We have enjoyed the (delayed slightly) first day of the new school year, and what a start it has been. From welcoming the students off the bus this morning, I have seen so many positive, happy faces around the campus. I spent time in the Secondary assembly (all observing social distancing inside), listening to plans for the new year, and I have visited all of the Primary and Early Years classrooms to see the children settling in and getting to know their new rooms, teachers and friends. The rain has even cleared up! I would like to thank our facilities and admissions teams for their work in not only ensuring our campus was safe this morning, but for also contacting everyone on Sunday to inform of the closure yesterday. I hope that you all remain safe and unaffected, the flooding did look quite severe in places.
However, today was not the first day for our staff. Last week saw a week filled with training, workshops and meetings, in order to fully prepare for today. As a staff we spoke about how we measure ‘good’ teaching, and how we will develop our processes to ensure we can understand how to achieve that - and beyond. We discussed our House system, and how we can make that even better, especially in light of ongoing travel restrictions as a result of the COVID virus - watch out for more details! We also redefined our virus procedures, maintaining safety as our key, and were updated on the latest safeguarding policy, so important to ensure safe and happy children at school, the basis for successful learning.
On Friday we welcomed new families to campus, to meet their teacher and find their way to classrooms, to purchase uniform and lunch cards, and to help with the process of starting a new school. It was a pleasure for us to meet so many new faces, and we hope to continue to get to know you over the coming months. We will shortly publish details of our meet the teacher event, which will be held differently this year to comply with campus regulations. Our teachers will share curriculum details and highlights for this upcoming year, and can answer any questions you may have around what your child will be learning over the next months.
Even with the shorter summer holiday, we remain committed as ever to improving and updating the campus, and this year have successfully completed a range of projects designed to make the school a safer, more accessible environment. The renovations of the Primary playground, the redevelopment of the upper playing fields (in collaboration with our friends in the local authority), the refreshment of many of our halls and walkways with new, vibrant colours and a redesign our of main reception have kept our Facilities team busy, and we still have ongoing projects such as the development of both the library space and a STEAM makerspace, which were started yet postponed as a result of the virus and were a feature of the Parent Satisfaction Survey last year.
We continue to collaborate closely with the local authorities to bring our teachers overseas back to China. Though the process is very complicated, we are very happy to announce that all our teachers overseas have successfully received the letter of invitation and are now working on their visas, flight and all other relevant government requirement steps to come back Chengdu. To date we have booked flights for 10 of our colleagues to arrive back in Chengdu between now and the first week of September, meaning that if all goes well and quarantine requirements are met, they can start teaching either before or straight after the October National holiday. We are confident that we can book the remaining teachers onto flights soon and are hopeful we will be at nearly full staffing before too long.
I would like to thank the LFA for their ongoing support as we start the new school year. The LFA play such an important role in the life of the school, and I greatly value the relationship we have with our LFA volunteers. We recently received a shipment of materials to help as we continue to follow pandemic procedures. Support like this is truly appreciated, and shows how wonderful our parents are. Thank you to Grace and Cindy for their coordination with this.
Finally I would like to congratulate Mr. Jarrett Brown, our MYP Coordinator, who has recently been appointed to the position of IB Consultant and Team Leader for Asia. This is fantastic for both Jarrett and our school, having a colleague in such a position will help us as we continue to develop and refine what we do. Jarrett’s knowledge and experience gained in this role will be invaluable.
Let’s hope the weather stays dry this week.