Nexus has moved into a new era with a new campus in Aljunied. Students and parents got their first look at the school’s modern facilities when it opened its doors for the first time on January 13. This all-through school for students aged three to 18 years has relocated from its older site in Ulu Pandan to a purpose-built, vertical campus that promises to take its flexible learning methods to greater heights.
So, what can we expect from the new Nexus? Principal Judy Cooper talks to WhichSchoolAdvisor about the first day of school, and how the new campus gives Nexus the opportunities to expand its open classroom concept, offer parents a shared workspace, and enrol more students.
Read more: Learn more about the curriculum at Nexus here.
You opened the doors to your new campus on January 13. So, how was the first day?
Our first day could not have gone better! All our staff were around to welcome families to the school. Children met their classmates and teachers for a morning huddle and spent the day getting settled in their new home with orientation activities. Parents met in our new Eco Cafe for coffee and a pebble painting activity, and these pebbles will form a larger decoration in our new school. Our school day ended with smiles – we think the children are very happy with their new school!
You’ve moved from an older campus in Ulu Pandan to a purpose-built school in Aljunied. How has this campus been designed for learning?
Well, where do we start? Sports enthusiasts benefit from an Aquatics Centre, with an Olympic-size pool, a shallow 20m pool for our younger children, teaching classrooms, yoga studio and weight training room. We have two air-conditioned sports halls for badminton through to volleyball, a FIFA and Rugby Union specified Astro-turf pitch, a fitness suite and running track.
For our budding creatives, we have two drama black boxes, plenty of music recording studios, ceramics room with kiln, Visual Art classrooms and a gorgeous auditorium. And, in-between all that, we have plenty of play areas with climbing walls and things to jump and swing, as well as beautiful, quieter zones for our older children to catch-up with friends. The cafeteria features a tandoor and pizza oven, so everyone is nourished and happy at lunch times.
Are there any other facilities that are yet to be developed at the campus?
Our Parent Lounge will be ready in the next few weeks and our shared workspace (for parents) will be available in August. This shared workspace will make balancing work life and family a breeze.
Nexus has a reputation for its innovative, open plan style of teaching. Has the new campus been built to develop this?
We have kept true to our ‘Nexus Way’ and have expanded our open classroom concept. We have large open spaces with flexible furniture (you can write on any surface), which means the classrooms are able to be adapted to the learning taking place. There are still ‘home bases’ where children meet with their class and can put their belongings but they can also come together as an entire year group for bigger projects like learning exhibitions, maths experiments etc. Primary learning hubs have built in food tech rooms and makerspaces to enhance learning, whether that be using the kitchen to understand measurements in science or using Strawbees and Lego to construct buildings.
Secondary students have a mock boardroom for budding entrepreneurs, as well as a Mega Lab that brings the open classroom concept alive in science. This brings a whole year group together for mass research and experiments, and engages students with their learning.
The new campus gives you the space to increase student intake from 900 to 2,000. How will you maintain the strong community feel of the older and smaller campus?
We have grown to 1,000 learners in school. We want to grow, but at a pace that is slow and steady so that we keep our community and family feel – something that we value here at Nexus.
Are there still places available for new students?
We have places available in Early Childhood, IGCSE and IB Diploma at the moment. We will be able to open more classes at the start of the 2020-21 school year in August. This gives us time to recruit experienced and qualified teachers who are creative and innovative educators.
Aside from the daily curriculum, what key events are on the calendar for the first term at your new campus?
So much! We have our first school production of Hairspray, plenty of music performances, sporting fixtures and learner-led activities. Learner-led is where our children are empowered to take action within the school and community; for example our Year 6 students have arranged a multi-cultural lunch for the entire school, including families. Each family will bring food or artefacts from their home country and come together to celebrate what makes Nexus truly international.
We will also have an Open Day on Saturday, March 7, and parents can sign up at openday.nexus.edu.sg.