The Raffles Christian Group of Schools (RCGS) provides a world class and Christian learning environment that nurtures Rafflesians to become active, lifelong learners and influential leaders of sterling character. NOW! Jakarta spoke to Dr. Daniel Low, Dean Raffles Christian School Pondok Indah about the school’s education philosophies.
What are the hallmarks of a Raffles Education?
In Raffles, students undergo a journey to become active and life-long learners and influential leaders of character. School leaders and teaching staff foster students curiosity, empower students with independent learning skills, and build students sense of responsibility towards the immediate and global environment through a variety of teaching-learning strategies on a day-to-day basis (e.g. Marzano’s Thinking Skills and Self-Directed Learning) as well as various programs infused within the curriculum (e.g. Daily 5, STEM, Character Building Camp, Overseas Winter and Summer Camps in China, and etc)
Who is your ideal student?
Each student is unique, bringing her/his unique circumstances, proclivities, and character into the school community. Thus the terminology ‘ideal student’ is a misnomer. In Raffles, we value the unique qualities of each student and seek to develop each based on these qualities in tandem with being active and life-long learners and influential character.
What are some of the values and core principles of the Raffles Christian School?
Raffles Christian School holds to 5 values: Compassionate, Honest, Reverent, Involved, Serving, and Tenacious. The core principles include God-fearing, engaged, innovative, reflective, curious, passionate, self-disciplined, serving, nurturing, and being a good role-model.
What is your philosophy of education?
With the 21st century world being integrated at multiple levels and progressing at phenomenal speed, yet marred by increasing divisiveness and tensions in the social, political, religious, and economic arenas, my teachers face unprecedented challenges of uncertainty, volatility, and complexity as they seek to bring the best out of every child.
My philosophy of education can be surmised as “Enabling Learning, Cultivating Community, and Appreciating Diversity”, seeks to empower teachers with skills so that they can in turn empower their students to negotiate these challenges with confidence.
How do you help shape the future of your students?
Together with my teachers, we seek to (a) listen to the students’ aspirations-dreams; (b) provide them with the tools to analyse their strengths (e.g. via Gallup Strengths) and interests; (c) engage them in various experiences throughout their years in Raffles to foster curiosity, empowerment, and responsibility; and (d) build in intervention strategies to support them in academics and well-being.
Please tell us about the curriculum followed and how do you go about ensuring that students perform their best academically?
Raffles uses the Cambridge Curriculum. The school ensures that students do their best in the academic subjects through a variety of approaches: (a) selecting qualified teachers who care for students, are content-experts, and demonstrate strong pedagogy; (b) ensuring students have sufficient practice through homework; and (c) engaging students during class through a variety of approaches and resources.
What are some of the programmes that support students’ curricular/scholastic activities?
Response: Our programmes include: (a) curriculum-lessons that incorporate Marzano’s Thinking Skills with an eye towards Self-Directed learning, (b) curriculum-lessons where STEM skills are explored through inter-disciplinary teaching and learning, (c) 1-1 technology for Primary 5 through Junior College to engage with online resources and e-texts.
What are some of the universities students go on to study in after life at Raffles?
Renowned universities around the world, for example University of British Columbia, Imperial College London, Stanford University, University of Toronto, University of Melbourne, Penn State, Hong Kong University, Waseda University, UC Berkeley, etc.
This article is originally from paper. Read NOW!Jakarta Magazine May 2019 issue “Kids, Family, and Education”. Available at selected bookstore or SUBSCRIBE here.