This month our Bangkok Faces feature introduces Beccy Fox the New Director for teaching and learning at KIS International School
What is Your Nationality and Background?
I was born in Essex, England, and have been in international education since 1998 when I started my adventure at the International School Seychelles. Since then I have taught in Malaysia, and then Head of School in Indonesia, and in Hong Kong. I am married to an Indonesian and that has fast-tracked my interest in cultural differences and how they affect our daily lives in international schools.
What is your current role?
My current role is Director for Teaching and Learning at KIS International School. I’m responsible for monitoring, evaluating, and developing curriculum from Early Years all the way up to Grade 12 to ensure that our teaching and assessment practices meet the highest of standards and that it’s delivered effectively. My responsibilities go beyond the students as well. KIS is a “Learning School” for the entire community. It’s important that teachers are supported by the latest educational research and pedagogy and that parents are equipped with tools and resources to connect learning between school and home.
My role is a brand new position to KIS and is part of the school’s 5-year strategic plan. This initiative continues our commitment to provide the very best teaching and learning for students, expand facilities that support learning, and further our scope of experiences, both inside and outside the classroom. It’s a very exciting time for KIS and I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of it.
What are the key skills and responsibilities of this role?
Being responsible for curriculum development for the entire school requires an umbrella perspective. I have Play-Doh conversations with Early Years teachers and then quantum physics conversations with Grade 12 science teachers. My job is to see the big picture and make sure all teaching moments are aligned so our students are equipped and prepared for every step of their school journey. A “through” school like ours (ages 3-19) is a massive jigsaw puzzle. As a former Head Of School, I really know how all those pieces fit together.
How did you get involved in your profession?
I discovered teaching through a work experience program while I was in secondary school in England. A week working at a primary school introduced me to the wonderful world of teaching. I absolutely fell in love with it and the rest is history.
Because of the impact that work experience has had on my own life, I’m especially excited about our new career-related program. KIS International School is currently a Candidate School* for the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) which allows students the opportunity to participate in a career-specific, hands-on learning. My work experience was a bit different since I wasn’t sure of my career path at that time. The IBCP is specifically designed for students who already know they want to pursue careers in design or sustainable leadership. But, the outcome is similar—practical experience that prepares students for university and for careers they are passionate about.
What is the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP)?
The IBCP is for Grade 11 and 12 students to engage in career specific learning while gaining transferable skills. Students take IBCP classes alongside the traditional International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) classes for a holistic education model. This type of experiential learning allows students to apply their knowledge and gain practical, real-world skills. IBCP coursework incorporates work experience, industry visits, talks by industry professionals, internships, and apprenticeships. Additionally, students who follow the IBCP graduate with college credits, which is a huge bonus considering the rising cost of post secondary education. KIS is proud to be the only school in Bangkok offering all four IB programs (PYP, MYP, DP, CP).
How does your role enhance the wellbeing or experience for children?
My role ensures teachers are continually honing their craft through professional development to offer the very best education to their students. Teaching is not just about reading and writing and mathematics. It’s also about students learning how to manage their emotions and have positive relationships. Social and emotional learning is a hot topic these days, but KIS has always incorporated these principles into our instruction. It’s intrinsically part of the way teachers teach and the way students learn within the IB’s holistic framework. And when social and emotional intelligence is nurtured, it feeds back into academic excellence.
What do you hope to achieve as an educator
My hope is that student voice is loud and that it’s heard. That students have agency in their own education and that it truly prepares them for adulthood. That students embody 21st-century skills. That they are global citizens. What I mean by that is that students have empathy. They see things from different perspectives. They are problem solvers. They are solution finders. Of course, academics are important and should be celebrated, but there are many other successes that must be celebrated, now more than ever.
You’re New to Bangkok; What is Your Favourite Thing About The City So Far?
I’m here with my husband and son who is in Grade 5 at KIS and there’s just so much for us to do. We’re still at the touristy phase and we really enjoy going to the parks and temples, which are amazing. And then, of course, the people are incredible and the food is fabulous. I could go on and on with all the things we love about Thailand.
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