Dear DCIS Parents and Guardians,
We all enjoyed greeting our students at the beginning of Term 2. It was good to welcome a number of new students into Year 5 and 6 and our ever-expanding Secondary School. We have been enjoying catching up with everybody’s holiday news and we are now looking forward to another action packed term and, as well as the academics, there are a number of events and opportunities for students and parents.
In February our Year 6 to 11 students will be taking part in residential trips to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. We will be sending out some further communication on the final documentation required and the logistical arrangements. Our trip leaders will also be running a drop-in session for any last minute questions. As detailed in the December newsletter, our Year 8 and 9 students also have an opportunity to participate in the NAE Global Campus Worldwide Expedition to Les Martinets in Switzerland. We are hoping to run this trip in June and, if you haven’t done so already, please let Mr. Woodhall know if you would like your son/daughter to attend. More details (including the final costs) will be sent out as soon as possible.
DCIS has also been given the opportunity to participate in the Nord Anglia Education collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). As many of you know, MIT is considered one of the top universities in the world and we are very excited about this initiative. The collaboration is focused on STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) and will enhance the curricula across the school. It also gives an opportunity for four DCIS students (from Year 6 and 7) to visit Boston to take part in activities in a synthetic Biology lab, workshops in real-world gaming, nautical engineering, programming and music production. The students will also have the opportunity to tour both MIT and Harvard Universities. We are running an internal competition to choose the four students who will participate and our applicants are busy preparing a short presentation about an invention of their own design. They will present these to Ms. Mahoney and me shortly so we can choose our four participants.
Once again our students have been very active participants in all Global Campus activities. Last term we submitted our entries for the Creative Writing Competition and I am delighted to announce that we had nine DCIS winners from Years 5 to 11. We will also be presenting last year’s winners (Christopher in Year 10 and Emilia in Year 11) with their published anthologies and the published Photographer of the Year Calendar to our DCIS winner Aasmi in 5EC. This term we have the Visual Arts Competition and the Global Challenge, which will be launched alongside the new Nord Anglia Education partnership with the United Nations.
Term 2 is also an important time for many of our year groups. Year 6 students will be spending time preparing for the important transition from Primary to Secondary School. We will be running a number of information sessions and induction activities to make students and parents more aware of what life is like in the secondary environment. Our Year 9 students will be choosing their subjects for IGCSE and we will be running an options evening for students and parents so they can fully understand the process. Also, our Year 11 students are taking their very important mock examinations before they take their final IGCSE examinations in May and June.
We will also be hosting visitors from the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) to verify our preparedness for offering the IB Diploma Programme from August 2017. This project is being led by Mrs. Rinaldi and a large number of our teachers have been involved in an exceptional effort to get us ready. Many have already completed their training and the preparation continues as we plan and prepare the different curricula. I will update you on this as soon as I have further news later on this term.
Finally I would like to introduce you to two new members of staff who have joined DCIS in January. Miss Melanie Benson is joining our Maths department and Mrs. Emma Ashmore is taking over our Year 5/6 ESL class. Miss Benson has extensive UK and international experience and her students have achieved some very impressive outcomes. I am confident that she will make a huge contribution to the continuing development of the department. Mrs. Ashmore is a fully qualified ESL teacher and also brings a wealth of specialised experience. I am delighted to welcome them both to DCIS.
In closing we would like to wish everyone an excellent start to Term 2 in Secondary School.
Head of Secondary School