Dear DCIS Parents and Guardians,
It is hard to believe we are halfway through March already. We have had a busy and successful first half of the year. Many thanks to those parents who participated in the Parent Satisfaction survey as we have had an excellent response rate and will arrange feedback once the results have been processed.
Many thanks to all the parents who supported our UN Day and Book Week events. Both were very well received by children, parents and staff and we look forward to even bigger and better versions of the same next year.
We have now received reports back from FOBISIA (Federation of British Schools in Asia) and the IBO (International Baccalaureate Organisation). As I mentioned when I met parents last year, one of my key foci this year has been to get external verification for the great work we do here at DCIS. I am therefore pleased that we have two of these in place and will receive the third one (our membership of CIS - Council of International Schools) very shortly.
We had several commendations from the IB report including:
- The 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 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
- The 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
- The level of pedagogical leadership displayed by the Diploma Programme Coordinator
- For making the library a centre for Diploma Programme implementation
- For the 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
The FOBISIA report also had a number of wonderful affirmations including:
- Positive behaviour for learning of the children and students in all sections and areas of the school
- Support for all learners (with the Department of Supportive Education (DSE) offering an individualised, inclusive learning experience and the central role of this inclusivity in the school vision
- Updated facilities and the imaginative use of the spaces around the school to offer an attractive and vibrant learning environment
- Positivity of teaching staff in embracing change and in supporting the school leadership
- Leadership of the school were cited by parents and teachers as being visible, open and supportive. Children, parents and staff all believed the school had been transformed over recent years and that this growth and transformation had been well-managed by the leadership team
- Non-teaching staff at the school have implemented robust policies such as those relating to safeguarding, health and safety and admissions that are clear to all stakeholders
- ‘Community feel’ of the school was noted by parents and staff as a genuine strength as well as by students who enjoy working with their ‘friendly and supportive’ teachers
As you know we aim to recruit and retain the very highest quality teaching and non teaching staff. One of our elements in doing this is to provide high quality CPD (Continuous Professional Development) through the year. We do this in a mixture of ways – every Monday we hold internal training but we also have access to course and conferences through Nord Anglia Education and elsewhere. Recently two of our staff – Ms Mahoney and Mr Cairns – finished their Middle Leadership Programme. This was a one year course with two residentials in our sister school in Cambodia, online collaboration and a research project. Other staff are involved in IB training, specialist conferences (e.g., ICT, Learning Support, Child Protection) and networking opportunities with colleagues across Singapore and the region.
We are shortly beginning a collaboration with one of our colleagues from the British International School in Ho Chi Mihn City in Vietnam, Ms Dee Grimsham, who is working with Mr Smith and Ms Lebihan on our Challenge programme. As the reports above highlight, we are good at dealing with students of all ability levels but, as I hope you would expect, we always review our programmes as well as our approaches, and our work with Ms Grimshaw will allow us to challenge our top ability students. As our recent EDEXCEL iGCSE awards testify, DCIS students are capable of phenomenal achievements and it is important we allow all our students to achieve the very highest marks that they can.
Mr Christopher Short