Faith Academy, A Breezy Mountainside International School
Koreans, Americans and Filipinos make up the top three of over 20 nationalities in Faith Academy's student body today.
As I watched my four-year-old hop down from the tree he had so dedicatedly scaled for the last several minutes he exclaimed with glee as he opened his hands and showed me the 'dirt' he had so bravely earned from his explorations. That dirt was pollution. As much as I love Manila there is a price to pay living here and one of those costs is pollution. Amused by the ferocious amount of hard earned soot on his hands I couldn't help but imagine our poor lungs coated in a nice layer of that filth. I love living in Manila with access to so many goods, quality education, an international community and the warmest culture I have come into contact with. But, what if you didn't have to pay the price of congestion and still have the perks? My recent visit to Faith Academy in Antipolo, a breezy mountainside international school has me thinking it might be the answer.
Faith Academy is an international Christian school offering Pre K-12 education for the children of Christian workers as well as other national and international students. Faith was founded in 1957 for foreign Christian missionary families as a competitive education option while living abroad. Met with high demand and recognized by the Philippines DOE as an international school, Faith opened it's doors to the public in 2005 to serve aggressive academic and athletic opportunities with a strong Christian base. From there it has continued to grow and now has a yearly increasing study body with over 20 different nationalities.
Faith Academy's campus originally won me over during my first visit in 2013. Sprawled across two mountain tops with a vast view of Manila, the campus alone promotes a holistic and balanced life style. While curricular programs have priority over the co-curricular, diverse programs and a holistic environment play an important role in assisting students in becoming well-rounded individuals and developing a wide range of life skills. You can see FA's dedication to this effort in their open environment.
Fields of green can be found in various places all over the campus. Can you believe this is just 30 minutes out of Manila?
Spaces like the one pictured above are found all over the campus. Environment is a large factor for happiness and Faith has done an excellent job creating these spaces.
You can read more about their impressive aquatics facility here, they even have scuba equipment!
A small fact about FA's beautiful facilities is that they are all donated, even the new auditorium!
Excellence In Education
Faith Academy is a competitive option for international schools utilizing a blend of U.S. and international curricula to accommodate the diverse population. The academic program at Faith provides options in Korean Studies, Advanced Placement, and IGCSE. A variety of experiences in the visual arts, performing arts, and practical arts to help provide a well-rounded education are also offered at Faith.
From Faith Academy website:
Faith Academy values a strong commitment to a school improvement process that keeps student learning and our Christian values at its a core. Supporting these values, Faith Academy currently maintains joint accreditation status with the Western Association of School & Colleges (WASC) and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). Through the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) program, the school is also one of only four institutions in the Philippines which are accredited with UK-based Cambridge International Examinations, as a Cambridge International Ce- ntre. Faith Academy is also one of few schools in Asia and the only school in the Philippines – which has been approved to offer the AP Capstone program.
The library at Faith is very impressive. Reading makes up much of the learning tools and content at Faith. Faith doesn't use traditional text books but compiles research through various literacy sources to study and learn from and this starts even in the early primary years.
Teachers at Faith Academy are not paid but are missionaries and raise their own funds to provide for their ministry as a teacher. This is true for all stewardship positions except for local staff. If you are listing all the positions it takes to run a school and wondering if any of them have a traditional salary, they do not; they follow the same ministry model as teachers.
This particular science teacher decorates his classroom with the college flags of all his previous students. The students all send him one as a tradition!
The fine arts are alive at Faith Academy! The facilities for both Performing Arts and Visual Arts are stunning, but more importantly, support students' creative efforts.
The student artwork was captivating.
I was almost giddy in the Carpentry and Woodworking classroom. Contemporary education in many places has stunted creativity as the focus has shifted almost exclusively toward academics, and it is hurting our students. I was so happy to see Faith Academy still honoring the hard work and craftsmanship. More importantly, this shows me that Faith again cares about the whole child, not just the academics.
With over 20 nationalities comprising Faith's student body, a unique chorus has been created and treasured. Multiculturalism is very important at FA because the school's Christian community believe all humans are divinely connected and the diversity of the student population adds richness to that community.
The community at Faith is very tight knit as a result of many families attending Faith through their entire academic K-12 years. There is also a boarding school option which creates a community akin to family. These children often live together, serve together, compete together and worship together. Because teachers at FA feel called to serve and minister, they are very dedicated stewards with strong relationships. One teacher even mentioned that they have to tell students to go home hours after school has finished.
Look! A nipa hut to hang out in on campus. I love it!
Gospel Integration & Great Commission Partnership
Faith is very open about their approach to education and spirituality. They said it best on their website.
At the heart of Faith Academy is a deep commitment to helping students become more like Christ. The school’s programs and curricula are all based on a Christian worldview. In addition, all faculty members are dedicated to helping students become closer to God.
For Christian minded families who are seeking an environment for their children to incorporate their faith into a competitive education, multicultural setting and have that experience in one of the most beautiful campuses in the Philippines, Faith Academy is a top choice. And I can almost guarantee your children can climb a tree without being covered in pollution.
Faith Academy is located at Penny Lane Antipolo and has high security. You can schedule an appointment to visit or learn more about their programs by visiting their website, Facebook or connect through email firstname.lastname@example.org. Faith Academy extended a personal invitation to me for a visit so I could share another education option in Manila with my expat community. All opinions expressed are my own.