Half-Dutch and half-Thai by origin, Karel grew up in the UK. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Economics from the UK, and he has also completed a Postgraduate Course in Primary Education, provided by the West London Partnership. He has received extensive training in the IB approach as well as in child safety. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Educational Leadership online at the University of Leicester.
Karel has over 17 years of experience in teaching and school leadership in schools in the UK and at an international school in Bangkok. He entered the teaching profession by what he calls an accident - he joined a school to get some work experience right after college and never looked back after that.
Karel believes children learn best when they are seen, heard and valued. He encourages students to take ownership of their learning and actively participate in collaborative and hands-on activities.
Having recently relocated to Singapore to lead OWIS’ Primary School, Karel is looking forward to getting to know our diverse school community. Aside from work, he enjoys spending time with his baby daughter, collecting vinyl records, playing video games, and reading comic books and anime.
Movement helps people learn. This is true for children and adults across the board. Movement has many benefits that help engage the mind and create a more relaxed learning environment. This is why a good international school will incorporate movement into the school day for young learners, whether it is formalised as a separate PE lesson or factored in as smaller tasks and activities to reinforce learning in other lessons.
In recent years, researchers and educators have been urging a relook at kindergarten curricula, so it doesn’t become the “defacto first grade” with an increased focus on worksheets and sitting in one place. For Primary School children, the holistic integration of physical activity into the curriculum has many benefits, including on their well-being and social, cognitive and leadership skills.
According to research, movement can help with learning in a variety of ways.
At OWIS, we give Early Childhood and Primary students regular breaks to move around throughout the school day. In school, students are given time to do stretches, dance, and play movement games to engage their brains and help them process new information. Students are also taught songs that incorporate actions, games that include the whole class, and more.
Knowing that movement also helps regulate emotional responses, we also encourage students to take deep breaths and practise other mindfulness routines when they're experiencing moments of unhappiness or frustration.
Our teachers commonly design activities that incorporate movement. These activities include playing active phonics games in English, doing yoga or movement games through virtual school assemblies, making letters with the body in Mandarin, enjoying outdoor learning in Maths and moving around the class to explore a setup for Units of Inquiry.
We emphasise the notion that the classroom environment is the "third teacher." In this scenario, our classroom spaces are set up to allow flexibility and movement. There are different learning spaces set up around the classroom. These encourage individual student agency in a self-directed activity as well as discussion and collaboration in group tasks. In sensory and game- or play-based areas, children are free to move around and explore tactile materials either on their own or with their friends.
By giving importance to this aspect of learning, we ensure that we are able to provide a well-rounded education and a joyful school environment for our Early Childhood and Primary students.
Sign Up for a School Tour to Learn More About OWIS
One World International School (OWIS) is one of the most popular international schools for expat families in Singapore for a good reason.
At OWIS Suntec and OWIS Nanyang campuses, students thrive in an active learning environment, where they can engage their brains and their bodies in everyday lessons. We follow the IB PYP curriculum to help our students find success. To learn more about how your child can benefit from our learning approach, please sign up for a school tour.