Autumn Term 2009
9th September 2009
Welcome back after the long summer break. As the term gets underway we are delighted to welcome six new students to the Oak Hill family coming from La Chât, Campus des Nations, Collège du Léman, La Côte and Ecole Mosaic, the latter two being new collaborations which we look forward to developing further in the future. With our seven returning students, this brings us to a total of thirteen places filled, out of the possible sixteen (Twelve in the morning and four in the afternoon).
During the next few weeks, our Home School Coordinator, Jayne Crawshaw, will visit every Oak Hill student’s class teacher. These initial meetings are crucial in building close collaboration between Oak Hill and the classroom teachers, in order to best meet the needs of our students. They serve several purposes: to effect introductions with teachers who have not been involved in our half day programme before, to give and receive information relative to each student and to discuss expectations regarding issues such as homework. Home School staff are encouraged to visit Oak Hill to observe their students involvement in Hill Methodology – and a clear ‘open door’ policy is established in order to maintain close links throughout the year.
This year, the Oak Hill team has decided not to attend the ECIS (European Council of International Schools) Conference as we have done in previous years. Whilst Professional Development is vital for all teachers, at the moment we feel that our time can be more efficiently and effectively spent pursuing more local options. In particular, the Oak Hill teachers are interested in the latest research in dyslexia and ADD/ADHD and are investigating the possibilities of customized in-service training offered by the BDA (British Dyslexia Association) as well as continuing to listen and discuss workshops from the 2008 IDA (International Dyslexia Association) Conference whose audio tapes we have purchased.
Tuesday 29th September – Oak Hill School Tour Day
Students give a demonstration Reading lesson to interested visitors. Today our visitor was a teacher who is studying children with learning difficulties for a Masters’ Degree.
Thursday 1st October
Today we received a visit from Mr. Robin Smith who is in charge of Pastoral Care at Campus des Nations, middle school years. We had an interesting and useful discussion about ways to ensure the smooth transition between Oak Hill and Home Schools for our shared students.
Friday 2nd October
We welcomed two Learning Support teachers from the International School of Lausanne, Stephanie Walmsley and Lisa Marlowe observed reading, written language and maths classes and were very impressed by Hill Methodology in action. We have yet to enroll any students from ISL, but we live in hope!
Tuesday 6th October
Oak Hill was delighted to receive a visit from the Principal and teachers of Mosaic School, a private, bilingual school for children from 2 1/2 to 12 years old, situated near the University Hospital in Geneva. As one of our new students is from Mosaic, we were especially pleased by their level of commitment and enthusiasm in making the collaboration between our two schools work.
Thursday 8th October
Oak Hill, once again, hosted the Principal’s Dinner – this time at the Beau Rivage Hotel in Nyon. This unique event brings together in a convivial setting, the principals and vice-principals of all our regional International Schools. In addition, the dinner was attended by Gary Goodman of The Oak Foundation, Paul Nichols of All Kinds of Minds and Dr. Nicholas Tate, the Director General of the ECOLINT Foundation. For Oak Hill to play its vital role in supporting students with learning difficulties, it is essential that we have the support and commitment of all these International School Administrators. We hope that they all enjoyed the dinner – and will continue to work with us in facilitating the best provision possible for our shared students.
Thursday 15th October
Today we received three visitors who represent interests in Abu Dhabi, where provision for students with learning difficulties is very limited. They were on a fact-finding mission and have visited other schools in the area to observe different types of learning support provision. They were very impressed with Oak Hill and were delighted to be able to have a round-table discussion about the effectiveness of Hill Methodology. We wish them luck in their venture to help students with learning difficulties in U.A.E.
Monday 19th October – Friday 23rd October Half Term Holiday
Wednesday 11th November & Thursday 12th November – Parent Conferences.
Held twice a year, Parent Conferences provide an opportunity for parents to discuss their child’s progress and view their work.
Monday 16th November
Today we are delighted to welcome two new students, Jonathan Whitling and Weiss Nory. At just turned seven, Jonathan is our youngest student and attends CDL. Weiss comes to us from LGB having just moved there from Mosaic Bilingual School. We feel confident that Jonathan and Weiss will soon feel at home at Oak Hill and that their parents will receive an equally warm welcome from our existing parents, as they become part of the Oak Hill School community. Our morning school groups are now full and there remains only one empty place in the afternoon group.
Tuesday 24th November – Oak Hill School Tour Day
Students give a demonstration Reading lesson to interested visitors. Today we had three visitors, who are all parents of children with learning difficulties.
Thursday 26th November
It is always a great pleasure to have one of the Home School class teachers visit Oak Hill and observe our shared students. Today, Sarah Goddard from Nations spent the morning with us and a very useful exchange of information took place.
Thursday 3rd December
Working with a UK University through Distance Learning, Cher Gordon is a trainee teacher at CDL. Today, she took the opportunity of spending the morning at Oak Hill in order to better understand some of the principles which guide the highly specialized techniques involved in Hill methodology.
Wednesday 9th December
A sad day at Oak Hill as we say ‘goodbye’ to Grace Norcini and her family who are returning to San Francisco. We shall miss Sue Stevenson and Joyce Norcini, who have been stalwart supporters of the school, always willing to lend a hand when needed. We wish them all the very best as they return to the States and hope they will come and visit us in the future.
Thursday 10th December
Today featured a visit from Carol Ann Quart, a Year Three teacher from LGB, who was particularly interested in observing a maths class. It is especially pleasing that, even at this really busy time in a school calendar, class teachers consider a visit to Oak Hill a priority.
Thursday 17th December
Last day of the Autumn Term.
The staff at Oak Hill would like to thank parents for their generosity – the beautiful gifts we have received are much appreciated. We wish you a joyful, peaceful holiday and all the very best for 2010.