Headteacher’s Newsletter 24th October 2019

Good Evening VES Parents

Today has been a day of interest and fun for our Primary students as we have had our UN Day. Each class was assigned a country and everyone looked great in their costumes. The assembly was fantastic with each class treating us to the music, food, language and interesting facts about their countries. The countries ranged from Brazil to China, via most of Africa, Asia and Europe – including England, which was nice for me as I got to have a lovely cup of tea and a jam scone!

Elsewhere in school the VPA had their first meeting last week and they will be meeting again in the coming week to start their important work. They will be at the upcoming primary and secondary parents’ evenings for anyone who would like to meet them and ask any questions. The Victorian fete this academic year will take place on 21st February, so please pop a note in your diary.

We are preparing carefully for some country wide events that are upcoming too. Our readers are ready for the first round of the Readers’ Cup Competition next week and our students have been preparing canvases that will construct a massive image of Sheikh Zayed for the Year of Tolerance event in Abu Dhabi. We will also be taking part in the festival to break the world record for the world’s largest live flower carpet in Dubai next month, where we will be performing a drama piece and also taking a presentation from our Arabic department.

This week, on Breeze, all staff will now be able to access the Homework Timetables and Schemes of Work for classes. This will help families to see the context of learning and plan out of class learning. I am pleased that some of the textbooks that were delayed are also now in the hands of the students – this was as frustrating for us as it was for you. Also, on Breeze this weekend will be the details of the December Exams – the subjects and the papers to be examined. Teachers will be providing students the details of the topics to be examined and the revision advice in the next week.

For Sixth Form and Grade 11 exams will take place after Christmas. These exams will be the most important these students will take before their finals. Especially for Grade 11 these will be the Sixth Form entrance exams. Students who want to take certain subjects in the sixth form will be expected to reach the required pass grade in these exams. We will finalise our Sixth Form arrangements earlier this year, and these exams will form the basis of this. That is why students will be guided carefully in how to use the Winter vacation as study leave to prepare for these vital exams. They will be expected to show the fruits of this revision when we return from the break.

Another development this week has been to ensure that Merits and Demerits have got clear criteria. These are published in the Secondary Handbook and will also be published on Breeze and on posters around the school. This is hoped to ensure students have a clearer reminder of our expectations for how we all will behave around school.

One element of the school community who will definitely be getting a demerit this weekend will be the pigeons! Spikes will be going up in strategic places to ensure they cannot roost and leave “presents” for us each morning. In England it is seen as “Good Luck” to receive such a gift – something I have never really understood – and I am happy to spare our students such unwelcome gifts.

Have a lovely, restful, weekend.

Keith Sykes