A Candid Q&A with Rob Reed, Our Executive Principal

Moving into the future, Asia Pacific School is excited to streamline our International and Malaysian National curricula under the guidance of the International Schools Partnership. With this in mind, we have welcomed our first Executive Principal in Mr Rob Reed. A graduate of Cambridge University, Rob’s extensive leadership experience makes him the right candidate to take us to the next level. Here is what he had to say about the potential of the APS community.

You’ve worked in education for close to 20 years. What attracted you and continues to attract you to the profession?

Educators have the opportunity and the honour to change lives for the better.  I never have to wake up in the morning wondering if the way I have spent my life has meaning. I know I am helping future generations to have better lives and to make the world a better place.  I am so lucky to be doing a job I love.  Every day presents new challenges with lots of opportunity for good struggle – when I have the chance to work on becoming a better version of myself.  

What is the greatest strength of APS today?

There are schools who have happy children but whose chances in life are more limited because they don’t get great academic qualifications.  There are schools where the children get great qualifications but this is done through draconian discipline and attitudes that make children miserable.  

There are a few schools that ensure that their children are both high achieving and happy.  Asia Pacific School is one of these very special schools where we have happy children who get great academic qualifications.  This is a huge strength.

How can you apply your past experience to lead APS into the future?

I realise that these next few lines will sound utterly immodest but… I have excellent qualifications and deep experience, which ensure that I am well-equipped for the considerable challenges of providing the best possible learning to our children.  

My academic and professional qualifications include a degree in history from Cambridge University, a post-graduate teaching qualification also from Cambridge University, a Master’s degree in education leadership, and my UK professional qualification as a headteacher. 

At the same time, I am also very experienced.  There are few leadership and management challenges that I haven’t previously encountered before, as I have led and managed both primary and secondary schools, single schools and groups of schools. I have enjoyed success throughout my career because I know what excellence looks like and I know how to get it.

How do you see the role of technology in the classroom and in enhancing learning?

As adults, we do not use technology as separated from the rest of what we do.  It’s ever present and simply a part of normal working and living.  This is how technology should be for students.  It should be an ‘every day’ equipment, as normal as a ‘pencil case’, in the range of tools and equipment that students use to help them learn.

Technology has to be readily available to students when it is the most appropriate tool to support a particular piece of learning.  This means that we need to have easily accessible mobile devices (such as laptops) and we need to develop an approach for BYOD – bring your own device.  We will also need dedicated tools for specific tasks, including augmented reality (AR) devices and 3D printers.

What role do parents play in contributing to the success of a school?

A great school has highly skilled teachers and they should be respected for their professional expertise. However, this professional expertise can only be applied to maximum effect if teachers also truly value the insight of parents.  Thus in addition to providing Amazing Learning and ensuring that children are safe and happy, successful schools also secure a great relationship with parents.

Without an effective partnership with parents, a school cannot call itself truly successful.  On one level, our parents are our customers and we should always strive to meet our customers’ needs.  More fundamentally, our parents are the ones who know their children best.  In order to do the best for our children, we must communicate closely with their parents.

The school must provide ample opportunity for parents to share in the celebration of success, as well as to give honest constructive feedback that helps a school to improve further. This cannot happen without a great relationship between school and parents.  

Join us in supporting Rob as he brings a fresh approach to education at APS. You can reach him directly at [email].