Dear Year 6 Parents
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We have now received both the IB and CIS reports. You will recall they visited our school back in November of last year and did a comprehensive review of our school. We are delighted with the reports as both reports highlight many strengths of the school but also provide areas for us to further develop. The most pleasing thing for me is that there are no surprises and the fact that our own self study was so comprehensive has meant that we had already identified ourselves the areas to further develop.
Both reports have already been shared with the staff and are being shared with the school council next Wednesday. Once the school council has had an opportunity to discuss the findings we will provide the school community with a summary of the commendations and recommendations.
The IB report is ‘more clinical’ than the CIS report and simply states the standards that we have excelled in (commendations) or on the standards they felt needed more work (recommendations). We received many more commendations than we expected as we were warned that commendations are very hard to come by as it basically means you exceeding that standard to a point where IB feel they need to acknowledge it. Some schools receive no commendations whilst we are aware that some schools have received as many as 5 or 6. We got a few more than that!!
The CIS report is similar in that it recognises the strengths of the school as well as the areas to develop but CIS seem to be able to be able to ‘personalise’ the feedback. It is very positive and the areas to develop will simply strengthen what we are already doing.
A proud moment for the school and I am just relieved that both the IB and CIS were astute enough to recognise that Peak School has a committed and dedicated learning community, high quality staff and a very supportive community. I look forward to sharing more with you in about a fortnight.
The engagement with our recent reports has been really pleasing with almost all our parents accessing the report on Gateway. I know some parents have commented on the fact that their child scored a 2 or “consolidating” for a particular outcome and were concerned to see this. What we need to stress as a school is that the outcomes that your child was assessed against are end of year expectations. This means that the child has until the end of that particular academic year to ‘meet that expectation’.
We have to cover (teach and assess) over 120 outcomes for maths and language alone and it is not our intention to report on every single one of them. However we have mapped out the key ones to report on through either the Mid Year report, the end of year report, the portfolio or parent meetings. The end of year report will report on more Maths, Language and UOI outcomes as well as provide a written comment for Maths, English, PSPE, Music, PE, ICT (Yr 1 &2 only) and Chinese.
A reminder that parent consultations will take place in the week beginning March 17. This is where you and the teacher will meet to discuss the progress of your child. Bookings, as usual, will be through Gateway closer to the time.
As you know I was in London recently interviewing candidates who had been shortlisted for teaching positions at ESF. I mentioned previously that our staff turnover was small and I can now confirm that we are looking to fill just the one teaching position next year. Nicole Maclennan has been granted a year’s leave to return to Canada to work on her Masters degree. This means that the school will look to appoint a teacher on a 10 month contract (academic year) for next year. We will look to advertise in the coming weeks and should be in a position to appoint someone to the 10 month contract by April/May.
I am delighted by the fact that a vast majority of our staff are remaining and it really allows us to consolidate some of the work that we have been doing as well as build on the recommendations from the recent IB/CIS reports.
As some of you will know ESF conduct an ESF Stakeholders Survey every two years to collate the thoughts of all the stakeholders from within the school community (children, parents and staff). Although a date has yet to be set we can expect to be asked to fill in the survey within the next 2 or 3 months. The format is changing so that there are not as many questions as last time as the feedback the Foundation got was that the survey was too long.
Last time our response rate was the highest amongst the Primary Schools from memory and close to being the highest across all the schools. We really value your feedback and thoughts and strong encourage you to complete the survey when the chance presents. I will provide more information once I know more but I did want to raise awareness in terms of the survey taking place before the end of this academic year.
I have spoken to the Chinese team and asked that they provide me with a list of apps that they use with our children that could also be used at home to help our children develop their Chinese. Here is the list. The apps can be found by searching in your HK apps store. Most are free.