We started the month of December with a series of interesting activities, events and meetings. I would like to thank the parents who participated in the Back to Learning Day, who attended the presentation of High School as well as those who came to the meeting regarding how to prepare our students for university. The book fair that was held in the atrium was a great success; thank you! We were thoroughly entertained by the MYP Music Night, and we have heard ongoing rehearsals for the PYP winter show under the extraordinary direction of Ms. Whittle; it is sure to be an event. The older kids are organizing a Movie Night and a High School Aperitif. I look forward to meeting you for the events of the coming weeks: Tuesday morning coffee, winter shows and the PTA Quiz / Trivia night.
In the meantime, I wish you all a peaceful weekend and I sent my best regards,
Head of School
Safeguarding & EduCare – ISC staff professional development
There are a number of challenges that international schools face when it comes to the safeguarding and protection of minors, but none of these challenges can be an excuse for not implementing a safeguard policy and making it an integral part of school culture.
Every international school should have a child protection policy, a code of conduct and effective reporting measures in place. This does not simply mean having a series of documents on a shelf; it is about having procedures and a culture of implementation and of putting steps in practice every day by every single member of the school, in each operational area. All school staff, including those who work in the offices and auxiliary services, such as the cafeteria and cleaning staff, have a responsibility in safeguarding children at school.
By providing each member of the school staff with appropriate training so that they know what to do in the event that there is suspicious activity, we have adopted a vigilance that becomes a first line of defense. If the school relies on this approach and supports its practices, then we will actively be a child protection organization.
So that we may fully implement our Safeguarding Policy, all school staff are required to take specific courses with a specialized “EduCare” organization. The online platform offers up to 25 in-depth training modules that we are taking at different levels. I would like to share with you some of the titles of the modules that I am personally following:
- THE PREVENT DUTY
- FOOD HYGIENE AND SAFETY
- MENTAL WELLBEING IN CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
- DEALING WITH BEREAVEMENT AND LOSS
- SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT BETWEEN CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
- RAISING AWARENESS OF PEER-ON-PEER ABUSE
- SAFEGUARDING YOUNG PEOPLE
- CHILD NEGLECT FOR INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS
- CHILD PROTECTION FOR INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS
- CHILD PROTECTION IN SPORT AND ACTIVE LEISURE
- FIRST AID ESSENTIALS FOR INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS
International schools operate in different countries and therefore, must adjust to different laws (such as the age of consent), standards, behaviors and different levels of support from the government. In our case, we are under Italian legislation, even if our policies also contain all the standards in force in the UK.
Charity Drive – Christmas Shoe Box Initiative
We have welcomed a proposal from some of our students and teachers to sponsor a charity drive during the Christmas period. As always, our attention is directed, above all, to children who live in difficult conditions and are not as fortunate as we are. We met with the directors of the Punto Cometa and together we have developed a project called “Christmas in a Shoebox”. The Punto Cometa Association (http://www.puntocometa.org/home) offers practical help to families with children and to single-parent families in difficulty. Every day, in agreement with the Social Services, 120 children take a Cometa bus to their center, where they find the warmth of a home together with a place where they can grow educationally, thanks to the presence of both families and professional educators. We are committed to delivering 120 well-hidden gifts in shoeboxes, carefully prepared by our students. The Student Council will be actively involved in this initiative and will deliver the boxes directly to the Cometa center on the morning of December 19.
The Shoebox appeal asks students to take an empty shoebox, wrap it in festive paper and fill it with simple, inexpensive products that a child in fostercare may like to open on Christmas Day. Examples of products include pencils, colouring book, a soft toy, a game, perhaps a simple scarf or hat so that the child can go outside and play and stay warm. In general just little things that would give a child pleasure and happiness. Once your box is filled we ask that you specify the age group (between 6 and 14) and gender of the child that your shoebox is for.
Please bring your completed box to school where they will be collected and then delivered to Punto Cometa just before Christmas. We have student representatives who will speak directly with all students to discuss this initiative and provide more detailed information.
We hope to continue the collaboration with this association for the Service as Action of the MYP program and the CAS in the Diploma Program.
I would like to reiterate once again the importance of maintaining open and efficient lines of communication between school and home, and of choosing the most appropriate channels and methods. You should have received by email an extract of Communication Policy regarding the communication with families.
In particular, I would like to focus on the importance of using social media, such as WhatsApp groups, maintaining appropriate, respectful and professional tones. We always invite our families to discuss issues or concerns directly with us. Parents can ask questions or raise concerns regarding their child’s educational experience to their class teacher first and then to the appropriate Leadership team members. Teachers and leaders are expected to respond in a timely manner – within 48 hours – reserving the time to gather the necessary information and establish the next steps. However, in order to respect the balance between work and private life, replies after 6.00 pm and on weekends are not considered usual.
I am sure that I can count on your understanding and collaboration.
Last week the cafeteria committee met in the presence of the manager and dietitian of the Serenissima catering group who explained their organization within the newly refurbished kitchen spaces. We have received the updated report of the organic products that are being used and in the event that you would like to review it, please feel free to contact one of the parents on the committee (Ms. Trombini T-G3, Ms. Fugazzi G6-G8, Ms Rigamonti G4-G6, Ms. Consonni G7-11, Ms. Rivera Ruiz G6-G8-G10). A topic of much discussion was how special diets are treated, as are allergies and intolerances, for which a medical certificate is required. We asked to review the composition of the menus and to introduce some days with an international theme menu. Two Grade 6 students also attended the meeting to bring points of view and requests of their fellow Upper Elementary students: they would like to be able to responsibly choose, as do the older students, what and how much to eat.
19 January – Everyone to School!
As previously announced several times, this year’s school calendar includes a school day on Saturday. Highlighted on the official calendar is January 19, with a school day from 8:30 to 13.45. That morning the school will open its doors to external visitors and Regular bus service and lunch will be provided to our own students. This day is calculated as an official day of school.