It gives me the greatest of pleasure to welcome you all back for the beginning of the new academic year, and an especially warm welcome to all those families joining us for the first time. I am pleased to report that all the new staff have arrived safely and have settled well into the school and our community. They will certainly strengthen an already exceptionally strong team of teachers.
There have been some significant changes in the physical location of various offices, as well as major alterations in the Early Years section of the school, and the final two of six science laboratories have been refurbished. In addition, the air-conditioning system has been over-hauled.
The covered tennis courts will be operational once activities begin, and our new coach, Mr. Lee Austrin, is eager to make an impact upon the development of tennis in the PE curriculum, including the management of a Tennis Club for the community. Please note that all future use, other than by students under school direction, will be subject to a booking system and club membership. A golf professional will also develop our Golf Academy, and will run programmes both as an activity for good golfers, and as a part of the school curriculum. This year will also see the inaugural meetings of the group of schools in the Peninsula Sports Federation. Mr. Lamantia will provide more information on the organization of sports, the tennis club and use of our facilities in due course, and also upon the progress with the Ice Arena.
The following Academies introduced towards the end of the last academic year will all be operational: Art and Design; Business; Film and Digital Media; Swimming; Football; Tennis; Golf. Information with regard to each of these will be forwarded by the lead instructors once school is back in session.
New security protocols will be introduced for the use of school sports facilities by parents and these will also be introduced and explained by separate letter.
The external examination results are extremely positive. The IB Diploma average has held at its highest score of 33 points, with an exceptional 30% of students receiving the maximum bonus points for the extended essay and Theory of Knowledge. The IGCSE result for A* to C has risen to 83%, with 62% of these A-C grades being A* or A. All our year thirteen students have successfully progressed to university (with the exception of those who, by choice, opted to take alternative paths following the end of the school year).
The University and College Counsellor, Mr. Rowlands, has been extremely active developing close ties with universities around the world, and an impressive list of admissions officers will be visiting the school during this first term. The list includes US, UK, Australian and Thai Universities. Mr. Rowlands will also be managing SAT examinations of the US College Board, and SAT preparation workshops will be held for students who require them. More details will be provided from his office as the term progresses.
A new whole school counsellor has also been appointed and has been provided with an office on the ground floor easily accessible for both secondary and primary school students.
Finally, school enrolment has increased quite substantially, and in certain parts of the school it is now necessary to adopt a waiting list. Although this is a good problem to have, it does nonetheless put some pressure on the school administration. If family circumstances have changed for any reason and a place is no longer required I would be extremely grateful if this could be communicated to school as soon as possible. An additional boarding house has been opened to accommodate the increasing numbers.
I am delighted with the progress that the school is making, but we are determined to maintain momentum for improving all aspects of our provision in the year ahead. Aside from consolidating the many changes already introduced into our operations, particular attention will be focused on refurbishment and upgrading of the Library/Learning Centre, and towards further provision for the Arts across the school.
The school is about to begin its preparations for renewed Accreditation by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). This process is based upon a ten year cycle, and our preliminary visit will take place early next academic year. In preparation for this all aspects of our operations and systems will be reviewed and where necessary strengthened or improved during the course of this year.
I am greatly looking forward to the challenges ahead as we continue to build upon our success.
With my best wishes to all our families for the year ahead.
Neil Richards MBE
For more information, contact the Headmaster: [email protected]