Start of the academic year – Update #2

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16th September, 2021

Academic Year 2021-2022

Dear Parents,

Now that we have reached the end of the second week, I thought I would take this opportunity to update everyone on several events and developments that took place over the summer.

IB Examination Results: Had you been standing close to me in early July, when I received the IB examination results, you might have been left with a ringing in your ears!! I have worked with the IB diploma since 1991 and I do not think there have been many occasions when I have been as delighted as I was to see these results.

George Walker, a former Director General of the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO), once described the IB Diploma as the new educational golden standard. Since its inception in 1968 and the first set of examinations in 11 schools in 1970, it has continued to grow in number and recognition, and today the diploma is offered in 5500 schools in 159 countries.

However, as anyone who has gone through or taught in the diploma programme will tell you, it is regarded as the golden standard for a reason – it is very demanding under normal circumstances but throw in a pandemic and those challenges are multiplied. Therefore, for the class of 2021 to achieve an amazing 98% pass rate was well worth the ringing in the ears amongst my family members from my shouts of delight.

It should also be noted that this class also achieved the highest average score in the school’s history with 34 points. A truly remarkable accomplishment achieved through the hard work and determination from both the students and our teachers.

IGCSE Examination Results: By the same token, our IGCSE results, that arrived in mid-August were also among some of the best we have ever achieved with 80% of our students achieving A* to C grades in 5 or more subjects, with  80% of all our grades being in the A* to C range.

IGCSE and IB Course Developments: As a school we recognise that we must continue to offer our students the best and widest possible subject choices for their IGCSE and IB courses. Over the last 18 months we have been developing several new courses and I am delighted to report that the first of these, Design Technology, has now been introduced for our Year 10 and Year 12 students this year.

Looking ahead for SY22-23, we also plan to introduce Marine Studies and Film Studies at the IB level.

New Staff Members: At the end of last term, several of our staff left for new adventures. Sadly, because of the pandemic we were unable to provide them with our traditional farewell, but I hope they left with positive memories of the school and Oman.

However, as sad as it was to say goodbye to those who left us, I am delighted to announce that our new staff have arrived safely and bring with them a wealth of experience in the programmes we offer.

Access to Campus: After a couple of initial glitches with morning drop off and afternoon pick up (mainly afternoon pick up), I am pleased to announce that both now seem to be working well. I would, however, ask that parents/drivers continue to be patient with regards to drop off and pick up and remember we are doing our best to make both as efficient as possible.

I would also like to remind parents that under the current guidelines, only staff are allowed within the educational part of the campus. Meetings between staff and parents will continue to operate through Teams as much as possible. Nevertheless, if a parent does require a face-to-face meeting, this must be booked in advance and parents will be required to show they have been double vaccinated.

Campus Development: At the beginning of term, I realised that for some of our students it would be close to 18 months since they were last on campus. During that time, much as changed as we continue to develop and refurbish the campus. Some of these developments include:

  • The refurbishment of the original cafeteria to complement the new one.
  • The completion of the school shop
  • The conversion of the old boarding house social and study areas into a specialised Design Technology suite.
  • The conversion of one of the secondary art rooms into a CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing) studio.
  • The complete removal of the old fashioned Artex covering from all the passageways and buildings. The new surface is much easier to clean and more importantly is much safer for our students.

And finally,

The Olympic Games: Tokyo 2020: As I am sure everyone is aware the delayed Olympics finally took place this summer. This is one of my favourite events and I normally spend the entire two weeks glued to the television. This year, the Games was even more special as one of our alumni, Issa Al Adawi, represented Oman in swimming. Furthermore, Issa was also given the honour of carrying the flag for Oman at the opening ceremony. Needless to say, we are all extremely proud of Issa and look forward to seeing him compete at the next Olympics in Paris in 2024.

As always, if you have any questions concerning the school, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Dr. Glenn Canterford