We are ending this week filled with such pride and passion for all that has happened over the last half of term. It is hard to believe that I have only been in Riyadh for two and a half months – so much has happened in that time, and all the children here at Beech Hall School Riyadh have made the most amazing progress. I am writing this from the airport, ready to fly home to the UK for a few days, but I’m already excited about what the next half of the term holds. In the meantime, here are my top 5 moments from this week!
- Welcoming so many renowned speakers and writers from the world of inclusive education earlier this week. On 18th October, we hosted Riyadh’s first Inclusive Education Summit, and to know that our school can already attract such impressive and insightful thinkers and speakers is testament to the work that we’re doing. It was fantastic showing the guests how we innovate and include through our learning and teaching, our curriculum, and – last but not least – our incredible educational staff.
- Seeing our staff interact in all of the sessions, asking such thoughtful and thought-provoking questions. This showed just how deeply they reflect on their practice, and how much they want to continually develop for the children they serve. One of my favourite questions came from Mr David James, Secondary Boys, who asked, “What two words would you ban?” Some of the best answers were: them and us; normal; and can’t and won’t. What other words would you add?
- Inviting our parents to meet the panel of speakers at our breakfast this morning. We know that inclusion can only happen when all members of a child’s team are on the same page, and parents play a critical role in that. Our parents came and asked the most fantastic questions, and our panel were only too pleased to answer them! It was a really special event and we were bowled over by the interactions that happened.
- Launching our House System alongside Mr David James. We are so excited to be starting the process of building this system, and I know that it will have such a positive impact on how the school operates, as well as the culture that underpins all that we do. The pupils will be driving all of this, from coming up with the house names, to creating the framework for how the system is applied. I have no doubt that our children will lead this key area of development with both passion and confidence.
- We also got to experience a little bit more of Saudi life last weekend! Quad biking across the desert, riding camels, and cantering the most beautiful Arab horse across the sand was the best fun. The views were truly amazing, and I couldn’t believe my luck to be having such an adventure in the most beautiful setting. I cannot wait to keep exploring, and taking Crumb along with me on this adventure.
As I’m sitting here, waiting to depart for the UK, these moments remind me of the incredible journey we’re on here at Beech Hall School Riyadh. I’m already looking forward to the next chapter!