Introducing Andrew Marshall, our new Primary Principal for CIS' English, FEB and Foundation programmes
We warmly welcome Andrew Marshall, Primary Principal for our English, French-English bilingual and Foundation programmes to our CIS community. Hailing from Newcastle in North East England, Andrew brings with him international teaching and leadership experience from the UK and China.
We recently spoke with Andrew to learn more about his passion for diversity, his approach to education and goals for the upcoming school year.
Welcome to CIS, Andrew! Tell us a little about yourself.
I wanted to make a difference in education and trained as a teacher in 2007 leaving a career in the business and marketing industry. I’ve never looked back, and have held various teaching and leadership roles in the UK and internationally–most recently as Head of Lower School at Harrow International School in Shenzhen. I’ve lived and worked in Singapore in the past and definitely hope to reconnect with professional learning and special education networks.
Outside the classroom, I enjoy hiking, running and skiing with my favourite slopes being in Japan. My partner and I are also fond of theatre and performing arts.
I am thrilled to join the diverse community at CIS and look forward to working collaboratively with students, parents and staff to build upon the many successes of the school. I’m also excited to explore more of the campus and eat more of the delicious food I sampled when I visited!
Can you share more about your dedication to promoting diversity in education?
My belief in the importance of diversity has influenced my leadership of schools and my commitment to shape programmes to meet a wide range of students, celebrate cultural backgrounds and encourage different interests. The power and beauty of diversity should never be ignored.
During a lesson I once taught, a student responded to a collection of foods from different cultures with clear excitement: “I’m so excited I haven’t eaten this food before!” What followed was a conversation between students sharing their celebrated differences. In a world that is as diverse and uniquely different as they are, learning should prepare them to be well-rounded global citizens.
Students thrive when they are happy, feel a sense of belonging and are cared for. I believe in nurturing a culture of kindness, articulated and consistently applied, day in, day out by teachers, students and parents alike.
When a classroom culture is safe, respectful, supportive and positive, students feel comfortable and confident to not only celebrate their successes but reflect on their next steps. This positive approach to education leads to better outcomes for students and informs the way I create safe, respectful and responsible learning environments.
What are your goals for the 2023-24 school year?
My goals are simple. Similar to how I encourage my students, I’ll ask “why”. As a new principal, it is important for me to ask questions, listen to the community and act on feedback to further improve the great work at CIS. Only this way can we collaboratively shape CIS’ future together. It is my aim to ensure that every member of our community—students, staff and parents—feels empowered to make a difference.
Lastly, do you have any tips for parents to help their children settle into a new school year?
Starting a new school year can be exciting but also challenging. I encourage parents to talk to their child about how their day has been and positively reflect with them. This can be hard as students will often reply with “nothing” or “I forgot”. Focus on feelings. Were you happy today? What made you happy? Don’t hesitate to communicate with your child’s teacher on any anxieties your child may have. Such information helps our teachers provide better support at school.
I am also a believer in balancing school and family time. Take time in the evening and weekends to spend quality family time with your child.
Thank you for your time Andrew. We are excited to have you on board at CIS.