In November 2021, GESS launched a new programme called “BeyondClassrooms” that will be implemented for the entire school. Could you explain the goals of this programme?
It is our goal to provide a holistic education for our students, so what our students learn outside the classroom is just as important as what they learn inside the classroom. In addition to the many opportunities we already offer, we now want to facilitate more exciting learning experiences outside of the classroom and bring them together in one programme. As part of this programme, students will not only be able to gain hands-on learning experiences directly on site with participating companies and organizations, but our partners will also visit us at school as soon as possible to bring the outside world to our classrooms.
Why are experiences outside the classroom especially important for students?
We want students to have experiences that include the world outside the school, where they can explore their interests and discover their strengths and weaknesses. These experiences will help them make better choices for their future. I know from experience that with the involvement of partners, we can offer real-world insights into the working world. This is a matter close to my heart, as I myself have often experienced how helpful and important these practical experiences are for young people.
What types of partners are you looking for?
One of our school’s strategic goals is the close and long-term networking with business partners, embassies, schools and universities, chambers of commerce and other international and local organisations. We want to promote a close exchange and build a stable network especially here in Singapore. Singapore is an ideal location for this, as many leading companies, universities and organisations have their headquarters here and are concentrated in a small area in the Little Red Dot. Of course, we want to use this location advantage optimally for our students.
In what ways can partners support the BeyondClassrooms programme?
We would greatly appreciate support in the following areas:
- Offers of internships
- Joint workshops with students
- Provide opportunities for public performances (e.g. moderating, dance, singing, music performance)
- Provide opportunities for public exhibitions (e.g. art exhibition)
- Provide career-related lectures/mentoring
- Presentations on industry-specific topics
- Offer experiment opportunities (biology/chemistry/physics) for students
- Facilitate company visits
- Facilitate participation in social activities (CRP)
What is the current status of partnerships?
We have established promising contacts with companies in the last six months and have already been able to establish some new partnerships that will benefit the students.
We were able to gain support for the university and career programme from BMW Group Asia , and BMW Group employees have agreed to participate in the career fair and mock interviews that we offer each year for our Year 12 students.
We have also partnered with BluCurrent, a company that operates a fish farm with sustainably and ethically farmed fish in Singapore. BluCurrent has offered to open up internship opportunities to students and deliver lectures on sustainable fish farms and the technology used there.
Evonik has agreed to facilitate visits to the production facilities on Jurong Island and also to offer possibilities for chemical experiments to our students.
Also very recently, we have had an agreement with Volocopter, a German aircraft manufacturer specialising in the development of drone cabs. The first drone cabs will soon begin flight operations in Singapore. The team will offer our students internships in the future and will also work with our students as part of the Junior Engineer Academy.
In addition, we have also started collaborating with some chambers of commerce and embassies and are currently working on ideas on how this could look like in practice.
We would also like to foster closer ties with the local community in Singapore and involve our students in Service as Action and Community & Service activities through which they can contribute to this community.
So, as you can see, many exciting opportunities await our students to learn and gain experiences beyond the classroom and we look forward to expanding these opportunities further.
If you have any questions about the BeyondClassrooms programme or if you have ideas for additional partnerships, please feel free to contact the Head of External Communications and Relations, Ms. Kirsten Moench (email@example.com).