Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Malawi project update: Making a roof out of biscuits!

Our Primary section pupils and teachers can proudly see the results of their regulary weekly biscuit sales in aid of the Chankhasi School in Malawi. Donations have been used to buy the roof trusses which are now in place and pending the completion of the school roof. The Chankhasi school has made huge advances in the last two years and our continued support will be essential to keep up this pace of development.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Newsletter September 2009.

Dear parents and students,

Firstly I would like to welcome you all back to school and to the start of the academic year 2009/2010. We have thirty-five pupils who are completely new to our school community and I am sure that they will be quickly integrated and made to feel at home.
I want to welcome three new members of our teaching staff: Steve Gallego, who has taken over as physical education teacher and coordinator, Lorraine McFarlane, who returns to Morna as assistant teacher in the nursery class and Vannessa Pearson who has joined us as assistant teacher in Year 2.

Here are a few brief but important news items relating to the start of this academic year and the conclusion of the last one:

Academic performances worth celebrating.

Excellent overall results were achieved by pupils in the Year 11 class who sat their main GCSE examinations last June.
Ten out of the fourteen pupils who completed Year 11 passed between six and nine subjects, four of these passed all nine examinations and one pupil actually achieved grade A or A* in every single subject.
In total 80% of all examinations taken resulted in grades A* to C (the grades that are recognised as passes for access to higher education)
These results confirm that Morna International College is reaching its targets with regards to academic performance and, as the table below clearly demonstrates, there has been very substantial improvement over the last four years.

IGCSE performance for pupils in Year 11
Year 2006 2007 2008 2009
A* to C 54% 60% 68% 80%
A* or A 19% 26% 28% 31%

In addition to this, evidence from SAT’s and internal assessment of pupils throughout the school suggests that these standards will be maintained in future years.
Pupils in Year 12 taking the first half of the ‘A’ level qualification (‘AS’) achieved an overall 82% pass rate, which places them in a good position to successfully complete their ‘A’ levels this year.
We also continue to raise expectations and standards in the Spanish and German examinations where pupils are often entered one or two years earlier than the other subjects. Native speakers are taking ‘AS’ and ‘A’ level examinations in Years 10 and 11 and even non-native speakers are now entering the Spanish IGCSE a year early. Virtually all of their results have been A* or A.

Parent-tutor meetings

The introductory meetings for parents are scheduled as follows:
Monday 21st September: Parents from Years 10, 11, 12 and 13.
Tuesday 22nd September: Parents from Nursery and Reception.
Wednesday 23rd September: Parents from Years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Thursday 24th September: Parents from Years 7, 8 and 9.

The meetings start at 15:45. We hope that you can all attend as they provide an excellent opportunity to meet teachers and tutors and receive information about our plans and objectives for the academic year.

Other events in the first half term.

The annual book fair will be taking place on Monday 28th September. Invitations to all parents will be distributed via the pupils.
Our traditional autumn fund raising event is scheduled for Wednesday 21st October.

Precautions with respect to H1N1 flu.

Morna International College will be following all guidelines issued by the local health and education authorities with regards to the H1N1 flu (‘swine flu’).
At present these consist of the following:
Hygiene measures to avoid infection.
Teachers will explain and reinforce good hygiene habits such as: regularly washing hands (soap and water are available in all the main classrooms as well as the toilets), avoiding sharing cups and utensils, using tissues and not coughing or sneezing into the open air. Parents should also help us to reinforce these habits.
Isolation of individual cases
Pupils should not be sent to school if they have fever or other flu symptoms. Pupils at school who have a fever will be immediately isolated and their parents will be required to take them home.
Information and tracking.
Parents must inform the school if their child is diagnosed as having H1N1 flu so that we can monitor any spread of the illness in particular classes or sections.

At this point in time there is no recommendation for delay to the start of the academic year. We will keep parents informed of any developments or further instructions from the health authorities.

Access to news and information.

The updated version of our Parents Handbook is available for downloading from the school website:
The school calendar can also be found there. Alternatively, parents may collect copies from Linda in the school office.
Please remember that regular news items and copies of letters are placed on our school blog:
All parents should have provided the school with an e-mail address for individual communication. If you have not already done so, please give this address to Linda or send it to
or via a note to your child’s tutor.

Finally I would just like to wish all of our students an enjoyable and highly successful school year.

Yours truly,

Adrian Massam.