Dear Parents and Guardians,
This is the last all school Newsletter for this school year as we begin to see out the year according to each section of school. This has been marked by graduations, assemblies, transitions days and homeroom activities during which we have been able to celebrate and recognize achievements of students, staff and the school in general.
Since the accreditation by the Council of International (CIS) and the reauthorization of our curriculum frameworks by the International Baccalaureate last year (2019) the school has been engaging in a process of improvement based on our planned Strategic Intent. We have maintained progress in this during 2019/20 and recently received endorsement from CIS for the next stages of the process, leading to the next evaluation in two years.
Some of the ongoing highlights of the process for this school year have been:
Our Strategic Intent
We have maintained focus on the components of the strategic intent for school improvement. This has emphasized the importance of the EIS Learning Principles and the IB Learner Profile and how these inform our teaching and learning environment.
We have recognised the importance of reviewing the provision of languages for our students, especially those who are bilingual. We are in the first stages of the introduction of Cambridge Global English, a structured course for our ELL students. We are revising our Languages Policy and defining more clearly, based on educational research how and at what age students access their mother tongue language, second or third language.
We have conducted curriculum reviews and identify areas for greater coherence of vertical articulation through the school, for example in Mathematics, Literacy and Reading. This will see the introduction of new classroom resources and materials.
We have looked at our assessment of students and are moving forward with three important initiatives. Our expected outcomes for students are being aligned with national and international standards. The introduction of GL Assessments for external benchmarks, that are adaptive to the ability of each student, inform us and better understand the capacity of each student. We are establishing data teams at the sectional and overall school level to use assessment and testing data to better inform our teaching.
We have continued to give attention to student wellbeing, including formalization of Safeguarding and Wellbeing Committees. There has been consideration of advisory programmes and of curriculum across the school in aspects of personal and social education. Additionally, there has been a review of practices to better facilitate the integration of new students into the school and ease of transition between Grade 5 and Grade 6.
Professional Development Plan
In addition to professional development related to the IB and instructional practices and we are engaging in longer term relationships with recognized consultants in the areas of inquiry based learning, bilingual education and the use of data to inform teaching and learning.
We continue to recognize the need to improve the optimal use of our spaces and facilities and to ensure enhanced health and safety standards. We have settled into the "new building" building and are realizing the potential use of the facilities, including the Pool and the MPR. The construction on the Villa 7 site has been delayed, however we anticipate have new Science Labs and a Design Think Innovation Centre open during Semester 1. We have improved significantly our school’s emergency systems, school security and heightened sanitization and cleaning throughout the school.
Parent Council, CPRs and Parent Information Session
We have continued to liaise with the parent community and organized monthly meetings with the SLT, parent workshops and parent information sessions in English, Vietnamese and Korean. Some of these events coincided with the visits of consultants who were able to provide information for parents on our initiatives.
As mentioned previously Head of Technology is currently coordinating a revised approach to the integration of technology which will be introduced next school year. In broad terms there will be three basic elements to this. iSAMS – this new platform will provide an iTeacher App and Parent Portal for access to timetable, school calendar, school policies and homeroom communications. Managebac - both Managebac and the International Baccalaureate have introduced new developments to their platforms. These facilitate and give opportunities for greater integration and for online applications, including use of Schools Buddy for scheduling Parent/Teacher Conferences. Google Classroom - Google Classroom will used more extensively and provide a platform, in addition to other applications, for online learning if necessary.
These are but a few highlights in what has been a busy, and indeed unusual year. I would like to thank all the staff for their dedication and commitment to our students and to the development and growth of the school in general. I would also like to thank the parent community for your support and especially those who have actively supported the work of teachers and students in classrooms, on trips and in activities.
Head of School