We take all feedback from parents seriously, so much so that we use this feedback to drive improvement across the school. There are many forms of feedback which we receive. Surveys, parent engagement sessions, coffee mornings, etc.
Recently we held another Off-Campus Parent Forum Evening to engage with our parent community at a time and place that is more convenient for some members of our community. We have also conducted a series of our own surveys on the bus and canteen services and most recently our GEMS Education Head office sent out a survey which went to parents in all GEMS schools around the world.
Our Net Promoter Score was positive overall and the majority of respondents gave us a score of 8, 9 or 10 out of 10. In addition to this positive feedback, we are carefully reviewing all comments and especially those related to where we can continue to make improvements. From this feedback there were three main points raised. I am pleased to say that this feedback was not a surprise to us and we had already begun a number of initiatives to address these topics.
Having clear and consistent communications is very important and our new Parent Portal is a significant step towards this. I have also spent time with the leadership team analysing the channels of communication that we use within our community and as a result, have drafted a new overview of communications. This will be released to parents early in semester 2.
After School Activities
providing a broad range of engaging activities for our students is important to all of us, and at GEMS we are committed to offering as wide a range as possible.
As our school continues to grow, so too will we be able to offer more and more choices. A new initiative which we have begun is to use specialised coaches for certain sports. For example, Coerver football coaches and XLab swimming coaches are now being used to coach our own competitive sports teams. Having more experienced coaches for our students will have a multi-layered effect, thus allowing us to offer other activities and broaden the range whilst also providing a high quality of coaching for our children. But, it's not just in sports we are making changes as we also aim to offer more Enrichment activities in the future.
What is the Level of Progress of my Child?
It is timely that this feedback came back to us due to the fact that we are embarking on capturing a range of diagnostic data as mentioned in my blog, "Diagnostic Assessment, What is it & How can it be Used". This data, combined with our student tracking system which has now been built, will provide teachers with more information on a more regular basis and thus allow teachers to be more responsive to the needs of each child.
In addition, the Early and Primary Years leadership team are already investigating revisions to the information provided in the student reports so that parents can be clearer as to what level their child is at.
These key initiatives will roll out during the first half of 2019 and they will add to our continuous cycle of improvement. I will also continue to seek your feedback.
In addition, our target to become accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) is a key element to our future success. For more information on this please refer to my article "Head of School Update: Time Flies When You’re Having Fun".
Finally, I would like to finish this calendar year of 2018 by sharing a wonderful experience I had on the evening of Thursday 13th December at the British High Commissioner's Residence. I witnessed the amazing GEMS Voices perform Christmas Carols and provide immense joy for those who came to watch and sing along.
It was such a proud moment to see our students connecting with the broader community and celebrating humanity. I am very excited about the musicals which will take place next semester but we have many other opportunities planned for our students across the Arts, Sports and Academics. We have so much to look forward to in the second half of this school year that I can’t wait for the start of 2019.
Happy New Year everyone!
Richard Henry, Head of School