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At home in the world

Private schools, Quality

Jonathan Long, new principal of Woodstock School, Mussoorie, talks to Aaditi Isaac on the emergence of international school education in India

Woodstock School (founded in 1854) is the first international school in India. How receptive has India become to providing international education?

An increasing number of students have joined international schools in India in recent years, as parents see the benefits of an international school education. However, there are many different ‘types’ of international schools. Some international schools serve a largely expatriate community and focus on teaching a set national curriculum that provides access to tertiary education back in a particular home country. Other international schools have far more diverse student populations and offer opportunities for young people to graduate into a worldwide educational environment. The school has responded to the need for an international education that offers far more than a traditional academic curriculum . Our holistic approach to learning is an opportunity to specifically develop cross-cultural understanding , a global outlook, and an ability to build quality relationships with people from different backgrounds and nationalities. Woodstock may have been India’s first international school but its understanding of internationalism has moved beyond the confines of strap-line , curriculum or aspiration.

The model of international schools has become quite common in India. What is your view?

Several international schools have sprung up across India in recent years, but one would question just how genuinely international some of these new schools are in character. By this, I mean do they have an international student and staff body, is their curriculum global and internationallyaccredited , do their students go on to study at international institutions , and is their governance international in its make-up ? Currently about 80% of our students go on to study at international universities, and we make sure we consistently fulfil these criterion to maintain the international character of the school.

At Woodstock, we value the term global over the term international. Our aim is to prepare young people for tomorrow’s world, not yesterday’s .

What is the profile of the school – faculty and students?

Currently, about 40% of our students are Indian nationals, and the other 60% are from other countries around the world ranging from the US to UK, Germany to Japan, and Afghanistan to Australia. Our students represent about 30 different countries across the globe, and staff about 20 different nationalities.

Can you elaborate on the different boards/examination systems followed by the school?

We offer an international curriculum including the Advanced Placement (AP) and IGCSE, as well as the Indian marksheet and the US High School Diploma. This means our students have access to higher educational institutions around the world and in India.

The Times of India, 02 April 2012


2 Responses to “At home in the world”

  1. Sanjeev Bolia
    3 April 2012 at 00:58

    In my opinion The Governement should only allow the word “International”to appear in the name of those schools which offer International Curriculum.

  2. Can you please explain the curriculum of IGCSE board and what is the benefits in studying in IGCSE.

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