Head of School at Woodford International School in Solomon Islands
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Head of School
Woodford International School (Solomon Islands)

Jul 2, 21
Jul 31, 21

 

 

Woodford International School

Honiara, Solomon Islands

 

www.wis.edu.sb

Head of School to begin January 2022

SCHOOL BACKGROUND

Woodford International School (WIS) has been providing quality education to international and local students in the Solomon Islands for over 60 years. The school is not-for-profit and is governed by a parent-elected Board and is located in a purpose-built facility in Honiara. The current high school complex was built in 2007 and the administration wing was redeveloped in 2011. Currently WIS has a total student population of 305, comprising over 30 different nationalities and ranging from Kindergarten to Year 12.

The school is looking for a Head of School who will lead, develop and inspire the school’s multi-cultural, diverse staff to build on Woodford’s strengths and to seize opportunities to strengthen the school in line with our Mission, Vision and Values.

Mission
WIS is a community of learners that builds on each child's strengths, drawing from our diverse local context and a rich international curriculum, to develop globally ready learners equipped to shape their future and achieve their dreams.

Vision 

Globally ready learners, daring to dream, confident to act, empowered to achieve. 

 

Values 

  •  Courage – to try new things, to embrace challenges, to dream big and pursue our dreams, to stand up for what is right, to express our ideas and feelings.
  • Respect – for each other in all we do, for different points of view, for different cultures and backgrounds, for school and others’ property.
  • Excellence – aiming high and doing our best, commitment to continuous improvement and lifelong learning.
  • Diversity – valuing the diversity of our community; being open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities.
  • Integrity – being honest, doing the right thing, standing up for what is right, doing our fair share, doing what we say we will do.
  • Teamwork – working together; recognising, appreciating and utilising each other’s strengths; sharing our own strengths and efforts.
 

HISTORY

WIS is over 65 years old. The school began with only 12 students and grew to a peak of about 500 students in the period between 2008-10 when RAMSI brought a large number of expatriates to the Solomon Islands.

The Solomon Islands has been COVID free to this point and currently has strict travel restrictions to guard this enviable status. However, the uncertainty that COVID has brought worldwide led to a drop of about 1/3 of students last year and enrolment currently stands at about 305.

CURRICULUM

The school operates on a southern hemisphere school calendar. Students from Kindergarten to Year 5 follow the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) curriculum framework.  Years 6 to 10 use Cambridge Secondary curricula, culminating in the International General Certificate of School Education (IGCSE).  Students in Grade 11 can prepare for the Solomon Islands national examinations or the internationally-recognised Cambridge O-levels and in Year 12 A-levels. Students from Year 2 – Year 8 are taught Mandarin. This year, the school started using the International Schools Assessment (ISA) standardized assessments.

The school offers an extra-curricular programme which has a wide number of offerings for students in Primary grades. There is scope for this programme to be expanded and to offer more choices for older students.

FACULTY

The Faculty are predominantly from the Solomon Islands and are long-term members of staff. Other teachers come from New Zealand and Fiji. Primary classes have teaching assistants to support students and teachers. The Head of School is supported by a strong leadership team.

STUDENTS

About 60% of WIS’s students are from the Solomon Islands, the remainder are expatriates whose parents are working for NGO’s, businesses and foreign governments. The school offers a Kindergarten class for 3 year olds, a Pre-school programme for 4 year olds and the first year of formal schooling is in Prep for 5 year olds. Generally, students begin in Kindergarten and graduate in Year 12 when they are 18. There is an increasing number of Chinese students attending the school. About two thirds of the students are in the Primary School. There are usually two classes in Prep and Grade one, other classes have one class per grade level.

 

FACILITIES

WIS is located on the coast on Kukum highway about 4 kilometres from the centre of Honiara, the capital city of Honiara. The school has a library, art room, music room, a multi-purpose hall, two computer labs and playing fields in addition to classrooms. Access to IT can be somewhat limited for students and faculty.

HONIARA

The Solomon Islands is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Honiara is the capital city and as of 2017, had a population of about 85,000 people (Wikipedia). Parents and teachers report Honiara as a great place to live. Life is relaxed. Residents need to adjust to “island time”. There are various sports clubs playing; rugby, netball, soccer and frisbee. Some of the hotels have pools that can be used for a fee. Honiara is known as the live music capital of the Pacific. Music is played in pubs and clubs around town. The cost of living is quite high. This cost of living comparator tool may be helpful for candidates to compare Honiara to where they are living now.

The Solomon Islands is known for its excellent scuba diving. This can be done locally but generally is better in the outer islands. Travel to these islands is possible but can be expensive.

 

        Picture: David Kirkland

During World War II there were a number of battles on the Solomon Islands and there is still wreckage and evidence of these battles on the islands and also underwater.

There are direct international flights to Australia, Fiji, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. There are a number of domestic flights serving various islands in the Solomon Islands.

 

THE POSITION OF HEAD OF SCHOOL

The Board is looking for a new Head of School to lead the school in its next stage of development. The initial contract will be for three years. The Board and administration are currently developing a new Strategic Plan which is due to be implemented from January 2022. This draft will be finalized with the new Head of School’s input. However, the main elements of the plan will likely include the following:

 

  • Developing and implementing a strategy to boast enrolments of local students.
  • Improving academic rigor throughout the school.
  • Developing a long-term facilities plan.
  • Improving the extra-curricular programme – range of offerings and quality of offerings.

Personal Qualities

  •  Strong interpersonal skills
  • Good communicator 
  • A team player
  • Transparent
  • Open-minded
  • Flexible and able to “wear many hats”
  • Proven self-awareness and strength to adapt to life in the remote Pacific

Experience and Skills

  •  Experience in school leadership - preferably experience leading an international school in a developing country.
  • Strong knowledge of the PYP and Cambridge curricula
  • Proven track record of school improvement
  • Strong financial acumen

Required Qualifications

  • Degree (Masters preferred) in Education or Educational Administration
  • Teacher certification

Salary and Benefits

  •  A competitive international salary package (paid in Australian Dollars).

HOW TO APPLY

Woodford International School (WIS) has selected Search Associates to assist them in the Head of School search, with Caroline Jacoby as the Lead Consultant. The deadline for applications is Saturday July 31st, 2021, 9:00a.m. GMT.

 

Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and the required materials as early as possible as WIS reserves the right to close the selection process AT ANY TIME if the right candidate is found. The review of applications begins as applications are received. For this reason, it is important that interested candidates apply at the earliest possible time.

 

Please note that we will not forward-on candidates for further consideration by the hiring school/organization if a candidate is under contract or otherwise encumbered in such a way that would preclude them from freely entering into a new employment contract, if offered, and being available for the start date stipulated by the hiring organization. Search Associates will contact the current employer/supervisor to request completion of a Search Associates Confidential Leadership Reference Form for all applicants who emerge in the search as a Finalist.

 

Candidates should send the information listed below in a single PDF file attached to an email - please keep total document size no larger than 4 MB.

  •  A letter of application describing your interest in the Head of School position at WIS, highlighting your strengths as a candidate and how your qualifications and experience align with the position profile and the school’s areas of focus in their future Strategic Plan.
  • A current resume not to exceed two pages.
  • A one (1) page list of four (4) referees who have been your direct supervisors, with current email addresses.
  • A statement describing your leadership and educational philosophy, not to exceed two pages.

Applications should be sent to: Caroline Jacoby at cjacoby@searchassociates.com

 

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Diana Kerry was an international educator and administrator for 25 years in various countries, including Iran, France, Thailand, and Indonesia.