Dear Ascot Family,
I would like to extend a big warm Ascot welcome to everybody at the start of the new school year.
The school year got off to a smooth start despite the rain on the first day back. Introductions were made and friends were acquainted; within an hour the timetable was established and students were on task and having fun.
There are many new faces around the school and I am sure you will join me in welcoming them to Ascot. The school organisational chart is on the notice board outside the primary building. We also have more than 45 new students joining us this year.
Ascot has been very busy during the summer break, we had a summer camp for EY and PY students and a football camp for seniors. On some days we had 150 students on site plus teachers, TAs, admin and maintenance staff. The school closed for a week in August but after that we welcomed new staff for orientation and then all staff were back to prepare for the new year ahead. Throughout the summer we had a steady flow of new students coming to register for the new academic year.
As the school grows we use the summer for our building projects but because of all the activities mentioned above, it does restrict the time we have. Consequently, deadlines are missed as projects overrun. This does cause frustration among the staff and I have developed many grey hairs because of this, but you can be assured that teaching and learning is not affected by these delays. We are in daily contact with the contractor in order to get the primary library finished, and when it is completed it will be an impressive and very valuable resource.
Almost every year, we are visited by external accreditation bodies who check that we are providing an excellent quality of education, this year we will be visited by the International Baccalaureate PYP team as part of their authorisation process. Once we have received their approval that our teaching and learning is up to the standard of the IB, we will be one of a very select group of international schools to offer 2 IB programmes – IB Diploma Programme (IB DP) and IB Primary Years Programme (IB PYP). We are also preparing for a 5 year visit from the Council of International Schools (CIS) who will be visiting in November 2019.
One of the issues that has been discussed regularly is the use and availability of the school’s facilities during weekends and holidays. We would like to offer more activities for our Ascot family members and for the local community. We have some very ambitious plans which include the building of a new performance space, followed by the opening of a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) facility. These two additions to the school will allow us to offer many new and exciting activities after school, during weekends and school holidays. These will complement our summer and football camps mentioned earlier.
After a number of exciting parent led activities last year, we would like to build on those initiatives and start a Parent Support Group. Our parent body is a resource that has much to offer and will enrich the educational experience of our students. There will be a number of presentations across the school in the first few weeks of term and this issue will be discussed. Please make sure you attend these events and if you have the time, get involved in as many activities as possible.
As I say every year, we have an exciting and fun filled year ahead of us. I thank you for all your support last year and look forward to your continued support this year. I am very proud to be the Headmaster of Ascot International School, it is a very special and successful school, but this is only possible because we work together as a team.
Mr. Gary Booth