Wednesday, 4th July 2018

Whole School Newsletter

Dear Parents,

What a year we have had! Each week when I read the newsletters I am surprised at how busy the school week is, right from the Early Years, through to our Diploma students. As we end the school year I always like to look back at the year that has passed and consider what have been the highlights, and what I am looking forward to in the coming year.

There are so many wonderful things that have happened that it is difficult to choose just a few. The Year 6 exhibition last week definitely has to be in the Dwight highlight reel, as do the M3 Community Project and M5 Personal Project evenings. If you want to appreciate what learning is like in the IB programmes, visiting each of these exhibitions would have given you an excellent insight into the importance of inquiry, research, creativity and communication within the Primary Years and Middle Years programmes.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the many concerts, exhibitions and performances I have seen at Dwight this year; it is clear the arts are alive and well in the school. We started the year in good form with our international choir fest with students joining us from New York, Shanghai, Berlin and West London. Many of these students later reconnected at our sensational Carnegie Hall concert. It was a joy to be part of these international collaborations and to see our students flourishing on the stage.

I have seen many great dramatic performances this year, but I think the highlight for me was Brief Interviews with Internet Cats, which was performed by the younger members of the Upper School under the direction of Ms. Krohn. For many it was their first evening performance at Dwight - it was very funny and the acting was superb.

Sport has really taken off in a big way at Dwight this year with the introduction of girls' football in the Lower School, volleyball in the Upper School and participating in an international basketball and volleyball tournament in Venice. A highlight for me was watching the Lower School girls playing in their first football tournament and seeing their progress from one game to the next. It was also wonderful to end the year on a high with two inclusive and competitive Sports Days.

Perhaps my favourite day of the year was 18th May, when we welcomed Chancellor Stephen Spahn to London to honour his 50 years as Head of the Dwight Schools. The sun shone as I had the privilege of showing Stephen around our school, visiting classrooms to see the learning, enjoying a streetparty picnic lunch in the Lower School before the Spahn Building naming ceremony in the Upper School. I was very proud of our school as the students spoke passionately about their learning and asked insightful questions about Chancellor Spahn's career in education. To top the day off, Chancellor Spahn spoke at our Graduation Ceremony and Dinner, where we celebrated the achievements of our D2 students. As always, it was our students, their confidence and enthusiasm, that Chancellor Spahn remarked upon, and he returned to New York very impressed with the vibrant learning environment in London.


There are also many exciting things to look forward to next year. Next week I will be accompanying a small group of students and teachers to Kathmandu, to continue our Nepal Project. Whilst we are there we will visit several schools, volunteer at the zoo, and establish a service learning project with a community school near the zoo. I am particularly excited about this trip as it builds on the links we have already established in Nepal and paves the way for a sustainable, reciprocal cultural and community service exchange with schools in Nepal.

Our school maintenance team will be busy over the summer holidays. When we return in September we will have new washrooms in the Lodge and the Spahn campus, and new science labs in the Upper School. A lot of planning and preparation has gone into the projects and work will continue throughout the summer holiday to ensure they are ready for the start of term.

There are many other initiatives that we look forward to developing next year, including the Forest School in the Lower School, a music festival in Dwight Shanghai, a Saturday music conservatoire and revitalised retreat trips in the Upper School. However, the heart of our school is the learning, and more than anything else, next year I look forward to working with the community at Dwight London, in the year that marks the 50th anniversary of the International Baccalaureate, to seek excellence in our IB programmes so that our children can help us on the journey to educate for a better world.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the Dwight School community for their help and support over the past year.  I am constantly delighted with the effort and energy the staff team invest in the school. There have been many positive changes introduced into the school this year and I am grateful for the hard work of my colleagues in helping us bring improvements to the school. I am also very grateful for the support of parents for the many events held over the past year. The Dwight Parent Association (DPA) has been generous with their time and the fabulous Summer Fair was a fitting climax to the DPA calendar this year; many thanks to Kate, Annie and their teams. The parents on the School Consultative Group have also worked tirelessly behind the scenes to support strategic planning and the school leadership. Finally, I would like to thank the students whose curiosity, generosity and enthusiasm for learning really do make it a joy to come to school each day.

It is sad to have to say goodbye to people who have been part of our school community, and at the end of each school year there are always a number of farewells. Whilst we know we will miss those who are leaving, we are pleased to have had the opportunity to get to know them. We are also pleased to know that we have an extended community that is spread across the world and we are able to keep in touch so easily with technology and travel. We wish all our families who are moving on safe travels and soft landings.


We also know that there will be exciting new prospects to get to know more new faces next year and to welcome new people into our community.

I wish you all refreshing and relaxing summer holidays.

Warm regards


Alison Cobbin

Head of School


Thursday - 5 July 2018
All day
Dwight School (Upper School), 6 Friern Barnet Ln, London N11 3LX, UK

Dwight School London

6, Friern Barnet Lane. N11 3LX

+44 208 8920 0600