Founded in 1865, the iconic Malvern College, located in Malvern, Worcestershire, England, has long been synonymous with academic excellence and a
student-first approach to learning. Malvern College will be proudly opening its doors to a new group of eager pupils in September 2023, with the establishment of their brand-new Tokyo campus: Malvern College Tokyo (MCT). As MCT joins the ranks of other Malvern campuses around the world, including Qingdao, Chengdu, Hong Kong and Switzerland, this theme of globalisation is prevalent throughout their approach to education.
BCCJ ACUMEN sat down with the Regional Executive Advisor of Malvern College International (Asia Pacific), Dr Robin Lister to discuss how MCT will provide pupils with a unique education, blending the academic integrity and proven successes of a long-respected UK institution with a future-facing, internationalised methodology to learning.
Dr Lister spoke about what makes “Malvernians” stand out. He said: “Qualities such as resilience, risk-taking, kindness, collaboration, integrity, independence, curiosity, ambition and humility. We believe these qualities will enable an MCT pupil to thrive as they face the constantly changing and challenging world that will confront them when they leave school. We incorporate these qualities into our everyday teaching, tutorial periods, assemblies and in the day-to-day manner in which the school is run. This way children and young people learn in the context of their lessons, but also, and perhaps more importantly, absorb what they see and experience around them”.
Indeed, this goal is reflected in the school’s strong emphasis on excellence both in and out of the classroom. MCT aims to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum at all levels in the school, initially starting with Year One to Year Nine in September 2023.This will extend upwards to Year 13 by 2027. Regarding the merits of the IB curriculum, Dr Lister stated that the curriculum “matches with Malvern’s own ethos and philosophy that emphasises the need to teach the skills of critical thinking, problem solving, analysis and ‘thinking out of the box’”. These skills are an integral part of the IB’s approach and serve as the foundation for the transference of knowledge and understanding. They are also fully in line with what Malvern sees as an essential component to a successful education for the 21st century”.
Beyond the classroom
The school will also offer a diverse range of co-curricular activities. Dr Lister explained: “Co-curricular activities are at the heart of all Malvern schools and incorporate all the traditional activities such as football, cricket, rugby, badminton, swimming and a wide variety of other sports. It also includes debating, sailing, taekwondo, chess, computing, dancing, yoga … you name it”. With this wealth of activities, MCT is sure to offer pupils ample opportunities to discover new passions and forge meaningful friendships with like-minded students.
Co-curricular activities are also important factors when considering a pupil’s life outside of school. Utilising the broad network of Malvern schools across the globe, MCT will also be offering students the opportunity to take part in exchange programmes in other Malvern schools.
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is now a necessary and integrated part of education. Malvern College is renowned for its innovative approach to education, being the pioneer of the Nuffield Science teaching approach.
“The question as to how STEM is approached beyond the formal curriculum is pertinent”, explained Dr Lister. “It is here where Malvern’s emphasis on an entrepreneurial spirit comes in to play. For example, encouraging pupils to put into action what they are learning in science, in using technology and seeing how understanding mathematical principles may be used to solve day-to-day problems.
“Older pupils in the Middle Years and Diploma programmes are also given different opportunities to put theory into practice. Alongside these more formal approaches to learning the applicability of what is learned in lessons, we also have pupils starting up small businesses and making connections with the local community—particularly local charities.
“Inculcating skills and attitudes that give rise to all manner of problem solving and the ability to ‘think out of the box’ is important at Malvern. Critical thinking, critical analysis, risk taking and understanding the interconnectedness between what may seem disparate topics are the skills that will enable pupils to develop truly entrepreneurial ways of approaching the world and solving the world’s problems.
Experiential learning is a key part of the Malvern education. “The best way to learn is by doing, and whether this means being in a laboratory with Bunsen burners and test tubes, or standing in a stream measuring water flow, all such experience provides a young person with useable knowledge”.
Critical thinking, problem-solving and analysis skills are an integral part of the IB approach and serve as the foundation for the transference of knowledge and understanding”, said Dr. Lister.
“The IB curriculum is also obviously international in its content and outlook. It teaches children that the world is intimately interconnected and increasingly small.
“These skills, alongside academic excellence, prepare children to succeed in their lives beyond school. They give children the foundation to enable them to grasp whatever opportunities may come their way—to embrace change and not to be afraid of challenges and take well-managed risks when these might be necessary. In addition to providing the bedrock for success, we also believe that a Malvern education provides the basis for fulfilment and ultimately happiness. All of these things go together”.
Dr Lister has high hopes for the school and believes that MCT will help to encourage free-thinking, open-minded and well-educated young people, fully prepared to tackle the modern world.
“We are enormously excited about the opening of our new school in Tokyo and look forward to showing it off to perspective pupils and their parents in the near future”.