As a Foundation all ESF primary schools participate in the International Schools Assessment.  Our Year 3, 4 5, and 6 children will be completing the ISA assessments later next week and the week after.  The children will complete the following over the course of 3 days;

Maths – Literacy Part 1 (45 mins)

Maths – Literacy Part 2 (30 mins)

Writing Task A – Narrative (mins)

Writing Task B – Exposition (40 mins)

Reading – (55 mins)

The Year 4-6 results will be available for us to share with the parents by early January.  It takes this long for the company to mark and scale the papers completed by over 55,000 students across the world.

The Year 3 children will be completing the Year 4 assessment and we do this so that we can gather data as a school.  It also means that the children know what to expect when they sit the assessment in Year 4.  The Year 3 data will not be shared with parents as the data is for school use only to collect assessment data as part of the bigger picture.

Should you wish to know more about ISA please visit the following website –


Year 5 & 6 Maths Workshop Presentation and Handout

Screen Shot

Today was the third and final maths presentation this week to our parent community as part of our “parents as partners”.  Over the three days we presented to more than 170 parents which has been very pleasing.

As promised at the workshop this morning please see below for the link to the presentation shared and the handout.

Maths Presentation – Year 5&6

Maths Handout Year 5.6


In May/June of this calendar year we asked our parents to feed back on some important issues relating to Peak School.  This feedback has been shared with the staff as well as the PTA and will also be shared with the School Council at the next meeting.  The feedback will also be used to help inform our responses to the IB/CIS self study which we are still completing.

A summary of the responses can be downloaded by clicking HERE.  Overall we were very happy with the results but appreciate there are things that we can continue to develop.

The “Wordle” (list of colourful words) is a summary of all the comments in terms of what we are doing well as a school.  The bigger the word the more it was mentioned.

The “even better if” comments are a summary of the key concerns raised and the yellow highlight refers to what we have done in response.


We are offering an Intro to PYP (Primary Years Program) workshop for all new parents and/or parents who are new to the PYP curriculum.  It will also be a great opportunity to meet our new Vice Principal and PYP Coordinator, Chiqui Colet, who will be presenting the workshop.  The workshop is being held on Monday the 23rd of September from 8.45am – 10.00am.

A more advanced PYP workshop will be held on Thursday 3 October for those that require exposure to a “Level 2” workshop on PYP.


This is a gentle reminder of the upcoming parent Maths workshops with Wendy Barrett and myself.  They are being held on the following dates;

Year 1/2 Parents – Tuesday 24 September, 8.45am – 10.00am

Year 3/4 Parents – Wednesday 25 September, 8.45am – 10.00am

Year 5/6 Parents – Thursday 26 September, 8.45 – 10.00am

The sessions will be split into two sections with the first section (8.45am – 9.30am) in the library with Wendy and myself explaining the taught curriculum (the “what”) and then the second session (9.30am – 10.00am) will be in the classrooms observing your child in a maths lesson (the “how”).

Please contact (phone, email or pop in) the office to let us know which day/s you want to attend so we know how many parents to expect each day.  Please note the venue is currently the library but this may change if numbers are high.


As a school we take our responsibility to promote a healthy lifestyle seriously.  This year it is even one of our key priorities to encourage our school community to make healthy choices (pack suitable snacks and lunches) and to promote a healthy balanced lifestyle.

I came across an article called “Soda contributes to behaviour problems among young children” by Alexandra Sifferlen which highlights some very interesting findings around the affects of soda on our young children.

“Sugar-sweetened beverages are one of the major culprits in the obesity epidemic, but sodas have also been connected to behavioral problems among teens. That link apparently extends to young kids as well.

Among children 5 years old, according to the latest research, those drinking more sugar-sweetened sodas showed increased aggression, withdrawal and difficulty paying attention than those drinking fewer or none of the beverages”.   Alexandra Sifferlen, Aug 2013

The article seems to have some compelling research linking soda to some of the issues above as well as some good advice around alternatives.  Again, an interesting article and I have shared it with you to raise awareness as well as to create debate around what we are giving our children to eat and drink.

Read more:

 Disclaimer – I take no responsibility for the quality of the comments that others have left on the web link above, nor do I endorse, condone or agree with the comments that have been made.  They simply reflect the feelings of individuals that have made them and do not reflect my views in anyway.


I wasn’t aware that China was looking to reform its education sector but according to Yong Zhao, who is based at the University of Oregon and writes an educational blog, the Chinese government have asked for feedback.  I thought I would share this with you as it is quite interesting and some of the “commandments” would be quite a shift from current practice.

Source of article below is  The passage below is taken directly from the blog.


China Enters “Testing-free” Zone: The New Ten Commandments of Education Reform

22 AUGUST 2013

No standardized tests, no written homework, no tracking. These are some of the new actions China is taking to lessen student academic burden. The Chinese Ministry of Education released Ten Regulations to Lessen Academic Burden for Primary School Students this week for public commentary. The Ten Regulations are introduced as one more significant measure to reform China’s education, in addition to further reduction of academic content, lowering the academic rigor of textbooks, expanding criteria for education quality, and improving teacher capacity.

The regulations included in the published draft are:

  1. Transparent admissions. Admission to a school cannot take into account any achievement certificates or examination results. Schools must admit all students based on their residency without considering any other factors.
  2. Balanced Grouping. Schools must place students into classes and assign teachers randomly. Schools are strictly forbidden to use any excuse to establish “fast-track” and “slow-track” classes.
  3. “Zero-starting point” Teaching. All teaching should assume all first graders students begin at zero proficiency. Schools should not artificially impose higher academic expectations and expedite the pace of teaching.
  4. No Homework. No written homework is allowed in primary schools. Schools can however assign appropriate experiential homework by working with parents and community resources to arrange field trips, library visits, and craft activities.
  5. Reducing Testing. No standardized testing is allowed for grades 1 through 3; For 4th grade and up, standardized testing is only allowed once per semester for Chinese language, math, and foreign language. Other types of tests cannot be given more than twice per semester.
  6. Categorical Evaluation. Schools can only assess students using the categories of “Exceptional, Excellent, Adequate, and Inadequate,” replacing the traditional 100-point system.
  7. Minimizing Supplemental Materials. Schools can use at most one type of materials to supplement the textbook, with parental consent. Schools and teachers are forbidden to recommend, suggest, or promote any supplemental materials to students.
  8. Strictly Forbidding Extra Class. Schools and teachers cannot organize or offer extra instruction after regular schools hours, during winter and summer breaks and other holidays. Public schools and their teachers cannot organize or participate in extra instructional activities.
  9. Minimum of One Hour of Physical Exercise. Schools are to guarantee the offering of physical education classes in accordance with the national curriculum, physical activities and eye exercise during recess.
  10. Strengthening Enforcement. Education authorities at all levels of government shall conduct regular inspection and monitoring of actions to lessen student academic burden and publish findings. Individuals responsible for academic burden reduction are held accountable by the government.