As the school year 2016-17 comes to an end, it is time to reflect on yet another year in ISL’s long history.
Wonderful Results: The year started in August 2016 with very good results from our IBDP and IGCSE examinations. The Class of 2016 excelled with the school’s second best ever IB Diploma Programme results, averaging 32 points, compared to a world average of 30. Their strong results meant that graduating students were able to take up their places and the scholarships they were offered in universities around the world. The 2016 Year 11 IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) results were excellent with 79% of all grades were A* to C, and 86% of students gained a Merit or Distinction in the International Certificate of Education, awarded by Cambridge International Examinations.
We are expecting excellent IBDP results from the Class of 2017 when they are announced in early July. Due to our consistently good results, ISL graduates have access to prestigious universities all over the world. Our Class of 2017 will study in the USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, Australia, Singapore, China, South Korea and South Africa. So far, the Class of 2017 has been offered a total of US$1,812,480 in scholarships. This will allow a number of them to jump a year at university and thus save up to $50,000 in tuition fees and living expenses.
Accreditation Action: A combined Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC) team of 9 educators visited ISL for a week in May to carry out a re-accreditation assessment. The faculty had produced over 20 major reports and 1644 documents of evidence for the visiting team to review before and during the visit. They also met with many key people and groups and visited all classes to see teachers and students at work. The visit went really well and the team commended ISL on the excellent relationships between students and teachers. Since then, we have been informed by CIS that we have been re-accredited for another 10 years. This is a great achievement.
Middle School Curriculum: In August 2016, ISL introduced a new curriculum in Middle School Year 7 and this will move up into Year 8 in August 2017 and 9 subsequently. The International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) follows on naturally from the IBPYP in Primary School and is an integrated, enquiry based approach to learning, suitable for the 21st Century. Please see this link to learn more about IMYC.
Technology: One of the main needs for power in school these days is to run the computers. The use of technology is becoming increasingly important in teaching and learning, and for that we need electricity and a reliable WiFi network. Our new, enterprise level WiFi network has been in operation from Term 1 and this has really made a difference to the use of technology in teaching and learning. Teachers are able to access a much wider range of resources, including video, animation and simulations, and students are able to carry out more effective research for assignments, such as the IBDP Extended Essay. This year we also upgraded the IT labs with the purchase of 75 new WiFi, video and sound ready thin-clients connected to new servers. This has really enhanced the IT department’s capability for students to use programmes requiring higher speeds and with greater memory demands. As I have said before, we still have a long way to go with technology and over the next few years, ISL will look at the provision of further class sets of tablets in Primary classrooms and the integrated use of laptops in Secondary School, initially through a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programme in High School.
Roll Call: We started this year with far fewer changes of the management team and that has helped ensure that each section of the school has run smoothly. As we get to the end of the 2016-17 school year we will be saying goodbye to the following people:
- Arbory McNulty, Primary Class teacher. Ms. McNulty completed her teacher training at ISL and has been a wonderful addition to the Primary section, especially with her craft skills in pottery, woodwork and arts in general. She is returning to her home country of Scotland with her family.
- Bina Bhaga, Primary Class teacher. Ms. Bhaga leaves us after 8 years, with two daughters graduating from ISL in the last two years, and we wish her well in her future endeavours.
- Gwen Bentley, Primary Class teacher. Ms. Bentley has taught at ISL for 2 years, during which time her two children have been enthusiastic members of the student community. We wish the Bentley family well as they move to a quieter, rural location elsewhere in Zambia.
- Anuradha Jayaraman, a parent of an ISL alumnus, has been teaching Secondary Business and Economics at ISL. We wish her well in her future endeavours.
- Rachel Bentley is the Head of Learning Support for both Primary and Secondary School. She has been at ISL for a long time as a parent and teacher. ISL will surely miss her skills and contribution to the school. Mrs. Bentley will initially be accompanying her sons as they move on to school and university in the UK.
- Cherry Gough, has taught Middle School and IBDP English in Secondary School and, perhaps more importantly, been an effective coordinator of the IBDP Creativity, Action & Service (CAS) programme, ensuring that all our IBDP students have a balanced programme of CAS activities, which are an essential part of the IBDP Core. Mrs. Gough is heading for the icy cold of Latvia in N Europe.
- Marga Martin moved from the pollution of Beijing to teach Spanish in the clear air of ISL. She has been an outstanding language teacher and has also taken about 90% of all the photographs you can see in the last 4 Yearbooks. She is moving back to Spain to be closer to her family, including her daughter who has just graduated from ISL.
- Sheriff Doss will return to his home country of Egypt after teaching Physics in High School at ISL for the last 6 years. We wish him well in his new job in Cairo.
- Sinead Rousseau has been with us for two years, teaching Chemistry in High School. After a decade in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia, she is heading for exciting new adventures in Brazil, South America.
We wish these teachers all the best as they move to new pastures and thank them for all their contributions to the ISL community during the time they have been at the school. As always, my thanks go to all the teachers, teaching assistants and other staff for their support and hard work, but I must particularly mention the two Principals, Mrs. Sunita Nair and Mr. Craig Patterson, who ensure that the Primary and Secondary Schools are running efficiently and that teachers have everything they need to ensure effective teaching and learning is going on with your children.
As most of you know, I will be leaving ISL at the end of this school year. I am now into my last few days in Zambia and I know that Cherry and I will miss the good friends we have made here and our wonderful colleagues at ISL. Teachers and visitors to the school always comment on the friendly nature of ISL and this is demonstrated by the open and warm collegiality between faculty members and also the friendly and respectful nature of our students towards each other and their teachers. I will surely miss the ISL atmosphere and hope that my colleagues and the students at my new school in Latvia will be as welcoming and as nice as those here at ISL.
And finally, after a long and busy year, I would like to wish all the students and teachers of ISL a restful, relaxing and, I hope, exciting and stimulating holiday. I look forward to hearing news of the school from the new Head, Mr. Mark Fox, who will be joining ISL in August.
Martin Gough, Head of School