As an independent international school, we are always looking for ways to grow, learn, celebrate and reflect on our successes. One such point came within this last week when we learnt of some significant accomplishments for our community. We have been shortlisted for the very prestigious Independent Schools Association Awards in two different categories:
Excellence and Innovation in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Outstanding International Involvement
The first of these awards comes as a result of the fantastic initiatives and education we have done around diversity and inclusion, led by our dedicated diversity and inclusion coordinator Mr Wynter. While we will always be on a journey to be better in all aspects connected to this, we have made some huge strides with all stakeholders in promoting and raising awareness of issues related to equality.
The second award is after some literally groundbreaking work by Ms Sen in leading our tree twinning initiative with schools in Nepal. For every tree planted as a Dwight School London community, a tree was planted in Nepal and this was part of our efforts to start to give back to the environment and promote all things connected to sustainability and environmental issues.
Coincidentally, we were also awarded the highly coveted Gold Award from the Woodland Trust. This included gathering evidence to show how we are tackling environmental issues which included: planting trees, assemblies in the Lower and Upper Schools, Guest Speakers, Forest school and a student led CO2 survey. Dwight School is now in the top few schools in the UK to be awarded and recognised for its environmental activities. Like Dwight, our Himalayan White Bark Birch trees in front of Jubilee are growing stronger everyday and this month marks the first anniversary of them being planted!
Students pitch their ideas in our first Spark Tank event
As we begin the final term at Dwight, we begin the process of previewing and forecasting towards the next year. Part of this process involves discussions, activities and initiatives aimed at preparing students for the next phase of their IB learning journey.
M5 student James has been a tireless campaigner for autism awareness. This week, he brought in his own self-created board game, "Spectrum", to help introduce students and staff to some new information on autism.
At this week's Careers Evening, one message was clear - there is an exciting future awaiting for those who follow their passions and keep an open mind to where their path may lead. We look forward to seeing all the M5s, D1s and D2s who attended taking their next steps in their careers.
One of the ways we cultivate the Spark of Genius in every student is through our after school clubs. These allow students to explore their own passions. We are excited to announce the new opportunities available after the Easter Break.
Our young students have been redesigning old diaries, breathing new life into pages that would otherwise have gone to waste. Not only are they encouraging people to save paper, but the money raised by selling the diaries will be supporting our school charity!
Yesterday, our M5 students finished their year-long project. Their talks showcased a real breadth of causes that they care about, and the commitment and self-management skills to work towards making a difference.
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by women. This week, the focus was 'Women in Science'. We highlighted some amazing female scientists, as well as inviting students to join the STEMettes programme next month.
Year 5 presented a wonderful assembly today, demonstrating their creativity and collaboration skills. Their unit on migration was presented in a way that mirrors the big Year 6 Exhibition, preparing them for their final year in the Lower School.
Being part of a global network of Dwight schools means we can work together to form powerful collaborations. Next month, the Dwight family of schools will come together to create an incredible worldwide concert, featuring performances by some of Dwight School London's music students.
The signs of spring have been perfectly timed to coincide with our return to school next week. A bit more time under the duvet during the cold February mornings was welcomed, but now that the days are getting warmer, we are excited to be heading out of lockdown.
During our World Book Day assembly, "Wonder Woman" spoke to a whole host of characters, including Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the Christmasaurus! We also had an interview with a published author from our very own Lower School!
Students in our M5 French class campaigned for diversity in a range of formats - from a letter to FIFA, to a speech to school students - as a way of applying their French writing skills while taking action.
Next week is our Language and Literacy Week - but our students aren't the only ones getting their heads into a book! Yesterday, the Upper School teachers were having their very own book club meeting...
On the 18th March, we will showcase the great achievements of the M5s Personal Project. We have had a range of brilliant projects this year that the students have done and cannot wait for you to see them. They are diverse, exciting, innovative and powerful examples of students using their Sparks of Genius to impact learning.
Over the last few weeks our latest house competition, House Photography, has been alive and kicking with submissions from all over the Upper School. Students have been capturing some quite remarkable images under the theme of ‘Black and White’.
On Friday, we had our Language Acquisition Assembly, announcing the winners of our 5 language challenges: around the world, sports, cooking, songs and poems. It was very difficult to choose the winners - as the quality of their entries clearly shows.
It is LGBTQ+ History Month! Over the next few weeks at Dwight, we will be showcasing the talents and achievements of individuals from the LGBT+ community, like singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama and Captain Hannah Graf, the highest ranking trans person in the British Army.
This term, Mr Goulding will be retiring from his teaching career. We wish him a happy retirement, and we hope you will join us in welcoming his replacement, Mr Lewis. We are hugely excited for the expertise, passion and energy Mr Lewis will bring.
Where would we be without the internet? How different our current lockdown lives would look without access to the internet, which we rely on for learning, shopping, family and friends. However, it does not come without its risks.
I confess I made a small sigh of disappointment when I heard that the current lockdown would be extended until at least 8th March. However, there have been many positive experiences during our current remote learning.
Lower School students have an exciting chance to meet the inspirational Josiah Skeats - also known as the "Adventure Storyteller". He has braved the Arctic, cycled round the world, and sailed the Indian Ocean.
While we are all in lockdown, it is easy to find yourself sitting in front of a screen all day. We are challenging everyone in the school to take 15 minutes everyday to reconnect with nature in the Outdoor Selfie Challenge.
The Student Council have taken the initiative to put out a weekly bulletin while we can't be in school together. From recipes to Netflix recommendations, we are proud to see our students keeping their community spirit alive.
Our EAL programme was recently praised by the International Baccalaureate who asked our Head of Department, Lucineh Danielian, to present about the work she does and the progress our students make at the Global Conference.
As the new year is about to commence, several students may well be thinking about taking up an instrument. Music is well known for supporting independence, concentration, confidence and memory skills to name but a few.
Over the past few weeks, as I have been astounded by the variety and depth of knowledge students from both the Upper and Lower School have shown me in the Y6 exhibition, Personal Projects, and Mathematics investigations.
This week we thought about gratitude and giving thanks, and this coincided with the American Thanksgiving Holiday. With COVID pandemic dominating much of the news cycle in recent times, the simple act of saying thanks may have been lost or buried amongst all of the other things that we are thinking about.
International Day of Tolerance and Anti-Bullying this Week
This week our students talked about the International Tolerance Day, which is organised by the United Nations and works specifically with the intention of uniting the world (whatever your customs, religions or beliefs) through mutual understanding and respect.
Many of our students take public transit or walk home and, with the onset of winter, when the school day ends it is often dark when our students are going home. We are collaborating with schools in our local area to keep students safe after school.
We have been working on a unique and pioneering 'Tree Twinning' project in collaboration with the schools in Nepal, by planting trees in Barnet. Our first tree planting last week has started life for 210 saplings.
We would like to invite our Lower School parents to learn a little more about life in Dwight Upper School from the perspective of our students and Upper School parents. Join us for our virtual Upper School open day on Tuesday 24th November at 12-1pm.
Learning about identity and relationships is important in all the IB programmes. At Dwight, we want to educate students so that they understand the value of positive relationships and importance of respect for self and others in nurturing and maintaining relationships.
Despite COVID-19 curtailing our after-school program, we still have a number of opportunities throughout the week and term for students to get involved with a range of activities that develop teamwork, collaboration, and out of the box thinking.
I am often asked about the difference between an IB education and a typical British education. On Tuesday 17th November we are hosting an evening event to unlock the mysteries of an IB education, helpfully called: IB Information Evening.
We hosted our first inter-House competition yesterday. Year 3 and 4 took part in a football and hockey tournament and can now announce that Visionaries won the football and the Pioneers won the hockey tournament.