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Empowering Women at Branksome Hall Asia

The 21st century could be described as the age of women. More and more, women are embracing leading roles in society, shattering glass ceilings to make their mark on history. The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, is widely recognized as the most powerful person in Europe. The UK recently saw the ascension of their second female Prime Minister, Theresa May.  In November, Hillary Clinton could be elected the next President of the United States…

These breakthroughs are not pure coincidence but have at least been partly brought about through years of efforts by forward-thinking educational institutions. One such school, Branksome Hall Asia, has acquired a sterling reputation for empowering women through its unique curriculum and educational philosophy. Located on the beautiful island of Jeju, South Korea, Branksome Hall Asia is the sister school of the widely revered 114-year old Branksome Hall independent girls’ school in Toronto, Canada.


Image courtesy of Branksome Hall Asia

Both schools share an educational philosophy based on leadership through service – students develop the intellectual capacity and courage to lead, while cultivating a sense of empathy and understanding for others. To that end, Branksome Hall Asia features an International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum and a truly innovative C.A.S.E. program which focuses on enriched routes of learning.

Branksome Hall Asia’s decision to provide an IB education from Junior Kindergarten Prep through Grade 12 was an easy one. Studies have shown that IB students earn better outcomes than their peers. To demonstrate, a global study by the Australian Council for Educational Research sought to explore academic performance of primary (PYP) and middle school (MYP) students – in comparison with non-IB students – in mathematics, reading, and expository and narrative writing.

“The data from a total of 50,714 international students, 68 percent of whom were IB students, suggested that the PYP and MYP cohort performed better than their non-IB peers in all four assessments and at many grade levels,” notes an IBO report.

IB education has also been praised for its global outlook. “The IB has an international element built into the curriculum,” an International school Headmaster told The Telegraph. IB students “learn additional languages and other countries’ histories. They analyze literature in translation and study economics and geography from other vantage points. It fosters a genuine global understanding.”


Image courtesy of Branksome Hall Asia

But academic rigor is not the only way Branksome Hall Asia empowers the next generation of women. The school is also renowned for C.A.S.E., which stands for Creativity, Action, Service and Enrichment. – the four pillars of its unique co-curricular program.

The first pillar, Creativity, is Branksome Hall Asia’s arts component. Students have abundant opportunity to develop their artistic talents and express themselves through a variety of activities and ensembles, including ballet, photography, theatrical productions, string academy, symphony orchestra, choir and vocal academy, Korean calligraphy, Korean drumming, and more. The school has a state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center, which features spacious performing arts classrooms, practice rooms, an acoustically sophisticated auditorium, a TV studio, an audio recording studio, and a dance studio.

The second pillar, Action, refers to Branksome Hall Asia’s comprehensive athletic program, which allows students to engage in a variety of sports and games, including badminton, volleyball, basketball, soccer, golf, swimming, track and field, and horse riding at Elite Academy and Club levels. All this is supported by Branksome Hall Asia’s remarkably impressive facilities, which include a 50m Olympic swimming pool, fitness center, a golf driving range and putting green, tennis courts, a soccer pitch, a Wellness Center, and a hockey field.


Image courtesy of Branksome Hall Asia

The third pillar, Service, is about Branksome Hall Asia’s commitment to raising female leaders who bring positive change to society. Students work with various community organizations and work with real world problems and contribute to their resolution. Building their personal strengths the fourth pillar, Enrichment. Students have the opportunity to hone their public speaking skills, act as mentors to others, participate in Model United Nations, get involved in local community initiatives, promote social justice and environmental awareness, and more.

The Branksome Hall Asia – Branksome Hall Canada Exchange Program synergizes with the Branksome Hall Asia’s international outlook. The annual Grade 9 student exchanges between Branksome Hall Asia and Branksome Hall in Canada Allows students from both schools get a memorable and meaningful experience in how life is on the other side of the world, and appreciating different cultural perspectives and practices. They emerge with an informed, independent, and culturally rich preparation for adulthood and the diverse working world.

There’s much to be said about residential life at Branksome Hall Asia as well. Students are provided a secure supportive environment in which they can develop a sense of personal responsibility and independence. The school maintains a ratio of one qualified teacher or mentoring professional to every 10 students, ensuring each student receives the care and attention that she needs. The girls stay in state-of-the-art bedrooms fitted for single or double occupancy, and have full access to e-mail, Internet, and Branksome’s e-learning platform. WiFi is available throughout campus and there is a 24-hour medical centre.

Jeju Island, where Branksome Hall Asia is located, is safe and clean, and only a few flight hours (1-3 hours) away from major Asian cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Jeju is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so students can look forward to picturesque sights and a unique cultural experience.


Image courtesy of Travel Wire Asia

From Branksome Hall Asia’s IB curriculum to its C.A.S.E. program and residential life, the school shows a singular dedication to promoting values of innovative thinking, global and social awareness, and self-sufficiency among young women. That is to say, the school is very much with the times, as women move forward to achieve new and greater heights in the public sphere. Branksome Hall Asia doesn’t just educate women; it pushes the limits of what they can achieve.

Follow Branksome Hall Asia on Twitter and Facebook.

Feature image courtesy of Branksome Hall Asia

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