St. Joseph’s Institution International has a new team member! We spent some time with Australian expat KATHERINE KENDON, the new Head of Early Years at the Elementary School, to see how she’s settling in.
What brought you to Singapore and SJI International?
We’d travelled here several times over the years and we loved the city. When the opportunity arose to come and work at SJI International, we jumped at it! In the international sector, the school has an excellent reputation. I was advised that it had a dedicated team, students of high academic standard and a strong community feel. That’s been proven true, so far!
What was your draw to early childhood education?
I love being an early childhood educator. It’s such a crucial time in a young learner’s life, laying the groundwork for what’s to come. We must get the early years right and provide our children with the strongest foundation for their life of learning.
Where have you taught before moving to Singapore?
I started my career about 20 years ago as a Prep and then Kindergarten teacher. Just before moving to Singapore, I was Head of Junior School at an independent school in Sydney. This meant I oversaw Prep to Grade 6, in the context of a Prep to Grade 12 school, and the role allowed me to lead the school in a government action plan focused on early literacy and numeracy learning. This was a fabulous four-year study that enabled me to immerse myself back into early childhood education.
What are you most excited about with your new role, and what are you hoping to achieve?
Working with a team of teachers, parents and students that value and are as excited about early childhood education as I am. I’m excited to see how we can keep providing quality education for our youngest learners and supporting our families as they raise their children.
I’m hoping that SJI International will be at the forefront of quality early childhood education. We’re creating spaces, both indoors and outdoors, that promote and inspire play and exploration – we’re intentional about what we do.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a teacher?
“You will never be bored!” I’ve learnt to have a plan – and to always be prepared for that plan to change!
Three things you love about living in Singapore?
The never-ending summer, the greenery – we love living on the edge of a reserve; there are so many trees, walking trails and bike paths – and the fact that there is always something happening. I feel like there’s always a buzz to the city!
Three things you’re looking forward to ticking off your Singapore bucket list?
Cocktails at the top of Marina Bay Sands, learning to make amazing dumplings with the perfect broth, and cycling as much of the island as I can!