Staff Update

12 January 2014

Congratulations

To Emma and Joe on their engagement over the Christmas break; and

To Dorothy & Alfred on their marriage last Friday.

Staffing Update

Peter Assimakopoulos informed me of his intention to move on at the end of this school year and a drama position has been advertised.

Recruitment is going well although we do have some appointments still to complete. I am very happy to inform you that Kristy Baron has been appointed to the Primary Learning Development Team (Lizzie's position) and Martin DeBarr will take over from Zoe as the Primary Generalist. I will try and give you a comprehensive update on all new colleagues after CNY, once most of the Contracts have been signed.

If you know of any colleagues who may be interested in the following positions, can you please either direct them to the DC web site or ask them to email me. While not always successful, staff recommendations have already proved valuable this year:
  • PYP Art
  • Lower Primary (PYP)
  • MYP/DP Drama

We are also in the middle of finding a new Facilities Manager and IT Technicians. Andrea Quinn has informed us that she leaving to complete teacher training, an exciting move for her, and so a Music Technician position has also been advertised.

I leave for London on Tuesday to attend the Search Fair. Please contact Peter Lasscock and/or Pat Romano for any whole college needs.

CIS Accreditation

I received notification over the holidays that we had been accredited by the Council for International Schools. This is great news and again reflects the tremendous work the staff and community have done over the past six years. I expect the WASC report within the next 4-6 weeks.

In accrediting DC, the Visiting Team commended:
  • the school for establishing and implementing a clear Vision Statement that guides students’ learning and is widely recognised as the focus for the entire school community;
  • the staff for creating a stimulating and engaging learning environment within their classrooms;
  • the teaching staff for their clear professionalism, expertise and commitment;
  • the school for collaboratively working on the development of a contextually-appropriate definition of international-mindedness;
  • the school for aligning its Professional Development (PD) with its Vision and Goals, and for providing a wide range of PD to its staff;
  • the School Council for transparent and effective oversight of the school within a multi- layered governance structure;
  • the School Council and Principal for developing an effective working relationship that promotes a team- and solution-oriented approach to problem-solving and transparency of action when addressing issues of parental concern and critical fiscal decisions that potentially have a negative impact on the school’s Vision and Guiding Statements;
  • the Board of Governors and the CFO of ESF for their diligence in addressing the long-term financial stability of the college;
  • the School Council for having and implementing a Recruitment and Screening Policy that ensures staff are appropriate for the position, thus supporting the high quality of students’ learning;
  • the entire community for the development, implementation and participation in programmes that foster respectful interactions with all members of the community;
  • the Learning Development Team (LDT) staff for developing an effective, integrated programme to support students’ access and participation in the College learning environment;
  • the school community for its effort to promote an open and healthy school culture based on cultural diversity and mutual respect;
  • the school for its consistent effort to ensure students’ well-being, particularly the Restorative Practice which helps promote fairness and positive compliance;
  • the School Council for efforts to improve the financial position of the school whilst maintaining a commitment to supporting the curricular programmes and Vision;
  • the Business Office and its team for conscientious efforts to understand and support the educational programmes, ensuring a safe and healthy environment; and
  • the support staff for conscientious efforts to support the community and for making a very positive impact upon school life.


Although the Visiting Team clearly viewed DC very positively, the recommendations included:

  • the school establishes a formal process and timeline for the regular monitoring and review of the Guiding Statements and includes representation from all stakeholder groups in this process;
  • the school develops a formal process with defined indicators to measure Discovery College’s success in achieving its Aims as laid out in its Guiding Statements;
  • the school develops a comprehensive, school-wide Teaching and Learning Policy that explicitly defines/articulates high quality learning practices;
  • the school further develops the curriculum in a systematic, school-wide approach to allow effective differentiation for all students;
  • the school develops an overarching Curriculum Plan that includes a process and timeline for reviewing its curriculum on a regular basis;
  • the School Council formalises a process to regularly review the school’s progress towards meeting the descriptors of the school Vision and other Guiding Statements;
  • the School Council and Principal consciously nurture the interdependent and supportive relationship to maintain teamwork through times of critical decisions and financial concerns; and
  • the School Council, ESF and ESL collaborate to sustain the current development and communication of plans for long-term financial sustainability that focus on supporting the Vision of the school.

This Week

Monday-Wednesday: Year 1 admissions interviews. Expect many youngsters and their nervous parents this week.
Tuesday: PTA meeting starting at 7pm.
Friday: Secondary CPD afternoon. Students finish school at 12pm.

Monday 20 January: Whole college staff meeting (3.30-4.30pm)

Regards
Mark