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Letter from the Head of Secondary - 25th February 2016

Students in Years 7 to 10 have started their Term 2 assessments this week, and these will continue throughout next week.  However, the sitting of the assessments is only part 1 of the process – part 2, which for me is actually the more important part, is reviewing the assessments once the teacher has marked them, looking at where marks were lost, which parts needed more revision, and taking from this some key pointers in terms of how to improve for next time.

The teachers, too, use these assessments to identify what they might need to do to ensure that the learning is better embedded, or that any misconceptions are clarified. Effective feedback really is the key to future improvement, and I would urge parents to not just ask their children how they did in the assessments, but more importantly, to ask what they have learnt which will help them to do even better next time.

Tonight we have a Tanzania information evening for the parents of those Year 12 students involved in this exciting opportunity, and on Saturday we have a group of senior students attending the ‘We Stand We Lead’ China Summit in Suzhou. These are both great opportunities for our students to develop their leadership skills and get involved with activities with a global perspective, both of which are highly sought after skills by both universities and employers.

Our Careers Fair, on Thursday 10 March, will see a large number of universities and employers on campus. The main purpose of this event is to inspire our students to consider the myriad of opportunities that are open to them when they graduate from an international school such as NAIS Pudong, many of which lead to careers that didn’t even exist when we were young. The universities and employers will also be keen to see the skills that our students bring to the table; they are increasingly looking for young people who can show leadership skills, creativity and open-mindedness, are good at problem-solving and have an international perspective on the world, rather than students who come loaded with lots of facts and figures. Students such as ours, who have been through an IGCSE and IB programme which encourages them to think, rather than just regurgitate facts, are very strong in these skills and attributes, thus making them very attractive to future employers. At the Careers Fair we also have a range of excellent speakers, and I do hope that you may be able to come along and experience this event with your son or daughter.

Next week, of course, we have Academic Review Evenings (AREs) for students in Years 7, 8 and 9. After positive feedback regarding the alphabetical splitting of these AREs last term, we are doing the same again this term but, in the interests of fairness, the second half of the alphabet (N-Z) goes first this time, on Monday 29 Feb, with those with A- M surnames following on Thursday 3 March. We look forward to meeting with you to discuss your child’s progress at these events.

Kind regards

Dinah Hawtree

Head of Secondary