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Our Principal Writes: On Academic Success and Health and Safety

07 March 2014

Dear Parents,

Academic Success

“Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort” - John Ruskin.

A friend shared the wonderful quote above with me earlier in the week and it made me reflect on the daily work of our school. As ever our school community is a hive of activity, it is so important that the time and effort that we expend each day is largely fruitful and focussed, in other words full of intelligent effort.

It is why the skilful personalisation of the teaching and learning is the key feature of the English National Curriculum. It is really impactful to work alongside students helping them to understand where they are in their learning journey and giving them ownership of the learning. They are academic athletes and we are looking each day to help them to improve upon their personal best performances across the curriculum and supporting each other in the process.

The impact of this intelligent effort is seen in our results year on year and also in the increasing and wide ranging success of our students in academic competitions. On a weekly basis we are receiving news of success and high performance. Just this week on our blog you will see the outstanding performances produced by our Year 9, 10 and 11 students in the UK Intermediate Maths Challenge and also at the North East Asian Mathematics Competition. I can also share with you that our early entry Maths IGCSE students produced stunning results, 19 students sat the papers and they produced 15 A*s and 4 As. Further, our scientists have won a prestigious global competition which will be formally announced next week and for the first time we have a finalist in the HK Creative Writers’ Competition.

We are entering a very busy period with a variety of academic challenges coming up over the next few weeks and months. This weekend some of our EAL Learners will be taking their Cambridge University exams, early next term we have the IGCSE and IB exams and the KS2 SATs for Year 6. As a result, there are lots of targeted extra study and revision sessions. It is always good for morale for students to be able to share and enjoy these academic successes in this busy period.

Health and Safety

We have started issuing the new ID cards. I am very grateful to those of you who have completed the application forms and I would ask those of you who have not to fill in the forms and return them so that we can move this initiative forward and further improve security at pick up and drop off time.

My other appeal for help is to those of you who pick up your children by car from school in the afternoon. The morning drop off processes are working fairly smoothly, with drivers happily observing the rule about not stopping and waiting in the designated pick up/drop off area at the junction of Jinguang Lu and Baole Lu. However in the afternoon some of the same drivers are insisting on waiting in the pick up/drop off area which is blocking the road and making it difficult to pick people up safely. Under Chinese traffic regulation it is illegal to park in a junction, therefore we have simply asked that drivers do not enter the pick up/drop off area until passengers have actually arrived and are ready to be picked up.

We have asked the local police to support us if necessary to enforce this process and we will contact the owners of cars who do not abide by these rules using the new database of car number plates we have put together.

- Kevin Foyle, Principal