For Bev Ross, a deputy principal at an international school in Guangdong Province, China, doing the NPQH programme with BPN boosted her career development and helped her school tackle a major challenge.
Most of the 560 grade 9 to 12 students at her school are Chinese and join the school with very little English, making it more of a challenge for them to access the school’s IGCSE and A level curriculum. “I wanted to look at the curriculum in its entirety to see if we could pinpoint how we could do more to help students excel and becoming proficient in English, and succeed in their future exams,” says Bev.
As part of a school improvement project for NPQH Bev worked with the college’s English department to review the English curriculum so that it was more tailored to the needs of EFL students. The strategy has had a major impact. “When Grade 9s come into school we enrol them into an English immersion programme where they spend six weeks at partner schools in Australia. On their return, their English intensive programme continues,” Bev explains. “Following the introduction of the strategy most students improved their English proficiency by a grade.”
The success of that NPQH inspired project has now led Bev to introduce a number of new teaching and learning initiatives across the school. Specialist EAL teachers have been employed to work across all departments to support teachers in the classroom, and a student leadership accreditation programme has been launched. This programme is designed to enrich and extend the English proficiency of students in Grades 10, 11 and 12.
The more efficient use of data to improve teaching and learning – a major focus area for Bev during her NPQH studies – is a current development area for the school. “We’ve realised that we need to be more efficient with using data to improve teaching and learning so this will be our big focus for the next school year and I will be doing training with teachers in this area,” she says.
Bev chose BPN’s NPQH programme following a personal recommendation: “I want to be a principal eventually and someone I met at a course in Beijing told me how great NPQH was, so I began looking at organisations that delivered the course. I contacted BPN and their experience and responsiveness really impressed me.”
She continues to recommend BPN’s NPQ courses to colleagues. “I’ve had lots of questions about NPQH and I’ve guided our middle leaders towards NPQML,” she says. “I speak very highly about the programme because of its practicality and the fact that I’m working with principals around the world. For me, it’s really refreshing to know that someone else is in a similar position to me and that we can easily share ideas about what does and doesn’t work.”
Bev adds: “I’ve really enjoyed working with BPN – I’ve been really impressed. There has always been someone there to quickly answer any questions. I’d definitely advise others to work with them.”
Find out more about our suite of international npq qualifications here.