Whole School: 14/02/2020

Dear Parents,

After this week full of tests and exams for both Primary and Secondary students and having reached the end of the first semester, we end the lessons for the scheduled Ski week. A nice group of our families and students will enjoy a week of snow in St. Moritz with the Giorgio Rocca Academy.

Many events and school trips as well as individual meetings with the teachers await us on our return the 24th.  We are preparing puberty workshops for Grade 6 students and a sex education course for secondary school students.

We will also welcome some new teacher-trainees from Stenden University in the Netherlands, and during the first week of March we will have the honor of receiving an 2 IB general managers from The Hague Headquarters who will oversee the first results of a pilot project in which we are participating for the PYP and MYP.

I wish you all a great break, possibly on the snow slopes of our beautiful mountains and I look forward to your return on February 24th.ski

Happy weekend and best regards,

E. Ferloni
Head of School

Pilot Project with the IB

In preparation for the IB Evaluation visits for both our PYP and MYP sections, we have been participating in a pilot project involving 20 IB schools globally since September. On March 5th we will have the honor of welcoming Ms. Terri Walker, IB World Schools Manager and Ms. Fidelis Nthenge, Head of the IB World Schools in The Hague. They will work with the Leadership Team on documents and procedures required by the pilot project.

I would like to thank all the parents of the PTA who collaborated with us in the analysis of standards and in the collection of data. For months, teachers have been documenting various teaching practices and reflecting on the implementation of IB standards.

Teacher Recruitment

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The Leadership Team has begun the difficult and painstaking work of teacher recruitment for next year.   The teachers are our most valuable resource and so we dedicate a lot of time to the process.  The criteria for selection are rigorous, and whenever possible the candidates are invited to spend a day at school and to teach a few lessons.

To start, a candidate must demonstrate that they are in line with the school’s philosophy and that of the International Baccalaureate Organization – IBO. Our values and principles, upon which the programmes are based, are always highlighted during the process:

  • an academically challenging curriculum;
  • a broad and balanced programme educating the whole child;
  • an international curriculum which provides our students with a broad outlook on the modern world;
  • the engagement of the student through participating in a wide range of activities, encouraging students to develop curiosity and a love of learning;
  • the school as a broad community, including teachers, students and their parents as partners in education.

Candidates must have the following characteristics together with the relevant teaching degrees and at least 2 years of experience.

  • Show to have the attitudes described in the Learner Profile;
  • be committed to high standards, interested in using innovative approaches to learning, and keen to promote international understanding;
  • work flexibly as part of a team; ISC faculty works hard on collaborative projects;
  • be familiar with an inquiry-based approach to learning, preferably with experience or knowledge of the PYP or MYP o DP;
  • have high expectations of student learning;
  • use flexible strategies for mixed age classes and for children with different needs and language backgrounds;
  • Be able to potentially offer extra-curricular activities to supplement the formal programme in school.

Letters of references are requested before hiring and we contact the schools where the candidates previously worked.

Coronavirus update

The health and safety of our students and staff is our number one priority.

I would like to reassure parents and visitors about the precautions our school community is taking to prevent against the Novel Coronavirus outbreak. We continue to monitor the situation regularly and are taking a dynamic approach to this complex and changing picture, following the advice of the Ministero della Salute http://www.salute.gov.it/nuovocoronavirus , the Boarding School Association (BSA), the government and the local medical services ASST to ensure the health of our whole community, including pupils and staff.

We are mindful that there will be parents who are concerned about the health of their children and would like to assure you that we are assessing any potential risks daily. The advice we are following is regularly updated and I would encourage you to follow these updates on the http://www.salute.gov.it/nuovocoronavirus and  https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus websites which offers sensible and unbiased information to anyone who may be worried. Based on the current evidence from WHO there is no immediate cause for concern, however we have taken the following precautions:

We are accepting no pupil or visitor from China until the outbreak is contained, without a quarantining process.  Any pupil or visitor from the other primarily affected areas will be monitored, quarantined and will need to seek medical advice immediately if they show any symptoms. This is in line with the current WHO guidelines.

All staff in the Inspired Schools and boarding Houses, have been briefed on the signs and symptoms of the Novel Coronavirus, and we have procedures in place for isolation should this become necessary.

The latest update from the NHS can be found here: www.nhs.uk/conditions/wuhan-novel-coronavirus – and http://www.salute.gov.it/nuovocoronavirus

As half-term approaches and Easter holidays in the coming weeks, we ask that any pupil or family who intends to travel to/from, or have direct contact with anyone from, a Novel Coronavirus affected area, to inform the school immediately. At this stage, we advise our pupils proposing to travel to China and affected areas over February half-term or Easter Holiday to consider not travelling. Most government agencies are  currently advising against traveling to Hubei Province and China.

 Please note:

Any pupil, parent or visitor who has travelled to or been in direct contact with anyone from a Novel Coronavirus affected area may be asked to remain at home or with guardians to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

The wellbeing of our whole School community is of the utmost importance at this time, especially those from China and other affected areas, and I am sure you will join me in supporting them during this worrying period.

We will continue to keep you informed as the situation and official advice changes. Should you wish to discuss any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Congratulations to MYP5 students (Grade 11)

I am sure that those of you who attended the MYP5 Personal Project Exhibition would like to join me in congratulating the students for their journey and for the results obtained. I was struck once again by the creativity and passion of the students: there are those who wrote and recorded a song, those who thought of a smart vest (to go under a  jacket) to have all the i-tech tools easily accessible, those who developed an App or a video game, those who have made an influencer blog, a tourist guide, or even an artistic project geared to make people think about the use of plastic etc.

I found our students very involved and thoughtful. To my question “What would you do differently if  you  had the opportunity to repeat your Personal Project”?. The unison response was “I would take more into account the organizational and self-management skills, better planning the procedures and execution times … Now I understand why Ms. Turner has kept us tight on deadlines”.

Kids are our future, their ideas and dreams are our hopes for a better world. Congratulations to all!