April 2015 | COBIS Connect


COBIS Connect - April 2015

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In This Issue:

1.   Welcome from Colin Bell, COBIS CEO
2.   Dates For Your Diaries
3.   Professional Development

4.   News from COBIS Member Schools
5.   Student Competitions and Events
6.   New COBIS Member Schools
7.   School Member News
8.   COBIS Webinars
9.   Supporting Member News
10. Contact Us 

Welcome from Colin Bell, COBIS CEO

Dear Colleague,

As the Easter holiday is now upon us, I hope many of you are enjoying a few weeks respite before the final term of the year. This is always a busy time at the COBIS Head Office as we work towards the Annual Conference in May and we hope to see many of you there. It’s always great to share the company of first time delegates and those who frequently attend. Myself, the COBIS Board and the COBIS team look forward to seeing you in London, 9-11 May. It will soon be here so if you haven’t already, book your place today!

There’s been lots of member participation at CPD events this month, with conferences in both Athens and Beijing. These events provided targeted, high quality CPD for teachers, support staff and Middle Leaders which wouldn’t be possible without our generous hosts, speakers, exhibitors and delegates. A big thank you to you all.

I recently attended the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS) conference dinner in Malaga where it was great to see the support offered by the British Council and the UKTI in Spain. I also enjoyed the opportunity to visit a number of schools so thank you to Aloha College and the British School of Marbella for hosting.

Myself and Trevor also represented COBIS at a recent UKTI Reception in London, and we were delighted to return the invitation by welcoming UKTI and British Embassy staff at the COBIS Reception in Beijing. Their support is appreciated by all COBIS members and supporting members which operate in and have a footprint in China.

Finally the number of member and non-member COBIS schools accessing our DBS service continues to rise, as does access to the suite of EduCare online training courses. This is good news as we work collectively to reduce risk to children and young people.

Kind Regards,
Colin Bell


Dates for Your Diaries

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

Safer Recruitment for International Schools Course
9 May 2015, London

34th COBIS Annual Conference

Measuring Success: Wellbeing, Resilience, Education and Leadership in British Schools Overseas
9-11 May 2015
Park Plaza Hotel, London

Advanced Child Protection Course
12 May 2015, London 

IPML Facilitator Training
12-14 May 2015, London

Professional Development

Recent CPD Events

COBIS/BSB Professional Learning Conference for Teachers (20-21 March 2015) and Four-Day Middle Leaders’ Programme (28 February-22 March 2015)

Future Learners - The Challenges of a New Environment  

The British School of Beijing, Shunyi hosted a successful four-day Middle Leaders' Programme (delivered by Karen Ardley Associates) and Professional Learning Conference for Teachers earlier this month. These CPD programmes were attended by colleagues from schools in China, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, Japan, and Myanmar. Speakers and trainers included Dr Rosemary Taylor, Dr Sue Pope, Dr Judy Willis, Francis Jones (Dragonfly), Dr Simon Hay (Firefly), and others. On the Friday evening, COBIS hosted a reception which was attended by representatives from a range of local and visiting schools, UKTI, the British Embassy, Supporting Members, and the host school. COBIS is grateful to colleagues at British School of Beijing, Shunyi for organising and supporting these successful events in association with COBIS.

Forthcoming Conferences

2nd COBIS Conference for Marketing, Development and Admissions Staff: Dubai, UAE
, (23-24 April 2015)

**LAST CHANCE TO BOOK - Book Your Place Now**

Stakeholder Engagement: The Past, The Present and The Prospective
 Dubai College, UAE 

Final call for bookings for the 2nd COBIS Conference for Marketing, Development and Admissions Staff.

Click here to view a draft programme.
 For more information and a booking form, please click here 

 34th COBIS Annual Conference, (9-11 May 2015), London

Measuring Success: Wellbeing, Resilience, Education and Leadership in British Schools Overseas
 Sponsored by TES Global 

Heads, Governors, Deputy Heads and other Senior Managers are invited to register for the 34th COBIS Annual Conference (Park Plaza Hotel, Victoria, London).

Click here to view a copy of the programme

For booking forms, click here

For full details, click here

To submit your seminar choices (registered delegates only) please click here

The conference will include:

Saturday 9 May

 Sunday 10 May

  • A full day of keynote speeches (our four keynote speakers pictured below), seminars, discussion sessions, and networking opportunities – click here for the full programme; click here to view seminar descriptions.
  • Wine reception, sponsored by SIMS Independent
  • COBIS Young Scientist Film Awards

Monday 11 May

  • A full day of keynote speeches, seminars, discussion sessions, and networking opportunities
  • COBIS Spark – COBIS leaders sharing innovation and best practice
  • 34th COBIS Annual Reception and Dinner, sponsored by Cambridge International Examinations

Tuesday 12 May

(Keynote Speakers pictured above from left: Professor Guy Claxton, Baroness Sue Campbell CBE, Ben Walden and Dominic Peckham)

COBIS Spark - at the COBIS Annual Conference

COBIS leaders sharing innovation and best practice 

COBIS colleagues are invited to participate in a new initiative at the COBIS Annual Conference (9-11 May 2015). COBIS Spark will be a chance for leaders from COBIS Schools to give short presentations (maximum 7 minutes) to other delegates about an area of innovation or best practice within their school. Spark events (also billed as TeachMeet) have taken place successfully in a number of international schools in recent years, and COBIS is keen to give senior leaders attending the Annual Conference the same sort of opportunity to share their experience and expertise, learn from colleagues, and come away with new ideas. To express your interest, please contact Fiona Rogers on cpd@cobis.org.uk.

Annual Conference Shoulder Courses

Annual Conference delegates may be interested in these other training opportunities, running alongside the Annual Conference.

Pre-Conference Seminar and Afternoon Tea, 9 May 2015, 2:45-3:45, London 

Levels...Baseline...National Tests...What's happening with assessment policy back in the UK?

A unique opportunity for COBIS schools to hear the latest from the UK regarding the recent changes in education policy. This session will provide an overview of what’s been happening back in the UK to include the new Baseline assessment, removal of National Curriculum Levels and an update on schools performance measures. Following the session there will be an opportunity for networking and afternoon tea will be provided courtesy of GL Education. For more information and a booking form, please click here.

Safer Recruitment for International Schools, 9 May 2015, London

Before the official start of the Annual Conference, COBIS will be offering delegates the opportunity to attend a course on Safer Recruitment for International Schools, delivered by Barabarani Education Services. For more information and a booking form, please click here.

Advanced Child Protection Course, 12 May 2015, London

On the Tuesday following the Annual Conference, COBIS will be running an Advanced Child Protection Course, delivered by Kidscape. For more information and a booking form, please click here.

Annual Conference Sponsors and Exhibitors

COBIS would like to thank our Annual Conference sponsors: TES Global (headline sponsor), Cambridge International ExaminationsTTS Group LtdiSAMSRising StarsFollett InternationalWCBSFireflyDouble FirstInteractive Schools, Buckinghamshire Learning Trust, Clements Worldwide, Eye for Business, John Catt Educational Ltd and SIMS Independent 

There will be a large exhibition of Supporting Members at the Annual Conference. To view a list of exhibitors, please click here.

IPML Facilitator Training **Limited Places Remaining**
12-14 May 2015, London 

COBIS has a formal partnership arrangement with the National College for Teaching and Leadership in the UK for the delivery of the International Programme for Middle Leaders (IPML). An IPML Facilitator Training Course will run in London from 12-14 May 2015, immediately following the Annual Conference. Places on this course are very limited. For more information, or to book a place, please click here. 

Other Association Events

COBIS Chairman Attends AGBIS Conference

COBIS Chairman, Trevor Rowell, recently attended the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools (AGBIS) conference which was held in London on Tuesday 10 March. The theme of the Conference was Strategy and Leadership and the Keynote Address was delivered by Lord Waldegrave of North Hill, Provost of Eton College.

Trevor was delighted to represent COBIS at this event which also included a session on Ten Trends 2015 covering 10 changes and themes shaping independent education.

COBIS Participates in UKTI Education Reception and Stakeholder Reception

Representing COBIS, Trevor Rowell, COBIS Chairman and Colin Bell, COBIS CEO, attended this Reception hosted by Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, in the Locarno Rooms, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on Tuesday 3 March 2015.

At the Reception, a new publication - 'High Value Education Opportunities – 2015/16 Priorities' - was released, which summarises the progress UKTI Education have made to date and highlights opportunities for UK education and training organisations to get involved with the high value education opportunities programme throughout 2015/16. The relationship between COBIS and UKTI is indeed a positive one, the extent of which was captured in a testimonial on Page 15 of this official UKTI Education document.

To read more about this event, please read our website news post here

News From COBIS Schools Around the World

Dr Steffen Sommer Welcomed As New Principal For Doha College

COBIS would like to congratulate COBIS Vice Chairman Dr Steffen Sommer on his appointment as the new Principal of Doha College. Dr Sommer will succeed Mark Leppard from September 2015 and brings over 23 years of educational experience having led three successful British international schools across Europe. The current Principal of Doha College, Mark Leppard, will move to the British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi as Headmaster from September 2015. To read the full Press Release, please click here.

COBIS would like to wish both Steffen and Mark the best of luck at their new schools.

International School of Stavanger Head Receives Top International Award

Dr Linda Duevel, Head of the International School of Stavanger in Norway, has been voted this year’s Ernest Mannino “International Superintendent of the Year” by the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE).

As a female school head with 40 years in international education, Linda is particularly committed to helping women leaders become heads of international schools. Dr Duevel said, “I truly see the International Superintendent of the Year award as a shared honour with the entire International School of Stavanger community … students, colleagues, parents, board members and local politicians. Together, we have all worked hard to create a remarkable place of learning that is seen throughout the world as a place of value and respect.”

COBIS would like to congratulate Linda and her team on this fantastic achievement.

British International School Cairo To Translate Library Into Arabic 

The British International School Cairo and the Alexandria Trust have partnered to translate a new library of critical commentaries in the human and social sciences (HASS) into Arabic. The texts will be launched in English in August 2015.

Each commentary will feature 12 short essays on a seminal HASS book, examining its influences, ideas and impact. Produced by top academics in their field and designed for sixth form and undergraduate levels, they will be available in both print and multi-media formats.

In a pilot initiative, two sixth formers at The British International School Cairo have committed to raising $20,000 to fund the translation of four of the first titles to be issued. Simon O'Grady, Head of The British International School Cairo, will profile the initiative at the COBIS Annual Conference in May.

COBIS Student Competitions and Events 

Good luck to all schools taking part in all of our competitions and events. To get your school involved, go to www.cobis.org.uk/COBIS_Student_Events 

Student Competition and Events Dates For Your Diary 

COBIS Young Scientist Film Awards 

Deadline: 6 April 2015

COBIS Art Competition

Deadline: 20 April 2015

The COBIS Student Achievement Awards 2015

Deadline: 20 April 2015

COBIS Student Games

Taking place on: 14-16 May 2015

COBIS Senior School Music Festival 2015

Taking place on: 6-7 June 2015

COBIS Poetry Competition – Winners Announced!

We received 171 entries from students in 43 COBIS schools for this year’s COBIS Poetry Competition.
Well done to all who took part – the judges really enjoyed reading all the entries!


• Category A (10 years and under) - Erin Dutton from British School in The Netherlands
• Category B (11 – 14 years) - Ellie Yeoman from Doha College
• Category C (15 – 19 years) – (Joint winners) Ria Priyani Manghani from British School of Gran Canaria and Fernanda Olivares from The Edron Academy.

Congratulation to all four winners! Their poems will be published in the next edition of COBIS World Student Magazine, a print and digital magazine aimed at students in international schools around the world – and predominantly those studying in COBIS and other British international schools.

Thank you to John Catt Educational and Ian Bland for providing the prizes and for judging the entries. Thanks also to the teachers at Dubai College, British Embassy School Ankara and Prague British School who provided additional judging.

COBIS Young Scientist Film Awards

The deadline for the COBIS Young Scientist Film Awards is fast approaching! Make sure you enter your films by 6 April 2015 to be included in the competition. Last minute registrations are still being accepted – click here to take part.

COBIS Art Competition

The COBIS Art Competition is in full swing, with the deadline later this month. The theme is “I live in this beautiful place…” and we have already received fantastic entries from schools in Europe, Africa and South America. The competition is open to all students from EYFS to Key Stage 3. Each category will have a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place award with fantastic prizes provided by Serif Europe and Eric Parry Architects for both students and schools.  To take part, send in your entries now to pa@cobis.org.uk with the name and age of the student and your school name. 



COBIS Senior School Music Festival

The COBIS Senior School Music Festival is taking place this June at Prague British School. Schools from The Netherlands, Russia, Czech Republic and Spain will be attending to take part in three days of workshops, shows and cultural sight-seeing. If you are interested in taking a team to this competition, please contact Catriona Lawless at COBIS Head Office on pa@cobis.org.uk

New COBIS Member Schools

New COBIS Accredited Member Schools

COBIS would like to congratulate staff and students at The British International School Al Rehab, Cairo, Egypt on their success in their recent BSO inspection. Following the inspection, and ratification of the inspection report by the COBIS Inspections and Quality Assurance Committee, the school has been approved for COBIS Accredited Member status. Congratulations to everyone involved on this excellent achievement.

COBIS Accredited Members

COBIS would also like to congratulate staff and students at the following schools on their success in recent BSO inspections. This ensures that both schools retain their COBIS Accredited Member status.

Schools interested in working towards COBIS Accredited Membership through BSO inspection are invited to access various services provided by COBIS. Please contact Natalie Friend for more information. 

School Member News

Colin Bell Visits COBIS Member Schools in Spain

COBIS CEO Colin Bell recently attended the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS) Conference in Malaga and also took the opportunity to visit 2 COBIS schools in the area. Many thanks to Head Elizabeth Batchelor and all the staff at Aloha College for welcoming Colin to their school. Colin also visited new COBIS Member school the British School of Marbella, and met with Head Sian Kirkham and her team. COBIS is delighted that the school, which is part of The British Schools Foundation, has joined the COBIS network.

Colin Bell Visits COBIS Schools in Geneva

COBIS CEO Colin Bell met colleagues from 2 COBIS member schools during a recent visit to Geneva, Switzerland. At The British School of Geneva, Colin met with the Principal, Raji Sundaram, who kindly showed Colin around the school to meet with staff and students.

Colin also met with Sylvie Johannot, Heather Folley and Aurélie Magnier at Ecole Mosaic. The school joined COBIS as Members in 2013 and Colin was delighted to meet with staff and pupils at the school.

Many thanks to staff and students for hosting Colin at their schools.

Colin Bell Visits Schools in Beijing

As part of his visit to Beijing for the COBIS Professional Learning Conference for Teachers at the British School of Beijing, Colin Bell visited several schools in the region in order to raise awareness about the work of COBIS. Colin was delighted to meet with staff at Dulwich College BeijingHarrow International School Beijing and Yew Chung International School which is affiliated to Renmin University of China. We look forward to working with staff at these schools in the future.


This is a reminder that COBIS recently launched an online SEN Forum to provide the opportunity for colleagues in COBIS Schools to share information, queries, resources, advice and best practice relating to SEN provision in British schools overseas. Are you interested in SENCo Qualifications? Has your school done anything to raise awareness of autism? How does your school approach mainstream provision for pupils with Down’s Syndrome? Click here to check out the discussions currently underway on the SEN Forum: 

COBIS on Camera

Calling All COBIS Schools – A chance to showcase your school and your students in a new COBIS Film!

COBIS is pleased to be working with Eye for Business to prepare two exciting new films that will be showcased at the COBIS Annual Conference in London in May. We are inviting all COBIS Schools to contribute to these films by providing footage and images. The films will showcase the range and diversity of COBIS Schools. We particularly want to hear from your students about what they think makes their school special. For full details of how to get involved, please click here or email intern@cobis.org.uk

Opportunity For Senior Students to Join Us as Filmmakers at the COBIS Annual Conference

Calling students with an interest in filmmaking, journalism, or media.

COBIS is pleased to offer six senior students from COBIS Schools the opportunity to attend the COBIS Annual Conference as filmmakers and/or presenters, working with Eye for Business to film, edit and produce a short film which will be screened ahead of the Annual Dinner at the end of the conference. The film will show the conference from behind the scenes, and from the perspective of the students. A maximum of six students will be trained by Eye for Business on filming, interviewing and presenting techniques. The students will then work with Eye for Business staff to create the final film over the course of the conference. This is a fantastic opportunity for senior students with an interest in journalism, filmmaking, or media to gain valuable, practical experience.  For full details, please click here or email cpd@cobis.org.uk 

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) On-line Applications

COBIS and its members worldwide are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults. To support your school’s safer recruitment practice, COBIS have recently launched our new online Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), in association with uCheck . This service is available to all COBIS schools, supporting members and non-COBIS member schools. To register for this new service or to find more information please contact Sarah Wooldridge at admin@cobis.org.uk

DBS checks can be applied for by all UK citizens and any non-UK citizens who have lived or worked within the UK in the last 5 years. The DBS cannot access police records from overseas therefore local equivalent checks should also be requested for periods spent outside of the UK. Processes for getting criminal records checks abroad vary between countries. Guidance can be found on the DBS website or please contact Sarah Wooldridge.


COBIS Webinars 

The Summer 2015 COBIS webinar schedule has now been announced. Webinars for next term include: Why Mindful Listening is Key to Leading a Successful British International School hosted by Kai Vacher, Principal at British School Muscat; Appraisal, Performance-Related Pay & Capability in association with COBIS supporting members Educate and following on from last term’s successful webinar, Leading Behaviour and Discipline - Policy through to Practice hosted by Paul Dix from Pivotal Education. To book your free place, please visit our website.

Past webinar recordings are available in the COBIS Member Area. All webinars are free of charge for COBIS members. Should you require your login details for the COBIS website Member Area, please contact Amy Carter.

Supporting Member News

COBIS would like to welcome the following new supporting members who have recently joined us:

BrainPOP UK Ltd - ICT

Schoolblazer Ltd - Schoolwear

Colin Bell and Trevor Rowell Attend Dine & Discuss Evening

COBIS supporting members Anthony Millard Consulting (AMC) recently hosted a Dine & Discuss evening in London attended by Trevor Rowell and Colin Bell. The guest speaker at the event was Professor Deborah Eyre, CEO at DEL Consulting, and the theme of the evening was Can we teach intelligence?

AMC host regular Dine & Discuss evenings in London throughout the year. For more information, please contact AMC directly.

Exciting Complimentary Unit Offered to COBIS Member Schools

In February, Fieldwork Education made an exclusive offer to COBIS member schools for a complimentary International Primary Curriculum (IPC) unit – The Olympic Games – to complement the forthcoming COBIS Games. This unit provides some exciting learning opportunities based around the subject of the Olympic Games. Have you received your copy?

There is still time to take advantage of this offer. To find out more about the IPC and how to obtain your complimentary unit, please click here.

If you have any questions about this exclusive offer, please feel free to contact Sandra Jones. (Current IPC members will already have access to this unit via the IPC Members’ Lounge).

Fieldwork Education would like to wish all of the COBIS Games participants an enjoyable and successful experience!

Have Your Say in the WCBS Information Management Survey

COBIS supporting members WCBS is offering COBIS schools thechance to participate in an all-new industry-wide information management survey. A survey of this kind has never before been conducted on such a large scale in the international schools market, and WCBS believe the results will become a vital resource. The research, conducted by WCBS in partnership with The International School Consultancy (ISC), will identify current information management trends within international schools. The subsequent report will outline these trends and will be relevant to the way schools manages information now and in the future.

 Schools will receive a free copy of this high profile report once the results have been collated  – and schools will also be entered into a prize draw to win a 16GB iPad Air worth over £300. Take part online here: www.wcbs.co.uk/survey. The closing date is 12 noon on Friday 24 April 2015.

 Interactive Schools Offering Social Media Training Day

With Interactive School's first #SMTD15 of the year being such a success, they're going to be doing it all over again in April!  They're offering a social media day for school marketers to learn more about using social media effectively. From setting up Twitter to developing a content strategy, their experts will guide you through using social media effectively for your school.  To see the full programme, click here.

Join them on Tuesday 28th April 2015 at Whittlebury Hall, Northamptonshire. This will be run by Simon Noakes & Dan Price.  Early bird discount: Only £180 (+VAT) per delegate (if booked before March 15th).  For more information and to book your place click here.

“Get into Medicine” Conference for Aspiring Medics

In partnership with Brighton and Sussex Medical School, The Medic Portal have organised a valuable “Get into Medicine” Conference aimed at aspiring medics. The Medic Portal have recieved high demand from international schools for their support with medical school applications and this event is a real breakthrough in terms of giving them hands on experience on site in partnership with a UK Medical school.

MSAS 2015 will be hosted at Brighton and Sussex Medical School on July 18th and 19th. Miss Julia Montgomery officially introduces the Conference in this video.  

Students are already booking their places on MSAS. To find out more and book places click here


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
Natalie Friend, Communications and Membership Officer - members@cobis.org.uk
Amy Carter, COBIS International Marketing Intern - intern@cobis.org.uk
Catriona Lawless, PA to Colin Bell - pa@cobis.org.uk
Fiona Rogers, Senior Professional Development Officer - cpd@cobis.org.uk
Sarah Wooldridge, Finance Officer -

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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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