As we reach the end of my first semester, I wanted to reflect on the last few months and look ahead to the continued improvement of our school. Firstly, I’ve been very grateful for the welcome all parents have given me. I wish I had the opportunity to meet more of you in person, and I’ve really enjoyed the conversations I’ve had when parents have visited our campus or at the end of the day around the school gates. Many of you have also contacted me by email and shared your best wishes and your thoughts on NACIS – this is very much appreciated. I hope we have the opportunity to welcome all families onto our magnificent new campus during the next semester. As a Council of International Schools (CIS) Accreditation Team leader and an ex- Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA) Board member I have been privileged to visit a large number of schools in the region. The facilities we have in NACIS are truly amazing and it was been fantastic to see both students and teachers making the most of these wonderful spaces. I have met with both the Primary and Secondary student councils who gave me a very thoughtful update on their important roles and their feelings on how to make NACIS even better for our young people.
The Heads of Primary and Secondary and I have spent a lot of time reflecting and discussing the feedback from parents and students and I would like to share with you the following improvements that we will make next Semester to further enhance our provision.
Developing fully Bilingual students is at the heart of our mission at NACIS. We have extraordinary children in our school and the goal for every student goes beyond linguistic fluency in both Chinese and English. Going ‘Beyond Bilingual’ means that NACIS students will gain a deep grounding in their own culture and heritage, learn how to lead
in a Chinese context and develop the confidence to communicate and collaborate in multicultural situations. We are relentless in our quest to achieve this for all students. We have already announced our plans to improve English language teaching in Primary and further details promised on this programme will be shared with parents early in Semester 2. In Secondary, we will target students needing support in English and offer opportunities to amplify the core curriculum with extra lessons while students develop their skills and confidence in this area. From September, both Primary and Secondary will have teams of staff to accelerate English language acquisition to ensure we move towards all students to being Beyond Bilingual.
For the first time at NACIS, all our Grade 9 students sit their Zhongkao exams this year. We have adjusted the curriculum in Grade 9 to support this provision and from next Semester we will offer Zhongkao preparation sessions to students in a variety of subjects ahead of the exams in late June. We are very pleased to add preparation for the Zhongkao to our programme. It is an excellent way to prepare students for the rigors of revision and examinations in the IBDP and it allows our students to leave NACIS with world renowned qualifications in both Chinese and English.
Most Able and Talented Programme
We have some exceptional students with high ability and/or specific talents across our entire curriculum. We’ve been able to identify these students from the wealth of assessment data that we use to closely monitor the academic performance and progress of every student. From next Semester, we will provide additional opportunities for these ‘Most Able and Talented’ students to ensure they get the academic stretch and challenge they need to fulfil their true potential which is our goal for every NACIS student. More details of this exciting new programme will be shared at the start of next Semester.
Student Behaviour and Rewards
We will launch a new student behavior and rewards policy and procedures in both Primary and Secondary in the next few weeks, based upon an update to Government statutory guidance. All schools must help students develop a strong moral core and a clear school framework of expectations. Consequences of poor choice is an invaluable tool in helping build self-regulation and behavior as they move into adulthood and beyond. The new Government guidance also allows us to ask parents to remove students of certain ages should they not be able to meet our expectations.
It is also important to reward students as seen in our Awards Ceremony in Secondary this week. I would like to recognise and congratulate all deserving students who won Awards. Our new policy has further opportunities to ensure we recognise students for their work in and out of the classroom and I look forward to sharing this with you soon.
It is vitally important that we have clear lines of communication between families and the school. I recognise that we need to do better in this area. Effectively immediately, I am requiring all staff to respond to any parent communication within 24 working hours. All contact details for staff are on Firefly or in the Parent Handbooks. If you do not get a response from your child’s teacher within this time period, please contact the Primary or Secondary Office and they will assist. Their contact details are:
NACIS Primary Office email@example.com
NACIS Secondary Office firstname.lastname@example.org
These improvements will help us provide the highest standard of personalised education for your children and I hope you feel your feedback has been well received and actioned. Building your confidence and trust in NACIS is my utmost priority and I would be delighted to hear any further comments.
I wish all families a pleasant Winter holiday. Please be mindful of the travel regulations we have circulated.