school in Malaysia or Singapore and would like to invite us to talk about

international schools and their leadership, we’d love to hear from you!

Contact us: leadingyourinternationalschool@gmail.com

One thought on “Levelling-Up International School Leadership: Insights from Alice Smith International School Kuala Lumpur

  1. Thank you to Sian and the the team at Alice Smith for welcoming Jane with such warm and open arms. It is great to hear how student agency is moving forward and more responsibility is clearly be given to learners for their learning journey. We look forward to returning again in the near future and seeing where this journey goes.

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