During the last two weeks we have hosted two rigorous quality assurance inspections: the first from the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau and the second a joint International Baccalaureate/Council for International Schools and New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The DSIB is our annual inspection, the second is a once every five years. The first brought a team of nine inspectors to the school for four days, the second thirteen. Every aspect of the operation of the school has examined: teaching and learning, the written curriculum, assessment, leadership and management, to name but a few.
We are formally sworn to silence about discussing the DSIB judgement before the final reports are published in a few weeks’ time, so all that I can say at this stage is that there were many upward arrows, that we addressed the key recommendations from last year’s inspection successfully and that the reports, when they are released, will show that our school is moving forward and that we are serious about raising academic standards.
Yesterday afternoon we held the exit meeting for the International Baccalaureate component of the synchronised visit. Similarly, the team didn’t release any findings – their report needs to be ratified by the IB and we will receive the final report in 6 to 8 weeks’ time. They were very affirming of our diverse and cohesive community and commitment to the principles and practices of the IB. They gave us some detailed feedback, but all in all, from a teaching and curriculum point of view, it was very positive. Every inspection is developmental and will identify the next steps. When we receive the commendations and recommendations from them, we will be able to put together a detailed action plan.
Today we will hold the CIS/NEASC exit meeting and receive their feedback.
All three processes gathered feedback in focus groups from parents and students. The teams have spoken highly of the support that GCS enjoys from its community and how insightfully the groups spoke of the school. It is a real strength of our school. Our students and parents are great ambassadors.
Thank you for your support at last week’s International Day. It was a wonderful example of what international schools are all about: teachers, students and families from different faiths, races, languages and continents celebrating our unity in diversity, enjoying one another’s music, food and dance and having fun together. I am sure that you will agree that the highlight was the dancing and musical performances from the many countries and cultures in our school community. It reminded all of us of why we love Greenfield and its warm heart.
Thank you to all of you who participated in the day, particularly those who took an active role in arranging the national stands and performances. There is a great deal of planning and preparation that goes on behind the scenes of an event like this and I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Dipika Kalra and her GCP committee for their tremendous work.