Dear DCIS Parents and Carers,
It has been an action-packed half term for Dover Court Secondary and I am very proud and grateful to the students' and staffs' hard work.
We kicked off early in the half term with UN Day. What a fantastic event! I was so impressed by the efforts of students and staff to make the day so successful and it was great to see the Dover Court community coming together to celebrate our diversity.
Our first of three MIT STEAM challenges for Year 9, led by Mr. Northridge in Secondary was excellent! It was great to see such innovation and enthusiasm to solve the problems and the end products were potential inventions of the future. I am already looking forward to the next one.
The Cross Country house day was a particular favourite of mine. I was inspired by the strength and resilience to keep going by all the runners but even more so by the care and collaboration shown by fellow runners and spectators.
Over the course of this half term, Mrs. Hyland and I have observed every teacher across all subjects in the Secondary school. We have been impressed by the standard of teaching and learning going on in the classroom and the very obvious passion and enthusiasm for this by teachers and students alike. There is such a varied range of learning happening each day from Mr. Woollard's GCSE PE group learning about the bones of the body through sticking post-it notes on each other to Ms Bennett's Year 13 IB group understanding the differences of realism and surrealism between Tennesse Williams and Henrick Ibsen. Then on to Ms Milton's class debating whether the people or the Government are responsible for the environment…in French! and Mr. Dwyer's Music class conducting a musical appraisal of a sonata by Beethoven.
We held our first ever IB Extended Essay (EE) Coff-EE morning (see what we did?) led by Mr. Jones, to celebrate the Year 13s handing in a significant piece of work. The Year 13s all did a short presentation on the subject, method and findings of their EEs to Year 12s students, parents and members of Staff. This was then followed by a short opportunity for questions and answers. The event was a huge success and one which we will continue annually. I was so impressed by the standard of EE question, investigation and presentation skills. Year 13 students treated their IB teachers and EE supervisors to lunchtime pizzas last week to say thank you.
For Kindness Week, students became RAKtivists, actively carrying out a Random Act of Kindness to unsuspecting people in school and in the community. It was great to hear about them, the recipients' reaction and how it made them feel by doing something kind for others. It is also great to see that these acts are continuing long after Kindness Week.
I should at this stage, give a very special mention to Grace in Year 12 who, during a powerful secondary assembly, had her head shaved on stage to raise money for the community portion of the upcoming expedition to Tanzania. Her hair has been donated to Locks of Love and will be turned into a wig. Well done Grace!
World Children's day saw our students take over! We had Student Council outreach during form time, student-led agenda meetings with the Principal and Student Teachers running workshops on Football Skills, Minecraft Programming and Theories in the Future of Fortnite. I personally attended the Fortnite workshop run by three Year 7 students and was blown away by their conspiracy theories and decoding skills.
I had the pleasure of being invited to 7 ML's lunch restaurant a few weeks ago. I was shown to my seat, given my student made menu and treated to waiter service. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and will be placing a 5-star review on trip advisor very soon.
We have also had four exciting residential trips to Gopeng, Vietnam, Borneo, and Laos. It was great to see so many happy, smiling and somewhat tired faces getting off the coaches on their return. The students and staff have spoken overwhelmingly positively about the trips and I am very grateful to the staff for their excellent planning and organisation of these amazing experiences for our young people. I even got to teach some PE for the students back at school during the week, which I very much enjoyed.
In other exciting trip news, our World Scholars' Cup Team recently visited Yale University for the final round. The students were the most fantastic ambassadors of Dover Court and we are very proud of them. Any students interested in joining in the new year are welcome to come and see Ms Eaton.
I was very proud of the four students who had their work selected to be displayed at the International Schools Art Exhibition 2018 held at the Australian High Commission led by Ms Ketrestal.
All in all, a fantastic but busy half term. It just remains for me to wish all our students, parents and staff a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
See you all in 2019!
Mr. Craig Bull
Head of Secondary School