Creating the World's Future Innovators

By 2020-06-08 11:25:42

The British International School Shanghai, Puxi Explains How a STEAM-Based Education Can Create Passionate, Innovative Learners

As the world advances in technology and ways of working, innovation has never been more important. Unable to predict what the world will look like, what jobs will exist or challenges future generations will face, innovative thinking will be key in meeting the needs of a global society. Encompassing Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths, a STEAM-based education can help prepare students for those challenges, and The British International School Shanghai, Puxi (BISS Puxi) demonstrates how best to achieve this.

Student-Centred Learning

With students at the heart of their approach, BISS Puxi’s youngest students are encouraged to explore their natural curiosity. Mr Andrew Lancaster, Principal of BISS Puxi highlights, ‘We are born innovators’. With a multi-faceted approach including traditional academic subjects, STEAM, the Arts, their Global Campus, and Sports, students are encouraged to explore their own pathways. By applying a student-centred approach to learning, BISS Puxi encourages its learners to pursue their passions and be the best that they can be.

Dynamic Curriculum
Embedded throughout the whole school, BISS Puxi provides a comprehensive STEAM curriculum, created in partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) whereby students can explore their ideas and test theories through projects set in real-life contexts. From designing cars that combat pollution to programming games students are encouraged to task risks, make mistakes, experiment and be creative.

BISS Puxi’s STEAM programme supports core elements of internationally recognised curricula including the English National Curriculum, IGCSE, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge English and HSK. With 60% of all grades achieving A* & A at IGCSE for the past 4 years, and one-third of IB graduates scoring above 40 points (World Average: 29.8), BISS Puxi students have proven academic success. Balancing academic rigour with a STEAM learning methodology, students develop a variety of skills that not only prepare them for the challenges of the future, but also for entrance to the world’s top universities.

Inspiring Learning Environments
In 2017, BISS Puxi invested over two million dollars in opening two state-of-the-art centres dedicated to STEAM education, purposely built with students in mind. At the heart of the primary and secondary school, they inspire a new generation of innovators where students’ ideas become reality. The primary school’s ‘Da Vinci Centre’ provides a unique space for creative thinking for students in Year 1 to Year 6. Featuring a robotics lab, Lego lab, presentation spaces, animation and graphics facilities, science lab, maker-space and green screen TV studio, there is ample opportunity for collaborative thinking. A landmark provision for STEAM education, the Da Vinci Centre supports students to form hypotheses, test ideas, create prototypes, investigate theories and produce solutions to real-world problems.

‘The Hamilton Centre’ caters for secondary students in Year 7 to Year 13, and was named after Margaret Hamilton - an MIT graduate and pioneering Apollo engineer for NASA who invented the term ‘software engineering’. Fighting stereotypes in an era when women seldom entered the sciences, the Hamilton name inspires BISS Puxi students to achieve beyond expectations. Set over two floors, students develop their ideas in the robotics lab, microelectronic design space, and fabrication lab or ‘FabLab’ while the centre’s media studio and fully operational TV studio encourage their creativity. Mr Lancaster explains that these spaces are ‘redolent of the great creative design hubs that our entrepreneurial students may work at, such as Google or Apple’. An inspiring space for students and teachers alike, the centres aid in keeping those who use them on the leading edge of STEAM education.

Learning Beyond the Classroom

Experiencing the STEAM philosophy, students have become integral to learning beyond the classroom. Alex, a Year 13 student at BISS Puxi, was the driving force behind ‘Drone Club’. Applying innovation, creativity and academic skills, Alex and friends drafted proposals and pitches for financial support to get their club started. Developing transferable skills of communication and collaboration, Alex explains ‘I believe this whole experience has helped me to see the value of team members’. Promoting the idea of encouraging its learners to fulfil their potential both in and outside of the classroom, BISS Puxi students have also taken part in a variety of competitions, such as The Nord-Anglia STEAM festival which welcomed them over 100 students from around the world to come and work together at the United States’ MIT campus.

Quality Teaching
Ensuring the curriculum and learning environments inspire a future generation of innovators, high-quality teachers help bring STEAM to life for each student. As part of the Nord Anglia Education group, BISS Puxi benefits from the support and partnership of 66 schools worldwide and its global partners Julliard, UNICEF in addition to MIT. Attending regular trainings with MIT, teachers learn from renowned academics in engineering and science to ensure that the interests, passions and wellbeing of students remain at the core of what they do. As Mr Lancaster advocates, ‘Teaching innovation and creativity is not just for STEAM teachers, it’s for all teachers’.

As society, innovation and education change at an unprecedented rate, so does the way children learn. At BISS Puxi, students are not given the answers, but encouraged to “Be Ambitious” and to find innovative, creative methods to discover the answers for our world’s future challenges.

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To know more about how a BISS Puxi education can help your child discover their potential, contact the admissions via one of the below details.
Tel.: 021 6221 7542