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Premium global education: Inspired joins ISASA

| March 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

Few would dispute the inestimable value of premium, global education in the 21st century ‘global village’, the prescient term coined two decades ago by Marshall McLuhan1to characterise one world interconnected by a global, digital nervous system.

In today’s ‘global village’, a quality, holistic education that stands tall anywhere in the world is a priceless asset. This kind of far-sighted vision, focusing on premium, international education, informed the founding of Inspired in 2013, by founder, chairman and CEO, Nadim M Nsouli, with the ultimate goal of creating a leading, global group of schools. Inspired is a schools group operating in Europe, AsiaPacific, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America and educating over 47 000 students across a global network of 64 schools on five continents. By thinking globally and acting locally, Inspired delivers an education entirely fit-for-purpose and appropriate within various communities, as all the Inspired schools are individually developed and designed in response to their environment and location.

A focus on the best schools around the world

Starting with Inspired’s first acquisition of Reddam House, a leading group of schools originating in South Africa, Nsouli rapidly expanded the group globally via a series of acquisitions
and building greenfield schools – maintaining the focus on the best schools around the world as part of this prestigious group. It is no coincidence that South African Reddam House founder, Graeme Crawford, is Inspired Group’s President. Crawford is a renowned educator who began his career as a science teacher, believing that a great deal more could be done to improve educational standards. Driven by his own frustration with schooling experiences, he conceived a schooling model employing a dynamic new approach, providing a far more rounded, multidimensional education. It was during his 10 years in the classroom that Crawford discovered how to inspire children to achieve their personal best. ‘My lessons were challenging but fun, so my students got the best results,’ he recalls. This approach was aimed at maximising not just an academic standard, but also the confidence, potential and individuality of each child. Crawford opened his first school in 1993. His impressive track record spans more than two decades and since 1993, over 15 schools in South Africa have educated more than 32 000 students. In 2000, he founded Reddam House. The unique Reddam House philosophy and formula for success are based to a large degree on the quality and depth of curricula, cultural and sporting activities and, especially, hand-picked teaching staff. Fully recognising that what goes on in the classroom between teacher and student strongly influences the success of a school, this innovative, fresh and vibrant approach contrasts dynamically with more traditional education. Crawford’s view is refreshingly forthright: True excellence in education goes far beyond teaching young people cognitive skills. It talks to core values an how your attitude, self-discipline, informed choices and actions will ultimately determine your success around the globe. How we use knowledge to change the world, expand our horizons and shape our global future with confidence, merely underlines how important education is in preparing young people to face the future and maximise their innate potential wherever they find themselves in the world. Next, the Inspired team opened the Reddford House schools in 2015. They have proved an immediate success in South Africa, with the first two schools opening with over 600 students and the third Reddford school having enjoyed a successful opening in January 2016. The Reddford model extends beyond the confines of traditional academia to tuition in life and communication skills, equipping children to meet life’s challenges in a globally competitive world. The global Inspired school group is co-educational, nondenominational and independent. Not surprisingly, Inspired offers an innovative and contemporary approach to education by re-evaluating traditional teaching methods and curriculums, and creating more dynamic, relevant and powerful models reflecting current attitudes. The Inspired school group firmly believes that the overall educational experience instils the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and values that students will carry with them for life. Consequently, Inspired sets a new standard in premium private education, with handpicked teachers and a dedication to excellence that permeates every aspect of each school. Inspired students leave school with outstanding results, a love of learning, confidence and a firm value system that prepares them to embrace the challenges life throws at them in their future endeavours.

Joining ISASA

ISASA is the oldest and largest membership organisation for independent schools in southern Africa, serving almost 900 member schools educating almost 200 000 students across a broad range of socio-economic and cultural communities and religious affiliations, so Inspired – the custodian of Reddam House and Reddford House in South Africa – is naturally honoured to be a part of it. For the Inspired group, ISASA membership reflects our commitment to professional development and best practice sharing within the South African independent schools’ context.

Another powerful partnership

Inspired spares no effort in doing everything it can to harness contemporary, leading-edge educational practices and to forge powerful partnerships. A new initiative, called ‘Inspired by Berklee’,2 sees Inspired join forces with Berklee, a pre-eminent institute of contemporary music and the performing arts, offering undergraduate and graduate degree programmes at its campuses in Boston, Massachusetts and Valencia, Spain, and through its award-winning distance learning programme, Berklee Online. ‘Inspired by Berklee’ features a pioneering curriculum and artists-in-residence programme to develop contemporary music, dance, theatre and creative skills at Inspired schools worldwide. The partnership extends beyond the development of a traditional performing arts curriculum, encompassing technology, media production and creative entrepreneurship education. Visiting subject specialists work with Inspired students and teachers to create original works, and students have access to award-winning, online, educational experiences. A programme of professional development and certification for Inspired’s performing art teachers will also be developed as part of the exclusive partnership. The goal of the partnership is to provide Inspired students with the creative skills and mindsets needed to succeed, lead and innovate in a fast-paced, 21st century economy.
Inspired schools gathered at the Berklee Valencia campus in January 2020, participating in an exciting pilot event to mark the start of the partnership. Berklee’s educators and Inspired teachers from South Africa, Europe, Australia and New Zealand workshopped how the schools could get the most out of the programme. Pilot schools, including Reddam House Waterfall, Helderfontein, Constantia, Atlantic Seaboard and Durbanville, start pilot modules in the coming months, and the programme will roll out in other schools over the coming year.

A future-focused education

The Inspired group has gone to great lengths to forge solid, future-focused synergies and productive partnerships for life beyond school. Currently, Reddam House and Reddford House alumni attend over 60 international universities. Inspired, with over 64 schools on five continents, offers unparalleled assistance to students who wish to study internationally. Locally, South African students benefit from access to this vast knowledge base, including world-class, well-connected university counsellors who liaise with the leading universities across the globe.
To leverage Inspired’s group strength, it has hired a London-based director of university admissions and careers, Mahtab Hanjani, who will lead and coordinate the work of all Inspired schools’ university and career counsellors. This will ensure that every Inspired student has access to the most up-todate, shared knowledge regarding admission to faculties in all the top-ranking universities and other preferred higher education institutions globally.

Inspired and Crimson Education

Inspired is a premier, strategic partner of Crimson Education – a company dedicated to helping students succeed in entering a top university of their choice anywhere in the world. A specialist Crimson Education team of university application experts, academic tutors and leadership mentors, based in major cities around the world, provides a personalised service to complement the advice each Inspired student receives at school. Each student receives the Crimson App, setting out milestones, guidance and resources on the flightpath to successful university admission, with access to Crimson’s extensive university databases. Crimson’s specialists visit our schools to make presentations to students, parents and staff, providing the insight to enable each student to present a standout application for their university of choice. Students wishing to retain Crimson’s ongoing, individualised support benefit from preferential rates, thanks to the Inspired partnership.

NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY)

Inspired partners with the Northern Consortium (NCUK),3 a group of leading UK universities, to offer an International Foundation Year (IFY) programme. NCUK is dedicated to giving international students guaranteed access to these universities and offering support to students, ensuring their success. The NCUK IFY is a qualification designed with NCUK university partners to prepare students for thousands of undergraduate courses in faculties including business, engineering, medical sciences and architecture, and offers guaranteed access to one of 16 UK universities. The IFY is a six-month post-matric qualification designed with university partners to prepare students for first year entry to undergraduate degree courses. Studying in small classes with NCUK representatives in South Africa before starting a degree, gives students the confidence they need. All curricula, examinations, coursework and moderation are provided by NCUK. The courses will be taught at the Reddam House Constantia and Waterfall campuses from January 2021 and will be open to all students in South Africa.

Global exchanges and camps

All Inspired students have the opportunity to participate in a Global Exchange Programme. Every exchange offers a unique opportunity to explore new environments, improve language skills, make new friends and experience new cultures. There are over 30 leading Inspired schools based across the globe from which to choose. Inspired believes in creating exceptional experiences for young people. In 2020, the group launched a very successful series of summer and winter camps in Europe and Africa. Camps are designed to offer experiences vastly different from the normal school day. While the COVID-19 situation is unfolding, trips are suspended, but we are in the process of developing virtual experiences should closures continue. Our priority in South Africa, is to comply with the current school closure directive but also to maintain the continuity of our children’s education and support for all of our students. We have put in place a guided online curriculum and online teaching support for all students from Wednesday, 18 March 2020 until 20 March 2020 when we break for holiday. Should our schools not be able to open on 14 April, our guided online curriculum and online teaching support for all students will remain in place during the entirety of the school’s closure.

Looking ahead

The Inspired group of schools is excited by the continued investment into future-focused education and commitment to excellence –testimony to the group’s ability to benefit not only each school, but also each student, continuing to work together to develop global citizens of tomorrow.

References:

1. See: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Marshall-McLuhan

2. See: https://www.berklee.edu/news/berklee-now/inspired-and-berklee-launchexclusive-partnership

3. See: https://www.ncuk.ac.uk/

Category: Autumn 2020

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