Last week we received the formal notification that Greenfield Community School has been successfully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. This comes linked to our Council for International Schools authorisation. The report conclusion was very affirming of our school’s sense of community:
During the visit, the Visiting Team met with enthusiastic students who were proud of their school and its achievements and who take ownership in the betterment of their community and learning. Parents shared many positive reasons for deciding to join the school, such as the IB Program, additional language provision in the Primary, and the inclusive nature of the school. They commented on the significant improvement to teacher quality, student results, and facility development over the past three years. Faculty and staff demonstrated a positive and respectful attitude towards each other and with the students. Their commitment to the students and tireless efforts are evidence of their dedication to continuous improvement.
The Visiting Team would like to thank the GCS community for the opportunity to visit and be part of such a positive community. Team members were appreciative of the open dialogue and welcoming way in which they were received. In particular, we extend our thanks and appreciation to the School Executive Board, Senior Leadership Team, and the faculty, students, parents, and support staff for making our visit an enjoyable experience.
We leave our very best wishes with everyone at Greenfield Community School as they continue their pursuit of improvement.
The Education Journal Middle East Awards ceremony was held last week. Nominations were invited from a wide variety of categories and we submitted three. It is with great pride that we congratulate Ms. Rola Ghadban (Grade 2) who won the award for Innovative Teacher of the Year. She brought an off-the-wall idea to reality and this is testimony to her dedication and passion for Mindfulness. She has raised the profile of the school and has most importantly created a wonderful space in our learning environment which is being well utilised by our students and community members. Ros Marshall, Taaleem’s CEO, won ‘CEO of the Year’. Special mention should also go to Ms. Shaimaa Karara who finished runner-up in the Arabic Teacher of the Year awards. Her work on LWT and her IB workshop leader sessions have brought her deserved recognition. Likewise to Mr. Suneesh Kumar who supports the Secondary admin team. He was nominated for the ‘Unsung hero of the Year’ award. Suneesh is a loyal staff member at GCS and his tremendous dedication has been suitably recognised.
We have had a number of events take place recently which are causes for celebration. The first was the Primary School musical ‘Peace Child’. Set in an imaginary rain forest the plot told the story of peacemaking and bridge building between two tribes. The set and costumes were spectacular, music thoroughly enjoyable and choreography superb. It was terrific: each year seems to get better and better. The success of the event depended as much on the backstage crew and volunteers who made the set and costumes as upon the actors who had the leading roles. Thank you to Mr Ricardo Gordon, Ms Ruth Dunmore and Ms. Lynette Kwalo for their work in making it happen
The Secondary assembly showcased the rich variety of service activities that our students are engaged in. Each Grade highlit some of the activities they have undertaken. Some senior students have found ways to support others in the Primary school with reading or Maths. They brought some of their ‘mentees’ onto the stage to share what they had learnt. One little lad said ‘I like the Maths subtraction challenge, because……. I won!’ Other shared their experiences with local service events, whether helping at a shelter for abandoned animals or with sports events. Our teams who have been to Tanzania and Vietnam spoke of their experiences in the school and orphanage in which they worked. They loved the experience and opportunity and encouraged everyone to go on the trip if and they can.
This year’s Grade 5 Exhibition has been a great success. Particular thanks must go to Mrs. Jane Gaughan and the Grade 5 teaching team, and all the teachers have been mentors to the students: it has been a huge team effort. The journey to the event has taught the students many skills: how to research, collaborate, manage deadlines and presentation skills, to name but a few. The range and quality of the projects was superb and seem to get better every year. Behind the scenes there has been a great deal of work, and student stress at times, but it all came together extremely well. It was a pleasure to welcome Ros Marshall, Taaleem’s CEO to the opening event. Thank you to the parents who spent many hours supporting their children as they have prepared for this celebration.
At the heart of the PYP is an inquiry-based approach to learning and the exhibition allows the students to show how well they have mastered those skills. There is an assessment, and there is a marking rubric that is applied which is given to the students and parents. Listening to these bright y oung minds was an inspiring event: our school and country has a bright future if these young leaders are anything to go by. I reflected on my Grade 5 exams when I was at school: quietly sitting at a desk writing out Latin declensions or lists of the names of rivers. The analysis, synthesis, clarity of thinking required by the PYP is a quantum leap forward.
The IB Exhibition is preparing them for the demands of the workplace of the future.