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Dover Court News

Author: Dover Court Int. School

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Welcome to Dover Court News, where we share the latest updates from the Senior Leadership team to events happening in Dover Court International School.
108 Episodes
A short workshop exploring the importance of sleep. It will cover the negative effects of a bad sleep routine for adults and children. Advice on how much sleep is necessary for you and your child as well as some simple changes that can improve the quality and length of sleep for you and your child leading to a healthier life style.
In this 4th episode of the Dover Diaries, Joseph from Year 8 interviews Mr Christopher Short about him leaving Dover Court International School.
Dear DCIS Parents, We had a delightful Year 13 Graduation ceremony on Tuesday in Cooper Hall. It was lovely to see the students back on the campus and to celebrate their hard work over the last two years. Some of the cohort have been at Dover Court for a number of years, 8 years being the longest. This group now go onto Higher Education in a number of countries around the world, National Service or a gap year. After their celebration assembly last week Year 11 came in small groups on Friday afternoon for a face to face celebration in the Red Dot restaurant. Most students are returning for the IB Diploma or BTEC but a few are moving on to other parts of the World for their pre-university studies. We look forward to receiving both sets of results in July (IBDP) and August (GCSE). Thank you to all parents for their patience and cooperation at the start and the end of the day. The changes in the car pick up have improved the time for this to happen by 10 minutes. The separate pick up for Nursery and Reception children is working well and we would encourage parents of these younger children to use this facility. I know parking around the area is difficult with the Polytechnic Car Park still out of use. We have had reports of residents getting annoyed with our families so please ensure you are parked legally. We’d be grateful if parents waiting for the pedestrian pick up remember the safe distancing rules. As you will have seen in the news, the last couple of weeks have seen disturbances across the world as a result of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. We have a hugely diverse community at DCIS which I think gives us a head start in the important discussion on the strength of diversity in society but it is still an issue to acknowledge, educate and discuss. The issues raised are important ones and ones that can and must be discussed in age appropriate ways. I was in two Year 8 classes last week helping to judge their abolition of slavery presentations. The timing fitted perfectly as our young people put forward reasoned and powerful arguments aimed at a 19th century audience but perfectly relevant, sadly, today. I was moved by the story of Patrick Hutchinson who carried one of the injured counter protesters to safety over the weekend – I would honestly hope that this would be the reaction of any of us, peacefully but passionately make your point but rush to protect someone who doesn’t agree with you but is in physical danger. As the school year draws to an end I’d like to share some information on staff and other changes for the new academic year. As you can imagine it is a very strange time for all members of our community especially those leaving. Due to the current restrictions we won’t be able to say goodbye in person to all staff and students who are leaving us. The updates for the next academic year can be found in the Week Beginning email. Preliminary details of our Summer Camps are also atatched in today's email. Because of the Circuit Breaker we need approval from the CPE which we are still awaiting – we will update you once we have this. A few parents have been contacted by the MOH following the QOs in March/April. If you are concerned about the legitimacy of the caller please contact the MOH helpline on 1800 333 9999. There is a study on antibodies that we are aware of – my son participated in this study and we know they are still looking for volunteers.
Dear DCIS Parents, By the end of the week all of our students will have had the chance to be back on the campus. Both last Tuesday and today we noticed a quietness from students as they got used to be back in school and wearing a face mask or face shield. The good news is that the chatter and confidence increased through last week and I’m sure this week will be the same. We had a delightful Year 11 celebration assembly on Friday led by Mr Tuckley. It was a lovely way to celebrate a milestone in their education as they finish GCSEs and prepare for the next step on their educational journey. We look forward to welcoming the majority back to the IB Diploma Programme or BTEC at DCIS, come August. Because of the regulations this had to be done virtually but that didn’t dampen the celebratory nature of the event. Tomorrow is our Year 13 Graduation. With the smaller number of students in the cohort, we are able to hold this in school but without the families present so we will livestream the event for them. It was meant to be one of the first events to be held in the newly renovated Eden Hall, the British High Commissioner’s residence. Apart from the word Hall there is not much in common between Cooper Hall and Eden Hall but we will ensure our graduating class have a great event to remember the extremely odd end to their time at school. We will have information out on our summer camp activities this week. These are dependent upon Singapore moving to phase 2 of the Circuit Breaker easing. I am delighted to tell you about an initiative that Nord Anglia Education is undertaking globally, to make sure that we learn from what has happened during the COVID-19 pandemic; that we listen carefully to the views of parents as we develop our NAE education strategy going forward; and that we make sure that, as we aim to integrate new skills and methods into our teaching, these align with the attitudes and aspirations of parents and students. We have therefore collaborated with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution to learn about parents' beliefs about their children's education globally. The first stage of this is a global survey, which we would like to be completed by as many parents as possible. May I reassure you that your answers are anonymous and do not identify your individual school but will of course be collated to compare the results from Nord Anglia Education as a whole with the global study. Please follow this link to complete this survey by June 19th, which takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and consists of 31 questions: Your study participation will help us better understand what parents believe makes for a good quality education for their children.
Dear DCIS Parents, We have had a very successful four days back on the campus with a small number of our Year 10, Year 12 and Pathway 4 children. It is delightful to see the campus back to its intended use and I am grateful to our cleaning contractors and our facility staff for working so hard to make the campus ready for our main return tomorrow. Thank you to all Secondary students who participated in the Endurance House Challenge, the form to register your distance is open until tomorrow noon. Year 6 enjoyed their third Year 7 transition day which, while a very different format, gave the Year 6 children an authentic introduction of their life in Secondary School. We held our second online Parents Evening last week as well. Some elements of the arrangements we have had to make over the last 2 months may turn out to be improvements and Parents’ Evenings may be one of these. We have had some inspirational creativity over the last few weeks and much of it is shared on our Facebook and Instagram page. The online On the Dot and At the Splat music recitals (except possibly one guitar concert by me!) have been fantastic. The big choir performance, with over 90 of our Key Stage 2 students signing as a choir is really worth looking at. The Secondary Drama Department held their first ever Virtual Drama Festival. A lot has changed since we last had students and staff on the campus. When we started temperature checking back in February we had a long conversation about how our youngest students would feel about this. Within a week we had children lifted their fringe to speed up the process. Mask wearing has gone from an activity that was not encouraged by the Government to one that is now mandatory. Again this seemed very strange at first but now, a few short weeks in seems second nature. Safe Distancing outside of schools was just being introduced as we stopped being in school and now it is the norm and the new phrase on everyone’s lips. The only parallel I can think of is the way we now wouldn’t ever think of setting off in a car without our seat belt on whereas only a few years ago seat belt wearing was still patchy and not ingrained in our way of thinking. The DCIS community has been through the challenges of QO or self-isolation then straight into a holiday as the Circuit Breaker started and on into the challenges of learning and working at home. We’re not quite back to normal but it is a good step in the right direction and I know staff can’t wait to see their classes either tomorrow or next Monday. The Senior Leadership Team of the school filmed their version of Rudyard Kipling’s poem If. Elements of the poem are now quite dated but the message is as true now as it was when Kipling wrote the poem over 120 years ago. There are some significant differences to the way we are obliged to manage the campus over the next four weeks so I would be grateful for the support of all parents. One key difference is that we are not allowed any parents on site at all. Parents will need to drop their children off and pick them up as indicated in the guides sent our last week. Parents dropping their children or picking them up by car must not leave their car. Please do not be offended if one of our staff reminds of this! We look forward to welcoming more students onto the campus tomorrow.
In this third podcast of our Dover Diaries series, Ayush from Year 7 interviews Mr Simon Mann, DCIS incoming Principal.
This webinar explores the particular needs of adolescents and how families can work together to help everyone get through these challenging times. This webinar was recorded on Wednesday 27th May 2020 at  8.00pm.
This webinar will explore the emotional experiences that have been brought about by the circuit breaker restrictions, the expectations of DOT and the general uncertainty that is prevalent right now. It will discuss approaches to helping oneself and helping each other through identifying, understanding and learning about controlling emotional responses.
Dear DCIS Parents, Many thanks to those who completed the second DOT questionnaire over the weekend. We are processing the results and will share them with you later in the week. Following my letter on the annual update of the contract I had a couple of questions around the removal of the vaccination clause. We still require children to have up to date vaccinations and require documentation on admission. However we aren’t able to reliably track children’s vaccinations against the Singapore standard as our families come from a wide variety of countries that all have their own vaccination schedule. We removed it from the contract to be clear on what we can require from families - essentially we didn’t want to be suggesting something we couldn’t deliver. Basic vaccinations are now also required for DP applications which also gives further cover. I also had a couple of questions around the Force Majeure clause. This is not a new clause, we are just making it clearer how we would deal with a Force Majeure in the future. I think this clarification will appear in a few contracts and terms & conditions in the coming months in a variety of areas. Condos, for example, will make it clear on when the use of shared facilities are suspended. Many thanks to all the parents who have returned their contract already. We received notice late last week about applying for dispensation to have specific groups of students in before the end of the Circuit Breaker - essentially those who are following courses leading to external examinations and those with specific learning needs (Pathway 4). We are currently finalising a plan that will allow us to have small groups of students on campus within the guidelines issued and we will contact parents in those classes once we have permission to do so. If permission is granted this will be after our long weekend. As you can imagine, although we have yet to receive formal guidance, we are also preparing for the main return to school after the end of the circuit breaker. Once this is confirmed we will be in contact with all parents.  Many thanks to those families who contributed to our Diversity Day video on Friday. It was a lovely exposition of the diversity we have within the Dover Court community. Have a great week. A reminder that we have a long weekend on Monday and Tuesday next weekend.
We are extremely proud of our Year 6 student Harriet who was a runner-up in this year's FOBISIA Short Story Competition. She was alone. Trudging through thick snow, each step she took she could hear the crunching of snowflakes beneath her ice cold feet. Her breath was a wispy white smoke, the kind you would imagine a dragon to breath. The branches of the trees around her were twisted, climbing high above the ground, the roots firmly anchored, spreading across the ground like a spider's web. An ear splitting bang grabbed her attention. She felt afraid but her curiosity got the better of her and she ran towards it. A tree lay dead and snapped in half, she climbed over the slowly rotting, splintered wood that lay scattered on the ground. She reached a clearing in the forest with a strangely engraved stone arch in the centre. “Protect yourself before it gets you” she read aloud. “What does that mean? Before it gets you? Before what gets you?” She mumbled to herself. A strong gust of wind hit her. She started to frantically look around “ before what gets me?” she screamed. This time she got a reply. A cold, raspy voice whispered in her ear, “me”. The blood drained from her face. She ran. Faster than she’d ever run before, then she tripped. The voice let out a laugh “look around you, look at what you just tripped over!” She looked down at the frozen body of a boy. He blinked and mouthed the words ‘help’. She screamed as she saw hundreds of other frozen bodies strewn across the ground. “Who are you?” she shrieked. The voice replied “I've been watching you, in fact I brought you here. Did you find those trees luring you in? And that bang, did that make you want to investigate?” she paused for a while. “ Yes” she replied, “but that stone, why didn't you freeze whoever wrote that?” “That is the last time someone was able to finish my little game. You see the date on there? That's right, 1824. If you can win my game, you will set all these people free, if you lose you are stuck here.” His laugh made the hairs on her neck stand on end. “I'll play.” “ The game is What am I? Here are the clues but listen carefully, I will not repeat. I am light in color but dark inside, I'm ice cold, a million years old, the forest is where I lie. You have exactly two minutes to answer” “Dark in my soul, light in colour, a million years old…” Sarah trailed off. She frantically tried to patch together the clues. Sarah could feel panic rising within her and hear her pulse, louder than ever. She could feel the foul beasts excitement growing. Then something clicked “You're a ghost!” she shouted. The voice shrieked like nothing Sarah had ever heard before. Then she saw it, a pale figure just visible. She turned her head in fear, he was young, maybe in his teens she thought, but this did nothing to diminish the terror when she looked into his face, contorted in rage. He looked like he was fighting against some bonds, perhaps bound by the rules of the game, but still trying to reach out and claw at her as he faded into the gloom. She was surrounded, lifted gently by strangers and embraced. Nearly 200 years of victims freed from their frozen state. She felt bewildered, confused but elated. She worked her way through the crowd surrounding her and set off to the safety of home, hundreds of freed souls trailing behind her. The ghost watched from the shadows, angry, furious, but he would start his collection of frozen souls again, as he had so many times before.
This webinar explores what individuals and families are having to cope with and how they might expand their coping strategies to help with their situation. Families Coping with the Curcuit Breaker and DOT Date: Wednesday 13th May Time: 8.00pm
Dear DCIS Parents, Many thanks to those of you who joined us this morning for the first of our forums on the DOT Plan. We started with EYFS and received some lovely feedback on the work teachers are doing and some great suggestions on how we can make the process easier for families, with the universal acknowledgment of the role parents need to play, especially with younger children. The forums continue this week for those who have signed up and we will send out a further questionnaire for all parents on Friday. We know that DOT can’t replace the full classroom based experience but we also know that our dedicated team of teachers will help bridge this current period of time and ensure children continue their progress over the coming months so that doesn’t impact on their continued development in any area of the curriculum. I have really enjoyed joining a variety of Zoom sessions over the last few days and seeing the enthusiasm shown by children in this challenging situation. A few of the other International School Heads and myself have been in contact with CPE about the possibility of small groups of students being back in the school next week. We have yet to receive any official guidance but I will update you once I do. Congratulations to Harriet in Year 6 who was Runner Up in the recent FOBISIA Short Story Competition with her story "In to the Woods". The registration for the Secondary Drama Festival is now closed and we look forward to seeing the entries during the Virtual Drama Festival later this month. On Friday we will celebrate Diversity Day, if you haven't submitted your poster there is still time. Please email our Communications Team, who are helping us compiling the material, by Wednesday the latest: I hope you have a good week.
Dear Parents, Many thanks to all of you who participated in our Well-being and DOT questionnaire over the weekend. We are currently analysing the results and will use this to keep making improvements to our virtual schooling. Our Virtual Book Day was a great success last week, many thanks to parents who sent in photos that we have shared in our Social Media posts. Thank you to our staff who read for classes or videoed themselves. I am also grateful for the general DOT videos and photos you have shared with us. It is lovely to see all the activities and learning going on. Wednesday is World Dance Day so please look out for our compilation of the dance activities across the Primary School. There may even be a cameo from a certain School Principal! Friday is a public holiday so please enjoy the long weekend as best you can within the Circuit Breaker regulations. The holy month of Ramadan started last week so Ramadan Kareem to all Muslim members of the Dover Court community. Finally, a huge thank you to all the families who were involved in the video sent to staff over the weekend. I have talked before about the strength of community shown within Dover Court especially over the last 5 weeks and even emails sent to me where someone doesn’t agree with a message I have sent out (it does happen!) are always very polite and respectful – given the stress and uncertainty at the moment I would understand the odd rant. The video really lifted our spirits as a staff body. As you can imagine we are all going through the same pressures and uncertainties as our families. Have a great week.
Dear DCIS Parents, We have entered another unusual week in our school. As you have read in my email sent out earlier today we have cancelled all overseas school trips for the rest of the academic year. It is never fun to disappoint children, but I am very proud of how well our students are taking the news. We have some very wise and understanding children in our school. I would also like to confirm that the Parenting Teen Workshop that was due to take place tomorrow has been cancelled, as well as the Year 3 Residential Trip Meeting. The Year 12: University Destination Workshop is still scheduled to go ahead tomorrow, 17th March, 8.15am, in The Lounge. The Secondary Environmental Committee are collecting clean, reusable cloth bags for an up-cycling project.  Any donations can be dropped off outside the School Reception between 8.00 and 8.30am this week. They are also selling bamboo straws in the Red Dot, this sale is open to all Secondary students. The straws cost $2 and the money will go towards inviting an environmental speaker.  On Friday we will be celebrating World Down Syndrome Day and we invite all students to get their silly socks on! The message this year, that will also be discussed in our older classes, is ‘We Decide’, acknowledging “All people with Down syndrome should have full participation in decision making about matters relating to or affecting their lives. Effective and meaningful participation is a core human rights principle supported by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).”  Finally a message from our Medical Centre: Please ensure that all medications that are sent to school are in the original packaging, with the name of the clinic/doctor, student name and the dosage clearly shown. Our school nurses are not able to administer medication that is not in the original package. Have a great week ahead.
What is the IB Diploma? ▪ A challenging and balanced programme of education designed for secondary school students aged 16 to 19. ▪ The programme has earned a reputation for rigorous assessment, giving IB diploma holders access to over 2000 of the world’s leading universities and preparing them for success in further studies and life beyond. ▪ The programme is a comprehensive two-year international curriculum that is taught through a variety of languages in over 140 countries. The Diploma Programme incorporates the best elements of multiple national systems, without being based on any one. BTEC Level 2 Vocational Programme The IB Diploma is challenging and not appropriate or accessible to all learners. From August 2020 we are pleased to be able to introduce our new programme. • Two-year full time programme of study: ❖ BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Business (equivalent to 4 GCSEs) ❖ Study to support Employability ❖ Functional qualifications for English, Math and ICT ❖ Opportunity to resit GCSEs as appropriate ❖ To include work experience and vocational opportunities ❖ Be part of IB CAS programme • Students will be taught as one class with Ms Pattie responsible for pastoral care and the vocational qualification, with specialist teaching in other curriculum areas.
In this second episode of the Dover Diaries podcast, we interviewed Carla Hyland, Deputy Head of Secondary School, and David Burren, Deputy Head - Inclusion regarding the BTEC International Level 2 in Business programme recently introduced in Dover Court International School.
Dear DCIS Parents, Our Year 13 students are half way through their IB Mocks, it is extremely exciting that our second cohort of IB students will graduate later this year. For those interested in our Sixth Form, Years 12-13, the IBDP/BTEC Parent Workshop will take place tomorrow, 10th March, 8.45-9.30am in Cooper Hall, we look forward to welcoming all who registered for this event. This week is British Science Week and the Science Department have created an exciting program of lunch time workshops for our Secondary students. Students interested in participating should see their science teacher to find out more. I have been extremely impressed by the resilience of our students during these unusual past few weeks, with trips and sports fixtures being cancelled and assemblies being run without parents in the audience. On Friday our students in the primary school performed two wonderful assemblies, our children in Reception taught us all about Holi and our students in Year 4 shared what they had learned through their IPC topic, Temples, Tombs and Treasures. We are very proud of how well they all did on stage. I was delighted to attend and participate in a tree planting ceremony led by our Year 4 students, it was wonderful to be part of such a meaningful event with such passionate global citizens. Have a great week, and as always, please get in touch if you have any questions.
Dear DCIS Parents, The DCA Quiz Night on Friday was a great success, even though my team was defeated by most of the parent teams. Thank you to the DCA for another well organised event and thank you to Victus for hosting us at Mason's Table. A special thanks to our Quizmaster, John Fox. I would also like to thank those who attended 'A Coffee with David Burren' this morning. We understand that these events are much appreciated and it is something that we will try to do regularly. Our Year 13 students have started their IB Mocks today, a very important part of the preparation for their final exams in Term 3. We wish them the best of luck and thank the Dover Court community in advance for respecting their need of a quiet environment around C-block. As you are aware, we have unfortunately had to cancel and reschedule many events this term, this includes the Pre-teen Parenting Workshop that was due to take place tomorrow, 3rd March. The Year 8 Parent Teacher Conferences will go ahead on Wednesday, 4th March. Please note that we will check temperatures of parents upon arrival and will have hand sanitiser available to use. We also request that only one parent attends the conferences with the student, as this will greatly reduce the number of people on site. The Parent attending must submit a signed Travel Declaration Form, which was sent out today by Mrs Hyland, or it can be filled in on arrival at the school. The Primary Parent Teacher Conference booking email for the meetings on the 16th and 17th March was sent out today. If you have any issues signing up, please contact Mrs Sheila Abdul. Have a great week, and as always, please get in touch if you have any questions.
Dear DCIS Parents, 
Welcome back, I hope that you had a lovely break. As I wrote in my email yesterday, we are restarting the ECAs today, something that I know our students are very happy about. We are also looking at options to reschedule postponed events, we will keep you updated. 

The Global Campus Visual Arts competition is open, the theme this year is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. To learn more, watch this video created by the Primary Global Campus Champions. A guide on how to access the Global Campus can be found here.

 Thank you to those of you who have already shared your dance videos with us! If you are yet to, please watch the tutorial by Ms Hughes and Mr Liperis and have a go at home. We'd love to see our Dover Court community dancing, so do share any videos with your class teachers. 

I am looking forward to the DCA's Quiz Night this Friday and hope to meet many of you there. The DCA are also planning their Family Movie Night that will take place on Saturday 28th March, the current situation permitting. The form to vote for the movie to be screened is now open and can be found here. 
 Many thanks to all the parents who have completed the new Student Travel Declaration, we ask all families to complete this, one per child, by Friday 28th February. Please note that this is a government requirement. As you know we have previously asked families to fill in Travel Plans on our Google Doc. These have proved very useful as other areas are identified as virus hotspots. As such we would be grateful if families could update the Travel Plans document (click here) as their travel is planned.

 As you may have seen, we have created a Health Advisory page on our website. All school communication regarding the COVID-19 virus can be found there, along with some useful resources. All this can also be found in the Health Advisory folder on the Parent Portal.

 Finally, do watch our hand-wash tutorial together with your children. We have been so impressed with how willing all children are to wash their hands and use the hand sanitisers that are placed around school. 
 Have a great week!

A busy and interesting term for our staff, students and parents; however, I have been impressed by our community’s ‘blitz spirit’ showing stoicism and determination during a difficult time. We kicked off the term back in January with our Progress Review and Target Setting meetings.  Our students have made excellent progress in and out of the classroom in the last term.  I also appreciate parent feedback on the event via our survey which we have already analysed and discussed improvements for next year as a Senior Leadership Team. I would like to congratulate our Year 11 and 13 students on a successful round of mock exams to prepare them for this year’s summer exam period.  We are very impressed by how the students approached them, which bodes extremely well for the summer exams. The DCA organised a Secondary disco which I know our students enjoyed immensely, and it was great to see so many staff and parents volunteering to support these events which couldn’t run without their help. The Year 13 students presented their Extended Essay’s in our annual ‘CoffEE’ morning, which were all very impressive.  They have worked extremely hard, and there were some interesting topics presented and discussed.  Thank you to all the parents that attended and showed their support. On the week beginning 21st January, the DCIS Secondary Art Department organised and ran an Arts Week to celebrate and explore creativity and artmaking in its various forms. The week involved lots of exciting opportunities such as Textile workshops, art industry discussions and printing workshops held by our very talented Artist Teachers. Year 9 GCSE Art students also received an extraordinary opportunity to work with Gill Saul, a visiting artist who worked with them on their current 3D sculpture project. Throughout the week, students were also invited to contribute to the ‘Big Draw’ outside of the DT room, which was also a huge success! We also saw our first ever staff performance on ‘The Spot’ this term.  Students had voted for the members of staff they wanted to sing a selection of student chosen songs in a karaoke-style show in the Red Dot Restaurant with all proceeds going to charity.  Myself, Mr Jury, Mr Mainstone, Mr Lindsay and Mrs Hyland topped the voting and took to the stage today at lunchtime.  Despite our performance, we raised nearly $500 for the Tanzania project.  A big thank you to the staff and Student Leadership team for their support.  I think we can safely say that none of us will be leaving the teaching profession to take up careers in music! As you will understand, there were more things planned for this term that I had hoped to speak of; however, we have all had to adapt and be flexible, given the current situation.  I would personally like to thank our excellent staff and students for their support during these new and challenging times. We hope to be able to re-arrange as many of the events and activities that have had to be postponed this term and will do our best to ensure our students do not miss out. I wish you all a restful and healthy half term.
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