On Monday 11 to Wednesday 13 October, we had two visitors to Preshil as part of our MYP Evaluation, an important and compulsory process which we undergo every five years to maintain our status as an IB school. More importantly, the IB’s Evaluation process provides schools with an opportunity to take a big step back and undergo a thorough and critical review of how the IB programmes are implemented at our School.

We have been working towards this goal for the past five years, but more intensively over the past 18 months. As part of the process: 

  • Preshil teachers reviewed the MYP curriculum and sent away unit planners and sample assessment tasks for feedback.
  • steering committee  made up of representatives of the different stakeholders in the MYP, including students, teachers, leaders, parents and School Council met for two days in August to reflect on and evaluate our implementation of the IB’s standards and practices across                                                                           the MYP at Preshil.
  • The Evaluation culminated in the three-day visit from ‘critical friends’ representing the IB.

Our visitors were Sheeza Ali (from India) and Aubrey Curren (who is Dutch but works in Japan). They are leaders and educators in IB schools and spent the three days on Zoom talking to the different stakeholders and sitting in on classes. Aspects of MYP that they provided feedback on included the curriculum, service as action, personal projects, ATLs, our library, facilities, policies, school philosophy, how we collaborate, how we communicate, how we support student learning and wellbeing, how we are growing as a learning community. 

The Visiting Team’s role is to leave us with some commendations (what we are doing well) and recommendations (suggestions for future growth). We will receive the final report in a few weeks time, but in our concluding meeting they shared some observations that I wanted to share with you: 

  • our students clearly love the School, they have agency and feel challenged and well cared for;
  • diligence and collaboration of everyone in the community to maintain quality of learning and a strong focus on wellbeing, while overcoming challenges such lockdowns and leadership changes;
  • strong alignment between the philosophy and purpose of the School and the IB mission;
  • commitment of the School and teachers to ongoing professional development;
  • overall focus of the School on celebrating diversity and putting wellbeing and inclusion at the centre of everything we do.

Special thanks to:

  • The Preshil teachers who are such a hardworking, caring and committed group of educators, and I thank them for their robust professional conversations and ongoing commitment to supporting our Middle School students;
  • Cressida and Karoline for their leadership and wisdom, and to Amir Tatai, Emily Nancarrow, Julia Strentz, Anthony Cavagna and Bronte Howell for bringing their expertise and perspectives to the steering committee;
  • Emma Zipper and Toby Borgeest who represented School Council, and Cal Volks, Zahava Elenberg, Katrina Holmes a Court and Troy Wass who represented the parent community;
  • [very special thanks to] Paige (Year 7) and Josh (Year 10) who sat on the MYP Evaluation self-study group and offered valuable student perspectives, as well as Eddy  (Year 7), Iris (Year 8), Stella and Kiera (Year 9), Felix and Luca (Year 10) who helped out with virtual tours of the campus and representing the Preshil student body in meetings with the team.

Natalie Kunst

MYP Coordinator