Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year. After such a long break it was exciting to welcome the students back at the beginning of the week and see so many smiling faces.
Although the term is only a week old, I am pleased to report that the school year has started on a real high for a number of reasons. Firstly, I am delighted to announce that our IB examination results, issued to the students in June, were outstanding and are the best in the school’s history. The overall pass rate was 96% which is well above the world average of 80%. In addition, we also had a record individual score in our IB history of 43 points (out of a maximum of 45) and it was particularly pleasing to see that the top 10% of the graduating class scored more than 40 points, which is an outstanding achievement.
I am also pleased to report that our IGCSE results continue to improve with more than 72% of the grades awarded being in the A*to C range. This represents our best IGCSE results since 2013. As I have stated on previous occasions, I am confident that these improvements are as a direct result of the educational initiatives we have introduced over the last few years, coupled with outstanding teachers throughout the whole school who are prepared to go above and beyond for their students.
Nevertheless and despite these marked improvements, we continue to review and enhance policies and procedures to ensure we maximise opportunities for our students. One change for this academic year will be the movement of one of our key mile posts from Year 9 to Year 8. This will allow us to identify our students’ needs earlier and better prepare them for their IGCSE courses in Years 10 and 11.
As I sure you are all now aware, the school was awarded full accreditation to the Council of International Schools (CIS) in May. This is a significant achievement and means we can be very proud of the programmes (social, pastoral and academic) we offer our students and the wider community. The full report from CIS runs to hundreds of pages, but we will be working on their recommendations in the weeks and months to ensure we continue to improve as an educational institute. We are presently corresponding with CIS and it is our hope that one of their representatives will visit the school at the end of September to present us with our official accreditation certificate.
In addition to the CIS accreditation, I am also delighted to announce that the school has been awarded the prestigious Green Flag by the Eco-Schools Organization for our efforts towards environmental action and education.
If you have been on campus at any point this week, you will have noticed that our drive to refurbish and modernise the campus continues. Some of the projects completed over the summer include the modernisation of the OM building, a new surface in the primary play area next to the auditorium and the resurfacing of a number of the corridors and walkways. I am also pleased to announce work will start within the next couple weeks on a new tartan running track and construction of a full cover for the swimming pool will begin before the end of this term.
At this point, I would also like to bring to your attention, that we have introduced a number of additional road safety measures on campus, based on recommendations by CIS. You may have noticed that we now have three permanent road cones near the entrance to the school. This is to help with the flow of traffic in the mornings and afternoons and will help stop drivers from cutting the corner as they turn left after entering campus, as I have seen a number of near accidents over the last few years. We have also introduced a speed indicator behind the IB centre and additional speed bumps. On numerous occasions, members of staff have reported vehicles travelling too fast on campus and it is hoped these measure will reduce speed and make our campus safer for the students. Please ensure that while on campus, you keep your speed below 30km/h.
Finally, I am pleased to report that we have been joined by some excellent teachers this year, who I am sure will bring considerable value added to the school.
If you would like to know more information about some of the items mentioned in this letter, please do not hesitate to contact the school and I look forward to seeing you on campus throughout this academic year.
Dr. Glenn Canterford
Arabic version below: