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.
In order to grow into successful adults and significant citizens of the world, it is necessary to build a strong foundation that includes an open mind, appreciation of the beauty found in nature and one another, and a lifelong love of learning. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible either.
This foundation begins at home, but is most solidly reinforced in the classroom. At OWIS, we believe the classroom must be an atmosphere that is environmentally conducive to the freedom of expression, thought and curiosity. Each student must feel their desire to explore is fundamentally appreciated and encouraged. They need to feel confident to ask questions, ponder answers and think for themselves. They must be able to learn in the way that is best for them, whether that be through play, practical learning, reading or 1:1 study.
The comfort and serenity which is promoted in the physical environment, along with the tools that students use to further pique and satisfy their curiosity, go hand-in-hand with the curriculum. Those teachers who enforce the lessons do so with the same appreciation of each student's natural curiosity. Our teachers are also passionate learners who enjoy getting involved with the study and love listening to students’ experiences and ideas. We encourage our teachers and staff to never stop learning, and this is visible throughout our curriculum. This is why we believe OWIS is the “destination of choice” for your child’s education.
Here are some factual details about our classroom environment.
Space Utilisation and Flow
What does the term “student-centred classroom” really mean?
Our classroom is designed with the student in mind. Safety and security are always at the top of the list, however there are many other ways we promote a student-centred classroom.
Collaborative learning is a successful approach to promoting the core mission of OWIS. Children work together to solve problems, complete tasks and create, all the while forging bonds of friendship while learning. Each classroom provides learning corners for successful collaborative learning. These corners can be utilised by students whenever needed, and the staff encourage students to share their ideas to develop the areas.
In OWIS classrooms, you will find magnetic pin boards, natural lighting, and air conditioning to promote a comfortable environment where students can thrive. Our larger glass windows invite a view of nature to promote this stress-free atmosphere. There’s plenty of storage available with cubby-holes for students, so the classroom is free of clutter and debris.
Colours that Inspire, Not Distract
Our colour scheme at OWIS Nanyang is something that we are very proud of. Children are naturally curious about the world around them and those hues which are utilised time and again throughout the campus are taken from the natural world outside the door. Soothing greens and blues found in grass, flowers and rivers, sunny, happy yellow-the colour of sunflowers, and earth tones which mimic the rooting of knowledge-seekers in fertile ground. These designs and colours have been well considered, ensuring that they flow from one area to another. Our love and passion for the natural world around us is integrated within the internal areas of the school, bringing the outdoors in, and perfectly intertwining the two. This leads to a calm and serene atmosphere that helps our children thrive. The school is anything but clinical and is designed to relax our students and staff members in order to make our learning environment a beautiful, positive space.
Teaching and Incorporating Technology
Embracing the world as one is very much the theme at OWIS. Technology brings us closer to one another and provides us with a glimpse of other cultures like never before. Starting students out with the tech-appropriate tools is essential to the skills they must develop for a successful future. In the 21st century, students must develop these skills quickly as they are ever-changing and have become a key part of the world we now know.
OWIS understands the need to promote and encourage the use of new technology in the classroom. That’s why our classrooms are equipped with TV’s (instead of the more common projectors), Apple TV integrations, speaker systems, and iPads. We give our students the opportunities to learn how to use a range of technology so that it becomes second nature. We encourage them to teach others, research when they aren’t sure and practise their skills. OWIS continues to upgrade our technology to keep up to date with the latest products so that our students are never left behind.
Classroom Size Makes a Difference
Our classrooms are quite physically large, however OWIS limits the size of our student population to 24 students per classroom. We believe this allows the children to interact with one another and their instructors with ease. Questions and concerns are taken up in proper time, encouraging the student to speak out and be curious, without judgement. Relationships with other students are reinforced, and the larger classrooms allow freedom to move about when appropriate. It is a well known fact that smaller classroom strength leads to bigger gains in both education and personal development, and they provide more opportunities for children to learn.
Results You Can Trust
Although there’s complete freedom for students to think, question, explore and learn at OWIS, each lesson has an objective. These objectives are clearly defined and the curriculum is centred around achieving those objectives. Students discover an uncanny excitement about learning as they advance. We make them passionate about the topics they are studying and open up their minds to finding out more. This zest and passion is seen to stay with our students through later life. Our approach evidently leads to better learning outcomes. We give every student the opportunity to learn in the way that suits them, therefore ensuring that they get the very best education experience, something which is reflected in their results.