Winter Term 2011
Happy New Year to you all!
The staff at Oak Hill wish you and your families health and happiness for 2011. We hope you had a restful and enjoyable festive season and we would like to thank you sincerely for all the wonderful gifts that you showered on us at the end of last term. They were very much appreciated. It is lovely to welcome all our students back after the break and, what is amazing, is that they all seem very happy to be back too! This term started with a bang, with a very memorable Shakespeare Day, and promises to be a very busy one with lots of ski days (snow willing) and other exciting events. But most of all, we look forward to celebrating the progress of our Oak Hill students as we watch them, day by day, gaining skills and confidence in themselves as successful learners. Here’s a super quote to encourage your child, from that all-time master philosopher, Dr. Seuss.
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go”
Wednesday 12th January – Macbeth Workshop
We were delighted to be able to host a ‘Macbeth Workshop’ here on Wednesday 12th January, led by Barbara Lloyd Jones. Barbara was the first Advanced Skills Teacher in the North West of England and, for many years, taught the P.G.C.E. programme to Post Graduates at Liverpool University. Her wealth of experience and high standard of teaching have been instrumental in changing the lives of many children and adults and she is passionate about her subject.
With only two hours to acquaint our children with the storyline and to devise a performance, Barbara was incredibly impressed by the children’s focus and enthusiasm to create. The workshop started with her outlining the plot and continued with numerous practical activities which were then woven together to provide an end product.
It was delightful to see the children working collaboratively and supporting each other with the various stages of the process. They were extremely proud to be able to perform for you and we do thank those of you who were able to make it, for providing an audience. As ever we are extremely proud of their achievements and we are sure you are too.
The most important thing, of course, was what they gained from the workshop as a learning tool and as one of the witches arrived at Maths class today quoting her lines, we are sure it has been an experience that will stay with them for some good time to come!
To view the Macbeth Photo Gallery click here.
Thursday 20th January – Parent Conferences
Parents may have noticed a slight change in our reporting cycle this year. Our comprehensive written reports, together with the detailed objectives for each student, were sent out at the end of the Autumn Term, rather than in February, as in previous years. During Parent Conferences, parents were therefore able to have a more informed discussion with teachers, regarding their child’s progress. We teachers felt that this was very valuable; we hope you did too.
It is always a pleasure to talk to parents at Parent Conferences but always remember that, if you have a concern about your child – however small, then do not hesitate to contact us.
Thursday 27th January – PTA Brunch
A highly successful event took place today. Our present parents invited representatives from the PTAs (Parent Teacher Associations) of all the local International Schools to visit Oak Hill and share a delicious brunch. Sixteen representatives from six schools (ISL, CdL, La Côte, GES, La Chât & Nations) came along to watch a typical lesson and then join in a stimulating exchange of ideas about how to reach more children who would benefit from the Oak Hill programme. Katherine Norling and Selina Baxby gave a wonderful presentation of Oak Hill from a personal, parental viewpoint and several other parents helped to serve the delicious food. Thank you everyone for your fantastic help in making this day such a success and for giving our visitors such a warm Oak Hill welcome.
Tuesday 15th February – Tour Day
Today we hosted another of our regular Tour days where parents, teachers and other professionals interested in Hill Methodology can visit Oak Hill. This time we had two interested parents and a carer of young children. As always, Oak Hill students were delighted to show off their skills to the visitors and we were very proud of them.
Monday 28th February – Welcome Anna
The first day back after the half term break marked the half way point in the academic year, so it was an excellent time for our new student to join Oak Hill. Everyone was delighted to welcome, Anna Sukitch, from Collège du Léman, who joins Isabella and Alexi in the afternoon programme.
Saturday 12th March – ASK Information Day
On Saturday 12th March, Chris and Jayne manned a stand at the A.S.K. (All Special Kids) Information Day. This provided an opportunity to raise the profile of Oak Hill, to give us a chance to catch up with some Home School colleagues and meet exhibitors, several of whom had travelled from the UK to display a variety of resources.
Joy Tong and her volunteers had put a tremendous amount of time and effort into the organization of the event and the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva was an excellent venue. There was an array of stalls serving a selection of delicious food from around the world and a number of ‘hands-on’ activities for children.
Disappointingly, the event wasn’t particularly well-attended but Oak Hill was pleased to have been able to support A.S.K. as part of the excellent service they provide to the local community.
Tuesday 15th March - Tour Day
Today we welcomed four teachers from Ecole Mosaic in Geneva who were interested to see our programme in action. One teacher has an Oak Hill student in her class and another taught an Oak Hill student two years ago and she was very impressed by the student’s progress in reading. Our other visitor was from a relocation agency which hopes to specialize in searching for appropriate schools for families moving to Geneva and Vaud.
Thursday 17th March – ASK Annual Seminar
This was the last of the excellent seminars which have been provided by the parent support group, ASK, this year. The subject of this seminar was Dyscalculia and it was presented Dr. Steve Chinn, a well-known specialist in the subject. In the first session, Dr Chinn reviewed the many indicators of maths learning difficulties and examined their impact on the student’s ability to understand and function in the maths class. In particular, he analysed the diffulty that students with dyscalculia have in learning basic maths facts by rote. After a break for refreshments, Dr. Chinn went on to review the core developmental/sequential structure of arithmetic and examine teaching strategies that may be used to enhance learning in those who struggle.
All three teachers from Oak Hill attended this seminar and found it extremely useful to review and reflect upon the strategies and resources that we use in teaching maths.
Tuesday 5th April – Tour Day
Tour Day was very well attended today with eight visitors for our students to impress. There were four people from three families, all interested in enrolment for the 2011-2012 academic year – and so it was very important for them to see a lesson in progress. We also welcomed two relocation agents who advise families about schooling in Switzerland and two retired staff members from La Châtaigneraie who are still very active, especially in their support of ASK, the organization that does such important work for students with special needs.
Friday 8th April- Oak Hill Staff Presentation to PTA members at the International School of Lausanne
Oak Hill staff were delighted to be invited to give a special presentation to members of the PTA at ISL in Le Mont-sur-Lausanne. The theme of the meeting was students with learning differences and an enthusiastic audience of 25 PTA members greeted Sue, Chris and Jayne to listen and discuss a range of issues relating to their own children. The focus of our presentation was not only about Oak Hill but had a broader scope. This included the need for parents to persevere if they have concerns, the importance of an expert assessment of a learning difficulty by an educational psychologist and how parents can help to support their child at home. In the discussion that followed, there was a high level of interest in the Oak Hill programme and methodology – perhaps we will soon be able to welcome our first ISL student to the Oak Hill family!