June 2014 | COBIS Connect


COBIS Connect - June 2014
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In This Issue:

1.   Welcome from Colin Bell, COBIS CEO
2.   School Member News
3.   New COBIS Member Schools
4.   COBIS Interschool Student Competitions
5.   Professional Development
6.   COBIS Webinars
7.   News from COBIS Schools Around the World   
8.   COBIS Graduate Internship Programme
9.   Supporting Member News
10.  Recent Conferences
11.  Contact Us

Welcome from Colin Bell, COBIS CEO

Dear Colleague,

With the start of July just a day away, I’d like to congratulate all COBIS students, staff, parents and governors at 180 plus member schools worldwide on their individual and collective achievements throughout the 2013//14 academic year. Indeed, congratulations also to colleagues from our 150 plus COBIS supporting member organisations who continue to make positive contributions to our growing global association.

As always, this month’s Connect highlights our recent and future activities. In addition to consultancy, mentoring, DBS, recruitment advertising, webinars, CPD and student competitions, I’d like to flag up the forthcoming COBIS World Student magazine. The student centred concept was introduced at our Annual Conference in May and will be launched in the 2014 autumn term. Contributions from COBIS students, school staff and supporting members are encouraged!

As many of you will have enjoyed the celebratory crescendo of speech days, prize giving and leavers parties, I’d like to take the opportunity personally, on behalf of the COBIS Board and you our members to congratulate and recognise the talented team here at COBIS HQ, Sarah, Natalie, Fiona and Luke for their hard work, good humour and dedication in all that they do for COBIS. Thank you team!

If reading this you are either joining the COBIS network or moving to a school outside the association, please remember that your engagement and participation in COBIS activities is always welcome and we’d like you to stay in touch. If you are moving to another school, please let our team know so we can keep our records up to date.

Finally, enjoy a restful and well deserved summer break and look out for further COBIS Connect updates in July and August!

Best wishes,

School Member News

DBS Disclosure News: Changes to Identification Checking Guidelines 

From 1st July 2014 there will be a change in the Group 1 Primary Identity Documents that are accepted by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Adoption certificates are to be treated the same as an original birth certificate, and EU driving licences will be treated the same as a UK driving licence. A complete list of acceptable documents can be found on the DBS website by following this link.

COBIS Member Schools - Staff Changes

COBIS would like to ask all member schools to notify us of changes to their administrative and leadership staff. This will help us stay up to date with all important contacts and make it easier to facilitate dialogue with the appropriate person in each school. To inform us of any changes, please email Fiona Rogers - cpd@cobis.org.uk

COBIS/King’s Group Youth Leadership Weekend, Madrid

COBIS is pleased to announce a new Student Leadership Conference, being held at King's College Madrid, from 17-19 October 2014. Building on the success of recent COBIS Head Boys and Head Girls Conferences, this new residential Student Leadership Weekend will provide leadership training and life skills for senior pupils, alongside a programme of cultural and social events. More information can be found on the COBIS website here

Invitation - Doha College Annual Conference 2014

COBIS Accredited Member school Doha College in Qatar is to host an Annual Conference on the theme of Taking Learning Mobile on Thursday 13 November 2014. The Conference will present, explore and discuss the challenges that educators face as they seek to transform education to suit the needs of learners in the 21st Century. It will question the role that technology has to play in the evolution of education, particularly focusing on the growing potential of Apple’s iPad to support, enhance and transform teaching and learning.

COBIS schools are invited to join colleagues at Doha College for this Conference. For more information, prices and details of the programme, please visit the Conference website. Members are also invited to follow the Conference on Twitter.

Assistance Required - Recognition of British Examinations' Equivalence

The Headmaster at COBIS Member school St. George’s British-Georgian School in Tbilisi, Dr. Christopher Greenfield, has asked whether any fellow Heads can help his school. His school at present follows both the Georgian national curriculum and the English National Curriculum from form 7 upwards. This puts particular strain on the timetable, particularly in the examination years 9, 10, 11 and 12.

St. George’s British-Georgian School is currently negotiating with the Georgian government, aiming to have the British examinations accredited as being equal to, and valid in place of, the Georgian national examinations. The government negotiators have asked whether any other country in the world has accepted the British (GCSEs etc) qualifications as alternatives to their own national qualifications.

Dr Geenfield would be grateful to hear from any Head from a COBIS member school worldwide who would be able to help with this query. Please contact Dr. Greenfield directly with any information.

ISC SEN Conference - Thursday 20 November 2014

The ISC is holding a one day Conference in London on Thursday 20 November 2014. The Conference is aimed at SENCOs, Directors of Learning, Learning Support Teachers and Heads and SMT members who wish to understand or improve the SEN provision in their schools. In addition to knowledgeable and experienced speakers looking at both legal issues and practical approaches in the classroom, interaction and discussion with colleagues and exhibitors plays a vital part in this conference.

Click here for more information and here to book your place.

Inspection of UK Independent Schools within the Independent Schools Council (ISC)

Ofsted and the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) have recently shared details of DfE proposals to change the framework for inspections of schools in associations which comprise ISC. Outlines of DfE proposals can be read here:

These proposals have of course raised various reactions from those within the sector.

Representing the interests of our members, COBIS is in regular contact with the DfE about the DfE approved inspections, monitored by Ofsted, for British schools overseas (BSOs) and other lobbying areas. The DfE have informed COBIS that recent announcements relating to proposed changes are unlikely to affect BSOs.

Following three years of operation, the BSO standards are due for review in the next 12 months and at the suggestion of COBIS, the list of licensed inspectorates will be reviewed. COBIS have also suggested that Ofsted look at harmonising the vocabulary of the judgements which are used by the different BSO inspectorates, and at the requirement of at least one common front page to each report that indicates the relationship to the standards, to Ofsted monitoring, and also listing the inspectors with a brief background. This will be considered in the near future.

Specifically, however, the no- notice inspections, and direct involvement of Ofsted, will not, we are told, apply to BSOs.

It may be in due course that the terminology of judgement changes, to Ofsted's outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate - and perhaps even with an overall report judgement. We will of course keep you up to date with developments and your views and comments on this and related matters are always invited. Please contact Colin Bell with any comments or questions.

New COBIS Member Schools

COBIS is delighted to welcome 2 new schools into membership.

Radnor House

COBIS would like to welcome Radnor House as COBIS Accredited Members. Radnor House is a leading co-educational independent day school located on the banks of the River Thames in Twickenham, UK. The school is a day school for boys and girls from the ages of 7 to 18.

David Paton, Headmaster at the school said upon accepting COBIS membership, "I speak for the entire Board when I say Radnor House is very much looking forward to becoming an active and valuable member of COBIS in the years ahead".

On behalf of the COBIS team, we look forward to working with all the staff at Radnor House.

English International School Moscow West

COBIS is delighted to welcome our third school in Moscow into membership. The English International School Moscow West joins sister school the English International School Moscow East as a COBIS Member. The school is part of the Orbital school group with pupils aged from 3 – 12 years.

School Principal MaryKay Gudova said upon accepting COBIS membership, "With pleasure, the governing body and myself would like to accept our membership in COBIS".

COBIS is delighted to welcome the English International School Moscow West into membership and we look forward to working with all the staff at the school.

COBIS Interschool Student Competitions

COBIS Primary Games 2014

The 2014 COBIS Primary Games were hosted by proud winners of the 2013 trophy, The British School Al Khubairat (BSAK) in Abu Dhabi. Over three days of competition, 16 teams competed against each other in 3 sports - basketball, swimming and football.

The competition started with the opening ceremony on Thursday 29 May. This was attended by His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan as well as the British Ambassador and Ambassadors from other Emirates within the UAE.

In the Closing Ceremony on the final day, all staff and students eagerly awaited the announcement of the overall winners. There were shrieks of joy all around the auditorium when it became clear that the 2014 trophy was heading to St Saviour's School, Ikoyi in Nigeria. This outstanding achievement was enthusiastically celebrated by both the school pupils and staff and all those who had attended the ceremony.

Also awarded at the Closing Ceremony was the COBIS Fair Play award for the school which showed outstanding sportsmanship over the 3 days of competition. This was awarded to St Catherine's British School, Athens, hosts of the 2015 Primary and Secondary Games.

Thanks to all the staff at the British School Al Khubairat for their organisation of the Games both in advance of the competition and during the event. Special thanks to Jo Czerpak who worked tirelessly from the start of the school term to ensure the Games were a success. The event was outstanding due to the hardwork of Jo and his team.

Full details of the final scores are on our website here and on the BSAK COBIS Games website here. The event was also covered by the Abu Dhabi sports newspaper, Sport 360. Click here to read their coverage. Photographs from the Closing Ceremony are on our Flickr site here.

COBIS Secondary Games 2014

Photographs from the inaugural COBIS Secondary Games are now on our Flickr site here.

Professional Development

For 2014/15, COBIS will be offering a varied programme of CPD events around the world for Teachers, TAs, Middle and Senior Leaders, as well as the second conference for Marketing, Development and Admissions Staff, and an exciting new conference for Bursars, Business Managers and HR Staff. More details can be found on the website here.

COBIS Conference for Bursars, Business Managers, and HR Staff - Booking Now Open
17-18 October 2014 - Geneva English School, Switzerland

COBIS Conference for Teachers and Support Staff - Booking Now Open

Leadership at all Levels – Unlocking Potential Throughout the School Community
20-21 October 2014 - The British School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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

COBIS Pupil-Centred Pastoral Care Conference - Booking Now Open

7-8 November 2014 - The British School of Bucharest, Romania

COBIS Conference for Teachers and Support Staff and Four-Day Middle Leaders’ Programme
2-3 March 2015 (Middle Leaders 28 February – 3 March 2015)
St Catherine’s British School, Greece

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

COBIS Conference for Teachers, Leaders and Support Staff

Students Taking Ownership of their Learning
16-17 April 2015
Grange School, Nigeria

COBIS Conference for Marketing, Development and Admissions Staff
Stakeholder Engagement: the Past, the Present and the Prospective
23-24 April 2015
Dubai College, United Arab Emirates

34th COBIS Annual Conference

9-11 May 2015
Park Plaza Hotel, London

COBIS Webinars

The COBIS webinar schedule for 2014/15 has just been announced. Webinars include Opportunities to Engage Your Students in COBIS Competitions & Events; The Paperless Classroom and E-safety for students: Protecting Students Online. Visit our website to book your free place. 

Recordings of all past webinars are available in the COBIS Member Area. If you missed one of our webinars, why not catch up over the holidays?

News From COBIS Schools Around the World

Students From The British School of Paris Meet the Queen 

In its Diamond Jubilee year, the British School of Paris enjoyed one of the most exciting days in its long 60 year history. On Thursday 5 June, Headmaster Mr Pearey was invited to meet the Queen at the British Embassy garden party being held in her honour. Mr Pearey brought along five lucky Sixth Form students to represent the school and they were all thrilled when both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh stopped to talk to them about life and studying in France.

Colin Bell Attends Speech Day at The British International School of New York

COBIS CEO Colin Bell was delighted to attend the Speech Day at The British International School of New York on 19 June. Colin delivered the keynote speech at the event which was attended by students, parents and staff connected to the school. Colin enjoyed meeting parents of pupils at the school, many of whom had also been part of COBIS school communities in other parts of the world.

The British International School of New York provides an inclusive, collaborative learning community that merges the academic rigour of the British National Curriculum with the inquiry based approach of teaching and learning as expounded by the International Baccalaureate.

During the visit, Mr Bell also met with Martin Cook, the Director of UKTI USA. This was an opportunity to share in greater detail the contribution made by COBIS schools and supporting members in the Americas and worldwide. 

Colin visited the World Class Learning Academy in New York, a member of the Nord Anglia group, and met with the Principal, Alan Wilkinson. Alan has also worked at COBIS member school the British International School, Budapest.

Special thanks to William T. Phelps, Headmaster at The British International School of New York, and his wonderful team for coordinating and hosting the visit.

Acorns London Training Experience

Teachers from Acorns British Style Nursery recently participated in a unique training and team building opportunity in London. Teachers currently working with ages 1-6 years in Baby Acorns and Acorns British Style Nursery were chosen to take part in the Acorns London Training Experience, from 1st - 4th May inclusive. Read the full story here...

The New School Rome Fund Raise for Water Aid

Congratulations to the Year 5 students from The New School in Rome who took part in raising funds for Water Aid. Children spent a fun-filled week from 2-6 June devising and executing creative plans to raise money for the charity. The events included a fantastic ‘New School Rome’s Got Talent’ show, a cinema afternoon, bake sales and an election to force their teachers into doing some unusual things… Pity the poor teachers who had to swap clothes for one day!

The students also staged a sponsored walk around the school campus. They did this in the spirit of people who have no access to fresh running water and consequently had to carry buckets of water. This was a valuable experience, putting themselves in the shoes of those less fortunate and an important reminder of how lucky most of us are.

For more information on the charity please visit the Water Aid website. To see more of the events described please click on the photos.

Edron Academy Student to Compete in the World Schools Debating Championship

Edron Academy student Vivian Garciacano will be travelling to Thailand in August 2014 to participate in the World Schools Debating Championship as a member of Team Mexico.

Vivian started debating four years ago, when she was just thirteen years old. “I actually joined the team by mistake. I was waiting for my friends in the room where practice takes place and I wasn’t allowed to leave” recalls Vivian, smiling.   “In the beginning I didn’t want to be part of the team but after competing in national championships I decided to continue. Now I can’t imagine my life without debating”, she concludes.

During the past year Vivian has taken part in three international championships: Panams in Bermuda, Debates Old Parkland in Dallas and Panams in Mexico. Vivian will now be heading to Thailand, along with three other students from different schools, to represent Mexico!

Edron Academy is very proud of Vivian’s achievement and has supported her by paying the enrolment fee to the tournament. We encourage you to help Vivian with the additional expenses by contributing here. COBIS wishes Vivian the best of luck at the competition!

COBIS Graduate Internship Programme

In 2013, COBIS launched its International Marketing Internship programme. Building on the success of this initiative, COBIS is now looking to recruit a second International Marketing Intern from September 2014. This six-month, full-time paid internship is suitable for a recent University or College graduate with experience of education in an international setting (for example, in a British International School). More information can be found on the COBIS website here. We would be grateful if you could help COBIS to promote this opportunity by circulating details to your alumni if appropriate.

Supporting Member News

Welcome to New COBIS Supporting Members

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

ESP Recruit - Recruitment
Pivotal Education - Consultancy and Professional Development
University of Roehampton - Universities

COBIS World Student Magazine

If you were at the COBIS Annual Conference last 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 2,000 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. The final booking deadline is 30 September 2014. Click here to view the media pack.

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

University of Bath Launches New Full Time MA in International Education and Globalisation

The University of Bath has just announced a new one year programme at the University of Bath Department of Education starting September 2014.

The programme provides an unparalleled opportunity to study the interrelationship between international education and globalisation at master’s level asking questions such as ‘how can we prepare learners for an increasingly connected and mobile global society?’ A distinctive feature of the programme is the link between professional practice and theory in all aspects of study.

This MA is delivered by some of the world's leading educational experts in the University's prestigious Department of Education, with its research excellence in internationalisation and globalisation of education. 

The programme starts Monday 22 September 2014; the University is now welcoming applications.

For more information please visit: http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/programmes/ma-inter-edu-global/
Email: education-pgt-admissions@bath.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1225 386634

If you would like to discuss the programme with the Director of Studies, Elisabeth Barratt Hacking, you are welcome to email Elisabeth: edsecbh@bath.ac.uk

Thinking Child Launches MITA Programme

Are you looking to get the best out of your Teaching Assistants? If so, Thinking Child has launched a research-based programme for the coming academic year. Thinking Child is working in partnership with the Institute of Education (IOE) in London to support the roll out of the Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants (MITA) programme. There are currently 5 international school places for the 2014-2015 academic year. These can be either primary or secondary.

For full details, please follow this link

Twig World - World Teach In 2014

E-learning publishers Twig World are presenting an exciting global professional development opportunity for COBIS primary school members – World Teach In 2014. 

This inaugural event is a pop up science school that takes primary school teachers back to the classroom to get hands-on experience with best practice science lessons and project-based learning. 

Teachers from across the world are already planning to attend including David Lowder, Head Teacher at the English International School in Moscow who said: “To be able to take advantage and be part of such an inspiring event as the World Teach In is an opportunity not to miss!”

The event is being held at Imperial College London in November 2014 and early-bird tickets are on sale now at www.worldteachin.com.

Recent Conferences

IDPE Annual Conference

COBIS was pleased to be invited to send a representative to the IDPE Annual Conference in Northamptonshire earlier this month. The Institute of Development Professionals in Education is the UK’s leading schools’ development membership association, supporting over 300 schools.

Festival of Education, Wellington College

The Sunday Times Festival of Education took place 20-21 June at Wellington College, UK. Fiona Rogers, COBIS Senior Professional Development Officer, was pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to a panel discussion titled: Fortune Favours the Brave: offering British Education Overseas. The other panellists were Graham Stuart MP, Chairman of the Education Select Committee and Professor Richard Hodder-Williams, Vice Chairman of Sherborne Qatar. The session was chaired by Elaine Stallard and hosted by Independent School Parent Magazine.

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 International 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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