W/E Friday 15/12/2017
Firstly, thank you for welcoming me so warmly to both a new country and a new school. Arriving on my first day – Tuesday 31st October – I was struck not only by how friendly our students are but also the very clean environment; an early, encouraging sign that we are a serious and safe school. Newlanders (more of which to follow.) are earnest, polite and friendly students who genuinely look forward to coming to school in the morning.
Although I have settled in very well, let’s just say – and you’ll thank me for not going into detail – that my stomach is taking a little longer to make the adjustment! Ask me in another twelve months and I’ll hopefully have good news in that department..
We are all Newlanders now!
In order to build on our unique identity at this very special school, henceforth, we will be known as “Newlands” and not Beaconhouse Newlands. I will be handing out car stickers in the New Year.
Principal’s Coffee Mornings
Thank you to those parents/guardians who have given up their valuable time to come and meet me. I am holding these informal gatherings every eight days. Some of the topics we have thus far discussed are, in no particular order: Homework – the frequency and purpose; Musical instruments – access and frequency of lessons; Urdu – level and reinforcement of learning; Whole-school Literacy Policy – the need for a strategic and far more rigorous approach to Reading & Writing; Whole-school marking policy – setting of targets; Child Protection – the appointment of a Child Protection Officer.
As I have imparted, we are working on improving Newlands in order to provide a better service. Many of the strategic changes will, of necessity, require consultation and planning and cannot be achieved overnight.
The Coffee Mornings will continue to be a vital mechanism for you to give me feedback on how we are doing; try and come to one a month – I will be delighted to see you.
Next Coffee Morning: Monday 18th December, 8:30am.
Child Protection Officer
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Rabab Bhokharee as Newlands’ Child Protection Officer. Rabab – one of our two PROs – will shortly be forming a whole-school Child Protection Committee (CPC). Along with myself, she will working to improve all aspects of Child Protection, which remains our most important function.
Events to Celebrate
In my first month we have hosted a New Olympiad, an invitational Science Competition, O Level Maths Competition, a Spooky Saturday, Anti-bullying Assembly, to name but a few. We will continue to make use of our 750 seat Auditorium, the perfect venue for celebrating out students’ achievements.
Newlands Orientation Evening, Parents of Grade 3-8 Students – Important!
Venue: Tuesday 19th December, Auditorium 6:00-7:30pm. The three HMs and I will provide short but essential presentations on changes to Newlands curricula from August 2018.
Although this has vastly improved outside Gate 3, many parents are still not dropping off at the correct point. Please follow instructions of the member of staff on duty and only drop-off adjacent to the designated signs: “Drop Point 1” and “Drop Point 2”. Encourage your son/daughter to be ready to exit the car with their bags ready – not carrying the bags in the car boot. NEVER drop off in the Express Lane.
I have received considerable feedback from students and staff on the quality of food on offer at Newlands. Accordingly, we have met with the vendor and agreed that: from Monday 11th December, there will be fresh fruit and a salad bar in order to encourage students to eat more healthily. Both the variety and the presentation of the fruit and salad bar will improve over the coming months. The general presentation of the cafeteria will also benefit from an upgrade – when funding allows. A more varied menu with more student input will be devised and the tendency towards very spicy dishes will be limited.
These will take place on
Friday 22nd December with the announcement of the successful candidate on the same day. An A Level student committee will be formed with the objective of raising the profile of the entire section and discussing issues to improve the school.
Staff Teambuilding Day
It was great to see our staff and teachers competing in mixed teams Friday 8th December, although I am still smarting that: 1. I lost the tug-of-war and 2. Your new Principal was the ONLY member of staff wearing shorts. Great fun ensued! We still haven’t recovered from Ms Fakhra’s (HM, PYP) improvised…words fail me; possibly it was a “boogie” or just plain “Fakhra Freestyle”. Almost sufficient motive on its own to hold Teambuilding Day #2 in January! All Newlanders are encouraged (i.e. warned in advance) to seek out the EXISTING video of “Fakhra Freestyle”, Version 1.0.
Question: should we issue Certificate of Merit or report her for Crimes Against Dancing?
Last day of term: Friday 22nd December.
Staff training: 1-5 January
School starts for ALL students: Monday 8th January, 2018.
Thank you for your continued support of our wonderful school: Newlands.
Have a great Winter Vacation!