Making HEADway
Positive School Culture in the New Normal

After nearly a year of remote and hybrid learning, schools are looking to restart in-class instruction. Beyond responding to the immediate cognitive and social-emotional needs of learners, educators need to create school environments and communities where teachers and students can thrive in the new normal. While the challenges presented by the COVID-19 ­­­pandemic have been daunting, a positive school culture can smoothen the transition to the new normal.

PART 1 | Building a Positive School Culture

PART 2 | Building a Culture of Relationships

PART 3 | Building a Culture of Learning

Handbook for Educators

In this three-part webinar series held from January to February 2021, school leaders from Southeast Asia discussed how educators can build and maintain a positive school culture in challenging circumstances. This practice-focused series shares best practices and relevant, actionable strategies and tips with school leaders and educators.

Part 1 | Building a Positive School Culture

Fundamental to the concept of a school culture is the idea of the learner—what kind of learners do we want our schools to produce? In the first session, our speakers shared their unique frameworks for identifying their desired learning outcomes and the school culture that steer the way towards positive change. We unpacked what constitutes a school culture, and what it means to build and maintain a positive and nurturing school culture anchored on mutual support and trust. Watch full webinar.

Part 2 | Building a Culture of Relationships

Key to creating a positive culture is the need to build a sense of belonging and camaraderie. In difficult times, strong connections and relationships become our safety net. In the second session, we looked at how developing strong relationships within and beyond the school community is crucial to surviving a crisis, and how the success of adapting to the new normal hinges on sustaining and even renewing relationships with students, school leaders, and the wider community. Watch full webinar.

Part 3 | Building a Culture of Learning

Building on the second session, the final session explored how a strong foundation of relationships can facilitate sharing and mentoring, and build a culture of learning and growth in our schools. Our speakers also shared how they made learning and development, for both students and staff, an integral aspect of their school cultures. The series ended by reiterating how a strong positive culture builds school-wide resilience against education disruptions. Watch full webinar.

Mr Ho Swee Huat

Mr Ho Swee Huat is the Founder and Managing Director of Abacus Assets Advisors Pte Ltd. Before starting the company, he had an established career in the banking industry, with 20 years of experience in Singapore, Hong Kong and New York.

He was an Independent Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of CapitaCommercial Trust Management LTD from 2004 to 2013.

He is the current Chairman of Autism Association (Singapore) which he co-founded with a group of parents in 1992. He is also Vice-Chairman of Eden School, a special school for children with autism.

Mr Ho holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Liberal Arts degree in Economics from Hamilton College, USA.

He has been a member of the Board of the Foundation since its incorporation.