March 2016 | COBIS Connect


COBIS Connect - March 2016

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In This Issue:

1.     Welcome
2.     Dates For Your Diaries
3.     COBIS Top News 

4.     COBIS Lobbying
5.     New COBIS Member Schools 
6.     New COBIS Initiatives
7.     Professional Development 
            • Previous Events 
            • Forthcoming Conferences
8.     COBIS Student Competitions and Events

9.     COBIS Webinars
10.     COBIS Services
11.   School Member News
12.   Recent Visitors to COBIS Head Office 
13.   News From COBIS Schools Around the World
14.   Supporting Member News 
15.   Contact Us 

Welcome from Colin Bell, COBIS CEO

Dear Colleague,

As with any membership organisation, the greatest assets which COBIS has, is the expertise, commitment and enthusiasm of its members and dedicated head office team.  On that note, I'm delighted to share fantastic news as we congratulate Natalie Friend, our Communications and Membership Officer, on the birth of her new born son, Harrison. On behalf of the COBIS family, we’d like to send her family our very best wishes.

In addition, I’d like to offer a warm welcome to Jamie Ralph, our new Communications and Membership Officer who will be covering Natalie’s post while she is on maternity leave. Jamie has joined us from the Political Studies Association, a membership organisation in higher education. I’m certain that Jamie will be an asset to our team and I know he looks forward to meeting many of you at the 2016 COBIS Annual Conference which is being held in London in a little over two months. 

I’m very happy to announce that we can now share the full programme for the Annual Conference in this very issue of COBIS Connect! We hope that you find it as engaging, challenging and enjoyable as you would come to expect. Don't forget the date, 7 to 9 May 2016 and the venue, InterContinental London - The O2. Please do remember to join us and get involved, we can’t wait to see you there.

Speaking of venues, we were extremely proud to hold a recent event at a venue that can’t get any more prestigious. Our thanks go to COBIS Patron, His Royal Highness The Duke of York KG for hosting a COBIS Reception at Buckingham Palace on 11 February. A full report from this reception is included in this edition of Connect so read on for more information.

We also held an event for prospective leaders in education recently in Central London. The success of our Leading British Overseas Schools seminar on 30 January is cemented by the fact that one attendee has already been offered 2 headship positions at a British International School. We take teacher and leadership supply very seriously and are working to support member schools to greater effect, so watch this space for further initiatives designed to identify the next high quality teachers and leaders of British schools overseas.

Finally, I’d like to remind members that we have submitted a COBIS response to the Department for Education’s consultation on standards and inspection arrangements for British schools overseas. Thank you to everybody who contributed to that particular response and we will be keeping you updated, of course, on the outcome of that consultation.

Again, watch this space for further developments and as always, COBIS continues to represent its valued members, by keeping all schools and supporting members fully informed. 

Kind regards,

Colin Bell

Dates for Your Diaries

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

NEW COBIS & GL Education Data Conference 
14 April 2016
Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria 

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

COBIS Top News

COBIS Holds Buckingham Palace Reception

COBIS was delighted to welcome Head Teachers and Governors of leading UK independent schools to a networking reception hosted by our Patron, His Royal Highness Duke of York, at Buckingham Palace on 11 February.

Attendees remarked that the event was a clear embodiment of COBIS´s reputation as the ´Premier Global Association for British Schools Overseas´. The reception was well received and provided an exciting opportunity for COBIS to highlight its ambitious plans for expansion and growth within the international education sector.

The Duke of York praised COBIS for its ability to meet the needs and aspirations of its growing global school membership base and its commitment to advancing the interests of British schools and education overseas. 

The 2016 COBIS Annual Conference Programme is Now Available 

COBIS Head Office is pleased to announce that the 35th COBIS Annual Conference Programme is now available. Please click here to view it. 

COBIS Response to Sir Michael Wilshaw

Last week, Ofsted Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw called for urgent action to plug the flood of teachers leaving the UK to teach abroad – fuelled by a “worldwide boom in international schools”. He argued that teachers leaving for classrooms abroad is a “brain drain” on talent and urged the government to consider “golden handcuff” payments so teachers are “kept in the state system that trained them”.

In response to Sir Michael’s comments, Trevor Rowell, COBIS Chairman, has written to The Times, elements of which were published on 29 February. 

Please see as follows:

Teaching overseas: our proudest export

Observations about teachers going overseas (`Golden handcuffs´ to stop state teachers going abroad, 27th February) can too easily become caricature: 44 toff school branches lure teachers with fat salaries and damage Derby.  Whereas the picture is overwhelmingly positive: British school education is one of the UK´s most valuable and influential international exports.

The 44 (good luck to them) are a drop in the ocean: around for years and still growing, there are some 4,200 British schools overseas.  With 46%, we lead a competitive world market.  They earn billions in fees, millions for the UK in educational supplies and services, and attract crucial student support and investment for our world-class universities.  This is well understood by government (the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and UKTI, and the DfE which offers a regime of standards and inspection).

British teachers who work there in their thousands don´t all earn riches (salaries are generally on a par with the UK or lower, and often lack pensions).  Pay - according to a COBIS survey - ranks 5th in the list of motives, below motivated students, supportive parents, good leadership and first class professional support.

And there´s already a strong moral purpose: these teachers and schools educate tens of thousands of young people in British values and in international understanding.  Thirsting for advancement through British education, these students (80% of them local not expatriate) go on to become world leaders in every continent and profession.  The ´soft power´ and positive influence for the UK is incalculable.

I´m truly with Sir Michael Wilshaw in striving for improvement for children in our UK schools: I´ve led an outstanding UK comprehensive and also a sixth form college, as well as several world-class British schools overseas.  But please, let´s take a broader and a constructive view.  Teachers work overseas and also return - enriching schools with international experience, skilled in EFL, pupil transience and cultural diversity.  They have worked in schools which (as the PISA tables show) know that constantly measuring, testing and inspecting everything doesn´t always improve quality.  And the answer to successful teacher supply is (not in talk of punitive handcuffs but) to promote the richness of this wonderful vocation, and to plan to support British education seamlessly.

British schools and teachers overseas are world beating.  Ofsted already knows: it monitors some of the inspection reports.  So let´s be immensely proud of them.

COBIS Head Office Welcomes a New Member of Staff

Jamie Ralph is our new Communications and Membership Officer (maternity cover). Jamie is an experienced communications professional with a specialist interest in membership organisations. He joins us from the Political Studies Association, the membership organisation for politics academics in higher education and also previously worked at Londonwide Local Medical Committees, the representation body for London’s GPs. He holds a degree in English and Sociology/Political Science from the National University of Ireland (Galway) and a Masters in Politics from University College Cork in Ireland. On behalf of the wider COBIS family, the team at Head Office would like to welcome Jamie.

    COBIS Lobbying

    COBIS has submitted its response to the Consultation and Review of BSO Standards and Inspection Arrangements to the Department for Education (DfE). COBIS would like to take this opportunity to thank COBIS Member Schools for all the input we received. We have used the many submissions, from all different regions, to put together a collective response from COBIS. 

    Please see documents below: 

    We are hopeful that our response will be considered and our suggestions taken on board to ensure the standards reflect the way in which British overseas schools operate. 

    New COBIS Member Schools

    New COBIS Schools

    COBIS would like to welcome the following schools which have recently been approved for COBIS membership by the COBIS Membership Committee:

    • British School of Bahrain                                                                                                                                                               

    New COBIS Initiatives 

    COBIS International Summer School

    The COBIS International Summer School is currently taking bookings. Students are encouraged to book early as places are limited. 

    The programme will run from 8-22 August, 2016, and will be located at Clare College, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge 

    Further information about the COBIS International Summer School Programme can be found here

    To view a detailed brochure, please click here

    Please share this with parents and students. 

    The Day COBIS

    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 equips young people with the crucial ability to think for themselves and engage with the wider world around them.

    We’ve had some great feedback from COBIS member schools who have started using The Day COBIS: 

    The Edron Academy only recently subscribed to The Day, but teachers are already putting it to good use with their students.  Initial feedback from Secondary teachers and students has been extremely positive.

    Mrs. Silvia Ramírez, who leads the Edron’s debate team, began using The Day right away with her groups. “It’s a great source of information that allows for direct analysis.  My debate groups are using it to practice discussing and debating the latest world news, and this is obviously building up their confidence for our future competitions.  I’m also including The Day in my planning for my TOK, GP and PSHE classes.”

    French teacher Alistair Pearson remarked that The Day will be very useful to increase his students’ linguistic abilities and expand their vocabulary. “I find the articles and suggested activities appropriate for the level of my classes.  I also like the fact that The Day includes articles that might miss the headlines but are still very interesting.  The students enjoy these news items – they stimulate a good discussion.” 

    Miss Olga Montenegro, English teacher and tutor, used The Day for the first time during her tutor period last week.  She divided the group into four teams and let them lead their own discussion of ‘End of marriage’ forecast as lifespans grow, using the suggested questions and activities.  She says, “They had a lot of fun with this article. Interestingly enough, my youngest students were the most enthusiastic, although they were a bit baffled by the concept of a ‘beta period’ before official marriage.”

    The Librarian, Mrs. Emilia Blake, is very excited about the enormous potential this online service has for all Secondary students and staff. “I love this website!  No matter what subject The Day is used for, this is a fantastic tool to help our students develop critical thinking skills and get them interested in current affairs.  I would like to see all our tutors begin the day by having their students choose an article, read it and discuss it amongst themselves before they get on with the rest of the school day.  There’s a wealth of reliable information here, presented in a very accessible manner, and a variety of activities which don’t require any previous planning  that teachers can take advantage of to get their students thinking and forming their own opinions.  We want our students to become globally-minded citizens, and The Day is a great way to help them connect with other parts of the world.”

    All Secondary staff will receive a brief training session soon, to make sure they are aware of all the ways in which The Day can enhance their curriculum teaching.  Parents and students will also be encouraged to make use of this online resource at home, at their leisure.”

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

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

    COBIS and the TA College are delighted to announce that enrolment is NOW OPEN for the two new COBIS accredited programmes for Teaching Assistants working in international schools around the world. 

    We are deligheted to welcome our first cohort of students from the following schools: 

    • Khartoum International Community School, Sudan
    • International School of Moscow
    • North London Collegiate School, South Korea 
    • Riverbank School, Nigeria
    • Haileybury School, Kazakhstan 
    • The British School in the Netherlands
    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. 

    Please click on images below for further information:


    Invitation to Tender for the COBIS Games 2017-2019

    The COBIS Games is an exciting and unique sporting event which draws together young people from around the world to take part in three days of competitive sport. The event is not only a celebration of sport for young people, but also a celebration of a shared global community with a common link to the UK.

    The first COBIS Games took place in 2012 in Prague, followed by The Hague in 2013. Due to the popularity of the event with Member Schools the event expanded in 2014 to have Primary and Secondary school events hosted in Abu Dhabi and Istanbul respectively, before the 2015 event drew the Primary and Secondary school events together – hosted in Athens. 2016 sees the event return to a split Primary and Secondary format hosted in Astana (Kazakhstan) and Dubai respectively.

    To ensure the Games are both stable and accessible going forward, COBIS is inviting Member Schools, Supporting Members, universities and cities to submit a tender to host the COBIS Games in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

    Full details of the tender process are available here. The deadline for applications is 21 March 2016 with the closure of the clarification period on 14 March 2016.

    Professional Development

    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:

    March 2016

    April 2016

    May 2016

    Previous CPD Events

    COBIS Seminar for Leading British Overseas Schools

    As the appetite for high quality British education grows, so does the search for excellent school leaders. COBIS, along with its member schools, shares the commitment to support the supply of high quality educational professionals overseas.

    On 30 January, school leaders from across UK maintained and independent schools attended the COBIS Seminar for Leading British Overseas Schools. The event hosted in Central London provided delegates with an honest, informative insight into different experiences of working abroad. If located in the right place for the individual, this can be an exciting professional challenge and an enriching personal opportunity. With strong links and excellent CPD now available overseas, working abroad can play an important part in a long and successful career. There are already more than 4,200 British international schools overseas - more than the number of independent schools in the UK - and they include some of the finest in the world.

    The seminar offered delegates a helpful, independent introduction to this fast-expanding market. Speakers included several well established international Head teachers from Brazil, Tokyo, Cairo and Qatar. The event was well received, and provided those in attendance with the opportunity to network with senior professionals from around the world, as well as meet the COBIS Board members and ask further questions. 

    Forthcoming CPD Events

    35th COBIS Annual Conference – London, UK – 7-9 May 2016
    Authentic Leadership: Inspirational Stories for Learning in British Schools Overseas


    **Delegate Information Here** 

    **Exhibitor Information Here**

    **Full Programme Available Here**

    InterContinental London - The O2, Greenwich, London, UK - 7-9 May 2016

    We are delighted to be able to share the Full Programme for the 35th COBIS Annual Conference, sponsored by BridgeU. Please click here to download the Programme.

    Keynote speakers will include:

    • Joe Simpson World renowned mountaineer, author, speaker and the subject of the BAFTA Award winning film Touching the Void
    • Professor Deborah Eyre International education leader, academic and author. Her recent work has sought to help good schools become truly world class
    • Curtis Jobling British illustrator, animator and author, he is best known for his roles as production designer of children’s TV hit, Bob The Builder and author/illustrator of children’s books, most notably the Wereworld series of middle grade fantasy novels. 
    • Richard Addis British journalist and entrepreneur. He has edited the Financial Times and Sunday Telegraph, and currently edits The Day, an education resource for schools

    The conference will also include:

    • Welcome Reception and Dinner at the National Maritime Museum
    • More than 20 engaging and innovative seminars and workshops from Headteachers and leading experts in international education
    • COBIS Spark – COBIS members share innovation and best practice
    • COBIS Development Forum
    • 35th COBIS Annual Reception and Dinner
    • An exhibition of more than 100 COBIS Supporting Members. Please click here to view the list of organisations exhibiting.
    • Optional courses before and after the conference including Advanced Child Protection, Advanced Safer Recruitment and IPML Facilitator Training
    Optional Shoulder Courses
    • COBIS/ISC Seminar: Developing your Independent School Brand Internationally: what you need to know and who can help you. This seminar is aimed at Headteachers, Governors, Proprietors, Business Development Managers and CEOs of Schools/School Groups who are interested in developing their independent school brand internationally. This seminar runs from 9-3pm Saturday 7 May and costs £195 + VAT. Please complete an online booking form to reserve your place before Friday 25 March 2016. 
    • CPML Facilitator Training - Wednesday 4 until Friday 6 May 2016, London. This course will run from 9-3pm on each of the 3 days. More information is available here. To book your place, please complete an online booking form. Please note that there are only 12 places for this course. Once capacity has been reached, booking will close.
    • Advanced Safer Recruitment Course - 9-3pm, Saturday 7 May 2016, London. Delegate fee: £295 + VAT. Please complete an online booking form to reserve your place before Friday 25 March 2016.
    • Advanced Child Protection Course - Tuesday 10 May 2016, London. Delegate fee: £295 + VAT. Please complete an online booking form to reserve your place before Friday 25 March 2016.

    For more information and booking forms, please visit

    To download the Annual Conference flyer, please click here.

    We look forward to welcoming you to our 35th COBIS Annual Conference. 

    COBIS SPARK – at the COBIS Annual Conference
    COBIS leaders sharing innovation and best practice 

    COBIS colleagues are invited to participate, for the second year running, in the COBIS SPARK at COBIS Annual Conference (7-9 May 2016). COBIS SPARK is a chance for leaders from COBIS Schools to give short presentations to other delegates about an area of innovation or best practice within their school.

    SPARK events (also billed as TeachMeet) have also taken place successfully in a number of international schools in recent years, and COBIS is delighted to be able 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.

    What you need to know:

    • Presentations are limited to a maximum of 7 minutes. Presenters will be cut off after this time.
    • The focus of your presentation can be related to any area of innovation or best practice from your school that you feel would be of interest to colleagues.
    • Any visual components of the presentation (slides, films, etc.) will need to be submitted to COBIS in advance.
    • You are welcome to collaborate with a colleague from your school or another school - presentations will still be limited to 7 minutes.
    • Feel free to be creative!
    • COBIS SPARK will take place as a Keynote Session on the Monday afternoon of the Annual Conference.
    • If you would like to participate as a presenter, you will need to send your expression of interest to Amy Carter on by Thursday 31 March 2016. Please include a line or two about the focus of your presentation so that we can avoid too much overlap. We will confirm the list of presenters by Monday 11 April 2016. COBIS SPARK will run as a Keynote Session on the Monday afternoon of the Annual Conference and all delegates are strongly encouraged and welcome to attend if they do not wish to present.

    4 Day Middle Leaders Courses – Qatar, Brazil


    Spring 2016

    COBIS, working in partnership with Karen Ardley Associates, will be providing accredited professional development for Primary and Secondary Middle Leaders. The four-day Middle Leaders' Course - Leading Learning from the Middle - will run in Brussels, Doha and São Paulo in 2016. With limited places on these courses, booking is almost full for the below cohorts. Please click on the links below for more information and booking forms for the course in your region.

    Cost: £600 for COBIS Members / £695 for non-COBIS Members

    The delegates are aspiring/middle managers and the programme will focus on the following key areas; the role of the middle leader/manager, our current educational agenda, an emotionally intelligent leader, effective professional development, working with teams, giving feedback, coaching for improvement, improving teaching and learning in your area and presentation skills.

    In 2014/15 this course ran at St Catherine's British School and The British School of Beijing. The feedback was very positive:

    "Words aren't enough to describe how empowered and inspired I feel! This programme gets you back to the heart of why I am a teacher."
    "I would absolutely recommend this course, it is both inspirational and practical. I got so much out of it."
    "The best course I have attended since I started teaching."
    "An inspirational course that has changed my outlook on education."

    For more information and to book your place please click here. To download a flyer for the Middle Leaders' Course, please click here.

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


    Don’t forget to sign up for the St. Paul's School 3rd Education Conference, organised in association with COBIS. The Conference, which attracts a large number of delegates from schools in the Latin America region, 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 Marketing, Development and Admissions Staff - The Prague British School


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

    Places are filling up 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 as well as COBIS Supporting Members 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 Delegate Fee is €390 for COBIS Members / €490 for non-COBIS Members.

    To book your place, please click here. Forms should be submitted no later than Friday 4 March 2016. For more information about the conference including travel and accommodation details, please click here. 

    Please click here to book as an exhibitor.



    **NEW** COBIS & GL Education Data Conference - Lagos, Nigeria


    Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria
    Thursday 14 April 2016 

    *Due to unforeseen circumstances, the COBIS Conference for Teachers and Support Staff, Grange School, Lagos, April 2016 has been postponed until 2017. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. We are pleased to announce, however, that COBIS and GL Education will be running the COBIS & GL Education Data Conference, Thursday 14 April 2016. This Conference will be of interest to Headteachers, Middle Leaders as well as Teachers with an interest in or who are currently responsible for co-ordinating Data and Assessment within their schools.*

    COBIS and GL Education are working in partnership to deliver a one-day conference on the effective use of assessment data. Delegates will gain insight into the use of data to support teaching and learning as well as to support senior leaders in the development of strategic school development plans and in providing evidence for accreditations.

    The day will include case study material from international schools in Nigeria and overseas, as well as hands-on guidance in data analysis from current practitioners and assessment experts. Attendees will receive a Certificate of Attendance from COBIS and GL Education.

    The programme includes sessions from leading educational experts including Matthew Savage, Deputy Head, Bromsgrove International School, Thailand and James Neill, International Director, GL Education. To view the full programme, please click here.


    This one-day Conference will be of interest to colleagues from COBIS member and non-member schools including Headteachers, Heads of Department, Senior Leaders, Middle Leaders, Teachers and school staff with an interest in or who are currently responsible for co-ordinating Data and Assessment within their schools.


    Early bird Delegate Fee (registrations before 18 March 2016): 

    • £100 for COBIS members
    • £120 for non COBIS members 

    Delegate Fee after 18 March 2016:

    • £150 for COBIS members
    • £170 for non COBIS members 

    Delegate fee includes the conference, lunch and refreshments and all conference materials.

    Booking process:

    Please complete an online booking form by Friday 25 March 2016. For further information about the conference, please contact COBIS or GL Education. 

    COBIS Student Competitions and Events

    Student Competition and Events Dates For Your Diary 2015/2016

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

    Spring Term

    Summer Term

    COBIS Senior School Music Festival

    COBIS is happy to announce that the second COBIS Senior School Music Festival will take place at The British School in The Netherlands from 27 – 29 May 2016. The competition flyer can be downloaded here or for more information and to register, please click here

    COBIS Primary Creative Challenge – **Deadline Extended** 

    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: 

    • 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 has been extended to Wednesday 23 March 2016. Good luck! 

    COBIS Poetry Competition

    This year, COBIS students are challenged to write, in 40 lines or less, a poem on "Journeys".

    The closing date for this competition is Friday 11 March 2016 and we’ve already had some great entries! You can enter now through the Student Poetry Competition page of the COBIS website. 

    The winning students will have their poems published in COBIS World Student Magazine and will receive a prize, kindly provided by John Catt Educational

    COBIS Art Competition

    Following the success of last year's competition, the COBIS Art Competition is back for a second year with the option to enter into a group category within each of the four age groups.

    This year's theme is "A Room With a View" and schools can enter up to 3 entries per category. 

    The categories are:

    • Foundation Stage
    • Key Stage 1
    • Key Stage 2 
    • Key Stage 3 

    The closing date for this competition is Wednesday 20 April 2016. 

    To submit an entry, please click here

    COBIS Student World Debate Competition 

    Congratulations to students from the English International College in Marbella, who earlier this month won the 2016 COBIS Student World Debate Competition.

    After two days of intense competition, the Cup final was fiercely debated between host school and current champions, The Edron Academy and English International College in Marbella. The two teams debated at length over the motion "This house would legalise the sale of human organs". Both teams put forward an excellent performance and although very close, English International College took first place.

    The Plate final was also a tough competition with students from the Prague British School pitted against the team from the Divine Royal International School, Nkpor in Nigeria. Prague British School came out triumphant after another very close debate.

    Congratulations to all who took part and thanks to The Edron Academy for organising such a fantastic programme of events. 

    Photos of the event are available on The Edron Academy's Facebook page, available here

    COBIS MUN and COBIS Secondary Student Games

    Best of luck to all students taking part in the first ever COBIS Model UN Conference this weekend in Bucharest and to those taking part in the COBIS Secondary Student Games, taking place at Dubai College, 10-12 March. The following schools will be competing:

    • British School Al Khubairat, Abu Dhabi, UAE
    • CEDEC International Secondary School, Lagos, Nigeria
    • Compass International School Madinat Khalifa, Doha, Qatar
    • Corona Secondary Schools, Agbara, Nigeria 
    • DITTO Temple School, Lagos, Nigeria
    • DSB International School, Mumbai, India
    • English International College, Marbella, Spain
    • Rygaards International School, Denmark 
    • The British International School of Stavanger, Norway
    • The international British School of Bucharest, Romania
    • The International School of Moscow, Russia
    • The Prague British School, Czech Republic 
    • Transylvania College, Cluj, Romania

    On behalf of all those who are competing at the MUN, COBIS would like to thank the hosts, The International British School of Bucharest. 

    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

    Webinar available to download

    COBIS is pleased to announce that the recent 'Never Underestimate the Power of the Physical' webinar run in association with CHQ Group, is now available to download from the COBIS Member Area.

    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 

    COBIS now has Credit Card Payment Facilities

    COBIS is pleased to announce that we are now live in accepting credit card payments both on the phone and online via SagePay. 

    School Member News

    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 Keith Sedgwick, new Head of Two Boats School, Ascension Island

    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

    New COBIS Accredited Member School

    COBIS would like to congratulate staff and pupils at Campion School in Greece which has recently been reconfirmed as a COBIS Accredited Member following another successful BSO inspection.

    British Independent School Headmaster, Tim Meunier, to lead Geneva English School through Major Expansion

    The current Headmaster of Colet Court, St Paul’s Preparatory School in London, has been appointed as the new Head of Geneva English School in Switzerland. Tim Meunier will take over from Head, Stephen Baird, as the school expands from a primary school only, to offer both primary and secondary from September 2016.

    Geneva English School (GES), a COBIS member school, has developed in many ways during the six years of Stephen Baird’s Headship. Student enrolment has increased by 70% and there has been the investment of over 6 million CHF in new learning-focused facilities and nursery provision. The school has also become the first British Overseas School in Switzerland to receive accreditation by the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) and it is well underway with its expansion to secondary. The new Headmaster, Tim Meunier will take responsibility for both the primary and secondary operations.

    Tim has spent the last nine years as Headmaster of Colet Court. He has a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and has taught at Clifton College in Bristol, The Dragon School in Oxford, and Felsted School in Essex, gaining experience in teaching and leadership roles at both junior and senior, selective and non-selective, co-ed and single sex schools. COBIS Head Office would like to congratulate Tim on this achievement, and wish him every success in his new role.  

    For more information visit

    The British School of Brussels is Now Serving More Learners by Offering BTEC Courses 

    Already at the age of 16, students at the British School of Brussels (BSB) begin choosing their path to higher education. For many years, the school has proudly offered two of the most common university track programmes: the English A Level and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. Despite the popularity of these two programmes, they don't cater to every student's learning style. To remedy this gap, BSB has added certified BTEC courses in Business, Hospitality, Sport and Applied Science to its curriculum – becoming the only international school in Brussels to do so. The team at COBIS Head Office would like to thank The British School of Brussels for broadening the educational options it offers so that more learners can be served. 

    To read more about this story, please click here

    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. The bright and airy space, which can hold up to eight people, is located in Central London's Russell Square, and is just a short walk from Russell Square and Holborn Stations. We'd be delighted to welcome you! Click here for more information.

    The following people visited the team at COBIS Head Office in February:

    • Danielle Johnson - The TA College
    • Nadia Megnin and Kai Vacher - The British School Muscat
    • Professor Deborah Eyre – High Performance Learning 

     News From COBIS Schools Around the World

    Aloha College Crowned Champion in the International Schools Cross Country Competition

    On Wednesday 27 January 50 Aloha College students went to Sunland International School in Cártama to take part in the International Schools Cross Country running tournament. This is one of the biggest tournaments of the year involving students from Years 5-13.  Each race consisted of up to 100 participants with points being awarded to runners finishing in the top 10 positions. At the end of the day, the school with the most points in all categories was crowned champion. Aloha were awarded the trophy for being champions for the first time ever!  

    They arrived back at school bearing the trophy that has been won by EIC for the last 10 years. The pupils were a credit to Aloha College. A special mention must go to the following students, who gained medals: Fiorella Santa Cruz (2nd place, U11 Girls), Dean Huijsen (2nd place, U11 Boys), Florence Sargent (2nd place, U13 Girls), Inez Adamovic (3rd   place, U15 Girls), Nicolás Arranz (2nd place, U15 Boys), Tommy Tonge (2nd place, U19 Boys) and César Rubio (3rd place, U19 Boys).

    A special thanks goes also to their wonderful PE department who just continue to go from strength to strength. They are grateful also to Mr Hunkin, Mrs Elliott and Mr O’Leary for helping train the team. Aloha College has really excelled in its sporting progress over the last 2 years.

    COBIS Head Office would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Aloha College on behalf of the wider COBIS community, and wish their excellent cross country team every success going forward. 

    Students from The British International School of Kuala Lumpa create British School Talks

    On Tuesday the 26th of January, the students of The British International School of Kuala Lumpa (BSKL) were fortunate enough to host Matt Dickinson for a talk in the theatre, various workshops and a Q&A session. Mr Dickinson is a famous award-winning filmmaker and writer who has created documentaries for National Geographic, Discovery Channel and the BBC. 

    Mr Dickinson’s talk was the first of the British School Talks program, which is an initiative created by Joshua Andrews, Tom Furlong and Irina Rafil to help expose the students of BSKL to subjects that happen outside of the classroom. BSKL are now planning to have a talk every half-term for the students of the secondary campus. Year 11 student Irina Rafil said:

    “We are very lucky to be able to have connections with dozens of possible speakers and we’re extremely grateful for the chance we have for being able to pursue this project. We’d like to thank Ms Sarah Bajc for providing us with this opportunity to create such a unique program by nominating the three of us to be in the Student Council, Mrs Janine Murphy for helping us with organising our first British School Talks, and Matt Dickinson for being a great first speaker. This program to help enrich students on their affairs outside of school is the only one of its kind in any international school in the Klang Valley, and we’re excited to host all of our upcoming speakers!”

    COBIS Head Office would like to congratulate BSKL’s pioneering students on the development of this fantastic new idea. We look forward to hearing more about future British School Talks. 

    Alice Smith Turns 70!

    2016 is a very significant year for the Alice Smith School. The school is celebrating 70 years of rich British educational heritage with a range of events and activities throughout the year. Over seven decades, many wonderful changes and exciting developments have occurred at the school. As Alice Smith looks forward to the future, the anniversary year is a fitting time to reflect on past achievements and understand the unique story of how the school began.

    To kick-start the celebrations, Alice Smith hosted an inaugural 70th Anniversary Alumni Get-together in London, attended by alumni spanning its decades of history. The Alice Smith School’s Alumni Association is outstanding and has an extensive network of alumni around the world. At the get-together evening, Morwenna Franssens was appointed as the school’s first Alumni Ambassador for the European region. Morwenna will support the growth of alumni activities both socially and professionally and play an active role in the development of the school.

    The line-up of exciting events in the coming months will culminate in a glittering and glitzy Platinum Gala Ball taking place on Friday, 11th November at the Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. The school will also be celebrating the actual anniversary day at both school campuses on Tuesday, 1st November. To find out more, click on the dedicated KLASS 70 section on the school website or email

    We would like to thank the following Supporting Partners who will jointly organise the events with us; the British High Commission, British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (BMCC), Association of British Women in Malaysia (ABWM), Malaysian, Australian and New Zealand Association (MANZA), Selangor St. Andrew's Society and the St. Patrick’s Society of Selangor. Through historical records, the school was able to determine that Mrs Alice Smith, the founder, commenced her first class in her living room in Jalan Eaton on 1st November in 1946. From this humble beginning, 2016 marks a terrific milestone for the Alice Smith School!

    On behalf the wider COBIS community, the team at Head Office would like to congratulate The Alice Smith School on this important landmark, and wish them every success in the future.

    Two British MPs Unveil COBIS Plaque at the Royal Institute of Smart Education in Bangladesh

    On 18 February 2016, two Labour MPs, Steven Timms and Steve Reed, visited the Royal Institute of Smart Education in Bangladesh. Both MP’s met with RISE Principal Christopher Manning, and received plaques to officially welcome them as a ‘Friend of RISE’. Elementary and Middle School students were present as the MP’s toured the institute – a recent addition to the growing family of COBIS schools - prior to the Science Day, as the ‘RISE Eagles’ put the final touches to their projects.

    On behalf of the COBIS family, the team at Head Office would like to extend a warm welcome to all of the staff and students at RISE, and thank both Mr Timms MP and Mr Reed MP for their involvement.

    The British School, Kathmandu, Opens New Building at Sungava

    From The British School, Kathmandu:

    "On Sunday 7th February, TBS staff and students travelled to Sungava to attend the opening where Dr. John Moore (Principal of TBS) was invited to formally open the new school building. Dr. Moore was shown around the new building, including the TBS classroom that we were surprised to see has been named in our honour! The completion of this school building would not have been possible without the donations from our supporters around the world so we accept the honour on behalf of all of our contributors .

    Sungava is a day school located within the Kathmandu valley that focuses on rehabilitation and basic life skills training for young girls with learning difficulties, especially down's syndrome. It is attended by 16 girls with the supervision and help of 7 of their mothers.

    Children with Down’s syndrome in Nepal experience social marginalization as they can be considered by society as a blemish on their families and an object of shame for their parents. As a result such girls are especially at risk of exploitation, neglect and abuse. Sungava is one of the charities in Nepal working to change these social attitudes and reduce the stigma associated with children with learning disabilities

    The new building consists of 5 new classrooms, a staff room, and a open plan communal area that will be used for the day to day needs of the students of Sungava. With the completion of this new building, it more than doubles the space available to be used by the students of Sungava. It also allows for the girls of Sungava to continue their education in a safe and secure environment with buildings that are earthquake resistant as possible.

    We are incredibly pleased to announce this completion of this building and wish to thank you our donors for your support. The positive effects of this new building will be immense and will felt throughout the whole Sungava community."

    The team at COBIS Head Office would like to congratulate The British School, Kathmandu, on the opening of the building, and commend them for working to break down social stigma to children with disabilities in the local area. 

    Students from the British Junior Academy of Brussels give their Stance on the Upcoming EU Referendum

    Students from the British Junior Academy of Brussels have put forward their opinions on the upcoming referendum conderning the UK's membership of the European Union. In a radio interview for the readio station, Leading Britain's Conversation (LBC), the students gave a variety of excellent reasons as to why they believe the UK should remain a member state - everything from the economic benefits to the availability of Percy Pigs!

    The full interview is available here.

    Students from Doha College get Tips on Desert Survival from UK Explorer

    Year 8 students from Doha College have been inspired and enthralled by the adventures of a British explorer fresh from a 1300km trek across the desert. Mark Evans visited Doha College recently to talk about desert survival following the successful Crossing The Empty Quarter expedition. The students, who had recently learned some basic desert survival skills, were captivated to hear about the trek from Oman to Doha across the world’s largest continuous sand desert, Rub al Khali.

    Doha College Principal Dr Steffen Sommer said it was an honour to welcome Mr Evans and hear about the fascinating journey: “Congratulations to the Crossing The Empty Quarter Expedition team, who have successfully re-enacted the first crossing of the Rub al Khali 85 years ago. Mr Evans and his team are only the second explorers to have attempted this amazing feat. We are extraordinarily fortunate to have him visit the College and I know the students enjoyed the story of the crossing.”

    The team at COBIS Head Office would like to thank Mark Evans for visiting Doha College, and congratulate the school on once again providing such excellent opportunities for its students.

    The International School of Samui has Opened a New Indoor Sports Gymnasium

    The International School of Samui (ISS) has opened a new state-of-the-art indoor air-conditioned gymnasium. The new sports hall is an exciting development for the island as the spacious hall offers year-round use for ISS students and is a welcome resource for community sports programs.

    The new hall is now open to sports teams outside school hours and at weekends. Unlike any other facility on the island, it opens up a multitude of opportunities to the Koh Samui community, be it local or expat. On behalf of the COBIS family, the Head Office team in London commend ISS on this excellent achievement, and look forward to seeing the exciting opportunities this new facility brings. 

    St Paul's School in Brazil Celebrates Carnival

    From Mr Michael Lock, a Year 3 teacher at St Paul's School in Brazil:

    "Brazil held its annual Carnival between Friday 5th February and ‘Ash Wednesday’ 10th February 2016. São Paulo embraces these celebrations and St. Paul’s School is a British School right in the heart of this great city. The Pre-Prep children were prepared for Carnival by a wonderful assembly, where they learnt about music and dance expressions from key cities and states of Brazil. 

    The Pre-Prep children watched a show where their own teachers acted as a class of children. It was highly entertaining watching familiar adults dressed and acting as little ones; the children were hooked. The Pre-Prep School were taken on a journey of art, music and dance. The performance gave credit to the rich history of music and dance from significant areas in Brazil. 

    I am a new teacher at the school and this is my first Brazilian Carnival. This was a truly fantastic, fun and informative introduction to the festivities. St. Paul's School is a British school that is of course also very much living and breathing Brazilian culture. Our Carnival celebration assembly was another great example of how we value our unique situation here in Brazil. I can't promise that my moves were as good as the actors or indeed the young children, but thanks to this assembly I felt well prepared for what was to come."

    COBIS Head Office would like to wish everyone at St Paul's a happy - albeit belated - Carnival!

    Doha College Student Picked to play Rugby for Qatar

    Doha College's Deputy Head Boy, Tom Ayling, has been chosen to represent Qatar in the forthcoming International Rugby 7s tournament.  Tom has been playing rugby with Doha Rugby Club for just 4 years and was both shocked and excited to be picked. Tom was handed his Maroon Qatar Rugby shirt by Dr Steffen Sommer, Principal of Doha College and Mr Paul Young, Senior Vice Principal and Head of Secondary. Paul who has known Tom for 6 years was first to congratulate him: "I have watched Tom develop and grow since Year 8. He has always been a very keen sportsman and has played many sports at Doha College including Rugby and Basketball. We are incredibly proud of his achievements and delighted he has been recognised and will play for a national side in an international competition. This will be a memorable moment in Tom's life, and we wish him and the Qatar 7s team every success."

    COBIS Head Office would like to congratulate Tom on this outstanding achievement, and wish him the best of luck in the upcoming tournament.


    Supporting Member News

    New Supporting Members

    Pearson - Examinations and Assessments

    CJM Software - Management Solutions for Schools

    B Squared - Assessment Software 

    Beat Goes On - Percussion Workshops

    Updated Contact Details

    Members are reminded to update COBIS with any changes in staff personnel so we can ensure information about your membership reaches the right person in your organisation. Any staff changes should be emailed to Please remember that more than one person can be listed as the contact at your company

    More than 100 COBIS Supporting Members Exhibiting at the COBIS Annual Conference 2016

     **Booking Deadline Approaching**

    InterContinental London - The O2, Greenwich, London, UK
    7-9 May 2016

    More than 100 COBIS Supporting Members will be exhibiting at the COBIS Annual Conference 2016, sponsored by BridgeU. Please click here to view the list of organisations exhibiting. We are also delighted to announce that our Full Conference Programme is available to download. The programme includes a range of sessions aimed at both COBIS School and Supporting Members, and exhibitors are welcome to attend all parts of the Conference. We would like to thank all Supporting Members who submitted seminar proposals for the programme – we received an overwhelming response with a huge range of high quality sessions for delegates. With a limited number of slots, unfortunately we weren’t able to include all.

    Our 3m stands are fully booked and there are just a few 2m stands left. If you have not already booked your place, please book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

    Exhibition Charges

    • 3 metre stands - COBIS Supporting Members - £1195.00 + VAT (SOLD OUT)
    • 2 metre stands - COBIS Supporting Members - £1095.00 + VAT
    • 3 metre stands – Non-COBIS Supporting Members - £1750.00 + VAT (SOLD OUT)
    • 2 metre stands – Non-COBIS Supporting Members - £1650.00 + VAT

    Exhibition charges cover lunch/tea/coffee/water/refreshments on Sunday and Monday for two representatives for each individual stand.

    Please see Exhibitor Feedback from last year’s Annual Conference below:

    93% of exhibitors rated the relevance of delegates to your 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

    “This is a great opportunity for us to reach the international school market and is a good way of promoting our brand.”
    “A really outstanding conference. I listened to several inspirational speakers and enjoyed catching up with many colleagues as well as meeting many new ones. Roll on COBIS 2016!”

    More information about this year’s COBIS Annual Conference as well as links to the booking form can be found here. For sponsorship opportunities, please click here.

    We look forward to welcoming many of you to the COBIS Annual Conference 2016.

    Exhibiting at Other COBIS Conferences

    COBIS Supporting Members are also welcome to attend and exhibit at upcoming Spring Term Conferences for the school workforce, hosted by COBIS Schools in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South America:

    March 2016

    April 2016

    COBIS Conference for Teachers and Support Staff, Lagos - Grange School, Nigeria - 14-15 April 2016 (More information for exhibitors will be available soon. To register interest, please email Amy Carter). 

    Teaching Open Events at St. Mary’s University

    COBIS is pleased to announce that one of our Supporting Members, St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, will host several Teaching Open Events for Primary PGCE Programmes in 2016. These events will be useful to all those interested in pursuing a career in Primary Education, and particularly relevant to Graduate Teacher Assistants in COBIS Schools.

    For information of events, dates and times, and locations please click here.

    College Board’s Summer Institute for International Counselors at NYU

    With British schools sending a growing number of students to US universities, it is more important than ever to ensure that guidance staff are fully equipped to provide the best advice on US higher education admissions. COBIS is pleased to announce that one of our Supporting Members, College Board, continues to run their Summer Institute - the leading professional learning event for counselors in international secondary schools. 

    This year begins an exciting new partnership with New York University to offer the Summer Institute at their three global campuses:

    Central learning experience:

    Condensed two-and-a-half day versions:

    Resident faculty includes chief enrollment officers from US universities as well as leaders in K–12 international college counseling. 

    Click here for more information on what promises to be an excellent event.

    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 Jamie Ralph –

    Contact Us

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

    Colin Bell, CEO -
    Jamie Ralph, Communications and Membership Officer -
    Stefan Constantine, International Marketing Intern -
    Catriona Lawless, PA to Colin Bell and Student Engagement Officer -
    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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