July 2015 | COBIS Connect


COBIS Connect - July 2015

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In This Issue:

1. Welcome from Colin Bell, COBIS CEO
2. Dates For Your Diaries
3. Professional Development
        • Recent CPD Events
        • Forthcoming Conferences
4. Student Competitions and Events
5. School Member News
6. News from COBIS Member Schools
7. Supporting Member News
8. COBIS Webinars
9. Contact Us

Welcome from Colin Bell, COBIS CEO

Dear Colleague,

Can you believe it? The end of another academic year already... As COBIS schools worldwide celebrated student and staff achievement, I was fortunate enough to participate in Prize Giving at King’s College La Moraleja. Thank you to the school community at King's College for their warm welcome. With regret, due to a knee injury and following Doctor's orders, I was sorry and disappointed not to be able to join St Andrew’s School, Malawi and other colleagues in the region to celebrate the end of the academic year. My apologies to Headteacher, Gordon Benbow and all connected to the school. They wrote a poem about my misfortune which you can read below! I think my dreams of Premiere League footballer of the year are well and truly over...

Other news - I'm delighted to share with you that this month COBIS received confirmation that our association has been awarded the status of being an officially recognised 'UKTI Trade Challenge Partner'. This accreditation by Her Majesty's Government underlines the expertise and commitment shown by COBIS to support UKTI initiatives and strategic direction. For the benefit of all COBIS schools and commercial supporting members, further details regarding this mutually beneficial relationship with UKTI will follow in the new academic year.

As you will have heard during the COBIS Annual Conference, Sarah Wooldridge leaves COBIS at the start of July to spend more time with her family. Sarah has been an exemplary colleague to work with over the last 4 years. As I am sure you will all agree, Sarah has been an absolute pleasure to work with, truly dedicated, an expert in her field and she will be missed by all at HQ and throughout the global COBIS family. So, on behalf of the Board, the team at HQ and all our members, we wish Sarah continued health and happiness and an enormous thank you for all her hard work, good humour and first rate professionalism. Sarah - you will be greatly missed by all. Other staffing news, Fiona Rogers, our Senior Professional Development Officer, has now started her maternity leave so we also wish her and her family well at this exciting time. We are in the process of finalising the appointments for maternity cover and the new Finance Officer, plus our new COBIS Academic Officer, Sakina Zafar, will take up this new, exciting role on 24 August. Further details and full introductions to follow.

Also, the COBIS Office will be moving to Central London over the summer. The new address and full contact information will be distributed shortly. This move will be a significant developmental step for COBIS, with many benefits to the association including the opportunity for increased face to face communication with members and colleagues when they are visiting the UK. 

Finally, on behalf of the Board and all the team at COBIS Head Office, best wishes for a safe, happy and well deserved summer break.

Kind regards,

Colin Bell

Dates for Your Diaries

COBIS Student Leadership Weekend
9-11 October 2015
King's College Madrid, Spain

COBIS EYFS Conference
23-24 October 2015
British Embassy School Ankara, Turkey

COBIS/King's Group Professional Development Weekend
6-7 November 2015
King’s College Madrid, Spain

COBIS Conference for Bursars, Business Managers and HR Staff
20-21 November 2015
The British School in The Netherlands, The Hague

    Professional Development

    2015/16 COBIS CPD Calendar 

    The 2015/16 COBIS CPD Calendar includes a range of courses and conferences for:

    Please click here for a list of the high-quality professional development opportunities that COBIS will be running for the next Academic Year 2015/16. Booking is now open for the conferences below:

    October 2015 

    November 2015 

      Recent CPD Events

      Fantastic Feedback from our COBIS Annual Conference 2015

      Following the COBIS Annual Conference 2015, COBIS sent a survey to delegates and exhibitors in order to understand satisfaction levels and also which elements of the conference could be improved for next year's event. The results were overwhelmingly positive and a brief summary of the headline figures can be seen below.

      Of the COBIS Annual Conference 2015 Delegates and Exhibitors surveyed:

      • 95% of delegates rated the pre-conference information as Excellent or Good
      • 92% of delegates rated the overall theme/focus as Excellent or Good
      • 94% of delegates rated the Speakers and Seminars as Excellent or Good
      • 93% of exhibitors rated the relevance of delegates to their organisation as Excellent or Good
      • 86% of exhibitors rated their enjoyment of the conference as Excellent or Good
      • 100% of exhibitors rated the Saturday Reception Dinner at the London ZSL Zoo as Excellent or Good

      "I thought it would be difficult to network now that COBIS is growing so big. I found the opposite to be true. It was a great atmosphere and like one big world family."

      "An inspirational and highly pragmatic conference. Superb networking opportunities with colleagues from British international schools across the world. I am still buzzing with the energy and ideas from the best international education conference I have attended for 5 years."

      To read the full article and for links to the delegate and exhibitor evaluation reports, please click here.

      Forthcoming Conferences

      St Paul's School Education Conference, São Paulo, Brazil 

      19-20 March 2016
      St Paul's School, São Paulo, Brazil

      Following the tremendous success of the last two conferences, St Paul's, the British School, is proud to announce its Third Education Conference: Nurturing Every Child. Taking place on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th March 2016, with pre-conference workshops on Friday 18th March, this promises to be a stimulating, thought-provoking and exciting conference for those involved in education.

      For more information about the speakers and a message from the Head, please click here.
      (Full details and booking forms will be available shortly)

      International Programme for Middle Leaders – 2015/16

      In 2015/16 the ten-month International Programme for Middle Leaders, delivered in partnership between COBIS and the National College for Teaching & Leadership, will be running in various COBIS schools. There are opportunities for colleagues to register to join some of these cohorts, including programmes that will be delivered in The Hague and Madrid, starting in autumn 2015. For more information and booking forms, please visit www.cobis.org.uk/MiddleLeaders.  

      COBIS Student Competitions and Events 

      For an overview of the COBIS Student Competitions and Events that have taken place during the spring and summer term and to see what competitions and events will be taking place next year, click here

      Student Competition and Events Dates For Your Diary 2015/2016

      Below are the proposed dates and deadlines for all COBIS Competitions and Events for the next academic year: 

      Autumn Term 

      Spring Term

      Summer Term

      COBIS Senior School Music Festival - June 2015

      The first ever COBIS Senior School Music Festival took place on 6 and 7 June 2015 in Prague. Prague British School hosted students from The British School in The Netherlands, the International School of Moscow and The English International School Prague for a weekend of workshops, competition and culture. More than 100 students took part in the Festival over the two days, culminating in a collaborative workshop and performance at the Gala Concert in the magnificent Czech Museum of Music.

      Congratulations to the team from Prague British School as they were the overall winners of the competition and are pictured right with their trophy. Well done to all who took part and to the staff who made this weekend possible.

      For a full list of the winners please click here. Elements of the weekend were streamed live on YouTube and can be watched here. For more photos from the event, please click here

      Dubai College to Host COBIS Secondary Games 2016

      We are delighted to announce that Dubai College, winners of the COBIS Secondary Games 2015, will host the COBIS Secondary Games 2016 which will take place 10-12 March 2016.  We would like to thank Dubai College for hosting our 5th COBIS Games and look forward to next year's event which promises an exciting 3 days of sporting excellence and achievement.  

      Securing the host of the COBIS Primary Games 2016 is currently in progress and full details of how schools can register their interest as well as the selection process will be announced in September 2015.

      The Edron Academy to host COBIS Student World Debate Competition 2016

      We are also very excited to announce that The Edron Academy, Mexico, who were the 2015 winners, will be hosting the COBIS Student World Debate Competition, taking place 5-7 February 2016.  In light of the high demand from schools who want to participate, we have increased the number of team places available from 16 to 24. We would like to thank The Edron Academy for hosting the 4th Debate Competition and for working with COBIS to support our growing network of schools. We look forward to 2 days of team work, respect, good humour and intellectual agility showcased across our talented students.

      Full details of how schools can register their interest as well as the selection process will be announced in September 2015.

      School Member News

      COBIS Teachers and Leaders Study Exchange Programme

      COBIS is pleased to have successfully facilitated the association’s first International teachers’ study exchange programme. The project was in partnership with COBIS Accredited Member School, the International School Olomouc (ISO) and other schools around the Czech Republic and five Infant and Primary Schools based in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. 

      The focus of this study exchange programme was on the Early Years/Foundation stage. Aims of the project included providing the opportunity to team teach, share theory, practice and experience and to develop sustainable international links between 5 schools in the UK and the Czech Republic.

      Petr Pospisil, Head of International School Olomouc who organised the funding and approached COBIS to help deliver the project said, ‘The project has provided excellent opportunity for all participating teachers to reflect and develop their own practice.'  Petr commented that since the participating teachers have returned to the Czech Republic ‘Some have tried to implement the use of online apps to monitor children’s progress. Others reported that they will be definitely improving social and emotional development programmes thorough the implementation of particular practices observed in the UK. This is all evidence that the project is already having a positive impact on practice in Czech preschool.

      To read a full report of the study exchange programme, please click here. If you would like to find out more about your school working with COBIS on projects similar please do get in touch with our consultancy team consultancy@cobis.cobis.org.uk

      COBIS Say Farewell to Sarah Wooldridge

      We say farewell to Finance Officer Sarah Wooldridge this month after 4 years with COBIS Head Office. Sarah has been an exemplary colleague to work with over the last 4 years. As I am sure you will all agree, Sarah has been an absolute pleasure to work with, truly dedicated, an expert in her field and she will be missed by all at HQ and throughout the global COBIS family. So, on behalf of the Board, the team at HQ and all our members, we wish Sarah continued health and happiness and an enormous thank you for all her hard work, good humour and first rate professionalism. Sarah - you will be greatly missed by all.

      Recruitment for her replacement is in progress and a new Finance Officer will be joining us from August.  For assistance with DBS applications, please contact Amy Carter: intern@cobis.org.uk.

      COBIS Representative Attends Briefing on Ukraine at the House of Lords

      COBIS Communications and Membership Officer, Natalie Friend, recently visited the House of Lords for an All Party Parliamentary Briefing on UK and the Ukraine. The event was held to mark the launch of a new report about the attitudes of young Ukrainian people towards the future economic, social, cultural and political development of their country.

      The event was attended by prominent members of the UK and Ukraine parliaments and included speeches by Mr Simon Williams, Country Director in the Ukraine for the British Council, and Mr Danylo Lubkivsky, Former First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. COBIS would like to thank the British Council for inviting COBIS to attend and participate in this compelling discussion.

      For more information and to read the report, please click here.

      Announcement of the death of Sybil Melchers MBE, COBIS Honorary Member

      It is with great sadness that we have to inform you of the passing of one of COBISEC’s (COBIS) founders.  Sybil Melchers MBE was a resident in Brussels in 1981 when COBISEC was founded by Sir Dick Pantlin, its first Chairman, together with a small group of Heads and Governors of British schools in Europe. Sybil gave the association twenty two years of first class voluntary service and an office for fifteen years. During that time she managed the annual London Conference, the paperwork for committee meetings, information for prospective members and the application process, and for several years the publication of an annual directory.

      It is difficult to imagine now, how all this was possible with only the selfless voluntary contribution of one dedicated person, who also supported the Chairman and the Committee enthusiastically. COBIS would not have been able to exist and develop without her. It is fitting that HM The Queen honoured her with the Membership of The Order of the British Empire for her services to British International Schools.

      We extend our sympathy and condolences to her bereaved husband, Chris, and their family.  To read the full news post, please click here.  To read COBIS Honarary President Sir Roger Fry CBE's tribute, please click here.

      St Andrew's International High School Send Good Wishes to Colin 

      Colin Bell was disappointed not to be able to visit to St Andrew's International School, Malawi in June due to an injury. He sent his sincerest apologies to Head Gordon Benbow and the school community but looks forward to rearranging his visit for the next academic year.  The Senior Leadership Team at St Andrew's (pictured below right, from left to right: Wendy Suter, Sarah Samanyika, Dave Thompson, Kieron Smith, Gordon Benbow) went out for a meal and toasted to Colin's health and wrote him an inspired poem:

      To Colin Bell

      St. Andrew’s were excited
      To receive Colin Bell
      Shame his ligament
      Gave him pain from hell

      Our Senior Leaders
      Were not deterred
      So out to a meal
      And to Colin they cheered.

      COBIS CEO Colin Bell visits King's College School, La Moraleja

      Colin visited COBIS school King's College School, La Moraleja in June for their Annual prize giving ceremony. Colin enjoyed being part of the events and visiting the school, seeing the fantastic work that takes place on a daily basis there.  Colin would like to thank all the staff and students, who were a pleasure to talk to, and would like to congratulate them on their prizes as well as all other COBIS schools who are partaking in end of year prize-giving ceremonies.  Pictured right: student winners with June Donnan, Dawn Akyurek and Elena Benito.

      Changes to School Senior Leadership Team for September

      Calling all COBIS Schools:  Please let us know of any changes to your School's Senior Leadership Team for the next Academic Year 2015/16.  This will enable us to update our records and welcome new Senior Leaders and Heads to their new schools in September.  Please email intern@cobis.org.uk or members@cobis.org.uk.

      Doha College Principal Awarded British MBE

      Mark Leppard, Principal at COBIS Accredited Member School Doha College, has been included on the annual Queens British Honours list for services to British education in Qatar.  Mr Leppard was notified that he had received the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in a communication from Buckingham Palace on Saturday.

      Mr Leppard, who has been with Doha College for 19 years, said it was a privilege to receive the prestigious award, "The MBE came as a complete surprise, but one I am extremely proud to receive. I feel extremely honoured and very humbled."

      "It was awarded for 'Services to Education in Qatar' and with Qatar's 2030 National Vision, I am delighted that as Principal of Doha College, both I and the school can support Qatar's ambitious drive towards a knowledge based economy. The College is driven forward by a very strong team and this award also recognises the work of every member of that team."

      On behalf of COBIS, congratulations to Mark on this fantastic achievement.  To read the full news report, please click here.

      Changes to DBS Applicants' Approved ID Documents

      The DBS would like to make schools, organisations and applicants aware of changes regarding the DVLA Paper counterpart (UK only) to the driving licence.  From the 8th June 2015 the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will not issue the paper counterpart to the photo-card driving licence. The DBS will be updating the identity checking guidelines to include this change and our system will be updated to reflect this as and when that happens.

      A photo-card driving licence issued by the DVLA without the paper counterpart will be classed as a group 1 primary identity document.  There will be no need to view the paper counterpart for driving licences issued before the date of the change.  The requirement for a paper counterpart for Group 2a photo-card licenses will also be removed from this date.

      COBIS Approved as a UKTI Trade Challenge Partner

      COBIS is delighted to have been recently approved as a UKTI Trade Challenge Partner. UKTI (UK Trade and Investment) works with UK based businesses to help them increase their sales in international markets through exports. COBIS is delighted to receive formal recognition of the work we do with UKTI and we look forward to working with UKTI as a Trade Challenge Partner to help our members grow their presence overseas.

      News From COBIS Schools Around the World

      Year 9 Pupils from Byron College Share School Fundraising News

      Two Year 9 pupils from Byron College worked together to produce a brilliant article about the efforts of their school to raise funds for Nepal.  Emilia and Dora wrote "On the 25th April an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 to 8.1 on the Richter scale struck Kathmandu, causing much damage and suffering in Nepal, China, India and Bangladesh, followed by an avalanche on Mount Everest. A total of about 25,800 people were affected. In Nepal, hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed causing a total damage of €5,000,000,000.

      Upon hearing the news about this disaster, our school, Byron College in Athens, responded with immediate action to support the efforts..." (To continue reading the article, please click here.)

      We would like to say a huge thank you to Emilia and Dora for their excellent report as well as a big congratulations to the school for their inspired ideas to raise funds. 

      Berlin British School Support The British School Charity in Kathmandu

      Kindergarten and Senior School students from the Berlin British School have been busy raising money to help support the victims of the Nepalese earthquake, through donations to The British School Kathmandu charity. A Year 10 student was the first to take action with the idea to donate money to the charity. His lead saw Mr. Allum donate the school's tuck shop proceeds. After this, children from the Early Years and Primary school had a non- uniform day to collect money. Children in Year 3 have been learning about the situation in Nepal and look forward to raising more funds through the sale of home-made cookies, cakes and smoothies. Thank you to the Berlin British School for their teamwork and highly commendable efforts to raise funds for Nepal.

      The British School Kathmandu Thank Generous COBIS Community for Support

      Since the initial 7.8 force earthquake struck on 25 April 2015, Nepal has experienced 324 earthquakes. It has been a challenging time for everyone at The British School Kathmandu and they wanted to help those children and communities who were in severe need.

      The school has reported that the supportive response from the international community, especially COBIS members, has been incredible. They have raised over £135,000 (more than 20% of which has come from COBIS schools). The money raised will be used to rebuild the schools that they work with in Dhading province. They have appointed a contractor and estimate that the rebuilding will be completed within 3 to 6 months.

      The British School Kathmandu is incredibly grateful for the messages of support and the financial contributions donated by the COBIS community. With this support, the school has been able to renew the hope of the communities that they work with and they extend a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed.

      Please click here to read the most recent update on the work of TBS Kathmandu Charities. They visited a disabled day school within the Kathmandu Valley (pictured above) and established how they can work to meet their community’s needs. If you would like more information on their work please contact Isaac Robinson.

      English International School Moscow Elect Primary Student as Principal for the Day

      English International School Moscow South-West became the first school outside of Australia to register as participants for Principal Australia Institute's Student Principal for a Day scheme.  The school has been developing their curriculum to ensure their programme includes leadership opportunities for their students.  

      In a scrupulously fair election after hustings, their one and only Australian student, Nic in Year 5 (pictured), was elected as Student Principal with 2 members from Year 5 and 6 being elected as Vice Principals.  Nic's programme for the day included lesson observations, a PTA meeting and a Skype interview with a representative in Manchester.  

      Nic summed up his experience “I especially enjoyed observing lessons. I was able to see how the children worked in class and how the age of the child altered the style of the lessons. It was a great day!”.  To read the full report, please click here

      Aloha College Summer Art Exhibition

      Last Thursday Aloha College proudly presented the artwork of some of their IGCSE, A-Level and IB pupils in their Annual Public Art Exhibition in San Pedro.  The work was truly outstanding and we would like to offer our congratulations to all the pupils involved as well as their teachers Ian McDonald and Jackie Moore. One talented pupil was even offered €500 to purchase one of his works! The event was filmed and student Nicholas Kahr became a superstar, talking about his work (pictured right) and Aloha College. 




      Students from The British School in The Netherlands Receive Gold International Award

      The incredible efforts of students from The British School in The Netherlands have been rewarded through their achievement of the Gold International Award after 18 months of hard work.  The award, which is known as the Duke of Edinburgh Award in the UK, gets harder and more demanding as students move through the stages from Bronze to Gold.  Many students set out on their Bronze International Award with dreams of Gold, but as the scheme gets harder, many fall by the wayside. But for others it becomes a challenge to which they rise - they push themselves to try new things, encounter new experiences and learn new skills.

      In the end there were an amazing 19 determined and committed BSN students who found themselves in the presence of royalty this term at the Gold International Award Ceremony. Each received a Gold medal, hung around their necks in style by HRH Prince Edward - Patron of the International Award.

      The BSN has the largest cohort of International Award participants (at all levels) in The Netherlands and they are immensely proud that these students can now add their names to the rather exclusive list of Gold International Award Holders.  We would like to congratulate students at The British School in The Netherlands for their fantastic achievement.  For a list of the winners and to read the full article, please click here.

      Supporting Member News

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

      Aspirational Education Associates Ltd – Student Development

      SCI Employee Benefits - Employee Benefits

      Summer Boarding Courses - School Trips

      TechyClass Incorporated - ICT

      Unlimited Press - Curriculum Resources and Publishers

      Opportunities with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI)

      COBIS is a UKTI Trade Challenge Partner and works closely with UKTI to provide our supporting members with expert international trade advice and practical support. For more information about the full range of services which UKTI offer to help you grow your business overseas, please click here.

      UKTI also runs a programme of free webinars on a range of topics. Please click here to see the full webinar schedule. To register to receive alerts about events in your area of interest, please click here.

      UKTI provides funding in the form of grants for eligible businesses to attend overseas trade shows. This is called the Tradeshow Access Programme The funding can helps your business gain market knowledge, experience in attending and getting the most from overseas trade shows and advice and support from trade experts. Click here for more information.

      A useful guide on the basics of exporting can be found on the UKTI website here

      Awe-inspiring CPD Event for Teachers from Twig World

      Twig World is teaming up with Imperial College London and the Science Museum to bring you World Teach In – two dynamic days of awe-inspiring Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for teachers. Over two days in November, World Teach In will deliver a fun-fuelled experience that will nourish the delivery of enquiry-based learning in primary and secondary education.

      For secondary teachers: World Teach In will demonstrate how to integrate STEM teaching into Biology, Chemistry and Physics – filling the skills gap between education and industry.

      For primary teachers: There is a whole day dedicated to giving science context – with fun lessons and inspiring demonstrations that give more space for interdisciplinary learning.

      Led by Imperial College London’s Professor Robert Winston, World Teach In is the first global event of its kind, allowing teachers to become learners again and get practical with some hands-on experiments. Visit www.worldteachin.com for more information.

      Special COBIS Rate
      - Primary Day - £85
      - Secondary Day - £130
      - Both - £145

      Book your place now as the fantastic COBIS rate is only valid until the 10th July. You can book by visiting this page and using the promotional code: COBIS

      Eric Parry Architects Build an Impressive School Sports Pavilion

      COBIS Supporting Member Eric Parry Architects recently built an impressive Sports Pavilion for
      Wells Cathedral School in Somerset, UK. The modern timber and zinc building is multipurpose; designed to encourage more students to participate in sports but can also be used by the local community.  The Pavilion opened on the 21st June and was approved by Sport England Guidance Standards, providing an inspirational sports venue for students.  This project got Eric Parry’s development plan off to an ambitious and successful start and their next project is a world-class facility for music learning and teaching as they plan to design a recital hall which will seat up to 350 people.

      For more information about Eric Parry’s projects, please contact Yasmin or for a link to their profile and website click here

      COBIS Webinars 

      The COBIS webinar schedule for Autumn 2015/16 is now available on the COBIS website here. COBIS has now delivered over 30 webinars on a range of topics relevant to all members of the school workforce. 

      Past webinar recordings are available in the COBIS Member Area. Should you require your login details for the Member Area, please contact Amy Carter.

      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
      Louise Bell, Senior Professional Development Officer (maternity cover) - cpd@cobis.org.uk
      Finance Enquiries -

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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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