Learnings from Top Schools

It’s been an absolute delight and privilege to have been able to visit top schools in Singapore and the UK recently. Here’s a brief summary of findings –

United World College, Atlantic College, UK

“Now, class, your homework is to develop a new type of speed boat that will revolutionise life-saving and boat design.”

Originally intended to overcome the hostility of the Cold War by bringing young people from different nations together, United World Colleges pursue the goals of peace and sustainability. The movement now has 16 Colleges worldwide, many of which are regarded as amongst the best in the world. Founded in Wales in 1962, Atlantic College was the first of the United World Colleges and was amongst the first educational institutions in the world to follow an international curriculum. The College places student participation in community service at its core, so much so that until recently it ran its own RNLI lifeboat station.

UWC AC is home to a fabulous example of Invention Based Learning. Students and teachers there were responsible for the invention of the RIB – Rigid Inflatable Boat – used widely across the world as rescue craft, safety boats, dive boats or tenders.


An Atlantic Class RIB RNLI inshore rescue lifeboat, following a design first conceived at Atlantic College.

An early prospectus of the College includes the following – ‘nothing convinces as much as does the saving of life that the common humanity of men is more important than race or colour…’

Reference http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/mobile/uk-wales-south-east-wales-13377377

United World College, South East Asia, Singapore

The second United World College was UWC SEA in Singapore. This is one of the biggest international schools in the world with nearly 5,000 students from 76 countries, the school recently won a major environmental award and has a 10KW solar array – part of one the world’s largest solar-powered air-conditioning system.

UWC SEA won ‘School of the Year’ 2013 in the 21st Century Learning International Awards for their work with technology – https://www.uwcsea.edu.sg/Learning/Technology

Tanglin Trust School, Singapore

Tanglin Trust School is an international school which provides British-based learning. In its last four inspections Tanglin Trust School was awarded ‘Outstanding’, the highest possible grade within the British Schools Overseas (BSO) framework, recognised by Ofsted.

Singapore American School

With 3,900 students from 50 countries SAS is the largest single campus school in the world. Their vision is to be a world leader in education by cultivating exceptional thinkers who are prepared for the future. The school places high emphasis on technology with IT embedded across the curriculum and great use of drones, robotics and digital making.

Canadian International School, Singapore

A wonderful school that understands the value of coding, digital making, and robotics to boost STE(A)M results, CIS has made significant investments in Maker Spaces, equipment and materials. From cardboard engineering to 3d printing, technology is deeply embedded right across the curriculum at the Canadian International School.

Crescent Girls School, Singapore

It was great to return to Crescent after the launch of ‘Schooling at the Speed of Thought’ 3 years ago. Crescent has been a leading public school in Singapore for many years in terms of technology use, and is profiled in this blog article – http://edutechassociates.net/2011/08/15/putting-the-i-into-singapore-schooling/

Bristol Technology and Engineering Academy

This school is part of the University Technical Colleges movement in the UK. Publically funded, but deeply embedded into local academia and business, these schools offer students multiple pathways forward – academic, vocational studies and employment. The Bristol Technology and Engineering Academy is supported by University of Western England, and has working links with world class companies such as Rolls Royce, Airbus and GKN.


Whilst not strictly a school, another wonderful place of learning is @Bristol. This Science learning centre has excellent displays covering Biology, Physics and Chemistry, and a large animation lab set up by Aardman Studios, the Bristol-based creators of Wallace and Gromit.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.