Australian International School Malaysia : Education Through Exploration and Visible Learning
1. Please mention about the school and its mission/vision and various infrastructural facilities.
Australian International School Malaysia (AISM) was founded in the year 2000 and aims to deliver excellent Australian education through exploration and Visible Learning, ensuring every student reaches their potential and excels in their chosen academic pathway.
Our purpose is to educate the youth of the world to take their place as leaders in the global community. Our mission is to be the best Australian International School in the world through Visible Learning and delivering a Holistic education.
Our school is well-equipped with modern and flexible learning spaces for 21st-century learning including interactive whiteboards, iPads, and the latest teaching technology. We also have a Design & Technology workshop which houses a computer design suite with high-level resources and technologies. Our Careers and Senior Study centre enables senior students to study collaboratively or work independently. There is great emphasis on AISM’s Performing Arts centre which consists of purpose-designed rooms for dance, drama, and music, including a black box theatre as Creative and Performing Arts is a significant part of the Australian Curriculum and the culture at AISM.
2. Kindly mention about the prominent personality of the school and his/her role in the development of the school.
In 2007, AISM secured its future by becoming a part of the Taylor’s Education Group. Taylor’s illustrious heritage has cemented AISM’s reputation as one of the most prestigious education institutions in Malaysia. What sets our school apart from other private international schools is that Taylor’s Schools has expertise in every aspect of education from managing to acquiring, branding, rebranding, and growing schools, as well as constructing new facilities on its campuses to accommodate changing needs and educational developments.
Their expertise has guided the school in developing a 21st-century campus. One notable development is the construction of our new Junior School building. In addition to this, with their guidance, AISM was accredited as the World’s First Visible Learning School.
3. Kindly describe about the various courses offered by the school and their salient features.
Visible Learning is an evidence-based approach to teaching and learning developed by Professor John Hattie of the University of Melbourne, based on the largest aggregation of meta-research ever in education.
The learning for Pre-schoolers in AISM’s Early Learning Centre is both meaningful and fun, using a combination of the Australian Early Years Learning Framework (AEYLF) and the Reggio Emilia philosophy. Play-based explorations ensure that children can make real-life connections with their learning.
Junior Students are taught to love learning through Inquiry learning based on strong skill acquisition and high academic rigour. The Australian curriculum is based on a strong numeracy and literacy program that complements key subjects of Science, History, and Geography. Students then have specialist changes for PDHPE, the Arts, and Languages. Technology is a key focus in a 1-to-1 iPad program and the development of strong problem-solving skills.
Middle and Senior Students are coached to research and analyse information and use critical and creative thinking skills as a basis of their learning. Senior Students are prepared for further specialisation in the Higher School Certificate, which is equivalent to the A-Levels or IB Diploma, and able to be used across the world for University entrance. Apart from the core subjects such as English, Science, Languages, and Performing Arts, AISM also offers Accelerated Mathematics and Mandarin from Year 6 onwards for our Gifted and Talented students. Our students also study a mandatory Technology program as part of their STEM education at AISM, working with Design, Plant, Food and Information & Communication Technologies. Instead of merely focusing on Physical Education (PE), the Australian curriculum offers Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE). PDHPE develops the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes important for students in terms of their own and others’ health, safety and wellbeing.
At AISM, students can complete up to 13 years of compulsory schooling, which culminates in the internationally recognised New South Wales Higher School Certificate (HSC) with the 50% internal assessment and 50% external examination approach. The HSC is an internationally recognised qualification that has enabled our students to apply to universities RIGHT ACROSS the world!
4. Please mention what steps are you taking beyond the traditional curriculum to ensure overall development of the students?
Outdoor education and excursions, or field trips, are an important part of the Australian curriculum. In Junior School, each class attends a minimum of one excursion per term that directly links to an area of study to bring the learning alive. Our students have visited various locations in Malaysia including the beach area of Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, and Lumut, Perak, to small towns in Melaka and Seremban. The focus of Middle and Senior School camps is dependent on the year level and is an integral part of the curriculum and wellbeing program. Our older students not only visit locations within Malaysia but also have trips to different parts of Australia such as Sydney and Western Australia.
Our approach to student wellbeing is based on the School’s RECIPE values. We have enhanced this program through our Mindfulness program which is based on the Smiling Minds Program and a growth mindset. Our school offers over 70 co-curricular activities designed to help our students explore their potential, their passions and explore new adventures as well as to coach them for academic, sporting, or performing arts excellence.
5. What steps does the school take to motivate and develop the students’ interest towards education?
AISM embeds the Visible Learning philosophy of students’ agency over their learning. Learners are taught skills and concepts and then given opportunities to engage in broader aspects of the topic, they follow their passions and problem solve – real problems. Throughout their learning between Junior and Middle Senior School, students are encouraged to connect to real-life situations and are further supported by numerous leadership opportunities to build on their skills to make a difference in the world. The AISM community of students, staff, and parents cultivates a positive vibe in students learning and an environment conducive to students’ love of learning.
6. How are you providing financial assistance to the students in need?
We offer full scholarships to Malaysian citizens who will enter Year 11 and continue to Year 12 at which time they will complete the Higher School Certificate. This scholarship covers 100% of the cost of discount of Admissions Fee and Tuition Fees for the entire duration of schooling at AISM from year of entry.
7. Other than traditional occupations, what other career field options are available for them?
There is no doubt that the types of careers our young people will have in the future will be very different from those of their parents. It is very possible that the types of jobs they will do in 10 or 15 years time may not even have been invented yet. Traditional occupations are in a state of flux as automation and information technology bring significant disruption to the workplace. In this fluid and unpredictable future, it is essential that students are equipped with the skills to succeed and an Australian education is ideally suited to prepare our young people for careers in the 21st century. Employers are increasingly looking for workers who are flexible and creative with strong communication skills and an ability to collaborate easily with others.
We are fortunate at AISM to offer our senior students the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC) as their pre-university qualification. HSC offers students the opportunity to study more subjects than most other education systems. This means that students can continue to hone their broad skill-set into their final years of school. English is a mandatory part of the HSC, ensuring that our students can express themselves with confidence at a sophisticated level. The HSC also offers opportunities for students to take specialist subjects such as Legal Studies or Software Design Development (SDD) providing pathways to specific university courses. The HSC is recognised and respected in universities around the world, providing students with an excellent launching pad for higher education.
8. Please enlighten us about the school’s major awards/achievements, its accomplished/renowned alumni, remarkable collaborations, and major accreditations.
Our accreditations from regional and international organisations demonstrate our dedication to a culture of excellence. We are assessed regularly for educational performance, to ensure that our rigorous curriculum meets the needs of our students as well as international standards.
AISM is the first certified institution in the world using the Visible Learning approach for its teachers and students, alongside the Australian curriculum.
Other notable AISM accreditations and memberships include five-star excellence by the Ministry of Education (MoE), Council of International Schools (CIS), New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA), and membership of the Australian International Schools Association (AISA).
9. Kindly elaborate about the future plans of the school in the same.
In the next few years, we will be looking to establish partnerships with key organisations to help develop our students further. We plan to develop weekly community sports opportunities and develop alternative pathways so students can build on their sense of belonging to a community that helps them thrive and achieve their goals.
We will use the uniqueness of the Australian curriculum to prepare young learners to be future well-rounded global citizens and create a direct pathway to Australian universities for students to further their studies.