May 2014 | COBIS Connect


COBIS Connect - May 2014
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In This Issue:

1.   Welcome from Colin Bell, COBIS CEO
2.   33rd COBIS Annual Conference 2014
3.   School Member News

4  New COBIS Member Schools
5.   Recent Conferences

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

Welcome from Colin Bell, COBIS CEO

Dear Colleagues, 

I write to you today from the COBIS Games in Abu Dhabi, hosted by last year's winners, The British School Al Khubairat. As ever, the competition is hotting up (as is the weather!) and it's a pleasure to see so many students from COBIS schools around the world coming together in the spirit of competitive sport.

This month also saw the first ever COBIS Secondary Games, held at the British International School Istanbul and won by St Catherine's British School in Athens. This event will now be a firm fixture in the growing COBIS competitions calendar. Our thanks to Carolynne Bell at BISI for her tireless work organising this excellent event, and to staff at the school for helping to make the inaugural COBIS Secondary Games a resounding success.

Of course May has been a month for resounding successes as COBIS hosted the 33rd Annual Conference in London. We have had many words of praise for the Conference, for which we are very grateful. It was fantastic to see so many colleagues from COBIS schools around the world but for those of you who could not be with us, the presentations are available by following the link provided below. 

Conference was an opportunity to announce new student competitions and an increased calendar of professional development conferences and training for your school workforce. We also announced the launch of the new COBIS student magazine - World Student - in association with COBIS supporting members John Catt Educational. This exciting development offers excellent opportunities for all our members and for pupils at COBIS schools. We were also delighted to welcome student broadcasters from our newest Accredited Member school, Radnor House, at the Conference. Our thanks to Makewaves for coordinating this. Watch the footage from the Conference here.

Finally, COBIS is committed to ensuring all our schools have a safeguarding culture and the expectation that this is followed through. Also announced at the Conference were changes to our membership criteria which now make the completion of both Child Protection and Safer Recruitment courses mandatory for all members. More details on this to follow next month.          

Kind regards,

33rd COBIS Annual Conference 2014

Thank you to the 450+ delegates, exhibitors, speakers and guests who came together to make the 33rd COBIS Annual Conference the largest and most successful to date. To view the post-conference newsletter click here. To access slides and handouts from the conference click here. We look forward to welcoming you at the 34th COBIS Annual Conference, 9-11 May 2015.


School Member News

New COBIS Board Members Appointed

COBIS is delighted to announce 3 new Board members who were voted in and co-opted at the COBIS AGM, held during the COBIS Annual Conference 2014.

  • Brian Christian, British School in Tokyo, Japan       
  • Teresa Woulfe, Doha College, Qatar (co-opted)
  • Ken Page, British Embassy School, Ankara, Turkey (co-opted)
Dr Steffen Sommer - Collège Champittet, Switzerland and Governor, King’s Group - has been re-elected to the COBIS Board.

Our 4 colleagues join the existing COBIS Board listed below:

  • Trevor Rowell, COBIS Chairman and Governor, British School of Alicante
  • Colin Bell, COBIS CEO
  • Simon O’Grady, COBIS Treasurer and Principal, The British International School, Cairo
  • Jennifer Bray MBE, COBIS Inspections and Quality Officer
  • Peter Simpson, Headmaster, The British School in The Netherlands
  • John Bagust, Head of Primary Schools, Prague British School
  • Anne Howells, Principal, British International School of Stavanger
  • Dawn Akyurek, Headteacher, King's College School, La Moraleja, Spain
  • Elaine Blaus, Cambridge English Language Assessment (co-opted)

COBIS would like to welcome our new members to the Board.

COBIS Research

For 2014/15, COBIS is launching a new research project, working in partnership with GL Education and ISC Research. This project will help us to develop a better understanding of the growing global COBIS family of schools, as well as the British International Education sector as a whole. This annual research exercise will amalgamate the existing COBIS research (exam results / university destinations) while also looking at approaches to assessment, curriculum and extra-curricular activities, fees, sources of pupil funding, school development planning, and more.

More information will be circulated to schools in the coming months, with data collection taking place in October 2014.

Governors for COBIS Schools

If your school is looking for new Board Members, COBIS may be able to help. COBIS maintains a database of individuals who have expressed an interest in becoming a Governor at a British International School. If you would like to enquire about potential Governors for your school, please contact Fiona Rogers on If you would like to register your interest in becoming a Governor in a COBIS school, please click here.

New COBIS Member Schools

COBIS is delighted to welcome 4 new schools into membership.

British International School of Zagreb

COBIS has recently welcomed a second school in Zagreb, Croatia, into membership. The British International School of Zagreb is recently opened and has been awarded COBIS Member status.

Principal Martin-Tino Časl said upon accepting COBIS membership, "We look forward to working with COBIS and using the many offers, courses and expertise available through membership".

COBIS would like to welcome all the staff at the British International School of Zagreb into COBIS membership.

British Oak Tree Nursery

The British Oak Tree Nursery in India was recently awarded COBIS Member status at the Membership Committee meeting held before the COBIS Annual Conference 2014.

Kishore Marwaha was delighted to accept membership on behalf of the British Oak Tree Nursery and said, "We at British Oak Tree Nursery take immense pleasure in accepting the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) membership. Ultimately, we wish to be a leading example of an excellent day Nursery, and achieve this through consideration of the needs of the children, their families, our staff, surrounding communities, and the environment around us".

COBIS would like to welcome all the staff at the British Oak Tree Nursery into COBIS membership.

Meadow Hall

COBIS is delighted to welcome Meadow Hall in Lagos, Nigeria into membership. Meadow Hall opened as an Infant and Junior school in 2002 and has since grown into an educational group comprising the Infant school, Junior school and College with a student population of about 1,000 students.

Director of the school, Mrs Kehinde Nwani said upon accepting COBIS membership, "On behalf of the Board of Directors and the school, we are pleased to accpet COBIS membership."

COBIS would like to extend a warm welcome to all the staff at Meadow Hall in Nigeria.

The British College of Brazil

COBIS recently welcomed The British College of Brazil into COBIS membership. The school, which is located in Sao Paulo on two campuses - the Chacara Flora Campus and the Cidade Jardim Campus - opened in 2011 and is part of The British School Foundation.

Stuart Young, Headmaster of the school said upon accepting COBIS membership, "As a new British international school in Brazil, it is extremely important for us to be a part of such an organisation. Membership of COBIS is a mark of a quality school and we are proud to be part of this."  

COBIS would like to welcome all the staff at The British College of Brazil into COBIS membership.

Recent Conferences

Research for Learning (RfL)

On 19 May, COBIS and Dragonfly Training presented the European launch of Research for Learning (RfL) in Belgium. This one-day training event, hosted by The British School of Brussels, identified classroom interventions that have the biggest effect on pupil learning, giving practical examples of how each one can be implemented.

The course was attended by teachers across all key stages from eight schools in five different countries. Touching on subjects such as collaborative learning, feedback and digital learning, RfL successfully highlighted the most effective methods of delivery, citing evidence from J. Hattie, the Sutton Trust and the EEF throughout. The course has received some positive feedback and was considered a helpful source of CPD.

"An interesting course that inspired me to think carefully about my classroom practice (in particular how I feedback). Thank you."

"Very useful to have a course that is filled with many practical strategies that can be implemented easily and quickly into the curriculum."

COBIS would like to thank the team at The British School of Brussels for coordinating and hosting this event as well as Steve Garnett and Steve Chapman from Dragonfly Training for delivering the course.

Written by Luke Nelson - COBIS International Marketing Intern - who attended the course on behalf of COBIS

News From COBIS Schools Around the World

Mauritian Child Peace Ambassador From Alexandra House School at the United Nations

Rahul Matabudul from Alexandra House School in Mauritius recently took part in an  event at the UN organised by Friend Our World. Eight Friend Our World Peace Ambassadors from across the world presented their peace messages at the United Nations Headquarters.They had won a competition hosted on 21 September 2013, the International Day of Peace

School children and teachers from more than 130 countries had created messages of peace and participated in online friendship games of geography, languages and global citizenship. Every point scored on Friend Our World games resulted in a ticket in the draw. The more children played, the greater the chances they had. Points were accumulated and one child was then selected from Africa, Asia, Caribbean/Central America, Europe, Middle East, North America, Oceania and South America. Rahul was selected to represent Africa.

Read the full story here...

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.

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

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

Creating Young Global Citizens
Hosted by Jenny Cooke - Founder of
Wednesday 18 June 2014 (13.00 UK time)
Book Your Free Place Here

COBIS Interschool Student Competitions

St Catherine's British School, Greece Wins the Inaugural COBIS Secondary Games

The inaugural COBIS Games for secondary schools were held at British International School Istanbul, Turkey from Thursday 15 May - Saturday 18 May 2014. Teams from 12 COBIS schools across Europe, the Middle East and Africa came together for three days of competitive sport in a contest which has now become a regular fixture in the COBIS student competitions calendar.

The overall winner of the Games was St Catherine's British School, Greece. In second place was the British School in The Netherlands followed by three teams in joint third place - King's College Madrid, St George's International School, Luxembourg and the International School of Moscow, Russia.

Congratulations to our winners and to all the students and staff who participated and helped to make this event such a success. Particular thanks to Carolynne Bell from the British International School Istanbul who helped to organise the competition with such skill and meticulous attention to detail.

COBIS looks forward to welcoming students and staff at the second COBIS Games for secondary schools which will be held at St Catherine's British School, Greece next year.

Read the full story here.

Click here to read Berlin British School's account of their teams' experience of the inaugural COBIS Games for secondary schools.

For a complete list of the results from the COBIS Games, visit our website.

COBIS Young Scientist Film Award Winners

COBIS was delighted to announce the winners of the Young Scientist Film Awards 2014 during a special ceremony at the COBIS Annual Conference. 

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.

To see the full list of winners and runners up, please click here. To watch the films, please clcik here.

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 Student Poetry Competition Winners

The winners of the COBIS Student Poetry Competition were also announced during the ceremony at the COBIS Annual Conference. This highly contested competition produced some outstanding work so congratulations to all the students who participated.

A full list of the winners and runners up can be found here. They all received vouchers from our sponsors, John Catt Educational and Oxford University Press. COBIS would like to thank the sponsors of this competition for their generousity.


COBIS Primary Games 2014

As we write, students are contesting the COBIS Primary Games hosted by 2013 winners The British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi. Our photo shows the team from the British School of Bucharest before they headed off to compete. Good luck to all participating teams! You can follow all the action on the COBIS Games BSAK website.

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

Professional Development

We are pleased to announce an exciting programme of global CPD events for Teachers, Senior Leaders, Middle Leaders, Support Staff, Governors, Marketing, Development and Admissions Staff, Bursars, Business Managers and HR Staff for 2014/15. We hope that you will join us at one of these forthcoming professional development events. More information about all of these events will be available on the COBIS website.

  • COBIS Conference for Bursars, Business Managers, and HR Staff, Geneva – 17-18 October 2014 – Geneva English School, Switzerland

  • COBIS Conference for Teachers and Support Staff, Amsterdam – 20-21 October 2014 – The British School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • COBIS Governors Training Day, Amsterdam – 20 October 2014 – The British School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • COBIS Pupil-Centred Pastoral Care Conference, Bucharest – 7-8 November 2014 – The British School of Bucharest, Romania

  • COBIS Conference for Teachers and Support Staff and Four-Day Middle Leaders’ Programme, Athens – 26-27 February 2015 (Middle Leaders 26 February – 1 March 2015) – St Catherine’s British School, Greece – 12-15

  • COBIS Conference for Teachers and Four-Day Middle Leaders’ Programme, Beijing – 13-15 March 2015 (Middle Leaders 12-15 March) – The British School of Beijing, China
    Future Learners – The Challenge of a New Environment

  • COBIS Conference for Teachers and Support Staff, Lagos – 16-17 April 2015 – Grange School, Nigeria

  • COBIS Conference for Marketing, Development and Admissions Staff, Dubai – 23-24 April 2015 – Dubai College, UAE   

  • 34th COBIS Annual Conference, London, England – 9-11 May 2015

Special Offers for Members

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 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:

2Simple Software - ICT
Apps Central - ICT
Joyce Matthews Ltd - Consultancy and Professional Development
Protocol Education - Recruitment
UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) - Universities

World Student Magazine - Invitation to Advertise

If you were at the COBIS Annual Conference this month, you may have heard news of the launch of a new publication, World Student. This print and digital magazine is being published by John Catt Educational, in partnership with COBIS, and has the aim of inspiring students in international schools around the world to make full use of their excellent education.

The articles will be inspirational and aspirational in tone, on topics that will encourage students to consider their performance in forthcoming examinations, their further and higher educational options, their careers, their futures in general.

Starting with the launch issue in November 2014, multiple print copies of World Student will be distributed  to all COBIS schools, with additional print and digital versions being sent to students at 2000 other international schools around the world.

Advertising in World Student is a fantastic opportunity to connect directly with motivated and ambitious students in schools around the world. All COBIS Supporting Members are eligible for a 15% discount on advertising rates and we encourage you to consider using the magazine to further strengthen your association with COBIS members.

Editorial opportunities are also available for those who support World Student with paid advertising.

For more information on this exciting new publication, please contact Madeleine Anderson at the publishers, John Catt Educational, via Advertising space is limited and is already being booked up, so please don't delay if you are interested.

IB World Student Conference at the University of Bath

The University of Bath is excited to be hosting this year, for the first time, an IB World Student conference, to be held on campus between 27 July and 2 August 2014.

A full Conference programme can be found here. To download the Conference flyer, please click here.

Teacher Appraisal Conference: Key Driver of Student Outcomes – A Global Perspective

As a market leader in teacher appraisal systems having worked with over 4,000 schools, COBIS supporting memebr Educate Services believe effective teacher appraisal systems play a vital role in delivering high-quality education globally. We are convening an international conference to highlight the importance and key characteristics of effective teacher appraisal and share examples of best-practice in teacher appraisal systems globally. This conference will take place in London on 18 and 19th September 2014. Click here to find out more and register (early bird rate finishes 31st May 2014). Contact Nicky Haskins (

Contact Us

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

Colin Bell, CEO -
Sarah Wooldridge, Finance Officer -
Natalie Friend, Communications and Membership Officer -
Fiona Rogers, Senior Professional Development Officer -
Luke Nelson, COBIS Marketing Intern -

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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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