A new player is set to enter the Kingdom’s competitive international school sector – one promising to stand out from the rest with its unique approach to achieving educational excellence.
Invictus International School was founded in Singapore in 2015 by South African tech entrepreneur John Fearon to offer premium education at an accessible price.
It is to open its Phnom Penh campus in March, with quality learning available for $8,000 per year.
The school focuses on holistic education and character development, with a particular emphasis on leadership, multilingualism and the highly effective Singapore Mathematics method to ensure graduates are equipped with the necessary skills to enter the higher learning institution of their choice.
Invictus is in the midst of expanding to other countries after the success of its campuses in Singapore and the strong recommendations from the expatriate community.
The Cambodian campus joins the two currently in Hong Kong, with plans afoot to bring Invictus’ accessible international education to Thailand.
The management at Invictus includes seasoned educators, some of whom have served in senior appointments at the Singaporean Ministry of Education.
One, the school’s principal Cecilia Ng, enthusiastically describes her passion for education, and her excitement at being the head of Invictus Phnom Penh.
“Teaching is my passion, and it’s the only job I have ever done, from being a teacher to becoming a vice-principal and then a principal in Singapore’s Ministry of Education.
“I am excited to come to Cambodia. I would like to make a difference by providing the necessary skills so [students] can contribute to the development and success of the country,” Ng says.
The 30-year educator says the learning of three languages – English, Khmer and Simplified Chinese – will be one of Invictus’ unique selling points.
“With globalisation, it is crucial that we hone the multi-linguistic ability of our students, and knowing more languages will give them a competitive edge. Knowing more than one language increases cultural awareness and allows for communication with many different people.
“A great deal of research has revealed that young children can learn and absorb different languages easily and quickly. The learning of multiple languages should start young, and that is why at Invictus, we are exposing children to three languages early,” Ng says.
The Invictus philosophy is to provide students with a holistic education in both academic and non-academic areas.
“Holistic education in the classroom is dynamic and focuses on the subject matter, which is then brought to life through experiences, discussions, student-centred tasks and authentic learning.
“Character development is also an important aspect of our curriculum as we believe very strongly that values education and the intellectual have to be balanced,” she says.
Ng speaks of the importance of leadership in education.
“Leadership is an area that we will focus on as we believe very strongly that ‘Every Child is a Leader’. Our curriculum ensures that opportunities will be provided for every child to develop life skills so that they will be confident and able to interact well with the community.
“A true leader will be visionary, optimistic, adaptable, confident, decisive and have strong communication skills,” she says.
The school also plans to equip students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“Computer literacy skills will also be featured in our curriculum. We have plans to teach coding and IT-related skills,” she says.
All this means students are set to leave Invictus with the qualifications to enter university and the skills to succeed in life.
“We envisage our graduating students to be confident leaders with an international perspective, equipped with all the necessary hard skills to enter the higher learning institution of their choice and the soft skills to positively influence the people around them – and lead them with love and compassion,” Ng says.