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International School Award Winners 2021 Announced Monday

By Anne Keeling, ISC Research
International School Award Winners 2021 Announced Monday

The International School Awards 2021 were live streamed today to schools around the world. The International School of the Year 2021 was awarded to Branksome Hall Asia, South Korea.

The judging panel said: “Branksome Hall Asia has demonstrated well planned initiatives that have excellent intentions and truly impressive development which, as a result, are making a real impact for students and others.”

In her acceptance of the award, Cinde Lock, Principal of Branksome Hall Asia, said: “It is a sincere, humbling experience to receive this award. We look forward to collaborating with all the other amazing international schools out there to continue on the good work and efforts to make a difference for our youth of today.”

The annual International School Awards, which are hosted by ISC Research, recognize outstanding initiatives being delivered in international schools around the world, of which there are now 12,080 schools teaching over 6.7 million children aged from 3 to 18. There were twelve categories recognizing international schools for their initiatives supporting inclusion, students as future-thinking innovators, digital technology in learning, ethical values education and more. Pearson was the main sponsor of this year’s awards.

Even with the limitations and challenges of COVID-19, international schools set some exceptional standards this year implementing initiatives as a result of, and in spite of, campus closures. This year, the Awards attracted 264 eligible nominations from international schools in 62 different countries including Zimbabwe, Transylvania, Panama, Guatemala, and Nepal. An independent judging panel of 11 highly experienced international educators selected the shortlisted schools and winners.

International School of the Year 2021

The International School of the Year 2021, sponsored by Pearson, was awarded to Branksome Hall Asia, South Korea for two exceptional nominations: a student-led initiative which resulted in designing and producing security necklaces for girls in vulnerable situations in Nepal, and for a research and mission-led strategic approach to its online learning. 

The category winners

As well as the overall winner, there were 12 individual category winners:

  • The international impact award, sponsored by Monash University, was presented to The International School of Prague, Czech Republic for a partnership with an educational charity from a refugee camp in Greece.
  • The community award, sponsored by Cognia, was won by Branksome Hall Asia, South Korea for its student-led initiative to design and produce security necklaces for vulnerable girls in Nepal.
  • The inclusion award which was sponsored by Global Victoria/Study Melbourne, went to Alice Smith School, Malaysia for a peer support programme involving older students.
  • The safeguarding award, sponsored by ECIS The Educational Collaborative for International Schools, was given to The English School, Kuwait for a progressive child protection programme which involves engagement of parents and the wider community.
  • The teaching and learning award, sponsored by Moreland University – The Teach Now Graduate School of Education, went to Fairview International School, Malaysia for a comprehensive framework that ensures consistency and sustainability of teaching skills.
  • The digital technology in learning award, sponsored by BETT, was presented to Deira International School, UAE for an effective artificial intelligence and analytics programme to actively support teaching and learning.
  • The wellbeing award, sponsored by Education Perfect, was won by The International School of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for developing a virtual newsroom during campus closures for students and staff.
  • The pathways to continued and university education award, sponsored by National Geographic Learning, went to British International School Abu Dhabi, UAE for a university preparation program implemented during campus closures.
  • The environmental award, sponsored by Global Citizen Year, was given to Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket, Sweden for a student-led initiative collaborating with external organizations to address sustainable technology challenges.
  • The ethical values education award, sponsored by Anthony Millard Consulting, was awarded to Dulwich College, Singapore for a compassionate systems framework developing students’ emotional literacy.
  • The strategic leadership award, sponsored by BlueSky Education, was won by Nord Anglia International School, Hong Kong for new pedagogies to support virtual learning, with effective outreach and sustainability.
  • The future-thinking innovators award, sponsored by Explore learning, was presented to The American Community School of Abu Dhabi, UAE for a multi-functional technology program and learning space.

Leigh Webb, CEO of ISC Research who announced all the winners said, “Many congratulations to Branksome Hall Asia and to all our winning schools. You are fantastic representatives of an innovative and resilient sector that keeps pushing the boundaries of international education. We applaud your passion, creativity and commitment in the work you do and the impact you make.”

ISC Research would like to thank all the international schools that participated in this year’s awards.

A full recording of the awards ceremony is available at

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