Dear students, parents and members of the school community.
Welcome back to the start of a new school year. I trust that you had a wonderful summer holiday either in Poland or further afield. Summer is the time to enjoy a break, recharge the batteries and prepare for an exciting year of learning, activity and friendship.
I arrived in Warsaw two weeks ago and started to experience many of the opportunities that this city has to offer. However, the contrast to my last nine years in Hong Kong could not be greater. The sky is blue, the air is clean and there is room to move. I thank all those at school who helped make this transition from the Far East to Eastern Europe seamless. I am delighted to be the new Principal and know that I shall enjoy working at this fine school.
We also extend a warm welcome to our new teachers who have joined us from schools in the United Kingdom, Australia, the Middle East and the Far East. They are an excellent group of educators who are looking forward to being members of our community. I am sure that the students will embrace the new teachers and benefit from the knowledge and experience that they bring to the school.
The summer break provided time for some refurbishment and provision of additional facilities, both at Dabrowskiego and Limanowskiego. It has certainly been busy at Limanowskiego with extensive work going on in the classrooms and around the grounds. We have seen cleaners, painters, gardeners, builders, glaziers and many other trades people in abundance this past week. I know that both schools will look their very best when students return on Monday morning.
At the heart of this school are the students. I can assure parents that your children shall be at the centre of all that we do. At the first staff meeting for the year, held last Monday, I spoke to the teachers and their assistants at Dabrowskiego and Limanowskiego about the importance of putting the children first, be that in the classroom, in the playground or beyond the campus gates. We have a mission to provide a dynamic learning and teaching environment where every child, no matter the year level they are in, can strive for success in all that they do. Research conducted across the Nord Anglia family of schools shows that children are capable of reaching a higher level of attainment, both in the classroom and in other learning spaces, than might have previously been thought. Our teachers will stimulate and encourage every child. This requires careful tracking of each child’s progress, from the day that they arrive until the time that they leave the school. Our adoption of High Performance Learning (HPL), developed by Nord Anglia Education's Director of Education, Professor Deborah Eyre, means that all our students, regardless of their starting point, can become high performers.
The success of HPL was evident in the 2014 IB Diploma and IGCSE. The results achieved by the boys and girls at The British School Warsaw were excellent. In the IB Diploma we obtained an average of 35 points (well above the world-wide average) with 20% of the cohort achieving 40 plus points. One student reached 44 points. In the IGCSE our students obtained A*-C grades in 90.2% of all papers taken. I congratulate the students and their teachers on a fine effort.
I have high expectations of the students and their teachers. As the oldest school in the Nord Anglia family of schools we must lead the way in learning and teaching. I shall work tirelessly to ensure that our school is not only a school that achieves excellent results but is also a school that displays all the characteristics one would expect of a leading international school in Europe.
I look forward to meeting you in the near future.
Dr. John Kennard