LEH International School Foshan is delighted to announce that Mrs Deborah Kirk, currently our Head of Mathematics & Computer Science Faculty, will take on the role of Head of Sixth Form in the school year 2022-23 with the launching of our A Level Programme.
Meet Head of Sixth Form
Mrs Deborah Kirk
Head of Mathematics & Computer Science Faculty
Mrs Deborah Kirk joined LEH Foshan as the Founding Head of Mathematics & Computer Science Faculty. She graduated from the University of Exeter with a Mathematics degree and since then, Mrs Kirk has taught Maths for over 30 years around the world in top international schools, including in Bogota (Colombia), Barcelona, Dubai, and Bangkok. Before joining LEH Foshan she was teaching in the UK where she was not only teaching Maths, but also enjoyed the role of Sixth Form Tutor supporting pre-university preparation as well as an A Level Examiner.
Welcome from the Head of Sixth Form
To be Head of Sixth Form is a privilege that cannot be taken lightly. Young people are starting to consider their adult life choices and they are looking to their tutor and teachers to help guide them, advise them, and set out the choices they realistically have, without in any way dampening their aspirations and dreams. I am excited to share this journey with our first Sixth form cohort. I hope we will explore many routes that help lead our students towards their dreams.
Mrs Kirk has two grown up children and last year added a daughter in law to the family group. Both boys attended International Schools and have been through the Sixth Form process and onto university. Mrs Kirk has seen the role from both sides, as a teacher and as a Parent. She comments that ‘As a Parent you trust the advice given to you by the school, the school can offer an insight and perspective that is difficult to achieve as a Parent.’
Mrs Kirk accompanied by Dr Kirk to a fun evening in Guangzhou last year
Mrs Kirk’s eldest son and daughter in law standing in as parents at her younger son’s graduation
Since arriving in China Mrs Kirk has travelled (with Dr Kirk) and enjoyed walking the Great Wall, gazing in wonder at the terracotta warriors and enjoying the hustle and bustle of both Shanghai and Beijing. This summer she hopes to travel with her husband to Tibet and enjoy the sunrise from the base camp of Mount Everest. ‘As a family we are great travellers enjoying different cultures and exciting and beautiful backdrops as well as, and possibly most importantly, trying the local cuisine’.
Mrs Jane Arden
Mrs Kirk has a wealth of experience as a Head of Faculty and as an A Level examiner making her an obvious choice for the post. Having carefully guided the current year 11s through their IGCSEs, I am excited to see her continue to inspire and nurture of first cohort of A Level students. These are ground-breaking moments for the school, but with the support of LEH London who will work closely with Mrs Kirk, I am confident that our students will be applying to the university of their dreams.
Hot Questions with Mrs Kirk
- What will your leadership style be as Head of Sixth Form?
I do not want to lead the Sixth Form students so much as work with them and help nurture their strengths, hobbies, interests, and abilities. I am a facilitator for them to use to help them find out everything they can to make educated decisions about their future. I expect to encourage them to be diligent students, to take leading roles in school events and to encourage them to see the rewards in giving rather than just taking. I hope to introduce the students to career choices that they may not have thought of or be aware of yet.
- What are the most valuable lessons you have learned throughout your over 30 years of career in education, which could be adapted to help our Sixth Form students succeed?
I think like many travelled people whose experiences are many and varied the one real lesson is to accept what you cannot change and strive to change what you consider unacceptable. This gives you the ability to embrace change, I make sure I have a goal which keeps me moving forward. I try to enjoy myself daily and hopefully help someone else enjoy theirs too.
- What are your top priorities for the A Level Programme here at LEH Foshan?
I want the sixth form to be the bridge between the academic and professional world. LEH great sixth form centre will be neither an extension of the school, nor an office environment, but a balanced combination of the two, providing a unique space for our oldest students who will be tomorrow’s youngest professionals. It is a fact that the culture in any school is set by the sixth formers. The younger students look to the oldest pupils as role models, and often take on their attitudes and values by default. LEH will develop relaxed, happy, focused sixth formers, and this will encourage younger students that fit the same mould. LEH understand this, it’s deeper than just dotting a few beanbags around and installing a coffee machine – it is about creating a cultural DNA.
- How will you and the school help prepare our students for A Level, university application and career?
Before our students even begin to look at University choices, they will need to self-reflect and look at all the options and the different routes available to them. They must make choices about what works for them individually, what is realistic and what is aspirational. LEH will expose students to the many choices available, we will look at what makes a desirable choice for the individual and what the outcome of that choice represents.
- Could you give advice to Y11 students to help them prepare for the A Level during the summer holiday?
Reading, reading and more reading. Fiction, non-fiction, self-help books, comic books. Just read as wide a range of English books that exposes yourself to the English language and to different viewpoints and experiences. Achieving A level grades is only part of the picture that makes a suitable candidate at LEH. Breadth of experiences and interests, hobbies, and achievements in sport, in music, in the arts, in technology are all invaluable and will make the students are far more attractive candidate for top Universities around the globe.
- A Level Programme at LEH Foshan
Starting in August 2022, LEH International School Foshan will offer the prestigious Advanced Level Qualifications Programme (A Level) to our Sixth Form students. This will enable LEH students finishing their IGCSEs to continue their top-level British Education in Foshan in Year 12 and 13.
- What is A Level?
A Level (Advanced Level qualifications) is a prestigious British subject-based qualification for students aged 16 and above that empowers students to be independent learners and gives them the opportunity to specialise in specific areas. Students study over two years, leading to qualifications recognised for entrance to universities and other higher education institutes in the UK and many other countries worldwide.
- Subjects on Offer at LEH Foshan
Students typically study a minimum of three subjects. Subjects include English Language & Literature, Spanish, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, History, Geography, Economics, Art, Sports Science, Computer Science and of course Chinese.
- Experienced British Teachers
All A Level subjects are taught by highly qualified teachers who will guide their students throughout the course. They are adept at teaching the skills and attitudes required for successful independent learning beyond school and throughout life.
Your child(ren) will be taught by our talented teachers, 90 % of whom are British, with over 15 years of teaching experience on average, some of them are/had been examiners of IGCSE and A Level.
Mrs Jane Arden
Our Headteacher Mrs Jane Arden has over 20 years’ experience in education, and prior to this role at LEH, she has spent over 5 years working at top international schools in China as founding Deputy Principal, Director of Teaching and Learning, Head of Academics and Head of English. Under her leadership, her schools achieved outstanding IGCSE and A level results. Jane has also worked as Assistant Principal examiner for AQA English language.
Mrs Deborah Kirk
Mrs Deborah Kirk is our Head of Mathematics & Computer Science Faculty. She has taught Math for over 30 years around the world in top international schools, including Colombia, Spain, Dubai and Bangkok. She is also an A Level Examiner.
Dr Martin Kirk
Dr Martin Kirk is our Head of Science & Technology Faculty. Dr Kirk has over 25 years of experience teaching Biology, Chemistry and Physics in local schools in the UK and British international schools around the world including in Thailand, Dubai, Spain and China. He is also an associate examiner of Pearson A-Level Chemistry. He has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry, both from the University of Leeds.
Mr Stuart Savill
Mr Stuart Savill is the Head of Drama & Creative Arts Faculty, and Exams Officer with over 20 years of teaching experience. He has also held positions including Student Council Coordinator, and worked as a Senior Examiner and Senior Moderator for GCSE Drama.
Mr David Hobourn
Mr David Hobourn is our Director of Music with over twenty years’ experience in music education and performance. He has been on the music examining panel of Trinity College London since 1999.