Woodford Values finalised
In late 2016, the Woodford Board adopted a new Vision, Mission Statement and Strategic Plan for the school, following consultation with teachers, students, parents and other stakeholders. At the same time, consultations were held to identify the ‘values’ most valued by the WIS community. Parents, teachers and student representatives were asked to identify the values they wanted to see the school adopt and embrace as we pursue our Vision of
daring to dream
confident to act
empowered to achieve
Our school Values are important because they guide behaviours and attitudes in all aspects of the school’s operations - in classrooms, in the playground, among staff, in PTFA activities, at school events, among Board members and in everything we, the WIS community, do.
The Board is proud to announce that new WIS Values, which complement our Vision and reflect our multicultural community, were adopted on 11 October. Three of the five previous school values (Respect, Integrity and Teamwork) have been retained and three new ones have been added: Courage, Diversity and Excellence. We look forward to students, teachers and others exploring and explaining what these Values mean for Woodford. Following are some ideas to get your minds ticking over:
Courage – to try new things, to embrace challenges, to dream big and pursue our dreams, to stand up for what is right, to express our ideas and feelings
Respect – for each other in all we do, for different points of view, for different cultures and backgrounds, for school and others’ property
Excellence – aiming high and doing our best, commitment to continuous improvement and lifelong learning
Diversity – valuing the diversity of our community; being open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities
Integrity – being honest, doing the right thing, standing up for what is right, doing our fair share, doing what we say we will do
Teamwork – working together; recognising, appreciating and utilising each other’s strengths; sharing our own strengths and efforts
2018 Budget approved
The Board also approved the school’s provisional budget for 2018. We are pleased to advise that there will be no increase in fees for current students and new local students in 2018. There will be a small increase in the ‘Building Levy’ paid by new international students, which will help to fund improvements to the school’s facilities to make the campus safer and more secure. Our thanks to Head of School, Mr Baron, and our accounts manager, Ms Margaret, for their incredibly hard work over the last two months to improve financial reporting to the Board and in putting the budget together.
We are now confident in the school’s financial position going forward, following some difficult cost cutting, including necessary staff losses, earlier this year. The future is looking bright – the budget allows for new specialist teachers to strengthen our English as an Additional Language , Special Needs and Mandarin departments and continued investment in professional development to enhance teaching and learning in every class, among other priorities.
The introduction of the Cambridge A-levels program in 2018 will likely contribute to an improved budget outcome for the school; at worst, it will be budget neutral. This exciting initiative, together with the many school improvements underway and planned for in the 2018 budget, should further enhance the appeal of WIS to existing and potential Woodford families. Woodford will soon be the only school in Solomon Islands to offer:
Child Protection Policy
At its meeting on 11 October, the Board also approved for consultation a draft WIS Child Protection Policy.The draft policy builds on the school’s commitment to providing a safe and healthy environment for students, staff, families and other visitors (recorded in section 5 of the WIS Strategic Policies Compendium) by identifying roles, responsibilities and reporting requirements in cases of suspected abuse.A copy of the draft policy is attached.We encourage all students, parents/guardians and teachers with a view on the draft policy to provide comments to the Board so we can improve it before it is adopted as policy (scheduled for our November meeting).Please send comments to email@example.com by 31 October or hand in written comments marked ‘Attention: Chair, WIS Board’ to the reception desk in the administration building.
Get in touch
As always, please feel free to get in touch to share your ideas on the governance or strategic direction of Woodford.The best decisions are made when a diverse range of perspectives are shared and taken into account so your ideas matter – the Board welcomes input from students and parents/guardians of all backgrounds.For operational matters, please continue to work with Head of School and his team – if you think the Head of School’s response breaches WIS policy http://www.wis.edu.sb/Aboutus.aspx, the matter can be referred to the Board.
(originally shared on September 13, 2017)
Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends of Woodford,
My first few weeks here in Honiara, if rather exhausting, have certainly proved both informative and exhilarating. I have talked to many people eager to share their concerns and ideas and have read much of Woodford’s past successes and proposed future direction. When possible I have visited classrooms and viewed our other school properties and resources. During this, my third week, I hope to gain a much better understanding of our current administrative and financial operations including the system software.
It is clear that there are some great things happening here at Woodford but there is also much that needs further development, support and revision. Three weeks of observation is nowhere near long enough to gain a full picture of our needs but I certainly have some key ideas that I would like to share with you all. I present these goals as clearly as possible and stress that these goals are not board policy but my reflections on what needs to happen. I would, therefore, welcome any feedback whether as a member of staff, a parent, a student or just an interested observer in all things Woodford.
Goals for consideration:
I strongly believe that all of these goals are achievable without huge financial sacrifices on the part of either parents or sponsor organisations. Of course, they can’t be met overnight but given widespread parental support they can come about much quicker than you might think.
Please send responses directly to me at
Warm regards to you all,
Woodford International School is now fully authorized to offer ‘A’ Level qualification from Cambridge International Examination (CIE). A Level is a world renowned senior secondary qualification and preferred by universities world-wide for direct admission into undergraduate programmes. This is keeping in line with the school vision to preparer learners who are “globally ready”.
I am delighted to invite you to attend an interactive information session on Friday, 5 PM, October 13, 2018 at Woodford International School. This is a must-attend session which will be followed by optional one-on-one interactions. It is highly recommended that the session be attended by all parents. Students can accompany. You can read more by visiting the website.
You can contact Mr Rakesh Pandey at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 7920983
They said I would have to hit the ground running and they weren’t joking. It’s certainly been a very busy time of late here at Woodford but rewarding and enjoyable at the same time. The school community is an active one and there is so much for parents and students to be proud of. I have highlighted jus a few things in this Newsletter and express my thanks to the contributors. Apologies if my own late arrival in Term 3 has meant some activities have been missed out but just please provide any details or narrative regarding events and I will try to get them in a future edition.
There were two most enjoyable community events to end Term3 on a high sporting note. The WISE Field Day and the PYP Sports Carnival. Both were enormous fun and allowed for a good balance of participation for all and competitive spirit.
Although a good time was, I am sure, had by all it was not just about that. If you doubt the competitive edge you should certainly have witnessed the tug-of-war competition where students really dug in for their house and gave everything for victory. Indeed so many of the events showed the Woodford students the value of teamwork, efficiency and hard work. Hard physical effort like studying can be both rewarding and fun. It was also hugely gratifying for me to see so many older students engaging so comfortably with the younger students and relaying instructions in a thoroughly supportive manner (even if the older ones were left scratching their heads at times).
I know that students and spectators alike enjoyed and benefited both events. These activities build school spirit and allow parents to get a feel of the good things happening at Woodford. Many thanks to Ryan his team of IGCSE PE student helpers and all the Primary staff for their efforts, expertise and enormous patience. I’m sure they were all happy to enjoy the holiday at the end of it.
Woodford International School hosted Solomon Islands’ first ever ‘Tournament of Minds’ in September.
With special permission to pilot Tournament of Minds in Solomon Islands, Woodford teams went head-to-head entertaining and persuading a panel of expert judges about the merit of their solutions to a 4 week Engineering – Mathematics challenge.
Each team designed and produced a unique mechanical device capable of independently producing three distinct sounds, within a range of constraints. The teams were judged on the effectiveness and design of their devices, the quality of their dramatic presentations and mathematical explanations, their use of recycled materials and other criteria. The teams’ designs and presentations were totally different from each other, reflecting the students’ creativity and independence. In a tight battle, the ‘Rulers of Phenophalia’ took the title of TOM Champions.
TOM is a problem-solving programme for mixed-age teams of students from both primary and secondary years. Tournament of Minds was created in Australia thirty years ago and now involves tens of thousands of students each year from Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Thailand, South Africa and other countries in the region. Participants in TOM develop diverse skills, enterprise, time management, and the discipline to work collaboratively within a competitive environment. Participants in the inaugural Solomon Islands Tournament of Minds said TOM was also ‘super-challenging’, ‘incredibly rich with learning’ and ‘heaps of fun’.
Many thanks to all the participants, judges and advisors. A special thank you to Emily for initiating and coordinating the event.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Lyn Watts who visited our school for two days in September to consider how we might improve our curriculum delivery. Her bright, wholehearted personality, considerable classroom experience and sound common sense ensured the two days were not only inspiring and informative but also fun. As a fellow professional it was a joy to meet someone so keen and able to foster school improvement. It is no wonder her services are in such high demand throughout Australia. I am sure her visit will lead to considerable improvement in teaching and learning here at Woodford and hopefully lead to further visits in the near future. Also a huge thank you to Judy Martin our Teaching and Learning Director who accompanied and advised Lyn throughout her tour. Both Judy and I will lead a PD event for teachers after their return from break to look at ways we can incorporate Lyn’s ideas into our work here. Parents can read Lyn’s initial insights in the School below:
Lyn Watts Report
Thank you for your invitation to review the beautiful Woodford International School. It was a joy to spend last week with you observing quality classrooms and engaged learners across the school. I have completed an audit of Teaching, Learning and curriculum and can now make the following observations:
Lessons have clear learning intentions with goals that clarify what success looks like.
Sound lesson structures reinforce routines, scaffold learning via specific steps/activities. Planned sequencing of teaching and learning activities stimulate and maintain student engagement
Explicit teaching practices clearly show students what to do and how to do it.
Collaborative learning is supported by designing meaningful tasks. It involves students actively participating in negotiating roles, responsibilities and outcomes.
Questioning opens up opportunities for students to discuss, argue, and express opinions and alternative points of view.
Differentiated teaching methods teachers extend the knowledge and skills of every student in every class, regardless of their starting point.
Clearly Woodford aims to lift the performance of all students, including those who are falling behind and those ahead of year level expectations. In order to ensure that all students master objectives, effective teachers plan lessons that incorporate adjustments for content, process, and product.
The curriculum design is also very successful. Primary School students undertake the International Baccalaureate (PYP), while Middle School students participate in the Cambridge/AICE Program and Senior School students are measured against the Solomon Islands National Curriculum. These internationally recognised curricula provide excellent guidance as to effective teaching and learning processes as well as curriculum planning, development and evaluation of learning.
It is clear that the Woodford International School highly values the relationships between teachers and students, and students with their peers. There is considerable evidence to support the school strategic plan statement that,
“WIS is a community of learners that builds on each child's strengths, drawing from our diverse local context and a rich international curriculum, to develop globally ready learners equipped to shape their future and achieve their dreams.”