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Principal's Message

14 October 2018

Dear Parents and Students

I find it hard to believe that I have been involved in teaching for twenty years. I have always considered it a personal responsibility to develop myself professionally throughout my career and have been very fortunate to benefit from a variety of training ranging from best practice in teaching, educational leadership to safeguarding children.

As many of you are aware, we had training on positive discipline in the classroom in August, which was exceptional. In Switzerland, I was able to benefit from inspirational discussions with a professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Last week, I was provided with the opportunity to attend the Teaching and Learning Forum hosted by Qatar Foundation where I took part in some interesting seminars. There was one that was incredibly informative from Dr Janet Goodall from Bath University related to engaging parents in school life. This is an area in which we wish to further develop at NAISAK.

Yesterday, our Secondary School hosted Ms Therese Andrews from Fieldwork Education. Therese led training on how to effectively implement the International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) for all Secondary teachers. The IMYC is a concept-based curriculum for students in Years 7, 8 and 9. Following the review of our guiding statements, we developed an implementation plan for the IMYC that will help us realise our vision of challenging and inspiring our students. The programme was developed alongside research that examines the adolescent brain and how students most effectively learn. The information being taught to students will remain largely the same, however, the approach used will focus on a big idea that all subjects will be able to relate their learning to. Mr Russell Burton will provide further information in coming e-newsletters about our first IMYC unit.

In addition to all Secondary teachers being trained on the weekend, we had three Primary teachers and three members of the Additional Learning Needs (ALN) department benefit from phonics training called ‘Read Write Inc.’. We also have two members of staff currently undertaking training in Nord Anglia’s Middle Leaders Programme.

In terms of how all this training fits together, I am pleased to report that curricular developments, the teaching of English and becoming more strategic as we develop are all key aspects of our school development plan.

Regarding evidence to support the need for professional development, below is a quote from the McKinsey Report, which is widely regarded as the most extensive review of educational systems in the last 20 years:

The McKinsey report comes to the conclusion that certain education systems achieve substantially better outcomes than others because “they have produced a system that is more effective in doing three things: getting more talented people to become teachers, developing these teachers into better instructors, and in ensuring that these instructors deliver consistently for every child in the system. (…) The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers.” (BARBER & MOURSHED, 2007)

Although none of us are perfect, I am very pleased with the quality of learning I see taking place daily in and around the classrooms. Working for Nord Anglia Education allows us to recruit fantastic teachers.

Yours faithfully 

Dave Pontich

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