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Update from Mr. Horne

30 June 2020

As we near the end of the school year I am writing to share some recent achievements and to look ahead to next year.

  • Patrick Horne
Examination Results

Examination processes have been slightly amended this year as traditional exams could not be held. However, results are still submitted based on all the work students have done to date, including coursework and also taking into account mock examination results. The exam boards will confirm the results over the summer.
The results for IB and IGCSE are in the two tables below along with comparisons against previous years and international averages:
IB Diploma    




This is another set of excellent results and real credit to the hard work of the students and to the teachers and parents who have supported them. This is even more notable bearing in mind the switch to Virtual Learning which actually began in March before the courses were complete.


Bearing in mind the IB results above, it will also come as no surprise that this has led to a superb range of offers for University places. BIS Abu Dhabi students will be moving on to excellent courses which are ideally suited to them, offered by Universities all around the world. This includes offers received from top-ranked Universities such as Cambridge University in the UK and Ivy League Universities in the United States. We will publish a full list once students select their final destinations after results are released.

Academic Success in Primary

The external examinations of IB and IGCSE in Secondary are not replicated in Primary. Still, our school keeps a rigorous track on students in all areas, particularly in Maths and English. Although assessment has been a little trickier in this final term, we continue to see very high standards coming through.
The key assessment points are in Year 2 (end of Key Stage 1) and Year 6 (end of Key Stage 2). At both of these levels, 90% of BISAD students are working at or above age-related expectations in both English and Maths.
It is so pleasing to see such a high level of attainment and knowing that these students are perfectly placed to achieve even further success as they move on to the next stages of their school education.

Distance Learning Inspection

During the last few weeks ADEK have been conducting inspections for distance learning for all schools as part of their Distance Learning Evaluation project. This inspection involved two inspectors visiting the school virtually, meeting with senior leaders and visiting online lessons. They also reviewed the parent questionnaires and I would like to extend my thanks to all parents who contributed to this.
We received the result of the inspection a week ago and I am delighted to inform everyone that BIS Abu Dhabi scored the highest possible grade in every category.
Our community has responded superbly to the closure of the school for these last few months. Teachers have worked incredibly hard to provide the virtual learning and to continually seek to improve it. However, I believe this judgment from ADEK is also due to the parents. You have supported your children at home, worked so closely with the teachers and helped provide suggestions to keep enhancing things further. These full marks from ADEK go to the BISAD parents too!
The full inspection report can be viewed by clicking here.

Leadership Positions

There are a few changes in senior roles within the school for next academic year. As our school grows a new structure helps us best manage the school at present and look ahead to the future. Colleagues with new senior positions are:
Vice Principal: Mike Wolfe
Head of Primary: Alan Cocker
Deputy Head of Primary: Rebecca Robson
Deputy Head of Primary: Sam Squire
Deputy Head of Secondary: Aine McGlue
All these colleagues have made a great contribution to our school in recent years and it is a very positive step that they will be stepping up to new responsibilities next year. I am sure you will join me in extending congratulations to them and wishing them well in their new roles.

Arrangements for Next Term

Consultations are still ongoing with ADEK and the Ministry of Education regarding ways of reopening schools in September. You will have all seen possible options considered in the ADEK questionnaire which came out last week and my thanks to everyone who has completed it. The following statement is also included in ADEK’s letter to parents:
“Schools around the world have begun reopening, and all educators agree on one thing: there is nothing more beneficial to a child’s learning and wellbeing than being back at school with their teachers, peers and friends.”
Our aim, and ADEK’s aim, is to enable students to return to school in a safe environment at the beginning of next term. We have plans in place to achieve this and will be working with ADEK over the summer to finalise arrangements.
Our current expectation is that students will return in September, although it may not be every student every day in order to observe social distancing measures. An element of virtual learning is still likely to be in place to support as needed. Safety will be top priority and we all hope that during the term we will head closer to a full return.
In summary therefore, we do believe it is likely school will reopen next term with a range of measures in place to ensure safety for all students and staff. We will keep everyone updated over the summer as we receive final guidance from the authorities prior to reopening.

And Finally...

This has been a year with great changes and I am extremely proud of our school and our community for how we have all kept the focus on the students’ learning. Everyone at the school is fully aware of the commitment of parents during this time and your great partnership with the teachers. The BISAD community has always been special place and I am certain that our school will return even stronger from what we have all been through and learnt from this term.
With that in mind, my thanks to everyone for their courage and their resilience: parents, teachers and especially students. Our minds are all now set on looking ahead to 2020-2021, on making it a truly exceptional year for every BISAD student and providing them with an inspiring education in every possible way.
May I wish you all a peaceful summer break and we look forward to seeing everyone for the start of next term.
Patrick Horne