Michelle has a BA (Hons) in History and South Asian Studies from North London University and PGCE from Middlesex University. She began teaching across all three primary key stages. Michelle began her school leadership career in 2002, when she became the Deputy Head Teacher of a large primary school in North London and spent four wonderful years there before relocating to India in 2005.
Her first international position was the Head of Primary of a local/international school in Bangalore in Southern India, where she introduced the Cambridge International Primary Programme and Checkpoint. Michelle then spent 6 years in China and 3 years in Ethiopia developing curriculum and assessment practices.
Michelle believes that children learn best when they are having fun and are engaged in practical, real life activities. While she recognises that outstanding academic achievement is the ultimate goal, she feels it is just as important to build self-esteem, instill character and encourage a global outlook in every child. Michelle believes that learning transcends the classroom environment and is passionate about educational visits and extra-curricular experiences.
Michelle is married with four children - Ana, Hindya, Bille and Markos. The Dickinson family have a sense of adventure and love of life. They particularly enjoy the outdoors, family holidays, making friends, good weather, camping and exploring and are delighted to be at OWIS.
Parents relocating to a new country face many critical decisions when it comes to choosing what's best for their families. One of their primary concerns is selecting the right educational setting for their children. If they're planning on returning to their country of origin, they usually look for an institution that offers national curricula, with the goal of helping their child make a smooth transition back to a home-country school. Whatever part of the world they hail from, most parents want a school that provides world-class education, and they need to know that their move will not affect their educational journey. This is something that they can find at an IB school such as OWIS.
An International Baccalaureate (IB) school follows the globally-recognised framework created by the International Baccalaureate Organisation. This programme exposes students to diverse perspectives and cultures, so they are prepared to succeed anywhere in the world they choose to live, attend school/university or work. They include a range of different academic topics as well as taking part in voluntary and community service. There are also parts of the curricula that cover skills such as critical thinking, analysis, understanding of knowledge and personal development.
At OWIS, we offer the IB Primary Years Programme (IB PYP), underpinned by learning objectives from the English National Curriculum, which enables our students to meet internationally-recognised standards. It also is a brilliant starting point for children who wish to go on to study the IB Diploma Programme, which is internationally recognised by renowned and established universities. Our curricula provide multiple opportunities for students to expand their skill sets and apply their knowledge through hands-on, concept-driven, inquiry-based learning. We encourage students to use their creativity and critical thinking skills to take increased ownership of their learning, which prepares them for ongoing success.
Rather than focus on one specific country or region, the IB PYP can be adapted to fit a variety of cultures and contexts. Hence, it is typically a wise choice for students who are transitioning to or from national curricula. There are nearly 5,000 IB schools worldwide, all of which follow a similar set of curriculum standards and ideological priorities. Consider how the IB PYP can benefit your child.
● Students who are new to Singapore will likely have an easier time adapting to the versatile IB PYP than they would trying to acclimatise to the national framework curricula here since the IB PYP is flexible enough to accommodate students from anywhere in the world. It is globally recognised and taught across the world, making it particularly interesting for families who may plan to move to a different country in the future.
● Likewise, students planning to return to their home country can seamlessly align themselves with the national framework curricula there, since they've studied a range of global topics across subject areas, allowing for real-world application. They are able to compare their experiences whilst in Singapore with their classmates at home. This further develops their understanding of the global community and how topics and cultures interconnect with one another.
● While traditional curricula typically require children to merely memorise facts and regurgitate them, the IB PYP essentially guides students in "learning how to learn." As children ask questions and test hypotheses, acquiring new concepts and knowledge becomes second nature to them, putting them on track for success wherever they attend school. It is the skills of learning, analysing and using intuition that are so important in the IB PYP programme, and these can be carried with them into their future studies and careers.
● Attending an IB school can open up new opportunities upon students' return to their home countries. Enrolling their child in an IB school whilst abroad may cause parents to be more apt to send their child to a school with a globally recognised curriculum when returning to their country of origin. When they see the well-rounded education their child is getting, they're more likely to look for another school with a similar approach. As the IB is highly recognised across the world, the PYP gives students a powerful start ready for their future education and careers.
● While not all IB schools are created equal, it's usually easier for children to transition from one IB school to another, rather than moving between schools with different curricula. Children will find it easier to integrate back into their class when they return home or move to a new country.
● Participating in the IB PYP is especially critical during these formative years when children are simultaneously learning to be students and preparing to become global citizens and leaders. As the programme focuses on more than academic progress, students gain a much broader skill and knowledge base. They are able to learn more about themselves and their peers, and they gain a better understanding of other cultures and traditions. During their studies, they have the opportunity to find out who they are and develop their own learning styles, whilst being supported to be inquisitive and develop their knowledge.
With our holistic approach and nurturing environment, international students have the freedom and support they need to pursue their interests and enjoy an engaging, rigorous curriculum that challenges them to excel inside and outside the classroom and in all areas of life. Students have the opportunity to learn in a range of different ways, from play-based learning to academic study and teacher-guided repetition of knowledge. The programme teaches students that the world is interconnected and that topics flow through different subjects. This makes them passionate learners who have a love for acquiring further knowledge and skills.