Welcome from Head of School Suzanna Jemsby
There's a sense of anticipation prior to the start of every school year — I'm pleased to say I still feel it after more than two decades working at schools — but this year was different. When our students came back to campus in late August 2021, it was the first time we had all been together as a community for more than 500 days. It's not an exaggeration to say the energy was magical.
Prior to the onset of the pandemic, we all knew that the school experience is about more than lectures and tests. But it was easy to take those extras for granted until we were deprived of them. Our teachers and students were stalwart throughout the 2020-2021 school year of hybrid learning, but there's no doubt our connections suffered.
Having been reminded about why we have chosen to be part of an intentionally international community at WIS, we are seizing upon opportunities to celebrate learning together. At our Primary School, many of the first-week activities focused specifically on community building. On our Middle and Upper Schools campus, students in Grades 6 and 9 — transition years — participated in special programmes to adjust to their new divisions and the return of traditional events such as Grades 6-12 Sports Day has helped restore a sense of normalcy for students. And we're not forgetting parents. They are eager to return to on-campus activities as well, and we're slowly and safely bringing them back.
In addition to spending time in classrooms when I can, and speaking with students at the start and end of the day, during lunch, and as they change classes, I revel in my individual sessions with members of the senior class. They have internalised the ability to think deeply about issues and the inclination to enact change where they can. They can articulate the value in understanding multiple perspectives. They have ambitions for their post-WIS lives that are truly impressive. They are the proof that a WIS education achieves its aims.