Superintendent TOM BOASBERG of Singapore American School (SAS) shares how the campus is being reimagined through new student learning spaces. This is the ninth and final instalment of a regular series by SAS on how to design a school.
The school already has new dining facilities and new athletic and swim facilities; and the brand new elementary school building is scheduled to open in 2024. It’s also in the process of providing additional training to teachers so they can create more engaging learning experiences in the new learning spaces.
How are the school’s values reflected in the new student learning spaces?
More than anything, we want every student at SAS to find joy and purpose in their learning. When students have both of these, their learning and its impact extend far beyond anything that happens during their formal education.
Our new learning, community and extracurricular spaces have already begun to spark excitement in our students as they pursue topics you can’t find anywhere else.
How will the new facilities and learning initiatives help SAS to grow?
Technology is evolving faster than ever. Artificial intelligence is changing the way businesses operate and social movements are pushing global citizens to rethink past practices. All of these changes mean that we need students who are prepared for a future that will require them to think differently and have the skills to manage change better than ever.
As we build spaces, review programmes and develop teachers, we have prioritised the need for us to model for our students what it means to find joy and purpose in learning.
We must show them that we can adapt our practices to their changing needs. We’ve been thoughtful about ensuring the spaces being built provide us the flexibility to adjust quickly and capably.
What are you most looking forward to in the new school building?
This project was never about the spaces; we’re not in the business of education, we’re in the business of transformation.
I’m most excited to see how our students grow and transform as learners and as individuals who will shape the future. I’m excited to see who they become and how they create change for good in their communities. We are engaged in work now that will be felt for years to come.
Feedback on the student learning spaces at SAS
Hear from a teacher
“Our flexible learning environment recognises that learning doesn’t solely occur within the four walls of a classroom – it can happen anywhere and at any time. The flexibility of the new learning environment promotes collaboration and critical thinking. Students can work on projects in groups or independently in distinct student learning spaces that facilitate those specific needs. This gives students the chance to develop problem-solving skills and hone their ability to work in diverse teams while becoming self-directed learners.”
– Bianca Neri, High School Social Studies
Hear from a student
“When it comes to a traditional classroom, every student gets stuck with the same student learning space for the whole year. However, in our learning communities, flexible walls allow classes to effortlessly split up for any task. Additionally, sound-proof booths ensure that any student or teacher can enjoy some peace and quiet, in small groups or individually. This doesn’t just allow productivity maximisation but also makes it extremely convenient for learners to collaborate and work alone effectively.”
– Andrew, 10th Grade
This article first appeared in the January 2024 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
Here’s more about Singapore American School:
What makes a school?
Flexi student learning spaces at SAS
Teachers in Singapore: leadership development at SAS
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