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Letter from the Head of Secondary - 9th March 2016

10 March 2016

Things have really been heating up in school this week with the long-awaited production of Beauty and the Beast every evening, and today’s Career’s Fair which promises to be equally memorable.

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If you have seen the wonderful performances of Beauty and the Beast, I am sure you will join with me in congratulating all the students and staff who have been involved in this spectacular production, and if you are one of the lucky people who has tickets for tonight or Friday, then you are in for a treat!

Next week promises to be equally exciting as it is Book Week, which this year, due to the visit of the UK National Space Academy, has a special focus on science-fiction literature and books about space. Teachers are planning activities linked to various space-related topics, and there are lots of ways our students can get involved.

On Monday 14 March, there will be a dress-up day and we look forward to seeing lots of sci-fi and space-related characters or figures. From Monday through to Wednesday, Shanghai Book Sellers will have a stall set up in The Hive in B Block. They will be selling a range of books suitable for all ages including, of course, a range of science fiction titles. Our younger students will be taken to look at the books during their Guidance and/or English lessons, and all students will be able to peruse what is on offer during breaks and lunchtimes.  Students wishing to buy books will need to bring in money in order to do so. 

Throughout the week, our English department will be encouraging students to engage with our recommended reading lists.  These lists particularly focus on the themes of dystopia and apocalypse, and a range of titles are highly recommended for Secondary students of all ages.  Teachers are also sharing with students details of their favourite sci-fi books, and displays about these can be seen in C block foyer.

The UK National Space Academy lands at NAIS Pudong on Thursday 17, and stays with us until Saturday 19 March.  During this time there are a number of masterclasses for both students and staff, an evening lecture on Thursday entitled ‘Space – so what?’ which we invite all members of the community to attend, and some fun science activities for younger students on Saturday.  We also have the sci-fi move night for our KS3 students on Friday.  What a week!

In amongst all of this excitement, teachers are also preparing term 2 reports.  For students in Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12, term 2 reports will be similar to previous years in that they are simply an update on performance, or what we call a ‘grade’ report, and should largely confirm the conversations that you had with teachers at the recent Academic Review Evenings.  These will be distributed on 25 March.

For students in Years 11 and 13 however, we have changed the format quite significantly this year, and these will take the form of letters to each student from their teachers,  providing them with specific advice regarding final exam preparation in each subject.  These will be distributed this week, and is in addition to the formal, end of programme reports, which will be issued in late April.  We hope that our IGCSE and IB students will find this advice helpful and will take it on board as they approach their final examinations.

During the last week of term the excitement doesn’t abate, as we have International Week, with a whole host of activities in lessons and beyond, including International Poetry Day (details to follow!), the International Food Fair on Wednesday 23, as well as another opportunity to dress up on that same day.  On Thursday 24 we have an evening of International Music, and also wave goodbye to our Year 12 students heading off to Tanzania.  By the time that 3:15pm on Friday 25 March arrives, I think that everyone – students, staff (and probably some parents too!) will be more than ready for the week-long break!

Dinah Hawtree

Head of Secondary