Last term, we were visited by two accreditors from the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) – and we recently received the CIS Preparatory Visit Report. Overall, it is clear that our visitors were extremely impressed with South Island School: major areas for celebration include our Making a Difference philosophy, our caring and respectful community, and the strength of our staff and student leadership. In total, the report contains 64 positive commendations for excellence, as well as numerous other highlights.
Here are some of the very positive things that they wrote:
A: Purpose and Direction
- South Island School’s philosophy of “Making a Difference” manifests itself in many tangible ways and is very much at the forefront of decision making…
B: Governance, Leadership and Ownership
- The school climate is such that there is a very strong sense of mutual trust amongst all the school’s stakeholders.
C: The Curriculum
- Heads of Department and teachers [are commended] for engaging in rich collaborative conversations about teaching and learning to promote students’ access to the curriculum.
- SIS passionately promotes the development of global citizenship and intercultural learning […] the evaluators were moved by the students’ commitment to explore multiple perspectives, to contribute to the well-being of others, and to make a difference for themselves and for others.
D: Teaching and Assessing for Learning
- Faculty and heads of department [are commended] for using data to identify accomplishments and gaps in student learning, monitor improvement, and examine individual growth over time…
- The older students are passionately dedicated to helping the younger students with transitions, with friendship issues, and with being successful at SIS.
E: The Students’ Learning and Well Being
- The SIS teachers model empathy and compassion when making decisions [and receive a major commendation] for modelling respectful conversations amongst one another, which nurtures a positive and supportive environment within the entire community.
- The students [receive a major commendation] for passionately demonstrating positive and supportive leadership […] and for taking initiative to design and implement opportunities for service learning, environmental stewardship, and addressing local issues at SIS.
- Continued professional development (CPD) and performance management are a real strength, supporting the school’s overall needs, phase needs, departmental needs, and individual staff needs.
G: Premises and Physical Accommodation
- There has been flexible and imaginative use of the space that supports students’ academic learning and social and emotional needs.
H: Community and Home Partnerships
- The PTA [receive a major commendation] for the diverse ways they support the school and have a positive impact on community life, and on students and their learning.
- The leadership team [receive a major commendation] for the quality of communications between school and home.
Additionally, the report included 28 helpful recommendations for our next development steps. We will of course be considering these suggestions very carefully, in parallel with any recommendations from the CIS Community Survey. These findings will together help us generate the next SIS Development Plan, which we will share with you later in the year.
Overall, this has been a very positive and constructive process, which makes us all very proud to be members of the SIS Community!
WOULD YOU LIKE TO READ MORE? IF SO:
Press here for the Summary Conclusions from the report.
Press here for Further Highlights from the report.
Press here for the full set of Commendations and Recommendations.