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September 2022 Edition

Start of Year Newsletter

I would like to welcome you all back to another exciting year at Stafford International School. Before we launch into it in full, just a reminder about how well our pupils did in the IGCSE exams and their A levels. We pride ourselves on being a family school. In any family there are those who are academically gifted and those who have other talents. Unlike some other schools who ruthlessly eject pupils not upto their high standards, we like to cater for almost all. Success can therefore be different things to different pupils. What I am proud of is the effort that has gone into these exams, from both my staff teaching the pupils and from the pupils themselves. “Excellence is not being the best…. it is doing your best.” Well done.

A Level Success.

63% of all A levels sat by Stafford pupils were either an A* or A grade. In the UK they managed 36%. Our "like for like" rivals were also left in our wake.

Renewed focus on Extra Curricular activities.

We have expanded our range of extra curricular activities so that pupils can experience those magic moments that shape a life. Please do ensure that if you sign up for an activity this term, that you honour it and take part in it every week. We ask that you show the same level of commitment that we ask our staff to do – to enable it to go ahead safely. I am particularly keen to push the Yoga sessions from my two Prana Lounge yogis. A great way for pupils to slow down and be mindful in a busy week.

Late pick up

Parents are requested to pick up children on time. Already this term some parents have failed to pick up children after school, or after their activity or club, on time. It is not fair on my staff who are already volunteering to do extra clubs and societies, to then have to wait an extra hour or more with a pupil, because they are not being picked up on time.

I hope that this genuine appeal will be answered and that we do not have to revert to more draconian measures.

Breakfast

Educating students about the importance of eating breakfast is important. Left to their own devices many will be tempted to miss it for a glucose drink substitute. Doing so can have serious consequences for their academic performance. For example, a study found that the odds of an 11 year old achieving an above average score on a test were twice as high for those who ate breakfast compared with those who did not.

All students have a dip in their ability as the morning goes on. However, if students had eaten a breakfast this decline was reduced by 50 to 65% compared to those who hadn’t had any breakfast. In a memory test conducted 4 hours after a revision session students who had not had breakfast suffered a 12% reduction in their scores. Students who had only a glucose drink for breakfast had a 27% decline in their scores. Those who had breakfast improved their performance by 3 to 5%.

Moral: please have a good healthy breakfast before coming to school, and ensure your snack is healthy as well. 25 School-Approved Healthy Snacks for Kids (weareteachers.com)

Swimming success

We had a really successful interhouse swimming meet with Felix running out eventual winners. There are some excellent swimmers at Stafford!

Danudi Wickramaratne, came first in the 50m Breast Stroke, 50M Back stroke and 200 Individual Medley and emerged the Under 14 Champion (Girls) for her three golds at the ’14th Sri Lanka Schools’ Aquatic Sports Novices Championships’ at the Sugathadasa Stadium.

Karate Success

Abdullah Fiyaz who got the Gold Medal in the Shotokan Karate National Championship on the 6th of August 2022

Wet Weather and Sport

Policy on Sport outside during inclement weather.

Swimming: swimming lessons will continue during the rain unless it is considered so hard that it is a health and safety issue. Swimming is expected to be taught at schools and this is part of our full and rich curriculum. As the weather is still warm and the pool is warm there are no health concerns for the pupils. If a child is sick and has a medical note they will be excused from swimming (as with all physical activities). This must be shown to the teacher as proof.

Soccer / Athletics / Netball/ Basketball (all outdoor sports) etc: These activities will continue in the rain. Where there are safety concerns (possibly javelin etc) they will be suspended, and pupils will be asked to do fitness training outside, with other athletic disciplines. Soccer takes place in the rain, all over the world. It will do so at Stafford too.

Cricket: Cricket will not take place if it is raining, but an indoor session or tactics session will be held in its place.

Only in extreme weather circumstances will sport outside be cancelled and an alternative indoor activity will be arranged.

Universities - Upper Sixth

We hope that all our pupils might like to go to university somewhere. As such we are having an online session on Friday the 16th for students to introduce them to BridgeU (our University assistance software) and how to use it etc. This is essential for all Upper Sixth and optional for the Lower Sixth.

Diana Gravett from the Customer Success Team at BridgeU will conduct an online session for Advanced Level students to explain how to use the BridgeU website for University applications and for choosing a suitable programme. A link will be sent to the students to log in for this session.

Day- 16th September 2022

Time- 4.00-4.45 pm

Archery

Stafford is lucky to have two top class archers in its ranks.

The Colombo Archery School (CAS) hosted Stage 4 of the 2022 archery tournament recently. We had archers from clubs and schools both National and International taking part.

Ameera: 50 m open event = gold

Meher: 50 m open event = 4th Well done to both. If you are interested in taking up archery do chat to the girls who can fill you in on how to get started.

Cricket masterclass

Congratulations to the U17 Cricket Team who are progressing nicely in the All Island Cricket competition. Over 220 schools started the knock out competition, and we are now in the last 32 teams. Some great performances by individuals but it is actually the Team ethic and teamwork that is proving decisive. Well done.

Year 1 has started well and they look very happy!

The Year 6 Graduation took place on the 23rd of August 2022

Looking back on year 6, the challenges, the highs, and the lows as a school and as a Nation, I am so proud of us all for persevering through difficult times. We were able to come together and have an online graduation. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to express my gratitude to fellow classmates, teachers, and staff though it would have been nice to have it physically, I was glad we met online. Moving forward we are keeping our hopes high for a better year filled with fun and learning!! Myron Fernando

Design Club

The Design Club of Stafford International School collaborated with the Academy of Design (AOD), in order to give our students a peek into the world of design. We were given the privilege of being spoken to by Karen MacLeod, the principal of AOD as well as a British designer. Later on, an AOD past graduate spoke to us on the topic of the way in which Sri Lankans can make an impact on the world through fashion and design. The concept of design includes everything from motion graphics, animations and fashion designing to marketing, graphics, visual design and more. We also gained an insight as to what Sri Lanka is missing in terms of the retail capital.

Paying our respects

On September 9th at midday, the normal sounds of fun and laughter stopped, and the school observed an impeccable minute’s silence to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II who was head of the Commonwealth. The pupils were taught a little about her remarkable reign (70 Years) and the values she stood for. May flights of angels sing her to her rest.

19 September: The School will remain open on Monday and we are expecting all pupils to attend school.

Half Term this term only

Just a reminder that all term dates are on our website Top Schools In Sri Lanka | Stafford School International Calendar (siscolombo.lk). We have factored in a half term break starting after the normal school day ends on Friday 14th – and running until 7.30am on Tuesday 25th October. School will restart at 7.30am on Tuesday 25th, but we hope to see pupils in a bit earlier (as normal) so they can make their first period at 7.30. We hope this is a reviving break for you all.