01 August, 2017
I trust you have all managed to have a good holiday break and a relaxing one, and that you are ready for the children’s return to school on Monday August 07.
Over the holidays our property management team worked tirelessly to have the school ready for the start of the year and they have made a great job. Over the break we have confirmed the staffing for the year. The new staff comes to us with a wealth of skills and from a variety of backgrounds. We have also worked on forming classes to achieve a balance that is beneficial to students. You will receive an email from your child’s teacher on Thursday evening, August 03; class lists will be posted in the school on Friday, August 04.
Behind the scenes all of our support teams have been working to ensure a smooth start. My management team and our new staff were in school in July, our returning staff at the beginning of August - we are ready to start this 2017/2018 academic year.
The first couple of weeks back to school are a settling in time. Please know that we understand some children are anxious at the beginning of the year, that some children don’t like change, that some will have forgotten what they have to do, that some don’t always understand instructions and that some will find it hard to concentrate after having spent the last two months on holiday and out of their school routine! Pastoral care is a shared parent and school commitment, in the first instance please do not hesitate to speak to your child’s teacher should you have any concerns or queries during the course of the year. In support, parents are most welcome to make an appointment to meet with me through the Primary School Office.
The Primary School Handbook will be available online when school starts but in the meantime the questions below, we hope, will help make the first day/week of school run smoothly for you and your children.
Some questions answered:
When does the new academic year start?
School starts for this academic year on Monday August 07
Children are expected to be in school at 07:45
What are the start and finish times of the day?
Children are expected to be in school at 07:45
Classes start for the day at 07:50
School finishes at 14:45 (12:00 for Reception)
How will I know which teacher my child will have this year?
On Thursday August 03 you will receive an email from your child’s teacher for this year.
Class lists will be posted in the school on Friday August 04 and on Monday August 07.
When do we have the opportunity to speak with the teachers?
Every parent has access to any teacher in the school between 15:00 and 16:10. No appointments are necessary for these interactions and drop-in visits. If you need to see a teacher for a longer time, please make an appointment by email.
Where do I go to on the first morning?
When you arrive at school on Monday morning please wait in the foyer until 07:45
Around 07:45 if you child is in:
o Nursery please make your way to the classrooms on the ground floor.
o Junior or Senior kindergarten please make your way to the first floor classrooms
o Grades 1, 2 or 3 please make your way to the second floor classrooms
o Grades 4 or 5 please make your way to the third floor classrooms.
Please note that usually parents will not accompany their children to the classrooms. While the children are getting used to the return to school we welcome parents to walk with their children to the classrooms using the stairs. The children are not permitted to use the lift access to floors without a lift pass from the nurse.
Are their any changes this year?
As with any school who is striving for continuous improvement, changes to the structure and the way we organise our classes and their environment continues to evolve. Please note the following:
The Merging of the two divisions
This year the primary team will encompass children from Nursery to Grade 5 and will be referred to as ‘Primary’ in our communication with you, not Early Years and Primary separately as in past years. The pedagogical leadership team for the primary school is Mr Tony (Head of Primary), Ms Veena (Deputy Head of Division and PYP Coordinator) and Ms Vimi (PYP Coordinator).
The 8-day cycle
This year we will run an 8-day cycle/week across the whole school. (how will they know the days?)
Over the course of last year we continued to focus on the collaborative model of teaching and this year we are extending this, taking it to the next step. This will see teachers collaborating together with the children; teaching in a number of spaces, grouping the children in a flexible way to better meet the individual needs of the children, and teachers working across classes in order to provide a variety of learning experiences for your child. The reality for you as parents will not be too different. You will still have a contact homeroom teacher to talk with as you do presently, one who knows your child well and who is responsible for their well-being. For the children they will find a teaching and learning programme better suited to their needs, a number of teachers responsible for the children’s learning and they will continue to be grouped in large groups, small groups and will sometimes, like they do now, work one on one as required.
Towards the end of August we have open mornings planned for parents to see our classrooms in action.
The classroom environment
As a school we continue to look at the impact our learning environment has on the learning for our children. We know children learn best when the environment reflects the way they learn best. This year we have made a conscious effort to strip back our classrooms, getting extra furniture out, to ensure there is more room for children’s learning and to this end you will see our classrooms allow for a more flexible approach to learning and to teaching.
How do I contact the school?
The primary division has two secretaries, Ms Perpetual and Ms Violet. They can be contacted through a common email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are requesting a leave for your child please email: email@example.com
I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all our new children and their parents who join our Primary School family this year and to our children and families returning for this 2017/2018 academic year.
The staff joins me in wishing you all a very happy and successful year and we look forward to meeting you at some of the many School functions planned across the year.
Head of Primary