KELLY SOMERVILLE has worked at the Australian International School (AIS) for 18 years and is currently the Assistant Head of Diversity and Development at AIS. She leads the development of programmes and cultures at the school, to enhance inclusive practices and access to learning. She shares with us what inspires her in her role and the new things she’s bringing especially to the AIS Elementary School in Singapore.
What does it mean to be part of the Australian International School?
Developing a strong sense of international mindedness and global citizenship is at the heart of AIS, where all members of our community feel valued, respected and successful and inspired to take action for positive change. I get to learn from the diverse backgrounds and stories from all members of our community; working at AIS is both a joy and privilege.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I absolutely love all dimensions of this role! The energy, joy and love for learning at AIS inspires me to be the best version of myself.
I thrive on building and maintaining positive relationships with all members of our community. The best of my day, every day, would be my daily visits to all the learning spaces, engaging and working with staff and students; I’m not an office person, I need to be amongst the action.
What makes AIS stand out from other schools in Singapore?
We’re a community who embraces and welcomes all. Our community population is multicultural and our school offers a great range of international experiences. The school has collective responsibility for all of our students. And our parent body, AISPA, offers many opportunities for parents to connect.
How does AIS prepare their students for the next step in their education journey?
At AIS, students’ progress is constantly tracked through a comprehensive assessment and monitoring schedule. We combine informing teaching practice and ensuring each child achieves their personal best with the rigorous gathering of student data. This allows our teachers to triangulate data and make more in-depth judgements about each child’s progress and individual needs.
We combine programmes and teaching practices, and actively seek feedback from our students to monitor the effectiveness of our teaching. In this way, the Australian International School is committed to paving the way for a successful learning journey for each and every student.
In addition, as a through school from Early Years to Year 12, staff in each of the sub-schools collaborate regularly to ensure consistency and transparency at significant transition points.
What’s your proudest achievement at AIS so far?
In the last six months, I’ve further cultivated a collaborative learning culture in our Elementary School in Singapore. In strengthening partnerships between home and school, I initiated Listening Tours, which have been extremely successful across all year groups.
The Listening Tours highlight the vision of the Elementary School and key features of AIS. They also invite parents to share their queries, and they include a tour of learning spaces. They’re an intentional way of helping us to draw on the experiences and stories of all to face challenges with both fortitude and joy.
What would you most like parents to understand about school and teaching today?
Schools and school leaders are working hard to continually develop their school to create a culture where students feel they belong. This has been evident in COVID times, but has always been a significant factor, particularly in an international environment.
If you had to give one piece of school advice for parents, what would it be?
Be active in your school community and encourage your children to engage with many different children to take advantage of living in an international environment.
What are you up to when not at work?
I love spending time with my husband and daughters by exploring Singapore and abroad. I also enjoy reading and learning about learning.
Kelly holds a Master of Education in Leadership and Administration and Post-Graduate studies in Special Graduation. Shas been working in the AIS community for 18 years.
Kelly’s work is dedicated to leading schools in building a strong sense of belonging within and across the school community. She has led multiple new initiatives, and designed whole school processes and structures for school improvement at AIS. She incorporates data driven decision-making to inform whole school development and change so as to improve student learning and wellbeing.
Kelly leads high performance teams working on developing inclusive cultures and practices, which are driven by strategic intent. Her passion for building teacher capacity and providing high quality instruction drives her ongoing commitment to all learners.
Kelly is currently a founding board member for International Leaders of Educational Support and chairs the Leadership Advocacy team.
Meet Kelly on a school tour
During a tour of Australian International School, parents will be able to meet with Kelly. Together with the school’s admissions team, she’ll accompany you as you tour the campus and discover what the school has to offer. Register for a slot in an upcoming tour at ais.com.sg/admissions/book-a-tour.
Australian International School is at 1 Lorong Chuan.
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