DC Staff Update

26 April 2015

I'm grateful this week for...

Last week saw a number of significant events in our annual calendar, in particular Book Week, the MYP Personal Project Exhibition and the CAS celebrations and farewell assembly for Y13.

Thank you to our wonderful library staff, Leanne, Moura, Kelly, Wendy, Gigi and Niko, for another great Book Week. The book character parade on Friday was a great way to close the week, and I love the fact that we get so many groups of students (and staff) in themes.

I hope you all got to visit the Person Project Exhibition and see the remarkable work that these students did. A special mention to Lissie in her role as Personal Project Coordinator, Adrian Gan and all the staff who acted as PP supervisors.

The CAS celebrations reminded us of the power of what can be achieved ...thanks to Peter M for his work with this and over the year.

Finally, I have to acknowledge Brian, Lis and the Y13 students who, in my opinion, have set the bar for future Y13 farewell assemblies. To see the entire group of students up dancing, singing and genuinely appreciative of their time at DC was quite an emotional experience. Their thoughtfully considered "pranks", some of which were teacher-driven, were a perfect reflection of the great relationship between the students and the staff.

2015-16 Terms & Holidays

The School Council last week approved the final 2015-16 DC Terms & Holidays. There are two changes from the original version that you need to be aware of, both as a result of us confirming our CPD Days for next year.

These days are now Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 September. This week was chosen as Monday 28 September is Mid Autumn Festival, Thursday 1 October is National Day, and Friday 2 October is already scheduled as an ESF-wide CPD day. Placing our two CPD days on the Tuesday and Wednesday will allow a full week's break for DC students and lessen disruption to school weeks across the rest of the year. Our fifth and final DC CPD day will be on Saturday 28 May, therefore does not affect any teaching weeks.

Please click here for the latest version of the 2015-16 Terms & Holidays.

New teachers arriving

Over the past couple of years several of you have been kind enough to offer your apartments to new teachers arriving into HK, usually around the last week of July. We have at the moment one new (single) colleague who would appreciate the use of an apartment for 5-7 days from the 20 July, hence I'm asking if any of you are willing to offer your homes again this coming July? Can you please email me if you are happy to do this.

Changes to LDT

There will be some subtle changes to LDT for next year, starting with a change of name from Learning Development to Learning Diversity. This recognises the diversity and needs of all our learners. It also ties in very nicely with the IB, who have moved away from SEN to a rebranding as Learner Diversity.

We will also be moving from the term G&T (Gifted & Talented) to Enrichment. Using the term Enrichment more accurately reflects opportunities to extend students in specific areas as and when needed. Enrichment could include G&T.

Foreshore

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The development of the foreshore continues apace, with the expected completion date being mid-May, some 2 weeks earlier than first predicted. The sub-soil draining has been installed, as has the asphalt layer. The shock surface and laying of the artificial turf are the last two major items to be completed. The DC PTA has agreed to pay for the installation of a shade cloth, shade trees, drinking fountain and storage sheds, to the tune of HK$500,000.

The College is planning a low-key opening on Wednesday 20 May, assuming that the work is completed to schedule. More information on this will be communicated as we get closer to completion.

INSPIRE ME ...Because Life Isn't a Dress Rehearsal

Many of you will be aware that Steve Chitty (and others) have been coordinating Helpers Appreciation Month in May with a range of activities in DB and elsewhere.
INSPIRE ME is a motivating and thought provoking panel discussion with four interesting DB people. The theme is ‘an inspired life’ with a focus on seeking to uncover what an inspired life looks like and how we can bring inspiration into our homes in a way that brings out the best in everyone.
INSPIRE ME is on Tuesday 5 May, 7:30pm @ Hemingways, Discovery Bay Plaza. Entry is by donation and all proceeds go to www.enrichhk.org (no donation required for helpers).
It's expected that this will be a very popular event so please either RSVP to steve@newday.hk or join the event on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/828256007228182/
Included on the panel are:
Liza Avelino - The mountain climbing domestic helper (above right) whose story has been getting a lot of media attention lately (Liza will be fresh back from her 22 day trek in the Everest region).
Phil Smith
- In addition to being Liza’s employer, Phil is a leader in the field of leadership, organisational development and strategy. (Many global organisations employ him to coach their leaders.) He has also held academic appointments universities in Britain and Canada and currently at HKU.
Joy Carbonell - Joy’s remarkable singing voice has won her recognition in HK and The Philippines. Joy was living the dream life as a professional musician and everything was ‘perfect’ and yet she decided to throw it in to return to HK as a domestic helper. Was she mad? Or motivated by something bigger?
Adam Nicholls - Adam is head of HR for Linklaters (Law) in Asia. Adam is an advocate of a strengths based approach and will share insights into relationships that unlock behavioural shifts and influence the way people focus their energy.

This week

A most La-La-La week if ever we've had one. April Birthday Morning Tea on Wednesday and then Friday is a public holiday for Labour (May) Day. Enjoy...
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