Our Parenting World Interview Series: Invictus Private School and Exclusive Interview with Mary Ann Davies, Invictus’ Founding Principal
Invictus Private School was formed by a group of professional educators who fully understand the importance of a well-rounded education for children who are away from their home country. The cost of education forms a big part of the cost of living for expatriate families. In some instances, spouses and children remain in their home country, separated from the main breadwinner who is working overseas as education cost is much higher than in the home country.
Invictus Private School aims to keeps the cost of education affordable without sacrificing the quality of education. It positions itself distinctly from the rest of the international schools in Singapore by keeping families together, keeping a focus on realising students’ potential up to the optimal level with a holistic teaching pedagogy, and to teach students in realising their potentials as global citizens. To accommodate an overwhelming number of requests for enrolment of students from parents who believe in what the school has to offer, the school will be moving to a larger campus at Loewen Road within the verdant Dempsey Hill locale, in the next academic year in August 2017.
Our Parenting World team is pleased to be able to interview Mary Ann Davies, Invictus’ Founding Principal where she will share more with us about Invictus. She has taught for 20 years and had led four schools in Britain, China and Qatar. She possesses a wealth of experience in third culture children education that has helped shaped the core of what Invictus Private School offers.
1) Please share with us more about your background and how did you get into the education line?
Mary: I obtained my Post Graduate teaching certificate from Loughborough University in the UK. I have been teaching for 26 years both in the U.K. and Internationally. I always wanted to work in International Schools since I was a student myself growing up in Hong Kong.
I have been privileged to work in the U.K. China, Qatar and now here in Singapore. One thing you learn when you are an expat and this is true the world over, people are more the same than they are different and that our children are our most important priority.
2) Can you tell us more about Invictus Private School, the courses it offers and the milestones achieved so far?
Mary: In November 2015, two experienced entrepreneurs came together to create an affordable, forward-looking international school to serve the expatriate community. The school is an independent co-educational school offering The International Primary Curriculum for primary school grades 1-6.
Invictus Private School’s mission is to provide great education with our brand new campus at Dempsey Hill, surrounded by lush greenery with attractive school fees, compassionate teachers and a focus on our students being happy and doing well academically.
3) What is the motivation behind the formation of Invictus Private School?
Mary: We have a passion for good education, we want what is best for our students who are growing up in a world that we cannot yet predict. We know that they will need to be creative, adaptable, good at working with others and resilient. We work very closely with our parents to produce those attributes in our students.
4) What can students expect when they embark on their academic life at Invictus?
Mary: We are an inclusive school, welcoming students of all nationalities, races and creeds teaching on an international school, northern hemisphere calendar.
Based on the needs of the students, the school promotes equal opportunities, applying regulations on admissions fairly and without prejudice. If a child can access the learning in a class of twenty-five with one teacher then this is the perfect school for them.
The school holds the vision for the creation of well-rounded global citizens who strive for excellence and embrace diversity, and strong critical-thinkers and confident problem-solvers, who will persevere as they look for opportunities to better the world.
5) Please tell us more about ClassDojo and Learning Logs that are being used at Invictus. What benefits can parents and students attained from using them? Any other apps and or initiatives that are being used at Invictus that you would like to share with us?
Mary: The Class Dojo connects teachers with students and parents to build classroom communities and helps create a positive classroom culture. We use it to share information with the parents about student rewards. I posted a picture this morning of the work two students had produced and one of the parents commented that it was so good to see her daughter happy at school. That’s the bit that most parents cannot access. It is a platform where teachers can encourage students for any skill or value — whether it’s working hard, being kind or helping others.
The Learning Logs are a way that our students showcase and share their learning with their parents and their peers. They take the weekly learning objectives and develop their own interests by adding to their own portfolios. Some add photos, pull out sheets, pictures and even power point displays and videos.
6) What do you look for when recruiting teaching staff and staff members for Invictus? How do you recruit and maintain quality in your staff?
Mary: All of our teachers are fully qualified and have experience working within the age range of the school. We appoint teachers and staff members who understand out ethos and that it is important to us that everyone looks forward to coming into school on a Monday morning – including the Principal.
7) Please share with us your views and any advices on how can parents can help their children to cultivate good learning habits and behaviour?
Mary: The best piece of advice I can give any parent is that if you wish your child to tell you about their day at school, ask them the question when you have your hand on the bedroom light switch at night. We do need to really listen to our children, if you listen to them tell you about the little things then they will be more likely to tell you the big things as they grow older.
Other than that, I think we need to be supportive of one another when it comes to parenting. No child arrives with an instruction book, we are all just working out what we can do for the best with each individual child. As teachers we have to respect that each parent is the expert on their child.
8) Lastly, do you have anything to add on about Invictus Private School and its future plans?
Mary: I would encourage people to come and visit us, the school will be moving to Loewen Road, situated within the green & verdant locale of the Dempsey Hill district. We think our new site is amazing, it has a Swimming Pool, an Indoor Activity Hall, an Outdoor Playground & Activity Area, and an Outdoor Nature Area.
Our fees will remain the same for next year and Invictus Private School will always be affordable.
Thank you Mary Ann Davies for taking our interview!
All the above images credit to Invictus Private School
About Invictus Private School
Invictus Private School was conceptualized in 2015 by two experienced entrepreneurs who identified an opportunity in Singapore’s expensive private education scene. The school firmly believes that quality education is simple; a great teacher in a classroom, with the resources to deliver highly engaging lessons to a sensible number of students, at a much lower cost than the average private school tuition in Singapore.
Invictus Private School offers full-time courses (Grades 1 to 6) with an average teacher to student ratio of 1:25. The school utilizes the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) that is taught in a face-to-face classroom environment. The curriculum is complemented with rigorous Mathematics, English and Mandarin courses along with Creative Arts, Physical Education and Information and Communications Technology.
To find out more about Invictus Private School and enrolment details, please go to https://www.invictus.school/