The Federation of British International Schools in Asia.

Recent CPD Activity

FOBISSEA AEN JAWS at Dulwich College Beijing March 8-9th 2013


The theme of the event hosted by Dulwich College Beijing in March was ‘Creating Collaboration’ – an important theme for professionals working under the AEN umbrella in EAL, SEN or Gifted and Talented provision. Sessions were facilitated by host staff, as well as by participants, and included:

·         21st Century Teaching and Learning – supporting your learners with technology

·         Tools for Assessment – tools, tests and assessments explained

·         CPD for specialists – what works well?

·         Plus or Fuss – working with parents

·         Horizontal phase groups – SEN/EAL/G+T working together in a phase

·         Vertical phase groups – Specialist EAL or SEN/G+T working together



Thirty seven participants attended from a variety of schools: Garden IS KL, IS Brunei, Harrow Bangkok, Taipei European School, British School of Manila, Dulwich College Shanghai and the British School of Beijing. All participants were engaged in lively discussion over the course of the two days, and in keeping with the JAWS philosophy, there were many opportunities for sharing best practice and making connections.



Thanks must go to the AEN department with support from Nina Zhou and the ICT Help desk at Dulwich College Beijing for organising the event. Thanks also to the participants who were so involved and open to sharing. Resources will continue to be shared via edmodo.


English as an Additial Language JAWS - Shrewsbury International School, Bangkok

Shrewsbury International School, Bangkok hosted the 2013 FOBISSEA EAL Conference and JAWS in March 2013. Delegates from as far afield as Kathmandu, Ho Chi Minh City, Beijing and Jakarta gathered for a two-day conference to share good practice, establish networks among colleagues, and discuss developments in the field of English language learning.The quality of the presentations and discussions was excellent and really served to reinforce the professionalism and dedication of EAL specialists in the region.


The importance of strong EAL provision in our schools goes without saying. However, the conference was a reminder of how collaboration across the Federation, among staff with similar responsibilities, is critical to driving practice forward and helping to ensure that it is informed by the best principles and the strongest evidence.

During the conference, organised by Shrewsbury’s Director of EAL Hamish Chalmers, delegates looked at four themes: Assessment of Language, Support Models, Strategies to Support Language Learning, and Outreach. Delegates shared ways in which they plan, teach and monitor English development in their schools, revealing a robust attitude to co-planning and co-teaching and contextualised learning.

Many colleagues described clearly the establishment of content and language integration and explicit language learning as a fundamental part of mainstream teaching in their schools - rather than the increasingly outdated model of pull-out classes which teach ESL as a distinct discipline.

While delegates agreed that there is always more to be done and challenges to be met it was reassuring to know that FOBISSEA schools are moving in the right direction as they seek to help their students achieve their potential as competent and confident users of English.

In sharing the expertise present at the conference we continue to support each other very effectively in that endeavour.

Primary Creative Curriculum JAWS - St Christopher's International Primary School, Penang


St. Christopher’s International Primary School, Penang, was proud to host fourteen visiting teachers from 9 different schools and organisations at the recent Creative Curriculum Job Alike Workshop (JAWS), held on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th October 2012.


Day 1 offered opportunities for everyone to see how St. Christopher’s uses the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) as a vehicle to deliver a creative curriculum across the primary age range, and the visiting teachers were especially enthusiastic over the evidence of learning that was observed throughout the school. In the afternoon, the conference venue moved from a school-based location into a hotel environment, and Penang lived up to its reputation as a food-lovers’ paradise through the provision of a truly international lunch! The afternoon sessions saw presentations from SCIPS staff as well as from Sarah Brown, Director of Curriculum Development for IPC, and despite the carbohydrate overload, the level of participation and enthusiasm from the delegates was exemplary.


Day 2 saw a return to St. Christopher’s leafy, tropical school location, as the delegates themselves delivered a series of workshops throughout the day. In total, 10 workshops were presented across 4 sessions, with delegates having nominated their choices before the start of the conference. The workshops were all well-planned, topical and relevant, and the quality of the professional discourse that evolved from these sessions was of the highest quality.  For more information about any aspect of this JAWS event, please follow the link below:


It was a real pleasure to be part of this highly successful event and to see how the JAWS approach can be such an effective and dynamic way of making CPD more accessible to a greater numbers of our teachers. Congratulations and thanks go to the staff of St. Christopher’s, and in particular to Mr. J.G.Jones (Principal), Doris Wong, Chris Woodhams, Charlotte Ruddy and Sue Houghton for their hard work in coordinating the event.


Learning Support JAWS - British International School Phuket, Thailand


Twenty five representatives from FOBISSEA Schools in Brunei, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Malaysia,  Singapore, Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam recently attended the FOBISSEA Learning Support Job Alike Workshops (JAWS), hosted by BIS Phuket on the 25th & 26th November, 2011.

Hosted in the beautiful grounds of BIS Phuket, the JAWs provided a great opportunity for the participants to share common experiences, discuss job-related issues, share resources and establish networks for further collaboration and communication.

All participants were actively involved in establishing valuable networks and participating in positive discussion on topics that included:

  • Assessments;
  • Fulfilling the promise of differentiation;
  • Parents as Partners;
  • Access arrangements;
  • External specialists and professionals in SE Asia.

In addition, Phuket’s resident Occupational Therapist, Karen Beardsley, presented a session for all participants on Sensory Motor Development: What is it and how does it affect our students? This was followed by a practical workshop on the Move to Learn program, presented by Rochelle Carberry from Garden School, Malaysia.

Thanks go to Tina Akers (BIS Primary SENCO) and the Staff at BIS Phuket, for coordinating the successful JAWS.  It provided a great opportunity for learning and networking. It established a resource for future sharing and collaboration for FOBISSEA SENCOs and teachers who support children’s learning in the Early Years, Primary and Secondary schools.

Senior Leaders' JAWS - British International School Guangzhou, China

The Senior Leaders' Job-Alike Workshop Conference was hosted by the British School of Guangzhou (China) on the 18th & 19th November. There were 22 Senior Leaders from many FOBISSEA international schools. Schools represented at the conference comprised Bangkok Patana School, The British International School of Vietnam, International School Brunei (ISB), The British School of Manila, Kolej Tuanku Ja'afar (Malaysia), The Alice Smith School (Malaysia), Dulwich Beijing, Tanglin Trust School (Singapore), Harrow Beijing, and the British School of Guangzhou.



The two-day conference allowed for no less than fifteen high calibre presentations delivered by the attendees themselves and covering a broad and worthwhile range of topics. Each of these was a perceptive introduction to an aspect of school improvement and/or leadership which the various schools have embarked on in recent times. The attendees all agreed that these proved to be very valuable and thought-provoking when set against the schools' own particular contexts. Each presentation was followed by insightful question and answer sessions, and the emphasis was very much on candid and professional sharing of ideas as is the spirit of the FOBISSEA Job Alike Workshop format, a now popular format for continuing professional development within this regional association of British International Schools.


Overall, these sessions proved to demonstrate that all of the schools attending face similar issues as they strive to enhance their students' education through creative leadership and inspired solutions. Specific topics included effective leadership, strategic planning, external and internal whole school evaluation (we compared the British OFSTED model to the CIS process for example), professional performance reviews, student leadership, child protection, drugs education, strategic planning, vision statements and balancing student-centred learning with outstanding exam results.

It is crucial that prolific international schools invest in their staff at all levels, and this particular conference served to provide practical ideas on how Senior Leaders can continue to work towards education of the highest quality. Harnessing the talents of people who are leading their schools in hands-on and inspirational ways is an excellent way to facilitate such professional development, and we hope that the conference can be increased in scale in future years.

The other major benefit of making strong professional connections with our colleagues in other schools was very much in evidence and further underlines why this kind of opportunity is so valuable.

James Penstone, Bangkok Patana School

Drama JAWS - Garden International School, Kuala Lumpur

On 7th & 8th October, 13 Drama teachers met up for the 2011 Drama JAWs. The JAWs was hosted at Garden International School, Kuala Lumpur and attended by Drama representatives from Thailand, Taipei, Guangzhou, Manila and Vietnam. This was a wonderful opportunity for colleagues to share good practice and plan for the KS3 FOBISSEA Festival in February 2012. Physical theatre and text based workshops were run by both the host school and visiting teachers. Discussions and presentations revolved around curriculum teaching at KS3, IGCSE, IB and A-level, continuity and progression between Primary and Secondary and planning for the FOBISSEA Festival.


The Festival will be titled 'New Beginnings' as it is the first Drama FOBISSEA Festival to take place. The Selangor Pewter Factory, enjoyed by the teachers during the JAWs, will be one starting point for the KS3 students with subsequent Drama workshops emanating from the trip.
The JAWs was enjoyed by all staff who took part and everyone left tired but happy. We look forward to coming together again in February with our KS3 students.

        Primary & Secondary Art & Design JAWS - Garden International School, Kuala Lumpur

Garden International School, Kuala Lumpur Art department hosted a JAWs event on the 7th-8th October. The premise of the event  was to gather Art staff from FOBISSEA schools around SE Asia to meet up and host workshops to further their own teaching and impact of their faculty. Representatives came from Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Hong Kong and Malaysia and stronger links have been formed between us all. Staff facilitated workshops on many areas of teaching art and design including curriculum planning throughout the Key stages, the marking of art coursework and also practical skills swapping in digital photography and print making too. A rewarding excursion to the Islamic Arts Museum created discussion on how art education can capitalize from trips outside school.

A online forum has been set up between us all to allow this sharing of good practice to continue F.A.T. (FOBISSEA Art Teachers).

It was a tremendously rewarding couple of days and all of the art staff left feeling happy.

                                        SCIENCE JAWS - TANGLIN TRUST SCHOOL, SINGAPORE

Tanglin Trust School, Singapore, hosted their first Science JAWs on 29th-30th September 2011

The primary school session was attended by nine delegates from six schools across the region and was deemed a great success. The topics discussed over the two days included how assessment is carried out in different schools, developing thinking skills, technology in Science lessons and developing the progression of Sc1 skills. It was extremely valuable to share ideas for Science starters and plenaries and debate whether a cross curricular approach to Science is more beneficial than discrete lessons. All delegates welcomed the opportunity to share learning and teaching experiences and to make links with other professionals in international schools.

The Senior Science JAWs was also a great success. Eleven delegates attended and spent the two days discussing a very broad agenda. This covered using ICT tools such as OneNote and Edmodo for planning and communication, bringing creativity into the Science classroom, working on literacy to improve attainment in Science, and developing active thinking skills. We also squeezed in a trip to Singapore Science Centre to illustrate the implementation of a cross-curricular project. As a result of the JAWS we have established an Edmodo network to stay in touch and all parties hope to follow-up with another meeting in the near future.




It was a great pleasure to welcome colleagues from FOBISSEA on the 10th September to the CPD Leaders' Conference at Equine Park, Alice Smith School. A very interesting presentation from Jonathan Dale of the National College for School Leadership kicked off the meeting – dealing with the benefits of membership, through FOBISSEA to the college. He also dealt with NPQH and how it is possible to do an international NPQH through the college within a FOBISSEA cohort.

The rest of the day was given over to discussions on CPD practice within regional and cross phase groups. This proved to be a very valuable time for colleagues to share ideas and issues that they face.
The conference reminded me once again of the high level of importance that CPD is regarded within FOBISSEA schools; of the great work that is going on across our region in trying to give our staff the best development opportunities; and of the high calibre of leaders that FOBISSEA schools have who are passionate about CPD in their schools.

Nick Lee
Assistant Principal - Curriculum
The Alice Smith School