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AISA School Heads Retreat 2018

21st - 23rd September 2018

SHR logo RGB borderVictoria Falls, ZIMBABWE

For our 3rd Annual School Heads Retreat, we’ve designed something special. With the input of our new Leadership PL Advisory group (all school leaders themselves), we have devised the 2018 SHR programme to have less directed input and more opportunity for Heads of schools to learn from each other, to network, and to share and reflect on your own expertise in a facilitated and productive way.

For Heads new to Africa, it will be a chance to get to know your colleagues and experience first-hand the collegial and generous spirit that characterizes the AISA region. All of this will happen in the spectacular and relaxing surrounds of Victoria Falls where there will be ample time to relax as well.

The AISA SHR is exclusively for the Head of School. Please do not register any other team members for this event.

Register Here!

Registration Details


  Full Members Affiliate Members
Early Bird Rate (Mon. 23rd July 2018) $ 520 $ 535
Full Registration $ 570 $ 590

Cancellation Date

Tue. 21st August. 2018View our cancellation policy.


Please note this event is for School Heads only.

Learning Outcomes

Key features of the School Heads Retreat 2018 will include:

1. Engage in informal conversations and discussions with other Heads in our region to build professional networks, connections and peer support
2. Discuss questions, issues, and challenges from your professional practice and seek advice from your peers in Collaborative Enquiry workshops
3. Learn how your peers have achieved ambitious goals and aspirations and consider applications for your own practice and context in Innovative Practice workshops
4. Raise questions, discuss, offer suggestions and gain the views of others in semi-structured Unconference facilitations
5. Engage with future-focused issues in international education, consider your responses and plan for the future in the Future Focus workshops
6. Participate in a cultural experience connected to the location of the retreat to deepen our appreciation of the host country

SHR Programme

Day 1: Friday 21st September 2018

17:30 – 19:00 Informal social event & Registration

Day 2: Saturday 22nd September 2018

8:30 - 9:00 Welcome, Introductions, Making Connexions within the Group

A facilitation to introduce participants to each other and to share the essential understandings.

9:00 - 10:30 Collaborative Enquiries (3 or 4 groups to be determined in advance, facilitated by participants)

Issues for enquiry will be identified at the point of registration as challenges/problems/issues experienced by Heads. These will be classified into topics or themes and each allocated a group with two lead-facilitators. The facilitators will plan a workshop that explores the range of ideas presented by members of the group to ensure a shared understanding. The facilitators will encourage solution-based thinking, sharing of strategies already working in schools and extrapolate possible areas of practice/solutions for Heads to consider as their next steps. The facilitators do not need to provide answers and do not need to find a solution for the group. Rather, the facilitator's role is to mediate the thinking of their peers, to manage the discussions in the group and to draw conclusions to help peers decide their next steps; the solutions will come from everyone in the room. At the point of registration, those willing to facilitate such a session will be asked to volunteer their services. Diversity will be a criterion when selecting facilitators for this role.

10:30 - 11:00 Networking Break

11:00 - 12:30 Innovative Practice Series: Aiming Higher (3 or 4 groups to be determined in advance, facilitated by participants)

All participants are invited to apply to lead an Innovative Practice Workshop that shares an ambitious success story or a story of how he/she raised the bar at his/her school. These workshops are not solutions-based but explore how an aspiration has been achieved, how aspects of practice or school operations that were good but were made outstanding and how goals that were lofty have been proved achievable. Each workshop will share something that is possible and positive about the individual’s work within their school for the interest and consideration of his/her peers.

Applications will be assessed and selected by the PL Advisory and AISA Team against pre-determined, shared criteria. Reflecting diversity amongst the schools and facilitators will be a core consideration in the selection process.

Guidance for facilitators will suggest that 60 min should be spent on outlining the project/case study with the remaining 30 mins opened to the group to ask questions, seek clarifications and to discuss amongst themselves if there are applications for their own practice or school setting.

The protocol for each workshop will be to address the following:

  1. What was the goal/aspiration?
  2. What were the possible ways forward?
  3. What I/we did and why?
  4. How I/we measure impact/what is the evidence of success?
  5. What would I/we do differently if approaching this issue again?

12:30 - 13:00 Reflective Plenary

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 16:00 Trip to Victoria Falls

An opportunity to informally network with other Heads during a visit to the Victoria Falls.

17:30 - 20:00  Networking Dinner at the Lookout Cafe

Day 3: Sunday 23rd September 2018

9:30 - 11:00  Open Space Unconference

An opportunity for all participants to raise questions they want to explore and for which they seek the thoughts of their peers. Participants set the agenda. Using the Open Space facilitation, a question posed by a participant is allocated a place and a time. Those interested in joining the discussion arrive at the time and the place and contribute for as long as the discussion lasts. Each question will be allocated 30 mins but can last for as long as those involved wish to stay in the discussion. There will be a range of questions being discussed at any time so there is a choice for participants. A timekeeper will announce when each thirty-minute block has finished. All questions are posted on a wall so all can see what is available. Questions can be posted as the unconference unfolds and extension issues arise.

Leambe Conference Room, set for one group, facilitated by Teresa Arpin

11:00 – 11:30  Tea/Coffee

11:30 – 12:30  Unstructured networking

12:30 – 13:30  Networking Lunch

13:30 – 15:00  Future Focus: Shaping the Future of International Education

Participants will be invited to lead a 90-min workshop that explores an issue that will be of significance in the future of international education. Whilst answers need not be provided, issues will be raised and explored with contributions from all in the group. The goal is to empower school leaders to respond mindfully, not react, to emerging challenges in the international education sector.

The protocol for this workshop will be to address the following:

  1. Using the terms of a SWOT analysis, what is the issue you are raising and why is it important?
  2. How might this issue play out? What are the alternatives and different perspectives? What are the variables that are involved?
  3. How might school leaders shape the outcomes/ be empowered to shape the future? Who/what might be sources of support?
  4. What might we (this group) do now regarding this issue? What might AISA do regarding this issue?
  5. What are our concluding thoughts and feelings about this issue? (Both cognitive and affective domains)

Leambe Conference Room, set for one group, facilitated by participants)

15:00 – 15:30  Closing reflections

Leambe Conference Room, set for one group, facilitated by Teresa Arpin



About the Facilitator

Dr. Teresa Arpin

Teresa Arpin

 Dr. Arpin is the President of Transformation Systems, working with educational organizations both nationally and internationally since 1996.

She has conducted leadership development programs, facilitated strategic planning processes and helped schools measure the impact of their strategic plans. She has worked extensively with boards of trustees, in the area of governance. Dr. Arpin works with schools and school districts large and small across the United States and internationally.

Her work has included facilitating strategic planning processes for five international regional education associations, which include NESA, AISA, AASSA, CEESA, and EARCOS. She has collaborated with the NESA Board for many years in the evolution of a strategic planning protocol that is now being modeled in several international schools and other regional associations.

Teresa is the 2013 recipient of NESA's Finis Engleman Award, recognizing “outstanding dedication and service to schools in the NESA region reflecting the meritorious contributions of a man whose memory will always be special in the annals of NESA."


Travel and Accommodation

Visa and Health

Refer to Zimbabwe's Visa Requirements. You can also find out about the UNI-VISA that also grants access to Zambia.

Venue & Accommodation for SHR

The AISA 2018 School Heads Retreat (SHR) will take place at The Kingdom, Victoria Falls, ZIMBABWE.

the kingdom zim 2The Kingdom, Victoria Falls has also been selected as the preferred accommodation venue for the event.

       Rate USD
Standard Bed & Breakfast   180
Transfer - One way 15


Hotel Booking Process

Once you have registered for the School Heads Retreat, you will receive a link with your confirmation email that will enable you to make your hotel reservation at the Kingdom Hotel as well as book airport transfers if so required.