Now, I may be at risk of sounding like a bureaucrat, but the best Christmas present we could ask for was a 36-page report that dropped on my desk a couple of days before the winter break. This report is not exactly bedtime reading but it brought a broad smile to our faces when we started to flick through its pages. You see, this report was none other than the long-anticipated official IB feedback on a searching five-year review of standards and practices which every school must undergo. This report was the culmination of 18 months of hard work together with parents, teachers, students and other stakeholders as we took stock of our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as a school, updated our various policies, set goals for the next five years and reviewed our commitment to the IB philosophy.
So how did we do? According to Katrin Fox, IB World Schools Manager, who followed the review closely, the following strengths, in particular, stood out: “…understanding of the IB philosophy and programme, promotion of language development, the library supporting the programme and teaching and learning developing reflective and inquisitive IB learners”. This felt like a clear vindication that we are on the right path. There were plenty of commendations (too many to list here!), a few recommendations (such as refinement of our academic integrity policy to define collusion, and budgeting specifically for CAS) but absolutely no matters to be addressed. This was akin to a patient getting a clean bill of health from the doctor. We think that all stakeholders should be reassured by the outcome. Teachers were delighted. After ten years of IB delivery, Etis is clearly on track.
On track, but not complacent! There is plenty of room for improvement and we should seek restlessly to innovate and grow in the years ahead. We look forward to sharing the journey with you. Happy New Year!