Yesterday, I had lunch with two French Section Management Council presidents – the current one, Mr Vereecke, and also Ms Tracey, who was president in 2003 when TES as we know it was merely a pipedream struggling to become a reality.
Ms Tracey’s visit, along with one from Ms Moretto from the AEFE, who was with us at the FS from Monday to Wednesday, gave me the opportunity to observe our French Section from the perspective of someone on the outside. What do they see here that they don’t see anywhere else? What strikes them as unique that I am beginning to take for granted and consider normal?
The first thing they see is a big school. Asides from Singapore and Hong Kong, French Schools in the Asia-Pacific region tend to be small, and, even if size isn’t everything, it serves as a useful reminder that being part of a school with a student body of 1,770 as is the case with TES means our FS kids have access to a wealth of facilities and resources that are simply not available to schools with 800 students. Thanks to the cooperation that exists between the French, British and German Sections, Ms Tracey’s pipedream, has become a concrete reality.
They see more (thankfully) than just a big school. When they pass by classrooms at midday, during what should be the teachers’ lunch-break, they see them working with small groups of students, helping them catch up, fill in some gaps, making sure that the topic covered that morning is well understood and helping those that haven’t finished yet to do so.
They see primary and secondary teachers working together to ensure continuity in learning for our students. A project like the latest philosophy one, which will run from our infant classes right through to Terminale, the final year of high school, is the perfect example of that primary-secondary team work. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Boutet, our philosophy teacher and Mr Belin, the CM1 French teacher for proposing and coordinating this ambitious project. The theme for participating classes is Time, which as St Augustin tells us, is a difficult concept to explain, even though we know full well what it is.
They see children doing mathematics and enjoying it, and teachers putting the latest, most effective teaching methods into practice. They see students comfortably working with technology – particularly in CM1 and CM2 during the first of the STEAM weeks in collaboration with our friends from Skyrock Projects. It is important that our students are familiar with these types of activities, as we all know machines will play an important part in their lives in the future.
They see, or rather they hear, the students speaking, learning and growing using three languages – and we have to keep on repeating to ourselves that it is not something you see everywhere every day; it is not normal, it is something that makes us unique! They see parents who are committed, children who reap the benefits, teachers who give their very best. In short, they see a tight-knit school community connected by a common objective that everyone believes in.
These remarks are the ones the visitors to our school made this week and I am delighted to share them with you and to let you know that we can be very proud of our school!
Have an excellent weekend!