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September 2009 Volume 7 Issue 1

Fort Pembroke, Pembroke PBN1621 MALTA [email protected] 356 21375133

The Class of 2009

INSIDE THIS ISSUE 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Welcome New Headmaster IB News Board News Staff Profiles `Swine' Flu Swimmers Events Young Leaders Conference

Arcaine Fabio - Interior Design ­ Instituto Europeo di Design, Milan, Italy. Bogrash Alice ­ International Relations ­ University of British Columbia, Canada. Chehab Andre ­ Economics ­ University of Malta. Cho Pok Man ­ Architecture ­ University of Liverpool, UK. Csurgo Zita ­ Hotel Management ­ SHMS, Switzerland. Duka-Trapnell Jona ­ Computer Science ­ King's College London, UK. Gauci Gianella ­ Accountancy ­University of Manchester, UK. Haider Omair ­ Business ­ University of Toronto, Canada. Hayat Nauman ­ Food Sciences ­ University of Illinois, USA. Heidsma Charlotte ­ Biomedicine ­ King's College London, UK. Kulek Alex ­ Marketing ­ University of Manchester, UK. Lancsak Adam ­ Arts - University of the Arts London, UK. Lord Hannah ­ Graphic Design ­ Instituto Europeo di Design, Milan, ITALY. Nikolova Vessela ­ Fashion Design ­ University of the Creative Arts, UK. Phillips Katrina ­ Liberal Arts ­ Brown University, USA. Piras Eleonora ­ Economics ­ Sardinia, ITALY. Roudnev Sviatoslav ­ Business ­ GENEVA. Said Abby ­ Psychology ­ John Mores University, UK. Schmid Steven ­ International Business with Mandarin - Middlesex University, UK. Stott Barrie ­ Theatre Arts - Aberystwyth, Wales, UK. Tsilkov Kiril ­ Business ­ University College Tilburg, Holland. Van der Groen Joshua ­ Geology ­ University of Leeds, UK. Van Osch Allard ­ Business Management ­ Royal Holloway University, UK. Yao Rulian ­ Psychology ­ University of Queensland, AUSTRALIA. Zammit Julienne ­ Sociology ­ Warwick University, UK. Ziemba Brooke ­ Liberal Arts ­ University of Northern Arizona, USA. Angel Alycia ­ Gap Year. Arends Cosmo ­ Gap Year.

Congratulations to the Class of 2009. The students Graduated at the Commencement Ceremony in June. These multinational graduates are pursuing a wide range of courses and careers as indicated below. We wish them every success in their future endeavours'

"My name is Nollaig Mac

an Bhaird and I am from Ireland. I left Ireland in 1983

(See page 3)

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September Newsletter

Developments at Verdala

Over the summer there has been the usual maintenance work undertaken. This year there have also been some more substantial works as well. SECURITY CAMERAS ­ with a grant from the US State Department security cameras have been installed throughout the school. This will allow us not only to feel more secure but also we'll be able to monitor activity at the School. SOCCER PITCHES ­ the project of constructing the 5-a-side soccer pitches is well underway. There will be some disruption (noise and dust) which we hope to keep to a minimum. The hope is that the pitches will be ready by the end of October. With projects of this size, however, there are always unforeseen problems so we may have to wait until November. One delay already is from the electricity company which has yet to move the poles in the middle of the site. Once completed, the pitches will be a huge improvement in our PE facilities.

In future issues of the newsletter I will be profiling our teachers ­ who they are, where they hail from, their ideas and so on. As key members of staff that all parents need to know, I start this issue with the 3 School Principals ­ Simone Brincat the High School Principal, Noel Buttigieg the Middle School Principal and Wendy Mistruzzi the Elementary School Principal. Adam Pleasance ­ HM. (See Page 6)


A very warm welcome to the Verdala Community to the following new members of the teaching staff.

MARGARET GRIMA ­ Margaret is from Malta and trained in Nursery Education. She is teaching the Pre-Kindergarten 2 class.

ROANA SCHEMBRI ­ Roana is also Maltese and is another colleague trained for teaching nursery. She is a classroom assistant in the Pre-Kinder programme.

LYDIA PORTELLI ­ Lydia is Canadian/Maltese and will be teaching the second section of Kindergarten that we opened this year. Lydia completed her Bachelor's Degree in Education at Guelph University in Canada.

September Newsletter

As many of you know, Adam Pleasance the Headmaster retires at the end of this scholastic year having been at Verdala since 1993. He was promoted to Headmaster in 1998. Over the past year the Board of Directors carried out a search for a successor. The successful candidate, who will replace Mr Pleasance, is Nollaig Mac an Bhaird. By way of an introduction Nollaig has sent the following letter to the Verdala community:

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I am very happy to have been afforded this opportunity to introduce myself to the Verdala International School Community. My name is Nollaig Mac an Bhaird and I am from Ireland. I left Ireland in 1983 which might help to explain why there is a liberal scattering of Dutch, Caribbean and American (US), in my ways! I am married with 4 children, three of which have either `left the nest' or are close enough to that stage. During my career as an educator I have been fortunate to have experienced several different educational systems and philosophies, mainly Irish, Dutch, and US. I have also worked with several different programmes, Leaving and Intermediate Certificates (Ireland), IB, AP, IGCSE and MYP. It is the mix of these experiences that has brought me to my current perspective on education. The Verdala phrase `Building Bright Futures' is an idea that I can support wholly. We have, as educators, parents and the extended community a unique opportunity to have a positive constructive influence on the lives of those in our immediate care and through these individuals, the communities and societies they will live in. Schools, often referred to as "Learning Communities" are all about factors/conditions that improve learning. In our school the emphasis of our interactions with students and one another should be on learning. A school needs to be an environment where we can encourage and be encouraged to grow as individuals, to feel secure enough to make mistakes and to learn from all our experiences. I believe that educators need to encourage students to strive for excellence in all areas of their lives, personal as well as academic. A clear and a well defined understanding amongst all those involved in the process, teachers, administrators, the family and of course the student, will help in a successful outcome. Realistic achievable goals, towards which students, parents and staff can direct their energies will also contribute to the ultimate success of the student. A holistic, inclusive approach to student development is one of the main reasons why I remain in the profession. A profession, incidentally, that I am passionate about and continue to enjoy. We all come to the table with different personalities and backgrounds. It is the combination of these personalities, skills and characters, emotional as much as intellectual, our strengths as well as weaknesses, that give our children the environment and space to learn, to develop, to grow and to have a `bright future'. I am very conscious of the work that has gone before me. The energy and dedication of staff, parents, Head of School, Principals, administration, support staff, and Board have guided Verdala to the position it has today, a quality school offering an excellent education focused on the individual. A school that has wisely chosen internationally recognized programmes of the highest order which will suit our students on the island as well as in an international setting. Many hours of discussion, meetings, debates, agreements and research lie behind the success of Verdala. It is a credit to all involved that the school that you have built is strong and well positioned. I hope to be able to continue the outstanding work that has been done to date. I look forward to meeting you all in person as soon as the opportunity arises.

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Parents of Grade 12 students:

September Newsletter

IB News

During the month of October IB candidates will be registering for the examinations in May 2009. Your child will be given a form to fill in, and a schedule of examination fees, which should be settled by the 27th of October. Note that once a student is registered there can be no refund of fees. Here are deadlines for 12th Grade students over the next three months September BMP Research Proposal; Intro & Methodology First draft of the Extended Essay MSP: Statement, Introduction, Data Language A1 self taught (A1 ST) students Title for World Lit essay Mid-September, final draft of History Essay Review World Lit 1 BMP 1st Draft A1 ST topic summary, quotations, MSP data analysis (Sept-Oct) Theory of Knowledge (TOK) first presentations EE Revised draft BMP: Feedback and meetings MSP: Oct-17-24 Individual appointments to discuss first draft of project A1 ST first draft (early Nov) MSP: Deadline for first draft (Meet with supervisor to discuss) English B orals A1 ST final draft (Mid-November) TOK presentations First French Oral 16th EE Final copy


Oct-Nov November

Our new 11th Grade students are adjusting to their busy schedules, which in some cases are still being finalised. They will soon have a meeting to discuss CAS options and possibilities and by the end of October will be issued with the first draft of IB internal deadlines (dates by which certain assignments and tasks must be completed).

May 2009 IB Examination Session IB Results for May 2009 will be presented to the board at their September meeting. There were 193 subject entries. The results showed a distribution curve weighted towards the grades of 4 ­ 6 (see below). While results were less than spectacular at the top end of the scale, the percentage of diploma passes was still very good and about the same as other top years. Of the 21 candidates registered for the full diploma, 17 passed the diploma, about 81%. The highest mark scored (out of a possible 45) was 36. Average total of points obtained by candidates who earned the diploma was 30.

70 60 Frequency 50 40 30 20 10 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Congratulations to all those candidates who sat the examinations. Many of those who did not aim for the diploma still produced very good results. Our special congratulations go to the following who earned the full diploma / bilingual diploma. Alice Bogrash Jona Duka-Trapnell Charlotte Heidsma Hannah Lord Barrie Stott Allard van Osch Andre Chehab Gianella Gauci Pok Man (Cyrus) Cho Nauman Sikander Hayat Adam Lancsak Steven Schmid Roland Van Lent

Alex Kulek Sviatoslav Roudner Joshua Van der Groen Julienne Zammit

Grade Earned

September Newsletter

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Board News

Following the Board meeting on 26th August 2009 below is a summary of key issues being dealt with. Soccer Pitches Following the receipt of the scheme of works and 3 quotations the Board appointed `Philip Agius and Co' as contractors. Work is in progress as I am sure you have all seen. A completion date of the end of October has been mentioned but it is more likely to be after that as there are, inevitably, unforeseen delays. One we have experienced already is the delay in Enemalta moving the electricity poles from the middle of the site. Speed Bumps There has been no progress with the speed bumps over the holidays. ADT has authorized the road `calming' scheme but the Pembroke Council has yet to issue a work order. There seems to be some disagreement in the Council about the works to be done. The Chairman and HM are in contact with the Mayor trying to speed matters up. Maltese Classes The programme of classes that existed last year has been reinstated for this year. The teaching of Maltese and Religion are part of the National Minimum Curriculum for Maltese nationals. The HM will, during the course of this year, seek clarification from the Ministry of Education about the curriculum status of an international school in Malta. Actual Expenditure The method of reporting actual expenditure, under each line item of the budget, to the Board is to be made more detailed. In future, actual expenditure will not just be shown against the budget together with the final figure for the previous year. Reports will now include actual figures for the month, the corresponding figure for the previous year plus % variance, the current budget for the month and the % variance, cumulative figures to date, the cumulative figure for the same time last year and % variance, and the budget for the period and % variance. Summer Works The following has been undertaken ­ security cameras have been installed; new membranes put on the roof of the gym, music room and workshop; the ramps to comply with disabled access have been constructed; the Middle School office has been moved; painting has been done throughout the campus; plumbing has been repaired in a Middle School classroom; the lower panel on the Elementary verandahs has been covered with soft boards to display student work; and hand driers have been placed in all the bathrooms except those of the younger students who have paper towels. Fruit and Vegetable Scheme The information / orientation meeting for this scheme has still to be scheduled. This is information that was received on 25th August.

Scrabble Mornings

Would any of you Mums like to join our Scrabble mornings on a Friday at 9am? We meet at the Westin. It is a lot of fun and we don't take it too seriously! You don't even have to speak English very well to join in. It is just an excuse to get together and have a coffee and chat. Give it a go and see if you like it. Contact Linda on 99028202 or leave a message on my home number 21383532.

Page 6

September Newsletter

Staff Profiles

Wendy is the Elementary School Principal and also teaches Computers and PSHE for all Elementary classes. She has a Bachelors Degree in Music from the University of Western Ontario; a Bachelor's of Education and a Master's of Education both from the University of Toronto. After teaching in Ontario for 6 years she moved to Hong Kong and over a period of 18 years she taught in 4 different international schools ­ as a classroom teacher, a teacher of music and as an administrator. She is experienced with grades 2 to 8. Wendy is starting her 4th year at Verdala. Wendy is married (to James our Grade 5 teacher). They have no children but have Wendy's mum living with them. Wendy enjoys cooking, reading, playing bridge, travelling and she is a keen golfer. "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire". WB Yeats

Noel joined Verdala in 1998 which was his first post after completing his studies. Currently he holds the position of Middle School Principal. He teaches Grade 8 Social Studies, IB History and TOK also part of the IB programme. Noel graduated from the University of Malta with a Bachelor of Arts in History followed by a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and then a Masters in History. Now he is registered with King's College, Cambridge University, as a PhD candidate with a thesis called `The Maltese Panivour ­ an ethnographic study of bread and bakers in late eighteenth century Malta'. He is married to Fiona and has two children; Jake and Martina. He enjoys reading books and flying light aircraft.

Simone is the High School principal and also teaches 11th and 12th Grade English Literature in the IB programme. She has a Bachelors Degree, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, a Diploma in Adult Education, and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership ­ all from the University of Malta. On the Island she has taught at St Michaels, Antonio Bosio Boys Secondary and In Lingua. She has also taught in Palermo; has been an export sales manager for Marsovin; a PA at the Embassy of Kuwait; and worked locally as well as in Egypt, Italy, Barbados and the Philippines for the oil company Reading and Bates. Simone is married to Joe; she has 2 children ­ Karla 28 and David 20; She speaks Maltese, English and Italian ­ and gets by in French and German; she likes gardening, reading, swimming, travelling and antiques. She also breeds tortoises.

Septembe Newsle er etter

Page 7

`S Swine' Flu

For inf formation I reproduce t the letter I s sent to all p parents befo ore the start of th School ye he ear. We mu certainly not be alar ust y rmist but we e ful e sary precaut tions with re egard to `flu u. must be caref and take the necess nfluenza A (H1N1) Virus In 13th August 2009

ncerned, of course, abo `flu' and want to ensure that we out We are all con n nment like a school. W We minimise the risk of `flu' spreading in an environ ave received guidelines from the D d Directorate fo Education Services or nal s ha to help achiev this and will be follow ve wing them d during the c coming scho ool ear. The ess sentials are: ye 1. Schoo children and staff wit flu-like sy ol a th ymptoms must stay away from s school until given cleara ance by a do octor. (The symptoms e are ­ f fever and ch hills with cough or sore throat, and any of the e d e followi ing: headaches, runny nose, aches and pains, diarrhoea, s , vomiting and nausea.) Pleas do not send your child to school if se you ar at all conc re cerned and consult a doctor. The S School will is solate from class any st tudent who develops these symptoms during the d d day.

Washing han often W nds


3. The Sc chool will pr romote a campaign on w ways to reduce the spread of flu by encouraging children to cover nose and mouth d with a tissue when sneezing etc; washing hands often (we have e also in nstalled pape towels or electric blo driers in all er r ow bathro ooms); and by cleaning hard surfac regularly ces y. 4. The Sc chool will av void activitie that involve a gather es ring of large e numbe like asse ers emblies. 5. The Sc chool will be running st e tart of the year information session ns for tea achers so that all are aw ware of the strategies t that the author rities are rec commending.

Students taki the IB S king Diploma can get CAS D n hours for their r participa ation. (see pag 9) ge

After Sc chool Activ vities Sign Up At The Back To School BBQ n Q Fenc cing Chess Spanish Art Dra ama Softball High Schoo ol

Martial Arts and more Com along to the Schoo me o ol's Gymna asium during the Bac ck to School BBQ and meet each organizer h r

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Verdala Swimmers Although Verdala does not have its own pool our PE programme does include swimming at the nearby national pool. A number of our students have been particularly successful. In particular, the following have been swimming competitively for several years:

Jonathan Boffa (Grade 12) Aprille Zammit (Grade 11) Alec Zammit (Grade 8) Mariam Gadzhieva (Grade 8) Mutuz Gadzhiev (Grade 7) Michael Umnov (Grade 7) 7 years 6 years 3 years 2 years 2 years 2 years

September Newsletter

There are two international meets every year and many of the above will go abroad several times each year to swim in internationals. Competitive swimming requires great commitment with training sessions starting at 6am. Jonathan and Aprille will be applying for swimming scholarships at University. Also a former student who graduated this past summer, Gianella Gauchi, is swimming for her University in the UK. Aprille Zammit Many, many congratulations to Aprille Zammit of Grade 11. Over the summer she participated in the FISEC games in the Algarve, Portugal. She became the first girl to win a medal for Malta in the games when she came third in the 50 metre butterfly with a time of 31.33 seconds. Well done Aprille!

September Newsletter

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Forthcoming Events

September 2009 Tuesday 8th Thursday 10th Friday 11th Monday 21st Wednesday 23rd Thursday 24th October 2009 Saturday 10th Wednesday 14th Friday 23rd Wednesday 28th Friday 30th SAT exam Staff Development Day ­ No School End of 1st Quarter Board Meeting ­ 3.30pm Start of Spirit `Week' Halloween Carnival Public Holiday ­ No School Elementary and Middle School ­ Syllabus Day Boosters Back to School BBQ - 7.00pm Public Holiday ­ No School Board Meeting ­ 3.30pm Grade 11 College Orientation 3.30pm

High School Play

A Midsummer Night's Dream

By William Shakespeare Friday 20th and Saturday 21st November 7.30pm

This will be a fun production and all High School students are encouraged to join in as actors or helping with scenery, props, make-up, lights or sound. Students taking the IB Diploma can get CAS hours for their participation.

If there are parents who would be able to help with costumes we would be very grateful. Please contact Mrs Pleasance for further information

Page 10

September Newsletter

The Global Young Leaders Conference

This summer, outstanding high school scholars from around the world participated in the Global Young Leaders Conference (GYLC), a unique leadership development conference that takes place in Washington, D.C. and New York City. Hannah Schembri, now a 12th grade student was fortunate enough to attend the conference. The theme of GYLC was The Leaders of Tomorrow Preparing for the Global Challenges and Responsibilities of the Future. Students interacted with key leaders and newsmakers with powerful influence over politics, finance, culture and diplomacy, and took part in a carefully designed curriculum, which included thought-provoking simulations that built leadership skills. "The Global Young Leaders Conference aims to provide scholars with the opportunity to collaborate with their peers from around the world to both study and

resolve global conflict," said Marguerite C. Regan, Dean of Academic Affairs for the Congressional Youth Leadership Council (CYLC), the organization that sponsors GYLC. GYLC culminates with the Global Summit, in which students apply what they've learned throughout the Conference as they debate, negotiate and build coalitions dealing with issues such as foreign aid, global warming, terrorism and human rights. Hannah won the opportunity to speak at the United Nations Headquarters at the Global Summit, where she spoke against a particular resolution that was being presented; she also aided her country group in building various coalitions with other students representing a variety of UN countries.


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