30th December 2004
Dear Parents and Friends of
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
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.
would now like to inform you of some important initiatives
concerning different sections of the school.
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
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
The Primary School (G1-6)
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.
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)
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
school is planning to organize a series of education-oriented trips abroad. More
details will follow shortly.
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
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.
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,