South Korea Business Report

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Discovery Reports

Branksome Hall Asia takes students on a distinct learning journey

Branksome Hall Asia is a sister school of the 114-year-old Branksome Hall in Toronto, Canada, which is one of the world’s top-ranked boarding schools

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 February, 2018, 11:43am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 March, 2018, 11:21am

[Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports]

Empowered and perseverant. Analytical and agile. If educators put themselves in the shoes of hiring personnel, they would know that these are the attributes expected of graduates to secure future success.

Fortunately for girls, Branksome Hall Asia identified these right from the school’s inception as the qualities it will instil in its students. “We were thinking, ‘What do 21st century students need to succeed when they join an interdependent world?’ At Branksome Hall Asia, there is focus and intentionality to ensure our girls acquire the requisite skills to thrive in a globalised community,” says
Dr Beverley von Zielonka, principal.

Located in the Jeju Global Education City in South Korea, Branksome Hall Asia is the country’s only international boarding school for girls. It is a sister school of the 114-year-old Branksome Hall in Toronto, Canada, which is one of the world’s top-ranked boarding schools. Since its inauguration in 2012, the school has given Korean nationals, children of expatriates and students from neighbouring countries conveniently located access to a world-class education without them needing to go as far as the United States, Britain or Canada.

Branksome Hall Asia is authorised to run the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme and offers a continuous education framework from junior kindergarten to grade 12. The school’s state-of-the-art campus provides a caring environment where girls can “discover their remarkable”.

Technically and collaboratively advanced learning spaces, STEM-V laboratories and studios, Olympic-size swimming pool, hockey arena, golf academy, acoustically advanced performance arts centre, the school’s own television station, home-away-from-home residential halls and other facilities have been deliberately designed to create as many opportunities as possible so that students can find their voice and realise their talents and capabilities. Have a passion for music? Need a model to test-run a project proposition? The school has a symphony orchestra and 3D design studio.

At Branksome Hall Asia, the girls take centre stage
Jay Kim, director of marketing

“At Branksome Hall Asia, the girls take centre stage” says Jay Kim, director of marketing. “They can have all the leadership roles. All these different opportunities might be missed in a coed situation.”

Devised to develop cross-discipline thinking, its curriculum adheres to the IB framework. There are discrete subjects, but units are planned with overarching themes, therefore students can, for instance, relate what they learn in history to science. Subjects are taught in English. Students have access to Mandarin lessons. There are Korean language and history subjects. All students graduate with a bilingual IB diploma and participate in extracurricular activities in four areas: creativity, action, service and enrichment (CASE).

With the help of exceptionally trained teachers from around the world, and the school’s meaningful partnership with the parents, students feel empowered in knowing they can meet challenges and solve problems. Girls at Branksome Hall are confident to do TED Talks, become aeronautical engineers, and more.

One capstone programme that excites students is the Grade 9 Exchange Program. The programme takes them halfway across the globe for case studies and solution presentations with their sister students, and as a way to broaden their horizons. Last year, it was at the Rotman Business School in Toronto, Canada, whose officers were amazed at how Branksome Hall Asia girls conducted themselves and addressed their authentic international community studies. This year, students will experience apprenticeships at a local television station.

Results continue to inspire the school to expand collaborative opportunities. Branksome Hall Asia seeks partnerships with universities and schools worldwide for exchange programmes and internship agreements. For instance, one university has its students doing practicum work at Branksome Hall Asia. The school continues to add company opportunities for the girls’ apprenticeships, with summer school programmes and partnerships with local communities.

Foreign students and teachers may think of Branksome Hall Asia as a destination school amid the attractive sights in Jeju. There’s every reason for young girls across the world to enrol at Branksome Hall Asia and discover her remarkable.