Dear DCIS Parents and Guardians,
I am very pleased to announce that the International Baccalaureate Organization have now authorised us to run the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) beginning August 2017. It is a testament to all the hard work that our staff have done that this two year process has gone so smoothly. I am very grateful to Mr Smith and Ms Rinaldi for their leadership of our application. We had some excellent feedback from our visitors two weeks ago and the speed that we received our final authorisation after this visit is a great sign that our application was very strong. We do need to gain authorisation from the Committee for Private Education (CPE) but, as the IBDP is taught widely in Singapore, we hope this process will also be very quick. We have had a great deal of interest for our new Sixth Form programme so we look forward to launching this in August with a mixture of internal and external students. The IB commended us on the following in their report.
The IB commends the school for:
- Its existing character which already aligns well with the IB mission and philosophy, in particular the school's ethos of inclusion and service which are well established.
- The level of understanding of and enthusiasm for the commencement of the Diploma Programme.
- Their commitment towards the development of the learner profile attributes. This was repeatedly evident throughout the visit and is already well embedded into the teachers' ethos.
- The obvious open and good relations between all sectors of the school community. This was noted on several occasions, even when simply walking round the campus, and it was well supported by comments made by the parents, the students and the teachers.
- Its commitment to inclusion. The school has a proportion of students with special needs and is prepared to go to all lengths necessary in order to allow these students to access the full Diploma or individual courses.
- Their obvious expertise in and dedication to the provision of useful and effective feedback to students, centering on the premise that each student should always know what to do next in order to improve.
- Their existing culture of encouraging students to participate in and reflect on their learning, which means that when students enter the IB Diploma Programme they will already be familiar with this practice.
Year 6 and above are on their residential trips this week and we are enjoying the updates and photos from Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar (Burma). These expeditions are a wonderful way of extending student’s learning and I am so pleased that we have such a large take up of this aspect of our programme. We have four students heading to the United States early next term as part of our collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston and we have been invited to take students to the United Nations in New York this July as part of our collaboration with the UN and UNICEF. This, coupled with our Global Campus expeditions to Tanzania and Switzerland, give excellent opportunities to augment the curriculum offered in school, and follow our large focus on 21st Century skills. The Economist magazine recently ran an article on the changing shape of employment in the future and the importance of these wider skills is crucial to ensure students are equipped for the challenges of the rest of this century.
Our library will re-open on Wednesday 8th February. Our librarians have worked tirelessly to catalogue our books onto our new library system and we now have a computerised lending system that will allow us to track borrowing and manage our large collection of books. This, coupled with our new readers in Primary School, will help in our celebration of Book Week shortly after half term.
Many thanks to those people who have already completed our Parent Satisfaction Survey. If you have not yet had the opportunity, I would be grateful if you could complete the survey this week as it is an excellent way to (hopefully!) capture feedback on the various educational and infrastructure improvements we have made as well as feelings on other areas we still need to continue our development in (click here to access the survey). We will provide a summary of responses once we are given the results. Our survey does not replace our normal channels of communication should you have any specific questions or comments – details are available in our Parent Handbook.
Many thanks to parents who participated in our Stay and Play activity in our Early Years classes. It was a fantastic opportunity for parents to find out more about our child led adult facilitated play approach to learning for our very youngest children.
We are all looking forward to the DCA Film Night on Saturday evening. We are also hosting two of the ASCIS football finals on the same day so it will be a busy day on the DCIS campus.
As some of you will be aware next Wednesday marks the 75th Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore. The Commemoration Committee have asked me to extend an invitation to all members of the DCIS community. The Commemoration Committee is made up of representatives from MINDEF’s Defence Policy Office and Nexus, SAF Veterans League, Singapore Civil Defence Force, the National Cadet Corps, The Singapore Scout Association, the Embassy/High Commissions of Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The ceremony will take place on Wednesday 15 February at 4.30pm at Kranji War Cemetery.
We look forward to seeing all our parents at many of the upcoming events set to take place here at DCIS in February.