December 2015 | COBIS Connect


COBIS Connect - December 2015

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In This Issue:

1.     Welcome
2.     Dates For Your Diaries
3.     COBIS Lobbying
4.     New COBIS Initiatives

5.     Professional Development
         • Recent Conferences
         • Forthcoming Conferences
6.     COBIS Student Competititons and Events
7.     COBIS Webinars
8.     COBIS Services
9.     School Member News
10.   Recent Visitors to COBIS Head Office
11.   New From COBIS Schools Around the World
12.   Supporting Member News
13.   Contact Us

Welcome from Colin Bell, COBIS CEO

Dear Colleague,

As I’m sure is the case in your schools and organisations, it’s been another busy month for all at COBIS Head Office. This month I’ve presented at the Westminster Forum for Education on the expansion of British overseas schools and at the Anthony Millard Consulting (AMC) conference on Security on International Schools. I also led a half day workshop on safeguarding and the work of the international task force on child protection with a group of 45 Heads, governors and senior leaders from international schools from across France. All these topics are important to our membership and I feel honoured to be invited to speak on behalf of COBIS.

It has also been a very busy month for launches of new COBIS initiatives. We are delighted to announce the launch of the COBIS Diploma for International Teaching Assistants (DITA) and the COBIS Diploma for International Teaching Assistants for Early Years. Teaching Assistants are a vital part of our school workforces and we are delighted to partner with COBIS supporting members The TA College to offer this excellent professional development programme. Please encourage your Teaching Assistants to review the course content and enrol.

The new COBIS Summer School, in partnership with our colleagues at Dukes Education Consultancy, has also been launched recently. This high quality, two week programme will take place in August 2016 at Clare College, Cambridge and will give 15-17 year old students a unique insight into preparing for university and how to build skills for the workplace after university study. Please share this information with your students and encourage them to participate.

Finally, and most importantly, the Department for Education (DfE) has also recently launched the review of the British Schools Overseas (BSO) standards and inspection consultation. Please ensure you channel your responses to this consultation via COBIS Head Office in order for us to represent the views of our membership.  

Enjoy the busy run up to Christmas – as the song says, some say ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year…’

Kind regards,

Colin Bell

Dates for Your Diaries

COBIS Seminar - Leading British Schools Overseas
29-30 January 2016
The Amba Hotel Marble Arch, London, UK

COBIS Conference for PAs and Secretaries
25-26 February 2016
The British School of Bucharest, Romania 

COBIS/Youth Sport Trust PE and School Sport Conference
2-3 March 2016
Ricoh Arena, Coventry, UK

St Paul's Education Conference, in association with COBIS
19-20 March 2016
St Paul's School, São Paulo, Brazil

COBIS Conference for Marketing, Development and Admissions Staff
21-22 March 2016
The Prague British School, Czech Republic

COBIS 35th Annual Conference
7-9 May 2016
InterContinental London - The O2, Greenwich, London 

    COBIS Lobbying

    UK DfE Announces Launch of its First Revision of Standards and Arrangements for BSOs

    The Department for Education (DfE) has announced the launch of its first revision of the standards and inspection arrangements for British Schools Overseas(BSOs), a process that will be significantly influenced by COBIS consultation.

    As we want to reflect our members’ voices, we are keen to ensure that these revised standards are fit for purpose, that they remain relevant and that they represent the best interests of our growing educational sector. It is therefore important for us to hear your views on if the revised standards reflect and encompass the real world in which British overseas schools operate.

    Please click here to read Colin Bell's letter which provides further details of the DfE consultation, revised standards and the mechanism by which COBIS proposes to channel your response and as well as the responses of others in our wider community. 

    As you know, COBIS maintains close personal contact with leading officials at the DfE and we are confident that our responses will be highly respected and valued.

    We therefore hope that you will set aside some time to participate in this important consultative process. All responses are welcomed. 

    How to Access the 2016 National Curriculum Assessment Materials:

    Please find information related to the Phonics Screening Check and the Key Stage 1 and 2 SATs tests below. COBIS continues to lobby on behalf of members regarding the secure publication of these tests. 

    International schools will be able to download 2016 SATs test materials from the GOV.UK website.

    Phonics Screening Check
    The scoring guidance, pupils' materials, practice sheet and answer sheet will be available on GOV.UK from Monday 27 June 2016, once the check administration window has closed.

    Key Stage 1 Tests
    Key stage 1 test materials will be made available on GOV.UK once the key stage 1 test administration window has closed in June 2016.

    Key Stage 2 Tests
    Test papers will be available from Monday 23 May 2016 , on GOV.UK after the national curriculum tests have been administered in England. Mark schemes and raw score to scaled score conversion tables will be made available on GOV.UK from Tuesday 5 July 2016.

    Please visit: National curriculum assessments: 2016 sample materials for more information and sample materials. 

    New COBIS Initatives 

    COBIS Launch Brand New 2016 Summer School Programme

    COBIS is excited to announce that the first COBIS Summer School programme will take place next year. The summer 
    school, which will be based at Cambridge University’s Clare College and run for two weeks from 8-22 August 2016, is in association with Dukes Education and Summer Boarding Courses.

    The summer school will include courses which provide students with expert advice in how best to tackle the admissions process for the UK’s top universities, including Oxbridge and the Russell Group. It will also equip them with the practical skills in independent learning, analytical thinking and debate that are so essential not only in ensuring success in higher education, but also in their future career. Guest lectures, a personalised tutorial and lecture schedule, and trips to some of the country’s leading cultural attractions are just a few ways it will do this.

    Further information about the COBIS Summer School will be published shortly, however we strongly advise reserving a place as soon as bookings open, as only a limited number of spaces are available. This promises to be an excellent opportunity to experience university life in one of the UK’s most beautiful cities. 

    The Day COBIS is Growing in Popularity 

    COBIS is pleased to report the growing popularity of The Day COBIS, our recently launched online resource for students and teachers.

    The publication provides students of all school year groups with clear and in-depth articles analysing current affairs, and acts as an excellent teaching resource for lessons, assemblies and form time. The resource provides young people with the crucial ability to think for themselves and engage with the world.

    For more information about The Day COBIS and for more information about how to subscribe, click here

    COBIS Launches new Diploma for International Teaching Assistants (DITA) and DITA for Early Years

    In an exciting partnership with COBIS supporting member, The TA College, we are delighted to announce the introduction of two new COBIS accredited courses for Teaching Assistants working in international schools around the world.

    Both the COBIS Diploma for International Teaching Assistants (DITA) and the Diploma for Early Years have been created to provide international Teaching Assistants with the knowledge, skills and understanding to work effectively alongside teachers whilst maximising learning opportunities for children.

    Course Content:

    Both programmes are 6 months long and combine e-learning, reading, collecting evidence and writing assignments. Each contains 6 units, comprised of 5 mandatory units and 1 optional unit.

    Please click on images below for further information:

    Entry Requirements:

    No formal qualifications are required.  Teaching Assistants wishing to complete the course must be working in an international setting with opportunities to support teaching and learning on a regular basis.


    The course fee is £650 per person. Group discounts are available for schools.

    Course Start Date:

    The course is due to start in January 2016 (however enrolment will function on an ongoing basis).

    Further Information:

    To find out more or to enrol on the course please email or contact Sakina at COBIS Head Office.

    COBIS Seminar - Leading British Overseas Schools

    **Booking Open**

    The Amba Hotel Marble Arch, London, UK
    30 January 2016, 14:00 - 17:00

    This one day seminar, hosted at the Amba Hotel Marble Arch in Central London, offers a helpful, independent introduction to those considering working in leadership positions in this fast-expanding market. There will also be the opportunity to network with Heads from a dozen British International Schools.

    Attendance and bookings are welcome from school leaders from across all age settings (Principals, Heads, Deputies and Senior Leadership Team staff) at UK maintained and independent schools.

    Click here for more information and to book your place.


    Professional Development

    CPD Needs Analysis

    If you have not already completed the online CPD questionnaire and would like to do so, we are still accepting CPD feedback and suggestions for future events - please click here to complete this. Please feel free to forward this link to anyone within your school who has responsibility for Professional Development; we are happy to receive multiple submissions from schools.

    We know how busy you all are, but we hope that you will take the time to help us ensure that the COBIS Professional Development programme meets the needs of you and your school. Thank you for your continued support and co-operation.

    2015/16 COBIS CPD Calendar 

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

    • Teachers
    • TAs and Support Staff
    • Middle and Aspiring Leaders
    • Senior Leaders
    • PAs and Secretaries
    • Marketing, Development and Admissions Staff
    • Bursars and Business Managers
    • HR Staff
    • Students

    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 open for the conferences below:

    January 2016

    February 2016

    March 2016

    Forthcoming CPD Events

    Remember to Book your Place for the St. Paul’s School 3rd Education Conference

    It is still not to late to sign up for the St. Paul's School 3rd Education Conference, organised in association with COBIS. The Conference will take place in São Paulo on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 March 2016, with pre-Conference workshops also being held on the afternoon of Friday 18 March. Some sessions are already fully booked, with others filling up fast, so it is important to sign up early to avoid disappointment.

    With keynote sessions by Sir John Jones and Sir Anthony Seldon, as well as an array of practical workshops on themes such as single-sex education, bilingualism and pupil driven education, the conference promises to be a valuable and thought-provoking event for all involved in education – so don’t miss out!

    For more information, including a link to the full programme of information, click here.

    Click here to book your place.

    If you would like to receive a sponsorship pack, please write to

    To register as an exhibitor, please complete our online form

     COBIS Conference for PAs and Secretaries – Bucharest, Romania

    **Booking Open**

    British School of Bucharest, Romania
    25-26 February 2016

    Delegates are invited to book their place for the first COBIS Conference for PAs and Secretaries which will be hosted by British School of Bucharest 25-26 February 2016. Staff from COBIS member and non-member schools are invited to attend this two-day event.

    This two-day training and networking event will be of interest to PAs, Secretaries, Executive Assistants and other Admin Staff. The programme will include a mixture of plenary sessions, workshops and practical training sessions from leading PA Trainers Angela Garry and Karen Knowles.  These sessions will include Time Management, Teamwork and Personality Profiles and Project Management. There will also be opportunities for discussion and networking including a Conference Dinner on the Thursday evening.

    The cost is €325 for COBIS members and €425 for non-COBIS members. The Delegate fee includes both days of the conference, Conference Dinner on Thursday evening, lunch and refreshments on both days, transport between the hotel and school on both days and all conference materials.

    For more information about the conference, please click here.

    To book your place before Monday 25 January 2016, please click here.

    COBIS/Youth Sport Trust PE and School Sport Conference – Coventry, UK 

    **Booking Open**

    Ricoh Arena, Coventry, UK
    2-3 March 2016

    We are delighted to announce that COBIS have partnered with Youth Sport Trust to deliver the first COBIS/YST PE and School Sport Conference which is now open for booking. Delegates from COBIS member and non-member schools are invited to register for this two-day event which will be held at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, UK, 2-3 March 2016. 

    The conference will be of interest to Heads of Sport, Directors of Sport, Headteachers, PE Teachers as well as other staff with responsibility for PE/Sport/Games. The programme will include a mixture of plenary sessions, seminars, practical workshops, training sessions and a COBIS Spark Session for delegates to share experiences.

    There will also be a YST National Conference Gala Dinner on Wednesday 2 March held at the same venue as the conference. The dinner, which will be attended by around 500 people, is an opportunity to spend an evening listening to the inspirational stories of international medal winning sports men and women. The dinner will honour the achievements of those from the world of PE and school sport and is a further opportunity for delegates to network. 

    For more information about the conference, the programme and costs, please click here.

    To book your place through the online booking form, please click here.

     COBIS Conference for Marketing, Development and Admissions Staff - The Prague British School

    **Booking Open**

    The Prague British School, Czech Republic
    21-22 March 2016

    Don’t forget to book your place for the 3rd COBIS Conference for Marketing, Development and Admissions Staff, which will be hosted by The Prague British School 21-22 March 2016. This two-day training and networking event is open to delegates from COBIS member and non-member schools worldwide. 

    The programme will include a mixture of plenary sessions and break-out sessions as well as opportunities for networking and sharing experience. The sessions will cover a range of topics including, Marketing and Admissions for British International Schools, Sales for non sales people, Crisis Communications, Managing the admissions process, Event Planning – theory and practice, Alumni relations from beginners to advanced, Fundraising from beginners to advanced, School Websites and Social Media and The Marketing and Admissions office as part of the school.

    In light of the feedback from previous delegates, there will also be a COBIS Spark Session and a Pre-conference cultural day tour on Sunday 20 March.  

    The Early Bird Delegate Fee (booked before 31 December 2015) is €350 for COBIS Members; €450 for non-COBIS Members.   

    To book your place, please click here. For more information about the conference including travel and accommodation details, please click here

     Recent CPD Events

    King's Group Host Fantastic Professional Development Weekend for Teachers and Teaching Assistants

    Almost 400 Teachers, Teaching Assistants and Headteachers from 16 schools in 9 countries attended the COBIS/King's Group Professional Development Weekend at King's College, Madrid 6-7 November 2015.

    The weekend included a range of interactive and engaging sessions aimed at all Subject Leaders, Teachers and Teaching Assistants including Outdoor Play, Developing Effective and Meaningful Oracy in School through Storytelling, Developing Desirable Personal Qualities Through Physical Activities and Middle Leadership and many more.

    As well as networking sessions built in to the programme, delegates, exhibitors and guests enjoyed a Gala Cocktail Dinner on the Friday evening at the Hotel Eurostars Madrid Tower.

    COBIS would like to thank colleagues at King's Group for hosting a fantastic Professional Development Weekend.

    Please click here to view the Conference Programme.

    Pictured above: Over 70 Delegates enjoying one of the final sessions on Saturday in the sun: Ollie Tumner's “STOMP-style Body Percussion and Samba Workshop.” (Photo credits - King's College: The British School of Alicante.)

    The British School in The Netherlands Host Excellent Second COBIS Conference for Bursars, Business Managers & HR Staff

    Over 40 Bursars, Business Managers & HR staff from 32 COBIS member and non-member schools and organisations attended the COBIS Conference for Bursars, Business Managers & HR Staff, hosted by The British School in the Netherlands in The Hague from 20-21 November 2015.

    With a rich variety of sessions and talks on offer, those attending were able to share expertise and develop knowledge on 
    new topics. In addition to a number of inspiring keynote plenaries, a wide range of engaging, interactive sessions were also offered, from School Budgeting and Working Towards a Healthy Organisation, to Recruiting in the Digital Age.

    As well as networking sessions, delegates, exhibitors and guests enjoyed a dinner on the Friday evening at the Van der Valk Ypenburg Hotel in Nootdorp.

    COBIS would like to thank colleagues from The British School in The Netherlands for hosting a superb conference as well as the sponsors, speakers and delegates who attended.

    Please click here to view the Conference Programme.

    Pictured above: Dirk Jan Postel's session "School of Future" - how changes in teaching and learning are affecting the shapes and layouts of our schools.

    COBIS Student Competitions and Events

    To read the October 2015 COBIS Competition and Events Newsletter, please click here.

    Student Competition and Events Dates For Your Diary 2015/2016

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

    Spring Term

    Summer Term

    COBIS Primary Creative Challenge – **Deadline Approaching** 

    This year’s Primary Creative Challenge “Let’s Celebrate”, in partnership with Oddizzi, is all about sharing a celebration or festival that is unique to your country!

    Re-create the experience of a national holiday, festival, celebration, or significant date in your country and produce a short film with your class (or small group) that documents the experience. To help get you thinking outside the box, here are some festivals and celebrations you could use as inspiration: 

    • Thanksgiving (USA)
    • La Tomatina (Spain)
    • Festival on the Nile (Uganda)
    • Chinese New Year (China)
    • Ramadan (Dubai)
    • Maslenitsa (Russia)
    • All Saints’ Day (Mexico).


    • Most authentic experience - KS1 and KS2
    • Most creative way to share information - KS1 and KS2 

    Click here for the full competition brief and entry form.

    The closing date is Friday 15 January 2016. Good luck! 

    COBIS Primary and Secondary Games – **Places Available**

    Due to schools having to withdraw from both the Primary and Secondary Games due to unforeseen circumstances, there are now places available for COBIS Member Schools at both events. Should you wish to field a team from your school at either event, please contact Colin Bell at

    The Primary Games are being hosted by Haileybury Almaty, Kazakhstan from 26-29 May 2016 and the Secondary Games are being hosted by Dubai College from 10-12 March 2016.

    For more information or to put forward your school to take part, please email Colin Bell.

    COBIS Young Scientist Film Awards 

    COBIS has partnered with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in London to create a competitive film challenge to celebrate the diversity and excitement of science. NPL is the UK’s National Measurement Institute with a 114 year history in world class science. 

    What are the COBIS Young Scientist Film Awards?

    Students at COBIS schools can submit up to 3 short films which describe or demonstrate science correctly in an engaging way.

    • With school’s permission, films will be posted on a dedicated COBIS YouTube website
    • The first 20 seconds must introduce and describe the participating school
    • A submission fee of £150.00 (inc. VAT) will apply to participating schools – this covers all 3 films.

    Next Steps:

    The closing date is Friday 15 April 2016.

    COBIS Webinars

    The COBIS webinar schedule for Spring 2016 is 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

    COBIS Services

    COBIS Governors

    COBIS can support member schools to attract credible school governors to strengthen their Boards. For more information, the COBIS Code of Good Governance can be found here. If you are interested in becoming a potential school governor please complete the online registration form here.

    COBIS offers governance training and support to member schools and individuals through the COBIS Consultancy Service. Training is delivered by approved COBIS Consultants who are all quality assured. Please see below for more information.

    COBIS Consultancy Service

    If your school has specific CPD needs that would be best addressed by having training delivered by an external trainer or consultant in your school, then the COBIS Consultancy Service can help. COBIS Schools can submit a request for consultancy or training via the COBIS website. The consultancy request will be shared with some of the quality-assured consultants and training providers in the COBIS database and the school will then receive proposals from individuals or companies who would be able to deliver the training within the school’s proposed budget and timeline. There is no cost for COBIS Schools wishing to use this service. 

    COBIS Consultancy can also offer schools support with BSO inspections. This can include a mock run through BSO inspection in preparation for the real event.

    For more information visit the COBIS website or email

    COBIS Leadership Mentoring and Support Service

    For Senior Leaders looking for more tailored, personalised CPD, the Leadership Mentoring and Support Service offers the opportunity to work with a trained mentor with successful experience of the professional challenges in the international school environment. For more information visit the COBIS website or email 

    School Member News

    COBIS Weclomes New Member to Head Office Team

    COBIS would like to welcome our newest International Marketing Intern, Stefan Constantine, to the Head Office team this month. Stefan joins us from the University of Oxford's Undergraduate Admissions Office. Prior to this, he attended St Hilda's College, Oxford, where he read History and Politics. We welcome Stefan to the team and look forward to working with him. 

    COBIS Seeks Communications and Membership Officer for Maternity Cover

    COBIS is currently recruiting for maternity cover for the position of Communications and Membership Officer, to cover the absence of our colleague Natalie Friend. This is a full time position. 

    COBIS would value your support with advertising this vacancy as widely as possible through your channels, so as we can ensure we find the right candidate for the post. Therefore we should be grateful if you are able to circulate these details via your social media channels, on your website and in your communications. Equally, if you know a suitable candidate, please can you forward this email to them and encourage them to email Natalie Friend with any questions.

    Full details are available on our website and in pdf format below:

    COBIS Communications and Membership Officer - Maternity Cover to start February 2016

    COBIS School Members - Staff Changes

    Additionally to the Welcome List sent out in previous Connect newsletters, COBIS is pleased to also welcome the following Principals and Headteachers to COBIS schools. We look forward to working with you:

    • Mr Barry Mansfield, new Director at Halycon London International School. 
    • Miss Jane Kuok, new Principal at Tenby International School in Malaysia. 

    COBIS reminds all member schools to notify us of changes to their administrative and senior leadership staff. This will help us to keep key staff up to date with the latest COBIS developments and make it easier to facilitate dialogue with the appropriate person in each school. To inform us of any changes, please email

    Congratulations to New COBIS Accredited Member School

    COBIS would like to congratulate staff and pupils at the British School of Sofia, Bulgaria which has been approved for COBIS Accredited Membership following a successful BSO inspection.

    Sir Roger Fry Honoured by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of the Kingdom of Spain

    COBIS is delighted to announce that the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of the Kingdom of Spain has conferred on Sir Roger Fry, COBIS Honorary President and Chairman of the King's Group, the "Orden Civil de Alfonso X el Sabio" in the honours list published in the BOE on 18 November 2015. This Civil Order dates back to 1902 and aims to recognise exceptional contribution to the fields of Education, Culture, Teaching, Science and Investigation.

    Sir Roger was Knighted in 2012 by HM. Queen Elizabeth II for services to UK education internationally as well as UK/Spain cultural relations.

    COBIS would like to congratulate Sir Roger and his family for this well-deserved Honour, which is recognition from the Spanish Government of all his efforts working to support British Education in Spain.

    British School Jakarta wins ‘British International School of the Year’ at The 2015 TES Independent School Awards

    Representatives from COBIS were delighted to attend the 2015 TES Independent School Awards, held in London on Friday 27th November, where COBIS Member school the British School Jakarta (BSJ), was named 'British International School of the Year'.

    The BSJ’s work has been groundbreaking. The school's establishment of an environmentally friendly micro-school, now in its fifth year, has allowed unschooled children to re-enter formal schooling at secondary level. This micro-school school offers healthcare and vaccinations, and ensures that all enrolled children’s births are formally registered. In light of these efforts, the category's judges praised the efforts of BSJ, remarking that the school showed “a wonderful and compassionate commitment to extending education to others”.

    Winners attended a black-tie reception at London's Grosvenor Hotel, hostel by Michael Portillo. The event was attended by over 400 attendees, including COBIS CEO, Colin Bell, COBIS Academic Officer, Sakina Zafar, and COBIS CPD and Events Officer, Amy Carter.

    COBIS would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the BSJ on this well-deserved award, as well as The Alice Smith School in Malaysia, The British School in Tokyo and Transylvania College on securing nominations.

    For more coverage of the awards and photos from the evening, please visit

    COBIS Receives Excellent Response for Photos to Decorate COBIS Head Office

    COBIS received a huge response following our call to action in the November edition of COBIS Connect for schools to submit a photo showing the unique and diverse nature of their school. Thank you to everyone who responded; the range of photos submitted truly shows that every COBIS school is different in its own way. We had hoped to announce which school photos will adorn our walls in this issue but the judging has proved to be so difficult, it is still taking place! We will update you regarding the chosen images in the January issue of Connect.

    As all the entries have been fantastic, we are planning to use these images on the redesigned COBIS website, which is due to launch next year, and in COBIS publications. If you would prefer for your school photo not to be featured in this way, please contact Natalie Friend.

    Geneva English School Announces Expansion to Secondary

    COBIS is pleased to announce that COBIS Accredited Member Geneva English School, located on Lake Geneva in Switzerland, is to open a secondary school. Chairman of the GES Board of Governors, Mark Williams, has said that “The secondary school will continue this same focus and, in so doing, provide an alternative choice amidst the many expansive international schools within the region, some of which have student populations in excess of 1,500.

    The development means good news for the expatriate and local families living in and around Geneva, particularly those who have already chosen the primary school for its size and community spirit, as well as its excellent academic standards. The secondary school, which will be located on a separate campus in the vicinity of the primary school, will expand further from 2017 onwards to cater for students up to the ages of 18. The school will follow the National Curriculum of England with an international context, and offer IGCSEs.

    COBIS would like to congratulate Geneva English School on this brilliant news, and wish the school every success.  

    Recent Visitors to COBIS Head Office

    The new COBIS Head Office in Russell Square, London has received lots of visitors this month with many taking advantage of the excellent meeting room facilities available. If you would like to book meeting space, for interviews or other meetings, or you are in London and would like to come and see us, please contact Catriona Lawless. We’d be delighted to welcome you!

    Dr Steffen Sommer - COBIS Vice Chairman & Principal, Doha College, Qatar

    Richard Davies - International Primary Curriculum

    Sir Roger Fry CBE - COBIS Honorary President & Chairman, King’s Group

    David Porritt – Head Teacher - Junior School Leidschenveen, The British School in The Netherlands

    Kai Vacher – Principal, British School Muscat, Sultanate of Oman 

    News From COBIS Schools Around the World

    Headmaster of The British School of Paris - How the School Dealt with the Aftermath of the Paris Attacks

    Nicholas Hammond, headmaster of The British School of Paris, explains how the school dealt with the aftermath of the Paris attacks in an article on the website.

    "We held our weekly assembly as normal first thing on Monday morning. Students came into the hall and sat quietly. We talked about what had happened.

    I've never given an assembly to a more attentive student body, even the ones who are usually away in their own thoughts seemed engaged and were listening. They were absolutely still and silent in our minute's silence. This mattered to them. They applauded once the assembly finished; this is unusual.

    The attacks occurred not far from where we sat, about 15 miles. Some of our students had attended the football match Friday evening; some of our children live in central Paris.

    During Monday's meeting, we followed the advice of in-service teacher trainings on trauma and also applied bereavement and counselling training.

    Our tutors spoke about the importance of working together, supporting each other and ensuring that we remain a community bound by ideals of co-operation, reason and understanding. We talked about how it was perfectly natural to be a little bit scared and that it was normal to be concerned. We talked about the incident being serious rather than sad.

    And then we carried on, not quite as normal, but as close as we could make it.

    Students are now really starting to talk about things, and I suspect we will hear more and more from them as the week goes on. It is hard to believe that it is only Tuesday.

    With students from Afghanistan to Zambia, we celebrated our diversity and the strength that it gives us. We have 52 different nations represented on campus, including students from the Middle East, India, Pakistan and East Asia. We have Afghans, Russians, Europeans, South and Central Americans and kids from North, East, West and South Africa. Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders as well. We are about 30 percent British and 10 percent French nationals.

    We have students who subscribe to all major world religions and some without an active religious element in their life.

    And then we carried on, not quite as normal, but as close as we could make it. The school was subdued, quieter. More serious, perhaps.

    One thing I never expected was the flood of emails offering solidarity. They have come from schools all over the world. From Tokyo, Ankara, from The Netherlands, from the UK, from Doha in the Middle East and also from international organizations, like the Council of British International Schools (COBIS).

    The simple fact that other teachers bothered to take a moment out of their packed schedule to send us an email and say that they were thinking of us, has made a difference. Such expressions of hope give us as educators the power to stand tall, to smile in front of our classes whatever we may personally feel and to deal with the difficult questions that children ask.

    We know we are not alone. That really helps."

    On behalf of the COBIS family of schools and supporting members, our thoughts are with our colleagues in Paris at this time.

    Aloha College Year 9 Chocolate Challenge

    As part of Aloha College’s ongoing Futurewise Careers Programme, all Year 9 students took time out of lessons on Thursday to participate in an Enterprise Challenge. Students worked in teams in the Hall, closely directed by John Burnip from Inspiring Futures. Their challenge was to turn their team into a small business with the aim of creating, packaging and marketing an exciting new chocolate brand.

    Ten teams launched their products in front of a panel of judges, who were looking for creativity, teamwork, a strong product and clear marketing message and they were not disappointed.

    The Chocolate Challenge offered invaluable work experience to Aloha College pupils and they hope it will have inspired them to become the business movers and shakers of the future.

    The British School in Kathmandu Commences Construction in Dhading

    COBIS is delighted to announce that The British School in Kathmandu has begun rebuilding works on three primary schools in Dhading Besi, Nepal. 

    The community leader of Shree Rudrayanka Primary School passed thanks to donors from all around the world. He said that education is the ‘Light of Life’ and that without the TSB Charity’s efforts he would not have a school for the children in his community.

    COBIS Head Office would like to take this opportunity to commend The British School, Kathmandu, for all of their essential work, and thank them on behalf of the wider COBIS community around the globe.

    Click here to read a fuller report of this story.


    Supporting Member News

    New Supporting Members

    BridgeU - ICT

    Dyslexia Matters - Consultancy and Professional Development

    International Medical Group (IMG) – School Marketing Services

    People & Potential Education Consultancy – Consultancy and Professional Development

    COBIS Supporting Members Win EducationInvestor Awards in Glittering Ceremony

    COBIS CEO Colin Bell was delighted to attend The EducationInvestor Awards 2015 on Wednesday 11 November and see several COBIS supporting members win one of these prestigious awards.

    Launched seven years ago, the EducationInvestor Awards recognise excellence in the UK's fast-growing education industry. More than 650 guests attended this year's event, which was presented by BBC news anchor Gavin Esler. Awards were presented in 28 categories and judged by a panel of 26 industry experts.

    To view the full list of winners, please click here. Details of the COBIS supporting members who received EducationInvestor Awards are listed below:

    Use of Educational Technology
    Winner: GL Assessment

    Legal Advisors - to Education Institutions
    Winner: Veale Wasbrough Vizards

    COBIS Supporting Members Receive BETT Award Nominations

    COBIS is delighted that several COBIS supporting members have received nominations for the 2016 BETT Awards. This once again underlines the expertise and knowledge that our valued supporting members bring to our association and we are delighted to work with such innovative, forward thinking colleagues. 

    To view the full list of finalists and categories please click here. For details of the COBIS supporting members nominated for BETT awards, please click here to read the full COBIS news post. 

    COBIS Supporting Member Reception

    COBIS supporting members are reminded to book your free place at our Supporting Member Reception which will be held at the Institute of Directors, London on Friday 29 January 2016 at 17.30 to 19.15.

    The Reception is an opportunity to meet with the COBIS Board, COBIS Head Office team and other COBIS Supporting Members.
    This networking event is free of charge and places are limited to one representative per organisation. We look forward to welcoming you.

    To book your place, please contact Natalie Friend or use our online booking form

    Exhibitor Booking for the COBIS Annual Conference 2016 Opens Tuesday 8 December

    We are delighted to announce that Exhibitor Booking for the COBIS Annual Conference 2016 will be open to all Supporting Members next week. On Tuesday 8 December at 10:30 (GMT) all Supporting Members will be sent a notification with a link to the live booking form.

    The COBIS Annual Conference is attended by Principals, Headteachers, Governors and Senior Managers from British International Schools worldwide as well as representatives from high-quality educational companies and suppliers. The 2016 Annual Conference will include a full programme of high-profile speakers and seminar sessions including professional development sessions for exhibitors. There are also a number of social events, and exhibitors are encouraged to attend.

    COBIS Supporting Members are given the opportunity to book exhibition stands and secure sponsorship at a discounted rate before general booking opens on Tuesday 15 December 2015. Please note that bookings will be taken on a first come, first served basis. In recent years there has been a waiting list for the exhibition and we would encourage our valued Supporting Members to book early to avoid disappointment.

    For more information about the exhibition and sponsorship opportunities, please click here to see the email that was sent out to all Supporting Members on Tuesday 1 December.

    Learn About How UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) Can Help You to Grow Your Business

    COBIS has recently been approved as a UKTI Trade Challenge Partner, working closely with UKTI to provide our supporting members with expert international trade advice and practical support. In order to provide our members with more information about the support available to them through UKTI, we have updated the COBIS website with full details here. Support available includes:

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

    COBIS encourages our supporting members to look at the services available to them through UKTI. If you have any questions, please contact Natalie Friend –

    Contact Us

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

    Colin Bell, CEO -
    Natalie Friend, Communications and Membership Officer -
    Stefan Constantine, International Marketing Intern -
    Catriona Lawless, PA to Colin Bell -
    Amy Carter, CPD and Events Officer -
    Padma Sivapunniyam, Finance Officer -

    Sakina Zafar, Academic Officer -

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    Telephone: +44 20 3826 7190
    Address: COBIS, 55-56 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 4HP, UK



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