My thanks firstly to all parents who completed our Parents Survey last term and all those who regularly come into school to discuss their children’s education. Your ongoing communication and support for the school is greatly appreciated.
The results of the Parents Survey are extremely useful for us in terms of confirming what is going well at school as well as highlighting the next stages of development. Many items are already part of the school’s Development Plan, but it is still useful as a gauge of progress as we challenge ourselves to enhance all aspects of the school and help the students to reach even greater achievements.
We have summarised the results in a short document which can be seen by clicking here, and I will also briefly describe some of the main observations below. This article is a little longer than many as the survey is such an important part of our school year, my apologies if it take a little while to read!
There were over 40 questions in the survey and they covered all aspects of school life, from lessons to personal development to catering. A key aspect of the findings is that in a significant majority of the areas, the results for 2017 were at the same level or better than the previous two years. There is clearly good progress in many sections of the school and a good sign that a number of the developments we have all worked on together are being seen to excellent effect. With any survey there is a tendency to look at negatives and ask the question, “what needs changing so we can improve?”, but is also important to look at positives and ask, “what shall we continue to work on further and try and do even better?”
A key statistic for me is the happiness of our children. This is a school in which a number of children make a fresh start each year and it is essential that they feel comfortable and supported in their environment if they are to be successful at school. This year, 97% of parents who responded said their child felt happy at school, an increase on 2016, which was in itself an increase on 2015. I am sure the parents and teachers of any children who have reason to feel unhappy will be working together to try and help them to solve whatever may be concerning them.
From an academic point of view, we have seen the academic performance of the students continue to rise in both Primary and Secondary. I am pleased to note that this has also been recognised through parents’ observations too: 93% said that they thought their child was taught by high quality teachers (again, a continued increase from previous years) and 96% noted that the school provides a stimulating learning environment for their child.
Now on to a few areas which scored below what we would expect. Firstly, there remains a dissatisfaction with the quality of school meals and the bus service. Although BISAD is still ahead of the average across all the other schools that do this survey, both these areas are things that we all believe can be better. These will be key priorities in our development over the next 12 months and we will work closely with our PTA, our Advisory Board and other groups to consult on the best way forward so that major change is instigated for buses and for the service and quality of food.
Another area we will be working on is extending the type of reporting parents receive. There is positive feedback for the academic communication that parents receive via our ILR reports, parents meetings and daily contact with teachers. We will be looking to expand this next year so you also receive more communication on your child’s success in all other areas as well as academic progress.
It is a moral duty of the school to continue to do our best for this generation of students, and also to continually develop the school for the next generation too. One especially pleasing aspect of the survey was a huge increase in scores for two areas highlighted last year: School Trips and School Sport. We will continue to develop both of these areas of course, but it is very encouraging to see that the communication between parents and staff means that when we focus on improving opportunities for students we are able to achieve success together.
My thanks again to all parents for their ongoing communication and feedback. BIS Abu Dhabi is a school that is very proud of the achievements of our students and our community, and is also one that continues to grow and work every day to enhance each child’s learning experience. Please feel free to contact me or any of my colleagues at any time regarding any aspect of school; we will always do our very best to make this the best possible educational community for you and for your child.
Patrick Horne, Principal