The end of this school year should have seen the publication of the French Section School Development Project 2019-2022, which we have been working on all year with FS parents, staff and students. However, it will not happen as planned. Our CEO, Mr Gatley has asked Sections to hold the publication of their individual plans until the TES Global Strategic Plan is ready. The TES Global Strategic Plan is well underway, and we will be meeting Dr Holmes, the coordinating consultant next week during
his third visit to our school.
It does not mean that the work we carried out and the discussions we had about the FS School Development Project have all been for nothing – far from it! There are aspects of our research that stand out and that we know are compatible with the vision of TES: we all want to be in a position to attract and hold on to the best teachers, we all want to provide students with the tools they need to succeed and achieve their full potential.
So, without getting ahead of ourselves and predicting the specific details of the FS School Development Plan for the next three years, we can nonetheless say that we would like to continue to work on staff career and professional development, and to make sure that our school is a learning space at every level. By the same token, as I explained in September, the refurbishment of our classrooms and the shift in pedagogy that it entails are also at the centre of our thoughts. The well being of our students (and our employees of course) is an area that we should also focus on: the responses to the various surveys
we have conducted this year tell us so loud and clear.
I am not expecting these general objectives to be in contradiction with the strategic plan of TES. We do know that the concrete actions, which will be put in place to achieve measurable results, will vary depending on the Sections. We know that cultural differences exist and that their symptoms put in a regular appearance despite everyone’s best efforts. Our ways of working (what teaching a “good lesson” means for a teacher or doing a “good job” means for a student) are conditioned by years of country and culturally specific training that make it difficult to be able to take a step back and see things from a
different perspective. It is true of all of the Sections and it can sometimes make dialogue go a little wonky.
The very essence of TES is its ability to find common ground between the Sections, so that each of us can move in the same direction, in our own way, all the while respecting each other’s differences. We can also find inspiration in the work of our partners, and we should aim to spend more time working with each other, so that our students receive the same coherent message from us – they all learn under the same roof and often share the same teachers. During a working group with parents, it was mentioned that one of the things they like most about the French Section is that we borrow from other education systems too. Fewer schools are as “international” as we are, while remaining intrinsically
French. Our School Development Project waiting in the wings will reflect that reality. We just need a little more time before we can share it with you. But as we have all learnt from the Philoménales project, taking your time doesn’t mean wasting it!