Dear KFS Parents and Community

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 13:48

Dear KFS Parents and Community

It is my pleasure to write to you as the Superintendent of King Faisal School. I hope that you and your family have had a wonderful summer break whether you stayed locally or traveled afar. With a busy year ahead I trust you have all had lots of rest and look forward to the challenges ahead. Before we dive into another busy academic year I thought I would take this opportunity to bring you up to speed with developments in school over the summer months so that you are ready for your family's return.

School has remained active during the holidays, not only have our students travelled the globe under school supervision to Europe, many of our intrepid Grade 10s enjoyed summer camps in the UK and America broadening their horizons and gaining valuable knowledge and skills.

The campus has also remained busy, when you return to school you will appreciate that the team has worked through the summer to make important improvements and changes to the facilities. We have undergone a thorough inspection and update of the school's infrastructure, investing in systems such as air-conditioning and fire alarms and improving many of the classrooms for the safety and comfort of our students.

We have invested in the Pre-School campus to extend the facilities in order to improve the learning and play outcomes of our youngest students. You will see new and cooler shading all around the building to make playtimes more enjoyable and new playground surfaces to help structure their meaningful play and improve safety.

We have re-laid the sports surface in Building 5 and re-fitted out-of-date skylights in both sports halls to improve comfort and safety of the buildings' users.

Attendees to PYP morning assemblies at the back of Building 2 will also see heavy investment in the play facilities and seating for students and parents. An entirely new rubberized floor gives the building a new look and benches will allow parents to watch assemblies in comfort as the boys perform on a wider stage which now houses an entire class easily.

This is just the start of a rolling programme of investment which aims to keep the student at the heart of the decision-making and bring King Faisal School's facilities right up to speed alongside the most successful schools in the world.

The students moving in to Grade 5 this year have new classrooms in Building 3 and have expanded to six classes to accommodate new students keen to join King Faisal School. This new space will allow Grade 5 to flourish at the top of Primary and start to develop the independence needed as they prepare for life in the senior section of the school. In turn, Grade 7 will move to Building 7 and experience life in a more senior setting under the guidance of staff, supervisors and counselors. Future plans take into account the needs of all age ranges and will lead to a stunning campus fit for the leaders of tomorrow.

A new academic year always brings new staff and staffing arrangements, we look forward to welcoming lots of new teaching and support staff to the team.

Mrs. Sadeem AlKadi will continue to lead our Pre-School, looking after the Kindergarden classes, however from September Mrs. Alkadi will also be overseeing Grades 1 and 2 in a move which ensures the transition from Kindergarden to the main body of the school is as smooth as possible. Grades 1 and 2 will now be known as the Primary Years Programme Early Years or 'PYP EY' for short.

I'm delighted to confirm that all of our coordinators are returning to continue their excellent academic work, we all look forward to working with Mrs. Randa Dasha (PYP Early Years), Mr. Omar Rana (PYP), Mr. Mohammed Bahzat (MYP) and Mr. Khaled Qattawi (DP) in providing fantastic learning opportunities and raising the levels of attainment across the school this year.

We welcome many new teaching and administrative staff this year including Mr. Ahmed bin Fahad Athenyan who has already commenced his work in ensuring our school rules and administration are aligned with the Ministry of Education. We welcome Mr. Athenyan after many successful years with national and international schools in Riyadh.

Mr. Ean Alleyne remains in school as the Boys' Secondary School Principal and looks forward to seeing continued improvements in academic levels across the grades. Mr. Alleyne will step down as Boys' Principal in January but will remain in school to hand over to the new incoming Principal and to see the school through a visit from the IB in February. Mr. Alleyne will also be working on the school's compliance in order to implement a second educational path for the DP boys who will be able to sit for the IB DP exams or an equivalent qualification for those who do not need the IB Diploma to continue their studies at local universities.

Mr. Gary Webster will join us as Boy's School Principal in January 2019, looking after all of our boys from Grades 3 to 12. Mr. Webster has lots of experience in the Middle East most recently at CIS Amman in Jordan where he spent several successful years as the Head of School. Mr. Webster is in contact with King Faisal School regularly, is keeping up to date with events and was happily involved with some of the interviews for the new teachers starting at KFS in the coming weeks.

As we strive to become one of the World's top 100 schools we need the support of our parents in paying tuition and related fees in a timely manner. Whilst we concentrate on being a school first and foremost, we cannot provide excellent facilities, opportunities and services without operating successfully as a business. As such, it is extremely important for our finances to be well controlled and predictable. We thank those families who have already paid the tuition fees for the upcoming semester and ask anyone who has not yet paid to support us by closing their fees account as soon as possible. In turn, we must also tackle fees which are outstanding from previous years, please contact us directly if you are struggling with previous payments to discuss a way forward and ensure your son's future at King Faisal School.

Parents and students will notice some new initiatives in school this year as we seek to meet our aspirations to make KFS a leading global school. The new school shop shows our commitment to listen to stakeholders and is a result of feedback from the questionnaires. The new shop will sell school uniform and merchandise on campus. This year we will phase in a new school uniform for our students' own comfort and sense of belonging to the school community. As parents have already bought uniform items over the summer months we will allow a mixture of old and new uniform this year, but for September 2019 there will be a much tighter dress code for KFS students. As your sons' uniforms wear out please replace them with the updated items, so in time you are ready for the all-new uniform codes next summer. 

I trust that this brief letter keeps you informed of the work we have carried out over the summer and reflects the excitement we all feel for the upcoming academic year.

I, and the whole KFS academic and administrative team, look forward to seeing you bright and early on Sunday September the 2nd for the start of a new and exciting academic year.

Yours respectfully,

Mr J M McElhone

Superintendent, KFS