2020 THINK



he right school can be a springboard for assignment as well as academic success. Offering a ready-made community and supporting relocating children, as well as their parents, education is a key aspect of a

happy and settled global mobility experience. With expatriate families comprising 65% of the Kuala

Lumpur-based school’s enrolments, Garden International School’s leadership, teaching staff, student and parental body understands what it means to move to a new country and school and, crucially, values its international community’s diversity. To this end, it has devised and is constantly revising a supportive

onboarding and orientation programme that meets individual and family needs – for both its staff and relocating families. “This is an impressive programme and covers all those involved

in the running of the school and encourages a great sense of energy and shared pride,” commented the judges in their appraisal. At the heart of the induction process at the Garden International

School (GIS) for its 2,000 students aged 3-18 and teaching staff is recognising that “an empowered community empowers community.” Every aspect of the school is represented in the rigorous programme. Both the New Family and New Staff Induction Programmes

bring together members from all areas of school. The GIS Welcome Crew is a unique body made up of student, parent and staff buddies. This is joined by Parent Country Reps; Digital Coaches; Parent Teacher Forums; Student Services; Play Pals; Learning Support; Peer Counselling; Student Transition Leaders; GIS Counsellors; and Healthcare. For relocating families, induction starts with pro-active

engagement with parents to pre-empt concerns, campus orientation, pastoral care and pairing new joiners with play buddies, to individually tailored introductions to learning and the England and Wales-based curriculum. As important is ensuring relocating staff members and

families are settled and ready for their new role. Again, Garden International School here is fully supportive, offering destination services like help with finding suitable accommodation, setting up bank accounts and healthcare providers.

“Our extensive induction programme is interactive, encouraging

a great sense of energy and shared pride,” explains Robert Stitch, GIS Principal. “This culture of collective efficacy permeates everything that we do, ensuring our induction process is inclusive, caring and guided by our community values. As a result, we feel confident in our ability to offer all new members the tools, knowledge and personal attention they need for a positive transition.” The comprehensive and personalised level of support is

extremely impressive. Yet the judges also applauded Garden International School’s “exceptional job of recognising its complex community with multiple nationalities coming together from all over the world.” The programme and its supporting documents demonstrate the culture of the school and how important it is to provide a welcoming environment for all. It is also impressive to see the level of support to the families of students, helping them to connect with the school and other families. “This school has gone above and beyond in terms of the effort

they have made to create the right environment for their teachers, students and families to come together as a community,” the judges concluded. “This gives some insight into the culture and ethos of the school and the happy environment. Relocation can be very challenging for staff and students. Commendations to the school for all they have achieved.” “Global mobility means attracting the best teachers and staff,

and creating the very best environments for our students and families, which means catering for a wide range of nationalities and needs,” says Robert Stitch. “The Relocate Awards recognise that having the right support in place and being able to draw on this before, during and after your move can influence an individual’s or family’s experience for the better or worse. “A big thank you to Relocate Global for this prestigious award.

We’re proud of GIS as a really close-knit family community so thank you again to Relocate Global, the community and the way in which we operate as a community is part of the DNA of our school. Thank you so much.”


Main photo: Robert Stitch, Principal


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