30th December 2004

 Dear Parents and Friends of the NES,

 As we are nearing the end of the calendar year and moving closer to start of the second semester, I would like to highlight some important new developments and initiatives relating to the educational and extracurricular services offered by different sections of the school. At the same time, for those of you who would like to share your thoughts and ideas concerning all aspects of the school’s performance, a new ‘suggestions box’ will soon appear in the school’s main lobby. If you wish to convey your views to me personally, kindly address your letters ‘for the attention of the Chairman’ and I will endeavour to address your points and respond.

 I would like to thank the vast majority of parents for their kind compliance with our current fee-paying arrangements and would remind everyone of the need to pay the necessary fees by the installment dates we have set. This naturally enables us to operate the school budget efficiently and to cater for every area of school expenditure without delay.

 I would now like to inform you of some important initiatives concerning different sections of the school.

 The Kindergarten (KG1 and 2)

 Our dedicated, experienced and highly creative team of KG professionals continues to offer a pre-grade school education of the highest standard in terms of both personal care and educational enrichment. Facilities are first-rate and the learning environment stimulating. Moreover, by the time they graduate from KG2, we can safely say that each and every one of our young students is more than ready for the educational and social aspects of the primary school curriculum. Infants of the NES KG quickly become accustomed to a big school atmosphere and make plenty of friends - yet each child also receives considerable individual attention.

 I would personally like to encourage more parents to give their youngsters this perfect start to their school careers and to have the chance to wear our badge with pride. Thus, for the scholastic year 2004-05, fees for KG1 and KG2 will be reduced by 40% - provided that the fees are paid in full by 30th April 2005.

 The Primary School (G1-6)

 The demand for places in the primary school has been very high in recent years and, as many of you will be aware, the G4-6 stage has offered parents the choice to opt for their children to study certain key subjects, e.g. Mathematics and Science, in Arabic (the bilingual stream) or in English.

 Some parents have expressed the view that placing their children in the English Stream will somehow inhibit the development of Arabic language skills. I would like to make it clear that English Stream students still receive plenty of Arabic tuition – up to 10 lessons per week – and that our advice would be for more people to choose the English Stream. Naturally, it provides an earlier and deeper foundation for IGCSE and advanced study. Indeed, external examination data for our major subjects indicates that those who study key subjects in English from an earlier age generally attain higher grades in their external exams later on.

 Secondary Department (G7-12)

 Curriculum Issues

 Grades 7-8

 In Grades 7 and 8 – commonly known as the pre-IGCSE stage – parents are again offered the opportunity to choose between the bilingual and English streams for subjects such as Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. As with the junior school, parents are advised to take up the English Stream option at the earliest opportunity. We will, of course, retain the bilingual stream for those who favour that option.

 Grades 9-10

 The NES will maintain its commitment to GCE O-Level Arabic and the IGCSE system. Whilst we currently favour the courses offered by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), Edexcel (the London Board) is also offering a range of IGCSEs nowadays and the Edexcel variant may be preferred in certain subject areas. Students and their parents will be given full details by the Secondary directorate and the courses on offer for 2005-07 will be outlined in the next edition of the ‘Way Ahead’ booklet – available from March 2005.

 Grades 11-12

 The British GCE A-Level courses will be retained indefinitely – especially after our high-achievers’ spectacular success in the Edexcel International Awards. Also, where suitably qualified subject specialists are available, we will aim to widen the range of subjects available, especially in the humanities.

 GCE A-Levels remain the principal entry standard for UK universities and are well respected and highly valued by higher education institutions worldwide. Students with good grade A-Levels will often attain sophomore status and/or gain credit hours. However, although the new-style A-Level offers more flexibility than before and the opportunity to obtain certification for the AS stage alone, we realize that A-Level courses are not necessarily suitable, accessible or appropriate for all of our senior students. Therefore, after a detailed feasibility study, the school has decided to provide – in addition to the A-Level courses - alternative study streams for 11th and 12th graders who would rather take the International Baccalaureate (IB) or SAT studies. Demand for these alternative pathways will be gauged early in the New Year, so that specific staffing and timetabling issues may be addressed. Once again, the Secondary Department’s Way Ahead booklet will be updated to reflect the wider choices and offer detailed advice to students and their parents. Essentially, the IB system is geared towards academically able students, whereas the SAT pathway will be suitable for students of differing abilities who wish to enter American universities in the States and elsewhere – e.g. AUB, etc. Regarding the GCE A-Levels, please be assured that they are held in very high regard within the Canadian and American University systems. Indeed, students with good grade A-Levels will often achieve sophomore status from the outset and/or gain credit hours for their A-Level accomplishments.

 The Special Needs Department

During the past year, the SND has been enlarged geographically with an attractive suite of classrooms now occupying an entire wing of the first floor of the Secondary School building. It has also been developed in terms of staffing, facilities and specialized equipment. Its dedicated teaching personnel possess a broad range of expertise and provide an intensive level of professional support and care for students with mild to severe learning difficulties.

 The SND has its own speech and language therapist, a fully qualified counselor, excellent IT facilities – including on-line learning and a range of specialized software/ CD ROMs. An activity room is set up for hands-on learning, motor skills development and role-play.

 Our SND is now a fully licensed centre for the Fast ForWord® scheme, an internationally renowned computerized reading and learning programme. Fast ForWord® is a CD-ROM and Internet-based training programme designed to improve language, reading and overall communication skills, based on the latest brain research. Fast ForWord® will help children who are experiencing difficulty in school due to problems with the English language (ESL students), learning differences, reading problems and attention disorders.

 Staff Training

 Many subject specialists in the Secondary Department will undertake the Cambridge International Teachers’ Diploma during 2005-06 and a further batch of teachers is expected to complete the ICDL Computer ‘Driving Licence’. The school is also committed to sending a team of teachers and senior managers to the Initiative for Innovative Teaching (In-Teach) Forum in February 2005.

 Students’ Achievements

 Our student-led newspaper continues to go from strength to strength and there is a strong possibility that some of our senior students will soon have the opportunity to produce their own Saturday afternoon radio show.

 Performing Arts

 After the success of Charlotte’s Web and My Fair Lady, the performing arts are clearly in fine health. Among the highlights of the second semester, the Secondary English Department will host the 5th annual Write To Be Heard revue show in March 2005, followed by the Drama Department’s production of The Lion King in April.

 International Trips and Model United Nations

 The school is planning to organize a series of education-oriented trips abroad. More details will follow shortly.

 Under the guidance of the Secondary school directorate, senior students have now established a fully operational Model United Nations (MUN) organization. Members of the NES MUN recently attended the 3rd Annual AMMUN conference here in Amman and have now trained their colleagues. As I write, the NES MUN is planning to send a delegation of students to an overseas conference, probably in the spring of 2005.

 DVD/ Data Show Projector

 Facilities in the school theatre have recently been upgraded to include a state-of-the-art DVD and data show projector. This equipment will be used for staff training purposes and for projecting educational DVDs. Additionally, we will be launching a cinema club as a regular after-school activity in the New Year. Further details will be provided in due course.

 These are some of the new developments I felt you should be aware of. As other developments transpire, I will, of course, keep you posted.

With greetings of the season and best wishes for the New Year,

 Yours truly,

 Said El Turk

Chairman/Director General


© Copyright 2005 NES