Happy New Year!

Winter Term 2010

Welcome back to the new term. It is during the first part of this term that Oak Hill teachers prepare your child’s first report of the year and reassess the objectives we have set for each individual. It is an exciting time for us, as we step back from the day-to-day work and take an objective look at how much progress each of our students has made this year. We never fail to be amazed, not only by the academic progress, but also by how hard-working, happy and confident our children have become. As teachers, we feel very fortunate to be working in a setting where we can truly make a difference to the lives of our students.


Monday 11th January
The Winter Term begins. We are very pleased to have Isabella Niessan as a new student in the afternoon programme. Isabella is a Year Six La Chât student, who loves rabbits and horses – and Niamh and Laura are delighted to have her in the group. We also extend our welcome to her family as they join the Oak Hill community.

Saturday 23rd January
The parents’ support group ASK (All Special Kids) hosted a lecture at Webster University, entitled,
‘School-based Assessment and Intervention for Children and Adolescents with ADHD . Effects on School Functioning of Children with ADHD.’ This lecture was presented by Professor George DuPaul of Lehigh University College of Education. Sue Elliott attended this lecture and found it to be very interesting and useful to our work at Oak Hill. Sue also enjoyed networking with other professionals who are working with students with learning difficulties.

Thursday 28th January
Teresa Nunn and Hilary Taylor, both learning Support Specialists from La Grande Boissière Middle School, came to spend the morning with us. Teresa attended Oak Hill School Official Opening back in December 2006 and has been a strong supporter of the Oak Hill Programme ever since. Following their observation of reading, written language and maths lessons, a very useful exchange of information took place,

Friday 19th February
Half-Year Reports and Objectives are completed and sent to parents.

Monday 23rd – Friday 27th February Half Term

Monday 15th March
Josiane Habegger and Maryléne Garnier visited us for the morning. These two teachers are planning to set up a French-speaking school, Les Dix Atoûts, in Neûchatel for children with learning difficulties. They were on a fact-finding mission and went away with lots of ideas which they hope to implement in their new school.

Tuesday 16th March
Three visitors from Collège du Léman came to observe Oak Hill lessons. They were the newly appointed Primary Principal, Pauline Noord and teachers Evelyn van Zoonen and Harriet Rowlandson. They thoroughly enjoyed their morning – especially watching ‘their’ students working in a different setting!

Wednesday 17th & Thursday 18th March
Parent Conferences. Held twice a year, Parent Conferences provide an opportunity for parents to discuss their child’s progress and view their work.

Thursday 25th March – End of Winter Term

Friday 26th March
Pedagogical Day

Last year Oak Hill purchased the Conference Set of lectures of the 2008 International Dyslexia Association Conference in Seattle, Washington. For our first Professional Development Day this year, we decided it would be valuable to continue listening to some of the lectures by professionals who are top of their fields. In all, we listened to four presentations, two of which were especially worthwhile.
The first of these was from the Symposium on Written Expression, presented by Steven Graham, Ed.D., Professor and Currey Ingram Chair in Special Education, Vanderbilt University. Professor Graham discussed research on a variety of writing instructional methods and teaching techniques for improving students’ writing skills.
The second lecture, which we all felt had considerable implications for us as teachers striving for the very best practice, was by Jean Osman, M.A. Executive Director (retired) Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota. This presentation was an over-view of verbal-auditory processing problems, which create significant interference in students’ lives, especially when misunderstood.
By the end of the day, we felt that, as teachers, we had all ‘developed professionally’! Not only that, but that our ideas and thoughts about the children we teach had evolved and been enriched.