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Principal's Blog

31 January 2015

Dear Parents,

Thank you to all those who attended the 'Meet the Principal' meeting on Friday 30th, it was great to meet you all. The arrival of a new Principal always sparks interest and questions about school improvements and so it was good to be able to talk through a range of those with you today. For those that were not able to make the meeting today, you will find a link to the slides used in the presentation below.

Dr Neil Hopkin Presentation

In short, we are all keen to see this great school improve even further. Over the next few months there are some pressing priorities and desirable enhancements that you will see taking place. Research has shown that, contrary to loftier aims, toilets are the top priority for students in any school and we have a programme to refurbish our toilet blocks over the coming months. The infant library refurbishment will also take place over the coming weeks and is due to be finished by Easter. However, there are very many other exciting improvements coming to Dover Court International School this academic year. 

As parents we look forward to welcoming you to join us in forming a PTA. I will be inviting you to a meeting in a few weeks to form this important group and look forward to working with you more closely in that capacity.

In 5 weeks time Dover Court Radio will be launched as our radio station arrives and the UK's leading school radio technologist, Russell Prue, visits the school. Russell has supported Wellington College and other leading UK state and independent schools and we are delighted to welcome him to Dover Court. 

Continuing the technology theme, next week we launch Dover Court TV in Year 8 as our students start to use our  broadcast quality studio equipment to create a magazine show, which we will share with you through our website, Facebook page and twitter account. These two technological innovations are a very exciting way of engaging learners and offering opportunities to apply their learning. You will start to see our radio and TV 'crews' in operation at all our events in the future. Children throughout the school will have opportunities to access this technology.

We will also see iPads in use across the school as we seek to promote 21st century learning and each class will have a blog which teachers will use to give you a better insight into the daily or weekly activities in their classroom. A letter will come home for you to agree to using children's (unnamed) images in these blogs, do please keep an eye out for this important permission.

During the summer recess we will embark upon the next phase of our refurbishment plan with plans being put in place for new science labs, art room, music suite and rehearsal rooms, digital music composition suite, nurse's room, robotics lab, and sports area. We will share indicative timeframes with you over the next weeks.

In terms of curriculum we will be enhancing our provision in sports with the introduction of outside coaches for paid courses in a range of sports. All coaches with be highly qualified sports scientists and will offer a significant enhancement to after school sports provision. We will see our school compete in many more competitions, with all the benefits that such competitive engagement brings. 

We will also be enhancing class based studies, so that we are at the leading edge of provision in terms of the UK's National Curriculum and will move well beyond this to ensure that your children have the very best of exciting learning experiences.

Finally, we will be delighted to introduce Mr John Smith as our new Head of Secondary to parents at a meeting on 5th March 2015. Mr Smith will be joining us in August from the British School of Doha where he is currently Head of Secondary, having been a highly successful practitioner in the UK. We are delighted to have such a visionary and capable, experienced Head of Secondary joining Dover Court International School and look forward to the bright future that this will bring our secondary school students. You can watch Mr Smith's short introductory video in this clip below:

Video from Mr John Smith

Thank you for your support as we take these steps forward in the development of our great school. I look forward to meeting more of you at the school and through events as the term progresses.

Best wishes

Dr Neil Hopkin