Dear Parents,
I hope that you are enjoying each other's company and feeling a little more complete having the family together. It is so special being together after the long term, seeing how your son has grown in height, in maturity and in dozens of little ways that you will notice over the coming weeks. Sometimes our children surprise us with what they are suddenly aware of or capable of; it's one of the great rewards of parenting that the investments we have made in our child keep on giving returns.
The last few weeks at school were full of activity, events, assessment and  closure. I know that most of you follow the Facebook and Instagram feeds (which often feature different content), so you will have seen the dance, the basketball, the PT, the band and the special assembly.
As well as announcing two new scholar's blazers and the academic awards, we said farewell to Dr. Ritu Mohan, our French teacher who has given 12 years of service to the school and is off to the UAE to teach. We also said goodbye to Raveesh Dogra, our Manager of Engineering, who has been helping improve our environment and infrastructure for the last 8 years. As well as the renovations of the science labs, K and H House dorms, toyes and roof, the main building, the classrooms and the staff apartments, he oversaw the work on the house that I live in! He will be joining Woodstock School as their Director of Administration. And we said bon voyage to Dinesh Kumar, our young Chemist from Bangalore who has been living in J House for the last few months. Dinesh has decided to return to the south and reconnect with his family. We will miss the quality of his planning and preparation for classes and his demanding, but kind and humorous approach to teaching.
Dr. Ritu Mohan Bahl
When the boys leave, the campus returns to a different state of calm, filled with more birdsong as the wildlife comes in a little closer from the edges. With no bells to remind those of us who remain what to do next, there is a change of pace which means that some of our meetings last longer!
The Housemasters Council met to review the term and think about the ways in which the activities, sports and inter-house competitions are both pillars of what we do as an all-round boarding school and burdens on time that have an impact on other things that are important in school. Our aim is to help everyone prioritise and make choices about what they do without limiting their opportunities; quality over quantity. Inevitably I think that we will have to place limits on choices to help prevent people being pulled in every direction to do, perform and contribute to their house; the cost of this is too high.
The Academic Council also met to review and analyze the results of the ISC and the IGCSE examinations. ISCs are familiar and have been at a consistent level since 2006. This year's average was a little lower than last year's at 86.9%, with 44% of the batch scoring over 90%. The topper in the batch scored 99% in English and best three, congratulations to Raghav Bagri.

Cambridge IGCSEs are less familiar to many, not only are they a new programme for the school with this being our first cohort, but it is also a different examination system from the one that most of us went through in school. One key difference is that the results are reported as letter grades rather than a percentage. 46% of the boys achieved five A* to A and 92% achieved five A* to C grades These are usually taken as the two measures of success for a school offering the programme. The topper in the batch scored 9 A*, congratulations to Rushil Choudhary. Over all, this is a good set of results, but some of our boys were disappointed; they were expecting more, and in some areas we were too.
We have already looked at the results that were very close to a grade boundary and will be helping the students put in a request for a review of marking and an enquiry about results. We will also be requesting some of the exam papers to be returned to us so that we can learn what feedback we need to be giving our students to improve.
When the grades are reported they come with a percentage, but the percentage is not one that is equivalent to an ICSE percentage; 53% of the marks in an IGCSE subject does not have the same meaning as 53% at ICSE and this is something that our Cambridge team will have to keep sharing and educating the community about.
The marking in IGCSEs is criteria based, rather than norm referenced; this is unfamiliar. The courses are skills and process based, using knowledge and the subject as the medium through which learning takes place; this is unfamiliar. The work that has to be put in to develop the understanding being assessed is something that has to be done consistently over two years, again, this is unfamiliar.
For university admission it is the consistency and improvement of results from the 9th to the 12th class that get you your place at college. These boys will continue with the programmes that we have been offering or the last 15 years, either the ISC or the IBDP route, to get there. The foundation that they have been given over the last four years is stronger than it has been and we will keep our eye on that target. At the moment, we know that of the graduating class, 90% of those applying abroad have received offers from their preferred college. We will have a complete picture in July when the IB results come in and the Indian university cut-off and placement details are available.
The IB exams are ongoing with the IB SC Leavers haunting the campus along with a few students waiting for their May session IGCSEs in Spanish, German and Design and Technology. 

Summer @ Doon has begun. We welcome 76 students from 12 states across India as well as from Nigeria and Bhutan to participate in a two week version of what we do here over six years; adventure, theatre, music, arts, service and sports as well as 20 modules designed by the staff around the theme of youth leadership and action. As much as I love what we have here during the term, S@D has a special energy and the co-educational nature brings many things that we don't usually have at Chandbagh.
Enjoy the break, look after each other and please spend the time you have together doing things you all enjoy and being grateful for what you have; this is the foundation of family and it builds the strength that our children have behind them when they find themselves in new situations.

Matthew Raggett
The Doon School
Mall Road
Dehradun-248 001
Uttarakhand (India)