The Alice Smith School is the most established British international school in Malaysia, with over 70 years of rich educational heritage. There are two thriving and exciting campuses (primary and secondary) and a strong community of adults and children, all eager to learn and develop themselves. The Secondary Principal, Dr Sarah Howling, who was a key figure in developing coaching with us at her previous school (KGV – ESF, Hong Kong) had a vision of building a coaching culture and strengthening the community of learners at Alice Smith.
Working closely with Sarah, we created a coaching training course for teachers leading to
ILM certification. On joining KLASS, Sarah first had to complete her own train-the-coach-trainer qualification with us, and this was achieved through two courses delivered by us which Sarah attended first as an observer, and then as a co-trainer.
As soon as she qualified on our train-the-coach-trainer programme, Sarah arranged to license our coach training course and set about delivering courses at KLASS, and training up further trainers.
Sarah has since trained two more trainers, and between them they have delivered ten coaching courses between 2016 and 2020. We have also provided a supervision course by distance to the internal coaches there.
Sarah shared her reasons for proliferating a coaching culture throughout the school:
‘By embracing and strategically incorporating coaching into the fabric of our language of interaction and reflection opportunities, we have moved beyond superficial performance management structures and tokenistic professional development. By placing the spotlight on our individual and collective responsibility towards each other as learners and team members, and providing the means to actuate this through the introduction of professional growth and accountability structures grounded in trust, reflection, self-directed goals and collaboration, relationships have been transformed and professional growth and team accountability have been accelerated.
By investing heavily in coaching training for our teachers – and increasingly so for parents and students – and building a coaching philosophy across our school, we are now shifting our cultural outlook, enhancing collegiality and resilience. This has led to further innovation in the classroom and pastorally, particularly in the areas of assessment, feedback and restorative conversations, and greater cohesion in our school community.
The results from our 2017 staff survey were striking in terms of the positive upturn in teacher perceptions of their own learning and place within a learning community – 100% of our teachers stated that they enjoy coming to school each day.’
by Dr Sarah Howling (Secondary Principal) with Maria Osowiecki and Jaime Thistleton (Vice Principals)
Sarah wrote an article describing the path towards a coaching culture at KLASS, and a video below:
Video: Client Testimonial – KLASS