It has been an amazing start to our new session this year with so many memorable moments already. It was great to welcome all our new pupils who have settled in very well and so smoothly. Thank you for welcoming these families into our community. For the new staff, too, who joined us, it has been a joy to see how well they have adapted to their new surroundings. Really these points are summed up by comments of every visitor to the school – “It seems very well established” and “All the children seem happy and are enjoying learning.”
So far we have had the excellent Year 5 Poetry performance to enjoy, the Year assemblies led by classes and the Year 7 Scavenger Hunt around Hong Kong, to name but a few. Last week was the Bounce-a-thon organised by Windsor House to raise money for the Heep Hong Society. It caused great excitement in school and looked like a lot of fun.
Unfortunately, I missed it because I was representing the school at the company’s Annual Senior Leadership Team Conference in Switzerland. We were staying at Les Martinets, near Lausanne, which are premises owned by our boarding school there – Beau Soleil.
Apart from conducting the conference business there, the other purpose was to introduce all the Principals to this facility in the Alps which will be used as an expedition centre. Children from each school will be invited to participate in an expedition there next year so it was good to see the facilities. We lived in the dormitory style accommodation (2 or 3 bedded rooms) and tried out some of the activities (including designing, making and racing a soapbox down the mountainside!). I think this will provide an excellent opportunity for our pupils and I will keep you posted about details in the future. Senior students can still journey to our project in Tanzania where we are supporting a local school and, nearer to home, an expedition centre is being developed at Guangzhou.
As far as the conference was concerned, it was an interesting and varied agenda. Meeting the new Principals of the schools in America, Mexico and Asia was particularly enjoyable. A main point of our “Be Ambitious” philosophy is to be ambitious about opportunities for networking and personal development by looking for exchanges and transfer arrangements.
We had case studies on how different schools had created opportunities and developed successful school communities. There was discussion, in detail, of the Parent Survey on the findings and how we implement changes to respond to points made. At the Awards Ceremony, I was proud to receive an award on behalf of the school for our outstanding positive results in the Parent Survey.
There were also sessions updating us on the latest educational developments and research. As you know, our educational philosophy is based on research and what has been proved to be successful for children’s learning.
On the last evening, I was asked to host the dinner and organise a quiz – this was based on my experience of being a contestant on the BBC “Mastermind” programme. The teams were highly competitive and it would have been easier herding cats but it was great fun!
Now we can look forward to the PTA’s Halloween Spooktakular – see you there (in costume!).