Westlake International School: Transforming Minds and Lives Through Excellence
1. Please mention about the school and its mission/vision and various infrastructural facilities.
Vision: Westlake International School’s vision is to transform minds and change lives in the pursuit of excellence as a responsive, relational and reflective school
Our mission is to provide the B.E.S.T education experience through:
· Boarding that develops independence, integrity and emotional intelligence
· Excellent and holistic Education
· Sports that builds determination discipline
· Recognising and nurturing Talents
20 acre integrated school with on-campus boarding facilities with full security that provides a safe and secure environment.
Boarding facilities: Single room air-conditioned room with attached bathroom, spacious chill-out area, boarding sickbay.
School Facilities: Multi-Purpose Hall (MPH), auditorium, courtyard, cafeteria
Academic Facilities: science laboratory, 2-story library
Fine Arts Centre: Dance room, music room and symphony room
Sports Facilities: 3 sports field, courtyard, swimming pool, 3 basketball court, 2 tennis court, gym
2. Kindly mention about the prominent personality of the school and his/her role in the development of the school.
Mr Hew Fen Yee, Founder and Executive Director
Mr Hew is a civil engineer by profession and is the managing director of the Huges Group which is involved in property development. He upholds the belief of old saying: “Train a child in the way he should go; when he is old he will not turn from it”. He hopes Westlake International School will be recognised not only for academic excellence but also for the positive impact it has on the lives of its students.
Ms Hew Fee Voon, Founder and CEO
Having been educated abroad since the age of 10, Ms Hew knows the importance that parents’ place on quality wholesome education. She was trained as a chartered accountant in the UK and spent 5 years in the corporate finance sector, before joining the family business. Now a mother of 3 kids, she is excited that she can contribute towards the education of not only her kids but the community as a whole. She hopes that Westlake International School can contribute to impact lives and prepare students to be a positive influence on their country.
3. Kindly describe about the various courses offered by the school and their salient features.
Westlake International School (WIS) is an affordable British curriculum school with purpose-built boarding facilities located in Kampar, Perak. Students here are nurtured to their fullest potential through the B.E.S.T. (Boarding, Education, Sports, Talents) experience. The anchor of teaching at Westlake International School is based on 21st Century Learning. Student outcomes are defined in terms of skills, knowledge and expertise needed to succeed in the work and life in the 21st Century. Our focus for the classroom is to develop the 4C’s of 21st Century Learning; Creativity, Collaboration, Communication and Critical Thinking.
Breakdown by Key Stages:
Key Stage 1 (Early Years, Year 1, Year 2): The focus in KS1 is to provide students with rich and authentic learning experience through a rigorous curriculum. It is an approach that allows students to be actively engaged in learning while developing fundamental personal social skills and environmental awareness.
Key Stage 2 (Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6): Learning in KS2 expands with subjects that allow students to try out their ideas and learn by experience. There is a consistent focus in the classroom on sharing ideas, communicating confidently and collaborating in teams. Students are provided with a range of active, challenging and engaging learning opportunities that allow them to develop the core traits of a Cambridge learner.
Key Stage 3 (Year 7, Year 8, Year 9): In secondary school, a broad and balanced curriculum provides the basis to develop a range of essential critical thinking skills, knowledge of key concepts and an aptitude for continuous learning. Students are challenged to investigate and respond to complex questions, problems and themes through Problem Based Learning tasks. There is an increasing focus on social-emotional wellness and decision making skills to develop resilience when meeting new challenges.
Key Stage 4 (Year 10, Year 11): In KS4, the focus pivots to preparation for IGCSE examination. High expectations and the pursuit of excellence underpin our approach to learning at this level. The curriculum at KS4 prepares our students to be critical, creative and independent thinkers. Students are supported in these crucial years through tailored learning plans and targeted intervention.
A Level Programme
The Westlake A Level Programme is specialised and focused on STEM curriculum. Our range of A Level subjects provides the opportunity for our students to select the best fit according to their own abilities and admission into the top universities of their choice.
Foundation in English Programme
We have established a Foundation in English programme to help students with poor command in English improve their English before they integrate into the main school. This programme improves the students’ reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar and vocabulary. In every lesson, there are clear objectives that contribute to overall progress. Teachers will provide
feedback and guidance to help the students to be more confident and fluent when communicating in English.
Apart of our Co-Curriculum Activities (CCA) programme we also run Extra Curricular Activities (ECA) programme whereby external coaches come in to teach lessons. Students are offered classes such as ballet, Wing Chun, Taekwondo, piano, violin, drum, and swimming.
4. Please mention what steps are you taking beyond the traditional curriculum to ensure overall development of the students?
Students are given the appropriate care needed for them to fully utilize every potential.
One of the ways we do it is through Character and Career Coaching (CCC). The CCC is purposeful in its design to help students develop interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, explore their passions and build critical life skills. It provides the basis of personal growth and development to ensure a holistic, balanced educational experience.
Through the CCC, the cream of the crop are then chosen to be in the High Achievers Programme prepares Year 10 students by supporting them with regards to scholarship applications and admission to top universities. The programme is designed around AESE; Academic, Extra Curricular, Super Curricular and Enrichment. It aims to assist students to create a balanced portfolio of academic excellence that reflects their interests. Scholarships such as the OIC scholarship programme and Leap internship programme gives our students a better insight on preparing to enter top universities and to work in their preferred industry.
Boarding in Westlake is one of the key elements for students’ development as with the right guidance, students are allowed to pick up life skills that prepare them to be an independent individual. Students have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities as their after school programme rather than spending their time on gadgets. The school also provides academic coaching, assertive mentoring, progress meeting with academic heads, sports and talents skills are part of our boarding framework.
The Duke of Edinburgh programme exposes the students to the global awareness of the value of non-educational skills such as resilience, problem-solving, improving self-esteem, building confidence and many more.
Education in WIS is centred to drive excellence, as well as knowledge and skills that are needed in the 21 Century. Our core subjects are English, Mathematics and the Sciences. Each subject is tackled with a different approach such as using phonics and authentic texts are used to build knowledge of the English language.
The early years in primary education are crucial as the students are nurtured and given the right guidance for progressive development. Understanding that each student learns and copes differently, we use the 9 Problem Solving Strategies for Mathematics such as look for important words in the question, look for a pattern, use a table or chart and so on. Many of our students are able to participate in international Olympiads such as the ICAS Mathematics, and Kangaroo Math Competition.
Meanwhile, we use the Inquiry-based Learning approach for the sciences as we want the students to get hands-on experience. Inquiry-based learning adopts an investigative approach to teaching and learning where the students are provided with opportunities to investigate a problem, search for possible solutions, make observations, ask questions, test out ideas, think creatively and use their intuition.
WIS invests heavily in its sports programme as a commitment to a balanced education that teaches perseverance, teamwork and confidence. We have weekly House Sports Rotation with 20 different sports. With the Talent ID and Development programme, each student are given the chance to exhibit their potential and skills that can further be developed with the right guidance.
WIS recognizes that all students have different Talents. It is crucial to foster an environment where they can explore and develop their talents fully.
5. What steps does the school take to motivate and develop the students’ interest towards education?
Here at Westlake, we designed a boarding framework that ensures the wellbeing of our students with a holistic approach of balancing between academic and extracurricular activities through programmes such as assertive mentoring, academic coaching, life skills, character development and sports coaching.
The Cambridge Global Perspectives curriculum provides the foundation of our Humanities programme as it gives the students the opportunity to develop transferable skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, research, communication and collaboration that they need to be successful at school, in university and their future careers. These innovative and stimulating skills-based programmes place academic study in a practical, real-world context.
Students work together to solve real-world problems through active inquiry-based learning. This exposes them to develop problem-solving skills, whilst developing creative and critical thinking which is aligned with 21st Century learning. We have also integrated STEM learning journeys into our curriculum which provides the students with the opportunity to link classroom learning with scientific concepts. Numerous studies have shown that learning outside the classroom has significantly increased factual knowledge and conceptual understanding.
Our A Level students are provided with professional mentoring, internship programme, and Morrisby career profiling to strengthen their portfolio. As a part of the career guidance programme, CAT4 is integrated whereby a student’s cognitive ability is tested to assess their ability in verbal, non-verbal, quantitative and spatial reasoning. Moreover, Morissby professional partnership provides students with interactive career and planning tools to help the students with what is best suited for them to achieve their goals.
6. How are you providing financial assistance to the students in need?
In Westlake, scholarships are provided based on the academic results and students’ participation in extracurricular activities. Scholarships that are available at Westlake are the Tan Sri Hew Excellence Scholarship, Governors Scholarship and Westlake Talent Scholarship.
7. What are the career opportunities available to the students after completion of their courses?
Westlake has university placement over track record. Our students are at world-renowned universities such as Nanyang Technological University (NTU), University of Birmingham, University of Manchester, National University of Singapore (NUS), Yale University, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Dalhousie University and many more. Our students have broad career opportunities and able to secure jobs in big companies having to enter top universities.
8. Please enlighten us about the school’s major awards/achievements, its accomplished/renowned alumni, remarkable collaborations, and major accreditations.
We are awarded 5 stars by SKIPS Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia. In 2019, Westlake International School was the only international school in Perak to receive ‘Top in the World’ in the Cambridge Outstanding Learner Awards for Mathematics.
In June 2020, our students made us proud by putting us first in Malaysia among the 10 schools that were competing in the Education Perfect (EP) Humanities; our student achieved an excellent result and obtained the top Elite Award. In the EP Science Championship series, our students gained Emerald, silver and merit awards. The LEO club of WIS made us proud by receiving outstanding and merit awards organized by Lions Club International in district level.
Our major collaboration with tertiary institutions Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) and Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) provides an opportunity for our secondary and A Level students to engage in scientific research in world-class laboratories. Students experience simulations under a controlled environment with the guidance of field expert. They are given the opportunity to do an internship with these universities. This enables students to have increased self-esteem and become more engaged in education. Our students’ achievements have placed Westlake among the top schools in Perak and Malaysia with their strong track records of IGCSE and A Level results.
9. Kindly elaborate about the future plans of the school in the same.
As a premier boarding school, WIS delivers excellence in education at an affordable price. Our founder and CEO of Westlake International School, Ms. Hew Fee Voon is set to transform the school to be the best boarding school in Malaysia where boarders get to join our academic coaching programme and embark on a range of extracurricular activities that are relevant to enter top tier universities in the UK, US and other countries.
With the UTAR hospital being ready in a few years’ time, there will be an influx of medical professional and their families. WIS will be the top choice for their children’s education because of its excellence in holistic and wholesome education. With a strong foundation, she is confident that the school will grow strength to strength and WIS will continue to produce students who are confident, competent, compassionate and responsible global citizens.