Head of School update

The past year has been a memorable year for us all and, despite working through a global pandemic and a lockdown, I am pleased to say that it has been a successful year of learning at Dwight School London. In December 2020, we reached an important milestone of 25 years as an International Baccalaureate (IB) world school. The IB is in our DNA and it shapes the values and culture of our school in addition to moulding our curriculum and our approach to learning and teaching. I am looking forward to celebrating this significant milestone with all the school community later in the summer term, when we will have the opportunity to meet together in person.

Although life in London has been dominated by COVID-19 there have been many silver linings for the school and I would like to share with just a few of the many highlights from the past year... 

Working remotely and providing online learning for all students has showcased the school’s future-ready approach to educational technology. With only a few teething problems the school was ready and able to switch to remote learning quickly. Our use of Google Classroom was already well established and we quickly honed our expertise in online platforms. It has been a good opportunity for students to take the lead and at times help their teachers navigate new technologies.It has been inspiring to see the way that teachers and students have taken the opportunity to be creative and find new ways to build meaningful learning experiences when we have not been able to be in the classroom together. Helping our M5 and D1 students prepare for the self discipline and independence of higher education, they continue to have the option to work remotely one day per week.

REMOTE LEARNING

Our Dwight Scientists in the Lower School inquire about outer space in their 'Mission to Mars' lesson.

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Beyond the classroom, we used online platforms innovatively to strengthen our community values and share our learning. This included daily music performances, student-parent-teacher conferences, a parent-led careers event, the Personal Project showcase, assemblies with inspiring guest speakers, virtual coffee mornings and a personalised graduation ceremony. 

As the world was coming to terms with the coronavirus pandemic, we were shocked by the killing of George Floyd and galvanised by the explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement. This raised serious issues around equity, diversity and inclusion for the school to address. Led by Mr Wynter (our Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator), staff, students, parents and alumni have worked together to explore the issue and to look critically at ourselves, and where as individuals and as a school we need to change. The outstanding work done by Mr Wynter has been recognised by the Dwight family of schools and he is extending his role to be the Global Dwight Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator.

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

Mr Wynter shares his perspective on the work he has been doing over the past year.

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Throughout the year, both in lockdown and in school, our Arts programme has been thriving. The children in the Lodge delighted us with their video performance of celebrations around the world, and our Upper School students demonstrated both technical and theatrical expertise with their innovative and moving online performances.

Students of all ages expressed themselves in artwork produced both in school and at home - the highlight being the inspirational artwork of our D2 artists in their final, virtual exhibition. Our music programme, both in school and via the Saturday Conservatoire, has continued to thrive and delight us with live and recorded concerts, which culminated in the global online music concert last Saturday.

We were very excited to welcome all our students into school in September, which was made possible by the efforts, care and attention of the Principals and support staff who prepared the school to be COVID-safe for the return of students and staff. Additional cleaning, social distancing measures, and (since March) the testing of staff and Upper School students has provided us with the confidence to enjoy learning back in school. By maintaining “bubbles” we have been able to continue with collaborative learning and House events and activities. We are planning to resume a full after-school activity programme in the summer term as lockdown restrictions are eased. View a list of Lower School and Upper School activities here.

With so much time spent indoors and on-screens, our Forest School programme has been a blessing. Students from Kindergarten to M1 have benefited from regular learning outdoors, building confidence, engaging with nature and developing interpersonal skills. Visits from Maddie, our Forest School dog (in training) has been an added bonus.

For me, the top highlight of the year was the PYP exhibition of our Year 6 students’ learning. The skills, knowledge and learner profile attributes nurtured in the process and shared with us at the exhibition was an eloquent statement of the value of an IB education. To hear 11-year-olds speaking with confidence about meaningful, authentic global issues and reflecting on the learning process was inspirational. They truly demonstrated how an IB education at Dwight is educating young people who are inspired to make the world a better place.

PYP EXHIBITION

Check out the amazing, self-directed work our Year 6s have been working on for the last several months.

PYP Exhibition

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As I hope you are able to see, we have a vibrant learning environment at Dwight and we are constantly seeking ways to improve our provision despite the challenges of the past year. In order to deliver the best possible education for your children we regularly review our expenditure and income with a view to setting the school fees in a way that enables us to meet our goals, invest in our facilities and to recruit and retain high quality staff. Additionally, we expect the significant cost of maintaining a safe environment for children during the pandemic will continue at least well into 2022, and we are also seeing above-inflation increases in our service contracts due to ongoing boosts to the national minimum wage. 

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that, as set out in our Terms & Conditions, families who do not intend to return to Dwight in September 2021 are obliged to give the school notice of withdrawal by the end of the Spring term. Due to the uncertainties posed by the pandemic, we have extended this deadline until 30th April. All families are asked to complete the re-enrolment form via Open Apply by Friday, 30th April 2021. You are reminded that if you give us notice of withdrawal after 30th April you will be liable for the next term’s (Autumn 2021) fees.  Even if you have already notified the school in some way about your departure, it is very helpful if you would complete this form so that we have all of the information in one system.

As our admissions team has many applications in process for September 2021, places will be offered to new families as they arise. To view the list of fees for 2021/22 and terms and conditions, please click here.

Kind regards

Alison Cobbin

IB Continuum transitional moments

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.

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Science Week

We had a brilliant Science Week in the Lower School this week, touching upon everything from building our own electrical circuits to burning crisps!

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Listen to the music

After a fantastic celebration of musical talent at Dwight as part of our global concert, this week saw our M2s having fun with samba music in the park!

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Celebrating the spirit of Autism Awareness Week

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.

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Clubs and extended day

We are excited to be getting back to our normal routines. After the Easter break, the Lower School will be restarting clubs and activities, as well as trialing an extended day.

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Welcome from the Head of School - 26/03/21

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.

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After school offerings return

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.

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Healthy bodies and healthy minds

Our Lower School students pushed their body and mind to the limits in our House Fitness Competition. Between burpees, star jumps and the bleep test, they showed remarkable resilience and perseverance!

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Take a leaf out of their book...

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!

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MYP Personal Project Evening

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.

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Planting seeds for the future

Our students are learning to understand nature. Earlier today, they had the opportunity to give life by planting trees through our Global Tree Twinning project.

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International Women's Day

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.

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Year 5 Mini Exhibition

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.

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A Global Music Collaboration

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.

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Welcome from the Head of School - 05/03/21

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.

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Books books books!

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!

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M5 Spotlight: anti discrimination work

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.

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Welcome from the Head of School - 26/02/21

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...

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Middle Years Programme - Personal Project

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.

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Upper School House Competitions

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’.

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Celebrating languages

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.

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Upcoming events at the Lower School

We have several exciting events on the horizon, including the Literature and Language Week activities and the possibility of wraparound care for Lower School students.

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LGBTQ+ Month

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.

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Year 4 was born to explore

Lower School has had two special guest speakers recently: explorer Josiah Skeats and mum Mrs Pandeli. Take a peek at some of what they've been learning - including some fabulous explorer costumes!

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A fond farewell

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.

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Welcome from the Head of School - 05/02/21

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.

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Personalised learning at the Upper School

One of the three pillars of Dwight's mission is personalised learning, which can take many forms. One of the ways we differentiate teaching is with our extracurricular enrichment opportunities.

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Welcome from the Head of School - 29/01/21

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.

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Adventurer to visit Dwight (remotely!)

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.

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Community at the Upper School

One of the three Dwight pillars is 'Community', and this is a huge part of who we are at Dwight School London. As you can imagine, the need for this sense of community is now more pressing than ever.

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Welcome from the Head of School - 22/01/21

Making choices can be hard - but at Dwight we don't believe our students can't handle it. By supporting children's agency from a young age, we prepare them for making bigger choices later in life.

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Outdoors selfie challenge

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.

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Student Council's Tasty Treats

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.

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Welcome from the Head of School - 15/01/21

I think it is fair to say we could never have expected the surprises of 2020. As the year is drawing to a close there is time for reflection on the challenges and celebrations of the past year.

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University DP Spotlight

One of the joys of my role is working with our oldest Upper School students in their future journeys post-Dwight. Just this term we have had some exciting news regarding university admissions.

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EAL - leaders of the future

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.

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Peripatetic music lessons for 2021

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.

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Welcome from the Head of School - 04/12/20

I think it is fair to say we could never have expected the surprises of 2020. As the year is drawing to a close there is time for reflection on the challenges and celebrations of the past year.

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Welcome from the Head of School - 27/11/20

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.

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Giving Thanks

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.

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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.

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Community safety

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.

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Tree twinning initiative begins

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.

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Invitation to Upper School virtual open day

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.

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Welcome from the Head of School - 13/11/20

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.

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Extracurricular life in the Upper School

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. 

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Welcome from the Head of School - 06/11/20

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.

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House Competitions start in Lower School

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.

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