A Glimpse into the Future: The 2018-2023 Strategic Plan

A Glimpse into the Future: The 2018-2023 Strategic Plan

May 3, 2019

When ISF began preparing for the launch of its first strategic plan in 2010, the Academy had not yet graduated a class of students from its newly authorized IB Diploma Programme, we were still wrestling with the engineering challenges of constructing the foundations of what later became G Block, and the dream of an auditorium and swimming pool was just that: a dream. Student enrolments were just over one third of the current number of students. Similarly, the number of faculty and staff had only just increased to triple figures at that time. We had a strong sense of our vision of education at ISF and the core values that would underpin learning. A commitment that remains just as strong today, nearly a decade later. 

The launch of the 2011-2016 Strategic Plan was an important milestone in the development of ISF. It was the first time that the Foundation, the Academy, its faculty and staff, and ISF families – parents and students – took part in a formal planning exercise to state, with some clarity and purpose, the developmental directions to be taken over the following five years. We set out to achieve a set of measurable outcomes. In the end, the major initiatives and projects were undertaken and largely completed, some well before the target date. The financial security of The ISF Academy, for example, was ensured through the achievement of a small operational surplus some years before the target date. Buildings were commenced and constructed, programs launched, our Pre-School founded. The plan was a highly effective vehicle in setting direction and keeping all of us on task with an endpoint in sight at all times. 

This past week, a new strategic plan has been posted on our website. The 2018-2023 Strategic Plan (https://academy.isf.edu.hk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/ISF_2018-2023_Strategic_Plan_eng1.pdf) has been a very different planning exercise. For a start, ISF now has a much larger and more complex institutional and operational identity, one that includes the Foundation, the Academy, and the Pre-School. It has also already completed nearly all of the most visible milestones that mark the developmental journey of an institution: facilities have been constructed; international accreditation and program authorisation achieved; enrolment targets set by the Education Bureau have been exceeded; and, of course, ISF students have graduated from the most prestigious and selective colleges and universities in the world – with great distinction. Most pleasingly, ISF alumni are now making their way in the adult world as doctors, lawyers, scientists, artists, producers, designers, to name just a few of the professional fields in which you might find ISF alumni. For planning purposes, we are left with an important question to consider: what remains to be done that is new? 

The new plan is more direct in its prioritization of student wellbeing and learning. The Wellbeing for Learning initiative is the top strategic project in the plan. Shuyuan, the unique, ISF ‘signature’ program, is to develop and mature in the sciences and humanities. The ISF Primary School is in the process of creating its own uniquely bilingual and bicultural curriculum framework – the Eight Virtues + One Curriculum. We have also set objectives for the Foundation in fundraising to support the many learning opportunities offered to families at no cost through Shuyuan. The Pre-School has already announced that it will move to a new, purpose-designed home in Kennedy Town early in 2020. Of course, all of these developments must continue on the firm, steady foundation established in the last strategic plan. Nothing has been removed or deleted: we will continue to fulfil all of the expectations set during the first strategic plan. 

The new plan contains a foreword written by our governors that all members of the ISF community would do well to read and reflect upon as we embark on the next phase of our journey together. The Foreword speaks to our shared past and the ideas that shaped the founding of ISF; it also gives voice to the spirit that will infuse and inspire our shared endeavors for the future. 

In all ways, the new strategic plan is a statement of identity, a syllabus for institutional learning, a call to arms, a detailed road-map, a set of clear benchmarks, a list of aspirations, and a guide for the decisions, both great and small, that will shape the future for all of our students. 

Learning! Learning! Learning!



Dr. Malcolm Pritchard

Head of School

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