First of all, I would like to thank you for the trust you have placed with us, it has been a long time since I stood in front of you all to announce the planned expansion that would set us on the path to getting your children to university. It has been an interesting journey that we have been on, and together with the commitment from Nord Anglia Education and with the support of the Supreme Education Council, Shell and the Al Khor Municipality, we have finally begun the journey of making our vision a reality.
Our school has been successful in its development; this is down to many things, but one constant strength that we have is the support of you, our school community. We have grown in number of students, in strength of teachers and staff, and in ambitions for future academic success. We truly believe that being a part of a premium schools organisation such as Nord Anglia Education is what makes us stand out from other schools in Al Khor, Qatar and indeed the world. NAE is a global family of schools and the name is synonymous with outstanding educational opportunities available for students who attend NAE schools. For your child, this means that in the future, when making college and university applications, the fact that they have attended an NAE school will be in their favour, as the institution they are applying to will be familiar with the standards associated with our schools.
In our strategic plan for the upcoming academic year, we have focused on the following two points. The first being that we have continued with our commitment to employ outstanding teachers. In order to do this, we travelled to London and took part in a three day NAE recruitment event where only top candidates were invited to interview. We have thirteen highly recommended new teachers joining our school community next year. Our school is attractive to prospective teachers because of the opportunities NAE offers, including up-to-date professional development and global mobility. The second point is the fact that as we are a Nord Anglia Education School, and due to being part of a global family, we can offer our students the benefits of being a ‘Global Campus’.
Therefore, as we have now reached the next stage of our development, we believe that the time is right to change our school name to Nord Anglia International School Al Khor. This intended name change better captures our identity as a truly global school and celebrates the successful journey we have been on for the last three and a half years. As a school community, we have worked hard together to build a school where cultures successfully blend to create a learning environment of pride and respect. CISAK will always be the foundation of our ‘heart and focus’, of families working together to create learning opportunities for their children living in Al Khor, equal to those of children of families living anywhere else in the world. Being a Nord Anglia Education School only strengthens these opportunities and fulfils our promise of helping our students grow into global citizens, ready for success in today’s increasingly interconnected world.
Our growing offer and change of name does not mean that our school ethos or expectations will be any different. As always, we will make physical changes slowly, so as to capture the history that follows change and to involve our students in the journey. Our school uniform that our students wear with such pride and respect, will remain the same; and we expect and hope that students wear their CISAK shirts, fleeces and hats until they grow out of them. The only change in any future uniform purchased will be that the new logo will be embroidered in place of our former logo, and there will be a growing selection of uniform accessories to choose from over the upcoming year.
When you return to school in September, you will notice a few physical changes to the school premises; some classes will have changed location in preparation for the movement into the new build, and new colours and logos will have been painted to celebrate our new school name. As always, staff will be on hand to guide you and your children if need be, or to answer any questions you might have. This year’s Parent Handbook will also contain information regarding changes.
I am excited for this next stage of our development and to continue to watch our school grow. It gives me great pride to lead our school and to be part of such a successfully progressive community as Al Khor. This success inspires me to further grow our school links with the community, and to discover what opportunities there are for our students to support this growth and development. Furthermore, the continuous development and growth of NAE is always encouraging; the statistics, over 23,700 students, in 35 schools, in 14 countries are impressive. I genuinely believe that being a part of this network will give opportunities for our students to travel and explore the world; discuss, collaborate and learn from their peers and expand their horizons with a global perspective.
As always, I welcome any questions. There will be a meeting on Monday 8 June from 18:30 -19:00 to present and discuss the name change and future developments. If you are unable to attend, please do not hesitate to call or make an appointment to come and see me.