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Principal's Message - Differentiation

Dear Parents and Students

If you have not already, please complete the Parent Satisfaction Survey, as it will be closed tomorrow.

Open Day

We are hosting our inaugural Open Day on Saturday 25 February from 10:00 to 14:00, which will also feature fundraising activities for our students attending the annual expedition to Tanzania.

I was very fortunate to start my teaching career working with the senior leaders at a top, independent school in Melbourne, Australia.  My mentor was inspirational, the leadership worked well together and most teachers were highly motivated and genuinely cared for children.  However, I remember one teacher saying to me, “If you find me a teacher who claims they meet the needs of every student in the class, I will find you a liar!”

The defeatist nature of this teacher’s comment has stayed with me for more than twenty years.  It is something I bear in mind whenever I have worked with new teachers to the profession, as I feel it is important to remember and promote what a privilege it is to teach.

Catering to the needs of every student in the classroom is a challenge we aspire towards in every lesson we deliver at NAISAK.  Differentiation is a key focus in our strategic development plan.  Our visionary statement about differentiation states, “All students will benefit from lessons that are tailored to meet their diverse needs and enable them to grow as lifelong learners.”  It has been a regular point of discussion in our meetings with staff.  It is also an area that we look for whilst conducting lesson observations.  We have taken a lead within Nord Anglia by introducing this important topic with Nord Anglia University, a forum where educators from all 43 schools make contributions. 

Regarding the somewhat cynical comment above, I will accept that meeting all students’ needs is challenging and difficult to measure, however, it is a worthy target for all teachers to aspire towards.  I am pleased to inform you that we will be sending seven teachers this weekend to receive training by one of the world’s leading experts in differentiating lessons, Dr Carol Ann Tomlinson (  Surely, this will help us further refine our practice as we aim to meet each child’s unique learning needs. 

Dave Pontich