Dear Parents,
Just like those times you don’t hear from your son because he is too busy or too happy to call or write, I realize that I have been guilty of the same thing. 

The boys have made it through their mid-year trials over the last two weeks (pictures on Facebook) and have received the results for most of them. Their marks will be shared with you when the teachers write the reports that will be issued ahead of Founders; an opportunity to catch up other than the PTMs. For the SC Form, these results are a very good indicator for their predicted grades and they put in a lot of work to do as well as they could, spurred on as they were, by the University Fair earlier this month. Of course, it is their aspirations that should be shaped by their predicted grades, not the other way around! The deadline for early applications to some of the most selective overseas universities corresponds with Founders this year.
While the students have been sitting for their assessments, so have the teachers. As part of our process of evaluation and continuous improvement they have received feedback from their HoDs, Deans and Directors and concluded having a one-on-one conversation with me for 45 minutes each. Over the last year, the focus of our professional development as teachers has been looking at what causes learning in the classroom. This means that when we look at teacher effectiveness, we are looking for their planning, actions and choices that lead to and create student learning. We then give evidence based feedback on what they are doing well and what they can improve on. The HoDs have all accompanied me on classroom walkthroughs that we have followed with conversations about what we need to respond to or pick up on and what we can leave for later. Just like our students, we can only coach for one or two improvement points at a time. I have learned so much from my colleagues during these conversations and one thing I am delighted to share is that the way in which we are giving feedback this year seems to be helping better learning happen on their part. Rather than looking to see if we think they fall into categories that you can allocate a tick box to, we are interested in helping people improve their practice and recognizing that we can all improve.

On Saturday 23rd, we hosted the AGM of the Indian Public Schools Society (IPSS); the society, made up for the most part by DSOBS members, that owns and runs the school as a collection of trustees. This happens every year at the school, though in the past it has happened at Founders. The AGM corresponded with the opening of the DSOBS Doscobilia store on campus, just next to the library, the first store of its kind at a school in India. Do come and have a look during your next visit. But the main order of business was to thank Gautam Thapar for his hard work, support and generosity during his tenure on the board and as our chairman from 2012 to 2017. After the meeting we hosted a dinner in his honour as some of his batch-mates, friends and colleagues shared their reflections on the way that he has led the board and the school. We then welcomed Sunil Munjal as the new chairman, someone we are all looking forward to working with.

Our admissions tests took place on Sunday 24th with almost 200 boys coming to take the three papers in school and another 200 or so taking the tests in 7 outstation centres that we administer around the country and in 8 embassies and universities overseas. The following day the Assistant Headmaster, the Deputy Head (Academic) and I conducted two group interviews for boys who came from overseas to take the tests. The rest of the candidates for interview will be called once we have marked the papers and invited the top performing half. We will interview most of them here at Chandbagh but will also travel to Kolkata, Hyderabad and Mumbai to interview the remaining candidates (as well as to meet up with the DSOBS members in those cities).

I heard that all of the mid-term groups were safely at their first night destinations. Many of them left very early in the morning to make the journey and they had a beautiful day of cooler weather and sunshine to help them along the way after a weekend of rain. We have been in constant touch with our guides in the hills running up to the mid-terms to make sure that roads and passes are open and we are in contact with the groups to keep up to date with how they are getting on. I will be up in the hills to deliver two masters to their groups today and will spend the night with another group near Nag Tibba; I can’t wait to get into the hills with them.



Matthew Raggett

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