We are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Simon Brooks as the new Principal of the Australian School of Malaysia for the upcoming 2022 school year. Simon comes to AISM with many years’ experience in senior educational leadership roles, working in both the government and independent sectors in Australia, the UK and around the world.
Simon firmly believes that as educators, parents and citizens we must settle for nothing less than an education which brings out the best in everyone, takes learning to the next level, allows for curiosity and the joy of discovery, and propels our students forward into a lifetime of learning. He believes that a rigorous education leads to outstanding examination success and about who students become as thinkers and learners in consequence of the time they spend in school. It is these habits of mind or thinking dispositions that we must nurture, so that our students are equipped to enter the world as curious, analytical, engaged individuals who are good listeners, happy to persevere, passionate, open-minded, healthily sceptical, respectful, imaginative and willing to learn from their mistakes.
Simon began his career in the UK as a teacher of English and then Head of Department at a large comprehensive school in southwest England, where he was credited with dramatically improving public examination results at all levels, and creating a department which was described by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) as ‘Outstanding’.
In his role as Director of Teaching and Learning for one of Sydney’s top independent schools, Simon developed close connections with the Project Zero research team at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, leading the transformation of the school into a lighthouse institution for teaching and learning. Some of this work is documented in the best-selling book, ‘Creating Cultures of Thinking’, by Dr. Ron Ritchhart. Simon is a globally renowned educator and school leader, and has worked closely with schools around the world interested in building cultures of thinking and learning. He was described as ‘one of the most outstanding educational leaders and thinkers in the world’ by educator and author Cameron Paterson. His most recent in-school role was as Regional Principal for one of the world’s largest global schools, where he was responsible for the leadership of 16 campuses, 1400 students and 210 staff across two Australian states.
Simon holds an Honours degree in English Literature from the University of Wales College of Cardiff, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Worcester, and a Master of Educational Studies degree with high distinction from the University of New South Wales. In 2014, he was the recipient of the prestigious UNSW Dean's Leadership Award, and was honoured to become a fellow of the Project Zero Institute at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is a keen sportsman, particularly enjoying racket sports such as badminton, table-tennis, squash and tennis, and is an avid reader, theatre-goer and learner.
In commenting on his appointment as the new Principal for AISM, Simon remarked, “I am thrilled to be joining the AISM community, and thankful for this amazing opportunity for my wife, myself and my daughters to begin the next phase of our lives in Malaysia. At AISM, my number one priority will be to ensure that every single child receives an exceptional educational experience grounded in academic excellence and emotional well-being.”
Simon believes in schools where the focus is on learning rather than work, deep learning, understanding beyond just knowledge, independence rather than dependence, and the development of growth rather than fixed mindset. Drawing on his background with Harvard’s Project Zero, he believes that learning is a consequence of thinking, and that it is the responsibility of schools to create an atmosphere in which good thinking thrives.
“It has been a wonderful beginning to get to know members of the Senior Leadership and Administrative teams over the past couple of months, and I really look forward to meeting students, staff, parents and families when I arrive in early January 2022.”