It was great to see so many Year 9 and 10 students and their parents at last week’s Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings, with many very interesting discussions about both Year 9’s Free Choice Options, which are now due by Tuesday, and how well Year 10 have settled into their IGCSE courses. The final Parent/Student/Teacher Meetings of the term take place on Thursday, when I am looking forward to seeing Year 12 and their parents.
Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards
Many of you will have see, on the school’s Facebook page, where they have over 400 likes, some photos from the recent CIE (Cambridge International Examinations) Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards, when Mimie, in Year 12, was presented Awards for achieving the best mark in Thailand in IGCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics, as well as the best mark in the world in IGCSE Development Studies. This is a fantastic achievement, with Mimie being specially mentioned by Ms Margaret Tongue, the Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy, Bangkok, in her speech, and it was a privilege to be at the ceremony with Mimie and her mother.
What makes a Great St Andrews lesson?
I have written in the Newsletter before about our What makes a Great St Andrews lesson? document, created by all the High School teachers four years ago so that we have a shared understanding of what great teaching and learning looks like at St Andrews.
One of the characteristics of a great St Andrews lesson is that “Students are encouraged to develop their abilities as enquiring, risk-taking, independent learners, who can think creatively, critically and reflectively”, and I saw a fantastic example of this in a Year 11 English lesson on Monday.
The students’ teacher was away but, without any prompting from me, the students had re-arranged the tables, as you can see in the photo above, and were discussing, as a group, the character of Curley's Wife in Of Mice and Men, and how they would write an essay on her in an IGCSE English Literature exam.
This “creative, critical and reflective” independent learning only happens when these skills have been both encouraged and developed by the classes teacher throughout their course, and will serve the students very well, both in their IGCSE English Literature exams and beyond.