21 Dec Fantastic First Year for GOTS
It was a cold wet day in Elmina, Shah Alam, when Veronica Shepherdson and her partners stumbled upon the place which would warm their hearts.
The four had just completed a brainstorming session in Genting Highlands where they shared ideas and aspirations on what they wanted from their new international school.
“At that time, we had only mapped out what we wanted and what the school was going to be about.
“We had not discussed the name or the location.
“We drove by Elmina and one of my partners looked at the empty buildings and had the foresight and vision to see that this could be the venue of a beautiful school.
“The partner immediately contacted the owners and leased five of the warehouses.”
Once that was done, they decided on naming the school Global Oak Tree Scholars (GOTS).
The oak tree was chosen as it is an endearing creation of nature that signifies wisdom, strength, tenacity and grit. It also symbolises the promise of providing learners with protection and shelter.
“We saw the place in the middle of July last year and by September the school was ready. In January we started with only four children.
“Our numbers have been growing steadily and we may have to expand soon.”
“We stuck to our commitment of delivering top-notch education despite having just four children and this attracted many parents as it showed we would not compromise on quality.”
She also said GOTS’ Funky Munky programme – a creative and innovative approach to the implementation of extra-curricular activities – was a big attraction.
The activities under the programme include hip-hop dance, Taiko drums, speech and drama, taekwondo and ballet.
“We have children from different backgrounds and all walks of life. We have children who were very shy and not as confident, to those at the opposite end of the scale.
“But they all took to Funky Munky and have bonded in class.
“I have watched them since January and the transformation is really, really remarkable.”
What sets GOTS apart is the sense of family not just among the staff but also among the scholars.
The perfect example is how scholars decide by themselves which uniform they would use each day.
GOTS has four sets of uniforms – green, blue, purple, and yellow – with Friday reserved for scholars to wear their own clothes.
“The children decide which uniform they want to wear and without fail, they use the same colour uniforms on the designated days,” said Shepherdson.
“They have learned to respect each other, plan and communicate their feelings. Yes, there are arguments but they work it out among themselves and rarely do we have to interfere.”
She said feedback from parents has been positive with everyone expressing shock their children actually look forward to going to school.
The scholars have even protested over the length of the year-end break which lasts for a month for fear they “will be bored at home”.
“We have made learning fun but we have not neglected the academics even though we make it a point not to give them homework.
“The results have been amazing as we are one of the few schools to have monthly assessments and report cards.
“We are constantly inspiring them to be better and while the scholars think they are having fun, they are actually learning at a high level,” added Shepherdson.
It has been a wonderful debut year but just like an oak tree, GOTS is set to grow bigger and stronger in the coming year.
To learn more about GOTS, visit www.gots.edu.my