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Ta l a n o a Newsletter of International School Suva

Volume 1 15 February, 2016

Principal’s Report Dear Parents and Guardians,

Inside this Issue Welcome to the first issue of the Talanoa for 2016. Whether you are new to the school or an existing member of our community I hope you find the newsletter informative and interesting. This issue includes photographs and information on all our teachers, please take some time to get to know our teaching staff. I am sure that you have all noticed our building project which has started in the Primary School, please see the article on the „first pour‟ in today‟s issue. At this point I would like to thank Ram Bali and his team for the hard work which went on throughout the vacation to get our school ready for the opening of the year, it often takes place behind the scenes but is not unappreciated. Last week I returned from a two-week fellowship at the Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. This fully-funded fellowship is awarded to twenty heads of schools annually and the program is designed to provide independent and international school leaders with an opportunity for focused professional enrichment, renewal and reflection. Together we looked at some issues and challenges in independent and international schools. We focused on four main themes: teaching, faculty evaluation and development, technology infrastructure and integration, and community and diversity and approached these themes through three different lenses: the research lens, the ethical lens and a change lens. Over twelve months ago we were asked to submit our research proposal and I had opted to focus on professional development. So, whilst I worked with the group looking at faculty evaluation and development it was apparent from the outset that we could have all been in any of the groups as the four themes were of interest to everyone present. Despite being waylaid by snow and having to make an unscheduled, three-night stop in Los Angeles which resulted in my arriving on Wednesday afternoon, there was no time lost in catching up work missed during the first half of the week. My first week‟s timetable involved writing a mini research paper where I researched and reviewed recent literature around effective teacher professional development. Visits to four schools in New York and interviews with the other Heads in my cohort also afforded other insights into this area during the second week. Whist acknowledging that it may be difficult to measure the impact of teacher professional development, key findings in this area, which were consistent across all sources, included:  professional development must be aligned to the schools stated mission and development goals,  no single model works in all schools and the context of the school has to be considered, and  content-specific professional development which allowed for school-based activities had the greatest positive impact on learner outcomes. As mentioned during the second week we visited four schools and met with their administration and faculty. Each of the schools visited allowed us open access to their classrooms, buildings and staff and provided a unique opportunity to talk about their successes and challenges. Each school was different in terms of location, enrolment, infrastructure and resources, but each school had a strong sense of identity and an understanding of their own context. Rather like at ISS when I hear students tell each other „at ISS we do it like this‟, I heard similar words in these schools. Whilst there were challenges in each of the schools, the importance of community and mission was evident. Having the opportunity to talk with colleagues from schools from across the world, to share challenges and successes and to discuss future plans was a wonderful experience and one which I could not have had without the support of the Heads of School and I thank Karen Whittaker, Mere Fong and Megan Navunisaravi for this. Anna Marsden Principal

 Principal's Report  Chair of Council  Primary Ground Pouring Ceremony  Primary Update  Celebrating Middle School  Service Club  Library  Year 6 Camp  Year 7 Article  Congratulations High School  From a 2015 Graduate  New Scholarship Students  Sports Update  Counselor's Corner  Student Reflections  Primary Teachers 2016  Secondary Teachers 2016  Upcoming Events

Talanoa volume 1  

Inside this issue: ·Principal's Report ·Chair of Council ·Primary Ground Pouring Ceremony ·Primary Update ·Celebrating Middle School ·Servic...

Talanoa volume 1  

Inside this issue: ·Principal's Report ·Chair of Council ·Primary Ground Pouring Ceremony ·Primary Update ·Celebrating Middle School ·Servic...