Outstanding Educators

Visionary School Leadership

Photo of John McBryde sitting at a computer

John McBryde, Innova Academy Founding Director

Innova Academy has an outstanding team of experienced international educators. Renowned international school leaders, John McBryde (Founding Director) and Karen O’Connell (Head of School) have joined forces to establish the school.

John and Karen have a long history of working together and are recognized as visionary educators and exceptional school leaders.

Photo of Karen O'Connell

Karen OConnell, Innova Academy Head of School

John and Karen are not new faces in Beijing. They served as Director and Deputy Director at the outstanding Western Academy of Beijing (WAB)  during its growth and development phase spanning 1998-2010. Karen also served at the prestigious United World College SEA, Singapore.

Another ‘old friend’ , Middle/High School Principal, Paul Sebastian has been a school leader in international schools around the globe. He worked together with John and Karen in establishing a new school in Indonesia.

Together they make a leadership team that is not only strong in experience, internationally and in China, but share a common vision, philosophy and successes. They have assembled an exceptional team of teachers, most of whom they have worked with before at WAB and other schools.

Future Ready Curriculum

Photo of Paul Sebastian

Paul Sebastian, Innova Academy Middle School/High School Principal

To achieve this, they have incorporated a strong emphasis on ‘Future Ready Skills’, Technology and approaches such as interdisciplinary and project-based learning and design thinking; and a commitment to service and action, incorporating the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The curriculum has been structured around the International Baccalaureate® programme framework and incorporates the requirements of the Chinese National Curriculum and has been benchmarked against international standards.

Qualified, Committed, Caring Teachers

The faculty has been carefully recruited from around the world, all with experience in high-quality international schools. In addition to their skills in teaching and learning, they all are committed educators who are passionate about learning and share genuine care for children.

The Elementary School follows a co-teacher model where there are two teachers per classroom – a foreign teacher and a Chinese teacher. Both plan together with their grade-level teams and as a team, they teach, support and assess student learning and growth. They are supported by a classroom teaching assistant and EAL and learning support teachers and a counselor.

The co-teacher model and support teacher services are designed to provide a very personal teacher: student ratio and support individualized student-centred learning.

The Elementary team is supported by specialist subject teachers in Art, Music, Physical Education, Design, Library & Media,

The Middle/High School Team works in the subject and inter-disciplinary planning groups. Students are grouped in Homeroom groups for pastoral care and have 2 Home Room teachers assigned to each Homeroom group.

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