Category Archives: Nicholas Alchin

NICHOLAS ALCHIN is High School Principal at UWC South East Asia’s East Campus (wwww.uwcsea.edu.sg). A sino-celtic Brit who has lived and taught in UK, Switzerland, Kenya and is now based in Singapore, he has also held a number of roles with the IB and writes and speaks widely on educational matters. He enjoys travelling with wife Ellie, and kids Tom (10), Millie (13) and Ruth (16).

Graduation Address to the Class of 2017

What follows is a section from my Graduation Speech to the class of 2017. ….we have so many, many things we could say: but collectively they can all be summed up: thank you for your leadership, kindness, company and for … Continue reading

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Like, get over it!

In 1680, the English King James told architect Christopher Wren that the newly-completed St Paul’s cathedral was “awful, artificial and amusing”. In 1680 ‘awful’ meant ‘awe-inspiring’; ‘artificial’ meant ‘artistically made’ and ‘amusing’ meant ‘amazing’. The two graphics here illustrate a … Continue reading

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High School: Where the fallen angel meets the rising ape

I was recently at an under 9s boys football tournament, supporting one of our teams. These are high energy events, as you can imagine, with hundreds of small boys charging around in semi-controlled fashion; a triumph of enthusiasm and innocence. … Continue reading

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How do we think about our children?

 The Carpenter and the Gardener: Metaphor matters All parents know that having kids changes us in many ways; not just in the obvious things, but also in the profound assumptions we have of the world, and indeed of ourselves.  About … Continue reading

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Confused? I hope so.

I’ve been spending a fair bit of time in lessons this week – just dropping in and out of classes for a few minutes.  It’s good to see what’s happening in the various areas, to talk to students about how … Continue reading

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The Professional Art of Conversation

With all the many great events that go on in schools – obviously lessons; also sports fixtures, music performances, drama productions, service trip, adventurous expeditions etc – it’s easy to get caught up in the tasks we all have to … Continue reading

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On information overload

Should you care what I am wearing as I write this? Read on, gentle reader… Making sure that the education we offer is meeting student needs is an ongoing priority for us; and part of that has to be equipping … Continue reading

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An essential quality of a great teacher.

I came across a story about three stonemasons giving accounts of their work.  The first said I am cutting stone; the second I am building a cathedral; the third I am serving God.  It is not hard to imagine which … Continue reading

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Best Practice in Teaching

Educators are, in my experience, always looking to improve themselves, and often seeking to live up to, or implement ‘best practice.’ But that’s a surprisingly complex idea, and it may even be that there is actually no such single thing. … Continue reading

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Kindly Perfectionism

I have heard it said that the happiest person on the Olympic podium is usually the bronze medallist, and the saddest is usually the silver medallist.  The former is delighted with the medal he got, the latter distraught over the … Continue reading

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