Induction to Atlantic College: Camp

At Atlantic College or rather the United World College of the Atlantic, first years have to arrive at school in mid August and second years about a week and a half earlier than us. In my opinion, the school had better have a good reason to justify that early arrival. Thankfully, they organized an induction program for us.

After a harrowing bus ride from Heathrow to the school, we were given a rowdy welcome with pots and pans, megaphones and lots of enthusiastic students. It was to be perfectly a little intimidating, especially when you know little to no one around you. Thankfully, we were quickly found by the others in hour house and ushered to our new accommodations. We were told by our second years that it was a school tradition that they carry our bags and luggage, but I suspect it was nothing more than a good excuse, or maybe they were brain washed by their second years as well.

Nevertheless, we quickly found our dorm and house and pretty soon when the second bus load of people came along, we were the ones crying out load and scaring the **** out of some other people. We had considered creating a tradition of having first years carry first years back to the house, but when we found our fellow and missing dormmate to be a tall lanky Dutch, we decided against it and instead grabbed and stole his luggage from his grasp.


SDIOP – Review

The school has never done it before, at least not in the 5 years that I’ve been at SIS, and I have no idea why the school suddenly decided to do so, perhaps it has to do with IB or maybe it’s to do with the CIS/WASC accreditation the school desperately wants. Regardless of the motivation, the school finalized the ‘School Development, Improvement and Operation Strategic Plan 2009-2010’ in September 09.

A few words about its creation:
A very brief draft had been shown to Student Council ONCE before and demanded that all copies be returned at the very same meeting which means no-one knew how it has changed since then. Those in the School Council, even the student representative not only refuse to give details, they are bound by some kind of contract to stay mute under a gag-order.

The fact that it was finalized during the summer holidays at the start of the school year means that Student Council wasn’t consulted on the final version. Surprise!

I received a copy of the SDIOP from Mr. Wray after sending my request in. Here is a summary of the proposal and a sign of where SIS’s development will go.

  • Student population will remain at 1,400 for the time being
  • The school is “not yet ready to take that (MYP) decision although the developments are largely aligned with the approach of MYP”
  • More cross-curriculum links amongst subjects and across years
  • An integrated Humanities program to be introduced for year 7’s starting next school year
  • 1,250,000 maximum for development of creative subjects within curriculum over the next 3 years
  • 200,000 for training and planning of new IB language courses to begin teaching in 2011-2012 academic year
  • All students with few exceptions to focus on one language from year 9 with possibility of extending this to year 7 or 8
  • New ‘Moodle’ learning platform at http://vle.sis.edu.hk/ piloted in Maths, English, LF and DT to be completed by 2011-2012
  • Release of Moodle in Spring 2012
  • Increased international education links with China and HK schools and possibly African, French and Spanish schools in 2012-2012
  • Consideration and review of early entry, fast track and pre IB courses for certain students
  • Online school calendar arrangements finalized
  • “Extended student representation and leadership on school consultative groups”
  • CIS/WASC accreditation in March 2012
  • 300,000 for staff leadership development
  • Staffing costs increase 1 million per year with no new staffing changes
  • A possible new building costing 60 million or more to be decided by the School Council this year
  • New public announcement scheme installed in 2009-2010
  • Learning at SIS sent 3 times a year
  • New annual report published yearly
  • Atrium strategy approved by School Council in December 2009

Appendix D – IB Diploma Results 2009

The strange and quirky results reporting I noted in a previous post was once again, suspiciously repeated at the end of the SDIOP. Once again, the comparative results were left out

Verdict – Skim

Top Posts of the Year: 2009

It’s been a relatively short year for this blog, but it has nevertheless been a fruitful one with nearly 40 posts in a short 2 months period. Here’s a round up of the top posts of 2009.

1. IB Results

SIS had its first batch of IB students completing their exams and the results of this was released sparsely with only certain staff members insisting that they were wonderful. However, in an ironic twist, the school carefully choose to exclude a number of important statistics of comparison.

2. Principal Interviews

With the announcement that Mr. Wray was due to go to another school, the process of selecting a new principal began. Ultimately, Mr. Graham Silverthorne was selected. You can read his bio here.


Principal Interviews

Mr. Wray, who joined SIS over 8 years ago, dropped a bombshell earlier this academic year when he announced his decision to leave SIS at the end of the year. Although students weren’t informed until September, the school has known for a while and had already begun advertising for a new school principal.
As with most deputy principal and head of section selection, one component of the selection process is student interviews. I’ve been asked to sit on the panel of students. However, it is ultimately a decision that’s going to affect everyone. In an unprecedented move, I’m asking students for their suggestions and opinions on the questions to be posed.


Fist, here is an outline of the 4 candidates identified by an unknown, school chosen selection committee as put in the schools newsletter.


IB Results

One of my favorite Bushisms of all time is :
“Fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again”

Of course it SHOULD have been :
“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”

It was an age old saying that came back to my mind after Mr. Wray’s insistence that our first year of IB results had been exceptional.