April 2014 | COBIS Connect


COBIS Connect - April 2014
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In This Issue:

1.   Welcome from Colin Bell, COBIS CEO
2.   Dates For Your Diary
3.   COBIS Annual Conference
4  New COBIS Member Schools
5.   Recent COBIS Conferences

6.   News from COBIS Schools Around the World
7.   School Member News
8.   COBIS Webinars
9.   COBIS Interschool Student Competitions
10. Professional Development
11. Special Offers for Members
12. Supporting Member News
13. Contact Us

Welcome from Colin Bell, COBIS CEO

Dear Colleagues, 

I trust you have enjoyed a well deserved Easter break. It’s clear that the summer team ahead will be enormously busy for COBIS students and staff. With this in mind, the COBIS Board and the COBIS HQ team are delighted at the prospect of welcoming record numbers of exhibitors, guests and delegates, from both COBIS member schools and non-member schools alike to our Annual Conference in a couple of weeks. Please remember that if you can’t join us this year, conference presentations and resources will be available to download in the ‘Member Area’ of the COBIS website.

During April, in addition to preparing for the 33rd Annual Conference, there has been a lot on the go for COBIS HQ, including supporting the first COBIS conference in South America, hosted by St Paul’s School (COBIS Accredited Member) in Sao Paulo, the 3rd Education conference at the British School in Baku (COBIS Accredited Member) in Azerbaijan and the opening ceremony of the Bright Horizons - International British School of Zagreb. Thank you and congratulations to all connected to these schools for hosting such high quality events.

Recent, deeply disturbing news in the international school sector, highlighting the importance and challenges connected to implementing ‘Safer Recruitment’ practices and ‘Child Protection’ (CP) has been published. As a COBIS school or a COBIS supporting member, a common denominator we share is the commitment to safeguarding children and young people and child protection. Therefore a reminder, to all schools (including non-members) and supporting members to access the COBIS service for DBS checks, or the CEOP International CP Certificate, the range of online COBIS/EduCare NSPCC training courses, or the scheduled COBIS CP webinars in partnership with approved COBIS Consultant Jonathan Taylor from 'BeSafe-Online'. Collectively, we can work to reduce the risk to children and young people worldwide.        

Kind regards,

Dates For Your Diary - Forthcoming COBIS Conferences

COBIS Annual Conference

33rd COBIS Annual Conference -10-12 May 2014, London

The Annual Conference is less than two weeks away. We look forward to welcoming a record number of delegates, guests, and exhibitors at the 2014 Annual Conference. More than 400 people, including representatives from schools in 60 countries, will be joining us in London. For more information about the conference, please visit www.cobis.org.uk/Annual_Conference

Seminar Choices

Annual Conference delegates are encouraged to submit their seminar choices for the conference. Please click here to view seminar descriptions and click here to submit your choices.

Pre- and Post-Conference seminars

Annual Conference delegates are invited to register for free seminars before and after the main conference. 

  • GL Education will be hosting a Pre-Conference Seminar and Afternoon Tea on Saturday 10 May 2014 - Finding a stable reference point without national curriculum levels. Click here for more information or to book a place.

  • Finalsite will be hosting a Post-Conference Web Strategy Workshop on Tuesday 13 May 2014. More information and booking details can be found here.

Advanced Child Protection Course – Tuesday 13 May 2014

There are two places left on the Advanced Child Protection Course, delivered by Kidscape, in London on the Tuesday following the Annual Conference. More information and a booking form can be found here.

New COBIS Member Schools

COBIS is delighted to welcome 2 new schools into membership.

Holy Mary Catholic School, Madrid

COBIS is delighted to announce that Holy Mary Catholic Infant and Junior School in Madrid has been accepted into membership. The school, which is a co-educational school for pupils aged 2-13, submitted an excellent application to the COBIS Membership Committee who awarded COBIS Member status.

Headmaster Andrew Hurst said upon accepting COBIS membership, "We feel very proud to be included in an organisation that boasts so many good schools and we are looking forward to being part of a wider international community that strives to provide excellence in British education abroad. We look forward to meeting in person at the conference in May of this year."

On behalf of all the team at COBIS, we would like to welcome the staff at Holy Mary Catholic Infant and Junior School into COBIS membership.

Braeburn School, Kenya

COBIS would like to welcome Braeburn School in Kenya as a COBIS Member school. The school, which is also a member of the Council for International Schools (CIS), Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) and the Kenyan Association of Independent International Schools (KAIIS), is the third COBIS member school in Kenya.

Executive Head Scott Webber said upon accepting COBIS membership, "We are very excited to be a part of your organisation and look forward to our involvement in the various initiatives you undertake. We very much look forward to contributing to COBIS and to enjoying the benefits of our association."

A warm welcome to all the staff at Braeburn School in Kenya from the COBIS team. We look forward to working with you.

Recent Conferences

St Paul’s School 2nd Education Conference in Association with COBIS, 13-14 April 2014

Congratulations to St Paul’s School for hosting their second, successful Education Conference earlier this month – Nurturing Excellence in All Learners: Changes and Challenges. The conference was attended by 350 delegates from Brazil, South America, and further afield. Speakers included Guy Claxton, Martin Skelton and Paul Dix. In addition to the main conference, there were a large number of pre-conference workshops on topics ranging from University Admissions to Behaviour Management to Visible Learning.

Thank you to Paul Morgan and his colleagues at St Paul’s School for all of the hard work that went into organising this event.

British School in Baku, 3rd Education Conference in Association with COBIS, 17-18 April 2014

The British School in Baku hosted its 3rd Education Conference in Association with COBIS earlier this month. The programme included addresses from Matthew Burgess (ISC), Colin Bell (COBIS), and Elizabeth White (British Council) as well as a range of workshops on topics including Active Learning in Science, Teaching Assistants in International Schools, and Managing Challenging Classroom Behaviour.

Thank you to colleagues at The British School in Baku for organising and hosting this event.

News From COBIS Schools Around the World

Bright Horizons - International British School of Zagreb Host Opening Ceremony

On Friday 4 April 2014, Bright Horizons - International British School of Zagreb held their official school opening ceremony. The guests of honour were His Excellency Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Mr. David Slinn and Colin Bell, COBIS CEO.

Milena Prodanić Tišma, Founder of Bright Horizons - International British School of Zagreb, first came into contact with COBIS when she attended the 2013 COBIS Annual Conference. Subsequently the school applied for Candidate School status which was awarded by the COBIS Membership Committee. The school is now working towards COBIS Member status for September 2014.

Bright Horizons - International British School of Zagreb is part of the Horizon school group which includes 3 International Horizons nursery schools.

COBIS is proud to support Bright Horizons - International British School of Zagreb and all COBIS Candidate Schools. Milena is attending this 2014 COBIS Annual Conference so please congratulate Milena on the school's fantastic achievement during the Conference!

Berlin British School Celebrates 20th Anniversary

On 3 April, Berlin British School was proud to host around 300 guests at a reception in the British Embassy to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Visitors were greeted inside the modern building by student leaders from the Primary School along with the Head Boy and Girl from the Secondary School.

The British Ambassador, Simon McDonald, welcomed everyone to the event and introduced the guest speaker, David McAllister, a former pupil of the Charlottenburg First School and current CDU candidate for the European elections. With his personal recollections of attending school in Charlottenburg (he didn’t like lunch!), he kept the audience interested and entertained.

Moving from the past to the future, Simon Walker, Head of School, then spoke about his vision of an education that prepares students not for our future but for theirs.

Throughout the evening students from the school took part in a variety of musical performances including a choir and a jazz band as well as an engaging debate on the topic of whether we are seeing a new cold war developing.

The mixed audience – current and former pupils and members of staff plus invited guests from the political, diplomatic and business community – all enjoyed meeting and listening to the students in a relaxed and lively atmosphere.

Berlin British School - A Community of Vibrant and Global Thinkers
1994 - 2014

Pupils from British Embassy School Ankara Run in the Sport Relief Mile 2014

Children from the British Embassy School Ankara recently participated in the UK ‘Sport Relief Mile 2014’. The youngest runners were just 3 years old and the oldest being 14 years of age. The children had great fun and did not appear to be too tired after the event!

Overall, the children raised 2’670 TYL (around £750). The money was presented to a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) ASAM that provides educational stationary to Syrian refugee children.

We at the British Embassy School Ankara are extremely proud to have been able to participate in this fundraising event in order to improve many lives.

Samantha Sawyer - Assistant Head Teacher

Prague British School Host Parent Presentation Day

Over the last few years Prague British School (PBS) has arranged a selection of parent presentations spread across the school year but these have been poorly attended. Using advice from our Year Group Representatives and the School Leadership Team, for our latest Parent Presentation Day, we decided that if we scheduled all the presentations on one day it would be far more convenient for parents.

We created a schedule of sessions beginning at the start of the school day and running throughout the day. A whole day back in school! The majority of sessions took place in our auditorium but others were more hands on and took place in the classrooms. The sessions we offered included:

  • How teachers teach your children to read
  • Mathletics
  • Spelling City and Reading Eggs
  • Parenting styles and their impact on child development
  • A general overview of the International Primary Curriculum (IPC)
  • Sharing good practice
  • Bullying: what it is, what it isn’t, and how to deal with it
  • Maths calculation methods: A chance to get your head around addition, subtraction, division and multiplication in the British system
  • Internet safety: Are your children safe online?
  • Year 2 and 6 SATs: Information regarding the official tests that Year 2 and Year 6 children will take this year 
  • Senior School question and answer session

The sessions were led by a range of staff including school heads, subject coordinators and class teachers. The day itself ran like clockwork and was a huge success. We had a record number of parents attending including parents who are not usually in school on a daily basis as well as the parents every school have who attend every possible event. A number of working parents took a day off work to attend which was great to see. Throughout the day I spoke to the parents and teachers  about the sessions and felt a real buzz around the school. In the evening I received a number of positive emails from parents.

One parent wrote, “Today was really fantastic. Well organised, very informative and overall a nice day with good catering. I like how I could choose my most preferred topics.”

And a second mentioned that, “I personally picked up very useful information helping me deal with the school education strategy and the day also helped me to understand the main points of how to support our child.”

The teachers themselves were far more positive about leading sessions in the future. It felt like their efforts preparing material was worthwhile as they were presenting to a good number of parents. I am sure many of them will take confidence from this and look to presenting to adults more often, maybe leading a session at a future COBIS Conference. 

Paul Baker - Headteacher of Kamýk Primary School

School Member News

Access to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

COBIS is a DBS registered body and handles over 500 DBS checks on behalf of COBIS member and non member schools each year. Both member and non member schools are invited to access this service. Click here for more information about the DBS service and how to access it.

Sarah Wooldridge from COBIS, who manages the DBS applications, will host a webinar explaining the service and how to access it on Tuesday 6 May at 1pm UK time. To register for this webinar, please click here or visit our website for more information. The webinar will be recorded and a copy of the recording saved in the COBIS webiste Member Area for future reference.

Child Protection Training

EduCare for Education

COBIS members qualify for a 10% discount on purchases of both EduCare for Education and individual EduCare training programmes. COBIS schools can access all 15 online courses for one single low cost annual licence fee. This single licence fee covers all adult members of the school workforce plus school governors and voluntary members of staff. To find out more or to register for a free trial of this online learning service, visit the COBIS / EduCare partnership gateway.

EduCare for Education consists of 15 high quality online learning programmes that are designed and produced by recognised experts and cover essential duty of care training areas which include:

  •     Child Protection
  •     Safer Recruitment
  •     Preventing Bullying
  •     Child Neglect
  •     In Introduction to Equality and Diversity
  •     Health & Safety

7 other essential topics are included in the EduCare for Education package and each online programme is fully certificated to provide evidence of learning and they are independently verified to count towards CPD.

Advanced Child Protection Course – Tuesday 13 May 2014

There are two places left on the Advanced Child Protection Course, delivered by Kidscape, in London on the Tuesday following the Annual Conference. More information and a booking form can be found here.

The Independent School Awards 2014 - Enter Now

The Independent School Awards recognise and reward excellence in the strategic and financial management (primarily) of independent schools. COBIS schools are invited to apply in the category of British International School of the Year. The deadline for applications is 14 May 2014.

To watch a brief video of the 2013 Independent School Awards, please click here.

Are You a Golfer? Are You Visiting the UK in the 2014 Summer Holidays?

If so you should be interested in the 4th Annual International Heads Masters Golf Tournament which takes place in South Wales on 22 - 23 July this year. The event is open to Heads/Principals/Directors and senior management from any international school. It is designed to be fun above all else and there is usually a broad range of golfing ability on display. There are individual and team prizes on offer. Dinner and prize-giving will take place after the golf on Wednesday 23 July. Drinks are provided and wine is sponsored by COBIS.

This year’s format, building on the successes of previous events, is a practice round on Tuesday 22 July and the competition day itself on Wednesday 23 July. The event takes place at the Vale Resort, South Glamorgan on the National course. Accommodation is available at the Vale Hotel which has excellent facilities for families, including a spa. The whole event is sponsored by ISC Research, TIC Recruitment, Warwick Mann International and WCBS International. A modest booking fee is applicable on a one or two-day playing basis.

Full details can be obtained from Tony Child via headsgolf@gmail.com

AISEN Schools to Host Musical Concert

As part of its on-going 10th anniversary celebrations, AISEN (Association of International School Educators of Nigeria), will host a Musical Concert at MUSON Centre, Lagos on Saturday 10th May from 4pm, involving over twenty member schools.

Are You Using the Correct COBIS Logo?

A reminder that following the changes to the COBIS membership categories, COBIS schools are requested to update marketing collateral and websites with the new COBIS logo. Copies are available by clicking on the links below or by emailing Luke Nelson.

Please ensure that you consult the COBIS Identity Guidelines for advice on using COBIS logos correctly.

COBIS Accredited Member logo
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COBIS Member logo
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COBIS Webinars

COBIS offers a programme of free webinars which enable all members to access CPD without the need for travel. Forthcoming webinars are listed below with details of how to register. This information is also available on our website.

The Complete Guide to DBS
Hosted by Sarah Wooldridge, COBIS Finance Officer
Tuesday 6 May 2014 (13.00 UK time)
Book Your Free Place Here

COBIS is a DBS registered body and handles over 500 DBS checks on behalf of COBIS member and non member schools each year. COBIS has recently undergone a trial of a new online system for DBS checks. In this webinar, Sarah will introduce the DBS process and walk attendees through the new online system.

Participating in the COBIS Pilot of the ISC Schools Datashare Scheme
Hosted by Diane Glass, Business Development Advisor, The International School Consultancy Group

Wednesday 21 May 2014 (13.00 UK time)
Book Your Free Place Here

COBIS is supporting the trial of the new International School Consultancy Group ISC Schools Datashare Scheme and COBIS member schools have the chance to participate. The purpose of the Datashare Scheme will be to give participating international schools access to relevant, detailed market information. It will give schools the chance to know their market well; providing market intelligence on such details as curriculum provision, exams, accreditation awards, enrolment figures and more. International schools that join ISC Schools Datashare Scheme will receive a full year licence to the new ISC Online for Schools completely free. Find out more on this webinar.

E-safety for Teachers - Online Reputation Management
Hosted by Jonathan Taylor - Child Safeguarding & Internet Safety Consultant, BeSafe - Online
Tuesday 3 June 2014 (13.00 UK time)
Book Your Free Place Here

Ofsted describe e-Safety as: the school's ability to protect and educate pupils and staff in their use of technology and to have the appropriate mechanisms to intervene and support any incident where appropriate. This webinar will explore the following:

  • How do you ensure that all staff receive appropriate online safety training that is relevant and regularly updated?
  • Does the school have e-Safety policies and acceptable use policies?
  • What mechanisms does the school have in place to support pupils and staff facing online safety issues?
  • What is your online professional liability and online digital footprint

Hosted by Jonathan Taylor from Besafe-Online, the webinar will explore this topic of increased importance to teachers in the digital age.

Guiding Students on the Path to US University and Career Readiness
Hosted by Brian Hartman - Director of International K-12 Initiatives, College Board
Thursday 12 June 2014 (13.00 UK time)
Book Your Free Place Here

This session explores the myriad resources that support students on the path to university and career readiness. The presenter will provide examples of assessments such as the Preliminary SAT and demonstrate how it provides useful performance data that informs instruction, as well as access to university and career planning resources, interest inventories, and skill development plans. As part of a comprehensive program, assessments can systematically and progressively measure the reading, writing and mathematical knowledge and skills critical for university success. Finally, global academic programs such as the Advanced Placement Program enhance students’ academic experience by introducing rigor in high school.

COBIS Interschool Student Competitions

COBIS Young Scientist Film Award Nominations

COBIS is delighted to announce the nominations for the 2014 COBIS Young Scientist Film Awards. This year's Awards have been the most popular yet with a record 80 films submitted by 34 COBIS schools worldwide and almost 500 COBIS students involved. We are delighted that so many COBIS students have taken part in this competition and our thanks to all staff who have given their time to help create these fantastic films.

The nominations were selected by COBIS CEO Colin Bell and a judging panel of 14 scientists from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), our generous partners for the COBIS Young Scientist Film Awards. Our thanks to all judges who had the difficult task of shortlisting the nominations from so many great films, the scientific and creative quality of which they felt was incredibly high.

The winners and runners up of the COBIS Young Scientist Film Awards will be announced at an Awards Ceremony to be held at 17.30 on Sunday 11 May during the COBIS Annual Conference. We invite all Annual Conference delegates to attend in order to support the nominees and for the chance to take another look at these excellent films.

Click here to see the full list of nominations. Please click on the name of the film in order to link through to the COBIS YouTube channel where all these films have been kindly hosted by the NPL.

COBIS would like to take this opportunity to thank all students and staff who participated in the COBIS Young Scientist Film Awards and who have helped to make this year's Awards the best supported yet. COBIS would also like to thank our generous partners, the NPL, for coordinating the Awards and selecting the nominations and our winners and runners up. Finally, many thanks to our valued supporting members who have provided prizes for our worthy winners and runners up - Twig World, Mindsets (UK), TTS Group and CLWB.


COBIS Primary and Secondary Games 2014

The COBIS Primary Games will be hosted by 2013 winners The British School Al Khubairat from Thursday 29 May - Sunday 1 June 2014.

The COBIS schools competing at the 2014 COBIS Primary Games are:

The inaugural COBIS Secondary Games will be hosted by the British International School Istanbul from Wednesday 14 May - Sunday 18 May 2014.

The COBIS schools competing at the 2014 COBIS Secondary Games are:

Professional Development

COBIS Conferences for 2014/15

Thank you to all of the COBIS Schools that expressed an interest in hosting CPD events for 2014/15. The CPD calendar for 2014/15 will include training and conferences for different segments of the school workforce (Teachers, Leaders, TAs, Marketing and Development Staff, Business Managers and Bursars, etc.) in a range of locations around the world. Full details of the 2014/15 calendar will be announced at the Annual Conference in May.

Research for Learning (RfL) Course, 19 May 2014, Brussels – last chance to book

Which classroom interventions have the biggest effect on pupil learning? How can these interventions be delivered? Join COBIS and Dragonfly Training for a one-day course on Research for Learning – How to transform evidence-based research into realistic classroom practice. The course will take place at the British School of Brussels on Monday 19 May 2014. For more information and a booking form, please click here.

Special Offers for Members

Eteach International

For the benefit of COBIS schools, COBIS has negotiated a special member offer in association with COBIS supporting members Eteach International. For the wider broadcast of all COBIS member job vacancies, until the end of May 2014, all vacancies published on COBIS website will also be published on Eteach.com. This service is offered by Eteach International at no cost to COBIS members.

Should COBIS members wish to advertise job vacancies on Eteach.com from June 2014 onwards, an annual licence can be purchased from Eteach International at an ongoing special discounted member rate. Please contact Eteach International - +44 (0)1276 674 295 or info@eteachinternational.com - for more information.

If schools would prefer job vacancies not to be published on the Eteach International website, please contact Natalie Friend.

About Eteach
Eteach work with over 6,000 schools and last year advertised 45,000 education vacancies to 800,000 registered candidates, who make 5 million job searches and 700,000 site visits each month.

Rising Stars Essential CPD

Essential CPD offers online professional development for teachers with interactive training courses you can access any time, anywhere. A subscription gives your whole school access to all current and new courses, offering personalised support and development for all staff. COBIS members can get 10% off a 1-year subscription. Find out more at www.essentialcpd.co.uk and order online using code ECPDCB10.

Supporting Member News

Welcome to New COBIS Supporting Members

COBIS would like to welcome the following new Supporting Members who have recently joined us:

Alkemygold Ltd - Consultancy and Professional Development
CLWB - The Community for Learning With Bits - ICT
Elklan Training - Assessment and Qualifications

GEMS Education - Recruitment
GFORCE Teamwear - Schoolwear
ITEPS (International Teacher Education for Primary Schools) - Universities
Prospects - Consultancy and Professional Development
The School Planner Company - Curriculum Resources and Publishers

Thomas Education - Student Development
Titus Learning - ICT

YouTube Channel - Supporting Members

Many supporting members have already sent through company videos for us to host on our COBIS YouTube channel. This free service is part of you supporting membership package so if you have a  film of the services you provide to the international school community, please contact Natalie Friend.

Contact Us

If you have any comments or requests, please contact us. We'd love to hear from you.

Colin Bell, CEO - ceo@cobis.org.uk
Sarah Wooldridge, Finance Officer - admin@cobis.org.uk
Natalie Friend, Communications and Membership Officer - members@cobis.org.uk
Fiona Rogers, Senior Professional Development Officer - cpd@cobis.org.uk
Luke Nelson, COBIS Marketing Intern - intern@cobis.org.uk

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Telephone: +44 208 240 4142

Address: COBIS, St Mary's University, Waldegrave Road, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, TW1 4SX, UK   

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