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A term in the life of DBIS

Head of School

Happy New Year and welcome back to school after what I hope was an enjoyable winter break with family and friends.

I am anticipating a very positive start to the new term with staff and students once again enthusiastically engaged in teaching and learning across the school.
I am also incredibly optimistic about the year ahead. We are all fortunate to be part of an amazing school and I am confident that the school community will continue to support our efforts to make DBIS the best it can be for our students.  Significant changes in all areas of the school’s provision took place during Term One. Vital areas of development included the following:
•    introducing a new Primary and lower Secondary Mathematics curriculum;
•    launching a new approach to Primary assessment, recording and reporting;
•    extending the use of concept and enquiry approaches to learning in Primary and Secondary;
•    deepening our approach to outdoor education and child-directed learning in the Early Years and lower Primary;
•    increasing the use of Hong Kong society and culture as a context for learning throughout the school;
•    reaffirming our commitment to inclusion through “Sport for All”;
•    redefining our commitment to internationalism and inter-culturalism;
•    clearly stating our commitment to high-quality teaching and learning;
•    introducing BTEC, A/S and A level courses to the school for the first time;
•    opening new learning facilities such as the whole school library, Early Years playground and  Senior School campus;
•    elevating our child safeguarding and recruitment procedures to the highest international standards; and
•    completing a rigorous self-evaluation process hopefully leading to international accreditation through the Council of International Schools         later this year.
This term we intend to consolidate our approach in all of the above areas. We have also started to plan for significant changes to assessment, reporting and recording procedures in our Secondary school. Additionally a renewed focus is being placed on student wellbeing and we will be delighted to welcome a range of educational professionals in the field of student welfare to the school over the coming months.
The term also promises to be very busy with highlights such as the Year 3 Show, Reception Show, Chinese New Year celebrations, the International Food Fair, Secondary Athletics Day, Lantau Paddle, RockMob and Digital Citizenship Week. 
The school’s teacher recruitment process for 2018-2019 is well underway. We have already received over 700 applications for teaching positions in all three phases. I will be interviewing shortlisted candidates in Hong Kong between January 9-17 and in the UK from January 18-27.
This term also sees some staffing changes to meet the evolving needs of the school. While sad to see Mrs Anna Knox leave, we are delighted to welcome Mrs Lyndsay McKenzie to the Year 4 teaching team and Mrs Merridy Smits to Year 1 while Mrs Anghard Cook is away on maternity leave. Additionally, before the Christmas break the following colleagues were appointed to new middle leadership positions at the school:

Mrs Jane BroderickActing Year Group Leader for Year 1
Mr Chris ColbourneYear Group Leader for Year 4
Mr Alain SamaYear Group Leader for Year 12/13
Ms Emma CerroneYear Group Leader for Year 9
Mr Thomas LemonCurriculum Leader for Secondary PE/Sport
Mr Aaron HarrisYear Group Leader for Year 7 from August
Mr Adam ReidHead of Secondary Mathematics and Data for Learning Leader

In our continued pursuit of improvement, the school is undertaking its bi-annual stakeholder survey in January.  The survey is a crucial part of the school's ongoing reflection process, and as such I would be very grateful if you would spare some time to complete the survey’s questions before January 26. Through this study, we are aiming to find out about the impressions that parents, staff and students have about the education provided by the school. We genuinely appreciate you will continue to help the school build on its strengths and inform our future planning. The questions shouldn’t take too long to complete and the link is attached HERE for your convenience.
Finally, I want to congratulate all the DBIS students who participated in the various rugby tournaments and games that took place in Hong Kong during the holiday period. In particular Toby Jurecka who played for the HK U16 National Age Grade team, scoring 2 tries and being awarded the 'Most Valuable Player' trophy at the end of the match.  The school is also very proud of the following students for their outstanding contribution to the Hong Kong New Years Day rugby festival held at Hong Kong Football Club.  According to all present the boys were a credit to DBIS, their families and themselves.
Angus McLean
Finn Jurecka
Darcy Jurecka
Jack Myatt
Isamu Naito
Josh Ledger
Jacob Borelli
Max Campbell
Jack Patidar
Toby Jurecka
Jaik Patidar
I hope you all have an excellent start to the year. Please don’t hesitate to contact another member of the senior leadership team or me if you have any questions.
Best wishes for the term ahead.
Paul Tough
Head of School


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