As the school year 2015-16 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 2015 with wonderful results from our IBDP and IGCSE examinations. The Class of 2015 excelled with the school’s best ever IB Diploma Programme results, averaging 34 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 Year 11 IGCSE results were also excellent with many A* grades achieved by our students across the whole range of subjects.
Accreditation Action: ISL is accredited by the Council of International Schools and the New England Association of Schools & Colleges. We started our re-accreditation process this year by writing a major report on the current school, followed by a preliminary visit from two people from the accrediting organizations. Having passed that stage, the school is carrying out a self-study and report, which will be followed in April 2017 by a team visit from a group of educators, who will check that we meet the necessary standards and indicators. Success will mean being re-accredited for another 10 years.
Middle School Curriculum: In August 2016, ISL will introduce a new curriculum in Middle School Year 7 and this will move up into Years 8 and 9 subsequently. The International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) will follow on naturally from the IBPYP in Primary School and is an integrated, enquiry based approach to learning, suitable for the 21st Century.
Power & Tech: This year Lusaka has had some challenges with electricity supply. The school has been lucky and power cuts have been few and far between. However, we have installed a large generator now to ensure the campus has power when load-shedding takes place. 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. The Board has recently sanctioned a major upgrade to the network. Along with this enhanced network access, teachers have been issued with new laptop notebooks that will help them to be more productive, make better use of internet and other resources for teaching, and also complete the administrative tasks that are part of every job. We still have a long way to go with technology and over the next few years, we will look at the provision of class sets of tablets in Primary classrooms and, perhaps further off, the integrated use of laptops in Secondary School. In the meantime, the next stage is upgrading the IT labs.
Roll Call: You may remember that quite a few long-term staff left or retired last school year. We started this year with two new Principals, a number of new Heads of Department and Coordinators and some new teachers, which meant that many people were on a steep learning curve as they took up new roles and responsibilities. This year there are not so many teachers leaving, but following people will be moving on:
- Juliet Moono, Finance & Administration Manager: After 4.5 years at ISL, Mrs. Moono is retiring to spend more time with her husband and family. I would like to thank her for her hard work and steady management which has resulted in the school finances being managed effectively in the last few years.
- George Kalumiana, Business & Humanities Teacher: Mr. Kalumiana has been working at ISL for the last 7 years and will be moving on to new opportunities within Zambia.
- Anne-Marie Phiri, Primary Teacher: Ms. Phiri has been at ISL for 4 years and will stay in Lusaka. She is moving to AISL, but we will forgive her as we understand that this is much closer to where she lives at a horse riding school, way out in the bush.
- Anna Lantink, Primary Teacher: Ms. Lantink has been with us for 2 years, but was already on campus at the Dutch School for the previous 2 years. She is moving back to Mexico with her husband and new baby.
- Rene van der Velde, IGCSE Coordinator & Biology Teacher: After 3 years at ISL, Mr. v.d. Velde is relocating to Ruanda, one more country in his long tour of African international schools.
- Abbie Petit, Drama & History: Ms. Petit joined us in 2013 as a part-time Drama teacher but became full-time this year as she took on IBDP History. She leaves us to become a first time mother later this year.
- Fiona Munro, Learning Support & Educational Psychologist: After 2 years at ISL, Ms. Munro is moving back to Australia to be closer to her adult sons.
- Leah Rapaport, Counselor: Ms. Rapaport joined ISL 2 years ago as the Secondary University & Guidance Counsellor and in August will take up the same post at an international school in Cape Town, SA.
- Sharron McDuncan-Bain, IT Coordinator: Ms. McDuncan-Bain is returning to Australia, to be closer to her family, after a stay of one year at ISL. We thank her for designing and building the new ISL website.
We wish all of these teachers and Mrs. Moono 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.
And finally, after a long and busy year, I would like to wish all the students and teachers of ISL a restful, relaxing but I hope also exciting and stimulating holiday. I look forward to seeing you in August, ready for another busy ISL year!
Martin Gough, Head of School